Michelle Levy is an interdisciplinary artist, storyteller, writer, and cultural organizer based in Brooklyn, New York. She uses performance, imagery, text, and ritual to investigate the mediated spaces between reality and fiction where identity is constructed. Working within a framework of “the search” and “research,” Levy explores the space between performance and life, and the discoveries made possible in real-life performative moments. While inside her investigations, Levy allows herself to be vulnerable to the events that transpire, enabling the audience to project themselves onto and connect with her journey. Many of her works unfold over years in art and life until they reach a resolution or moment of natural rest.
Levy has presented work at venues including Abrons Art Center, Dixon Place, Flux Factory, Glasshouse Gallery, Gowanus Studio Space, La MaMa Galleria, Littlefield, Magnet Theater, NURTUREart, Pete’s Candy Store, Secret Project Robot, Spectacle Theater, and Theaterlab in New York City, Grizzly Grizzly (Philadelphia), Machine Project (Los Angeles,), Festivalt (Krakow), Galicia Jewish Museum (Kraków) Instytut Teatralny (Warsaw), Kana Theater (Szczecin) POLIN Museum (Warsaw), and Center and Foundation for Contemporary Art (Prague).
Levy is a recent recipient of a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant (2022); Asylum Arts Sustaining Practice Grant (2020); grants from the US Embassy, Warsaw, Poland (2019) and Asylum Arts (2018) for development and presentation of her evolving project PAULINA in Poland, in collaboration with Polish artist/writer Patrycja Dołowy. Over 2018/19, Levy's artistic research was hosted by POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, with cooperation from the Archive and Genealogy departments of the Emmanuel Ringleblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland; and PAULINA was the Project-in-Residence for Festivalt, a radical Jewish art festival in Kraków (2019). Levy was a participant in the Asylum Arts/POLIN Museum Poland Retreat for Jewish Artists in Warsaw (2017); received a CCNY Connor Travel Scholarship to study performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London (2014); a travel fellowship from the Czech Center New York for a curatorial residency at MeetFactory in Prague (2013); and residencies at CAC Troy (2011), The Gowanus Studio Space (2011), and Chashama North (2006). Levy holds an MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from The City College of New York, and a BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University, CT. She studied improv comedy and storytelling at Magnet Theater, New York, and is a co-founder of Temporary Files: an experimental video art-making cooperative and publishing platform.
From 2008 - 2018, Levy was Founding Director of EFA Project Space, an exhibition program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in Manhattan. There, she also created the SHIFT Residency supporting the creative practices of artists working for arts organizations in NYC. Her initiatives at EFA have received major support from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Trust for Mutual Understanding, among others. From 2000 - 2008, Levy was Program Manager of International Print Center New York. She continues her cultural organizing work as a consultant and mentor to artists, and as a member of the EFA Project Space Advisory Council. Levy has been a guest lecturer and panelist at universities and institutions for both her art and organizational practices, including American University, Carnegie Mellon, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York Foundation for the Arts, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Queens College, Rhode Island School of Design, School of Visual Arts, Tyler School of the Arts, and others.