Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC


Where Ritual and Civic Practice Meet

Mon, January 29, 2024
Dinner Program
Cara Hagan

Join Cara Hagan, a contemporary dancer and artist, to explore civic practice through the lens of artmaking. Learning to live mindfully in community is the first step to having what Hagan calls, a “civic practice,” which is a deep ritual practice unto itself that requires our full attention and a consistent recommitment to its existence and its health. To be clear, a civic practice means playing an active role in one’s community, driven by a concern for that community’s social, cultural, organizational, and infrastructural well-being. It includes the voluntary contribution of one’s time and talent (like any good ritual) to attend to the needs of one’s community. This looks different for everyone, and when people are tending to their communities from a place of agency, rooted in their power, participating in ways that are both manageable and productive given the shape of their lives, a civic practice is potent medicine against the forces of oppression. Hagan will share works of varied genres as a way of stitching together her experience of living in community with a passion for reimagining the world and how we exist in it.

Cara Hagan (She/They) is a mover, maker, writer, curator, champion of just communities, and a dreamer. She believes in the power of art to upend the laws of time and physics, a necessary occurrence in pursuit of liberation. In her work, no object or outcome is sacred; but the ritual to get there is. Hagan’s adventures take place as live performance, on screen, as installation, on the page, and in collaboration with others in a multitude of contexts.

Most recently, Hagan's immersive, site-specific work "were we birds?" was commissioned as part of the 90th anniversary season of the American Dance Festival. Additionally, Hagan's work titled, "SKIDD-ID-A-BOP was commissioned as part of the 2023 season for Rhythmically Speaking, a jazz-focused dance company based in Minneapolis. Hagan was awarded a 2023 GALLIM Parent Artist Residency, where she has had the pleasure of crafting a new solo-dance and visual art work titled, "Mama Piranha." Thus far, iterations of Mama Piranha have been presented by Morven Moves at the Morven Museum, a GALLIM artist residency showing at the Chelsea Factory, and by Pioneers Go East as part of the Crossroads Festival. Hagan anticipates the premiere of the work in its entirety in 2024.

Hagan is editor and contributor to the anthology Practicing Yoga as Resistance: Voices of Color in Search of Freedom, published in 2021 by Routledge and author of Screendance from Film to Festival: Celebration and Curatorial Practice, published in 2022 by McFarland. Cara joined the faculty of The New School in 2022 and works as Associate Professor and Program Director for the MFA in Contemporary Theatre Performance.

Hagan's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Berger Institute for Individual and Social Development and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711


Phone: (909) 621-8244 
Fax: (909) 621-8579