Out & Back Again: A Southern Tale is an immersive artistic endeavor that activates Northwest Arkansas communities, addressing social issues, opportunities, and challenges through the lens of LGBTQ+ experiences. Through a blend of documentary and dance film elements, this project serves as a vibrant exploration of the life and dance experiences of local individuals whose stories intertwine with a kaleidoscope of images, people, and places. It delves into the stories held within our minds, hearts, and bodies, and the profound ways in which we pass them on to others. Through interviews with community members and local LGBTQ+ artists, this docu/dance film creates a platform for community dialogue, transformative conversations, and fosters unity
among the local communities. Out & Back Again: A Southern Tale is a powerful reflection on the vital connections between LGBTQ+ individuals of different generations, highlighting their importance and necessity in creating a sense of belonging and support.
Straddling live performance and various media platforms, Jessica’s creative research and artistic work centers storytelling, improvisation, cinema, and the desire for play. Cutting across all of these methodologies, and rooted in her experiences with dance and wrestling, is an emphasis on the body. Hale was a Guest Artist at Missouri State University, AC Flora High School (SC), Hand Middle School (SC), and Kilgore College (TX). She has worked with Director Mary John Frank, Brooklyn’s Say Yes Electric Collective, and collaborates with Matthew Cumbie on a multi-year community-engaged performance project about queer world-making and intergenerational collaboration. Jessica has experience in post-production work for World Wrestling Entertainment and HBO’s “United Skates,” stage production with Gibney Dance, and administrative roles with Megan Bascom & Dancers. She holds an MFA in Dance and recently finished a performance project about LGBTQ+ individuals in the South as a recipient of the CACHE Platform award.