About This Artist

Audrey Johnson (she/her) is a queer Black mixed-race movement artist with roots from Detroit and Plymouth Michigan, currently rooting in Oakland, CA. Audrey’s work lives, arrives, and changes in the realms of embodiment, movement, food, relationship, magic, ritual, plants, and land. Audrey’s project at CounterPulse will explore Black freedom practices in food, farming, and rootwork through dance, ritual, interview, and performance.



About this Project

[and then we must be] is a performance and ritual, storytelling and research process, honoring Black American relationships with land and plants through food, farming, medicine-making, and magic. Movement and interviews bring stories to life, honoring these practices as communion with the divine, and Black liberatory healing technologies.


Inspired by ancestral, community-centered, and spiritual relationships to land and plants, [and then we must be] is a research and ritual project honoring Black American practices with land and plants through the modes of food, farming, rootwork, and magic. The work honors the practices that get passed down through recipe, spell, and story, as well as the memories active and activated in the body, plants, the land (soil, clay, mycelium, strata), and in spirit. Weaving together interviews with loved ones, the voice of the work speaks from the mouths of many. The dancing is a movement offering, ritual, and prayer: in communion with spirit, plants, and land. [and then we must be] is the process of meeting and being met by plants and land, and of allowing oneself to be changed.


Movement Collaborators

Bae Laurel O’Connor

Laila Shabazz


Image is a photo of a hand viewed from below, reaching between the silhouette of two trees with a blue sky

Photo by Audrey Johnson. Pictured: Bae Laurel O’Connor

Learn more about the ARC Edge 2022 Residency Presentation

featuring Audrey Johnson & Nkeiruka Oruche

Thursday – Saturday June 2-4 & 9-11, 2022


Edge Residency 2022


Upcoming Events

Secure Our Stage

Help CounterPulse Buy Our Building
We have $1 million left to raise to meet our $7 million goal this year! Donate Now!

Commedia dell’Arte and the Art of Improv in Drag

Presented by Oaklash
Tuesday May 24th at 6PM PT

Edge Residency 2022

Audrey Johnson & Nkeiruka Oruche
Thursday - Saturday June 2-4 & 9-11, 2022 at 8PM PT

The ABJD Series

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Saturday June 11, 2022 at 4PM PT

Archived Events

Block Fest 2022

Friday May 13th @ 3PM PT

Title of Event

Name of Artist or Company to be Credited
Day Month Date, Year at Time

Talking Circle

Risa Jaroslow & Dancers
Thursday - Saturday May 12-14 & 19-21, 2022 @ 7:30pm PT and Sunday May 15 & 22 @ 4PM PT


CounterPulse's Annual Art Party & Auction
Saturday May 7, 2022 at 7PM - Midnight PT

Blog Roll