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Inaugural Class of Fellows Announced for Broadway Advocacy Coalition's Artivism Fellowship

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Selected artists include Andrea Ambam, Dezi Eivah Bing, Daniella Carter, Jasmine Eileen Coles, Nicole Davis, DejaJoelle, ChelseaDee Harrison, and more.

Inaugural Class of Fellows Announced for Broadway Advocacy Coalition's Artivism Fellowship

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition has announced the inaugural class of fellows selected to participate in the BAC Artivism Fellowship, created to support artist-activists using their tools to have an impact on the world around them.

The selected fellows include Andrea Ambam (performance artist & writer; Brooklyn, NY), Dezi Eivah Bing (actress & playwright; Washington, D.C.), Daniella Carter (creative producer & co-founder of Daniella's Guestbook; Forest Hills, NY), Jasmine Eileen Coles (storyteller, story seeker, storykeeper; New York, NY), Nicole Davis (visual artist; Coralville, IA), DejaJoelle (healing artist & cultural healing curator; St. Paul, MN./Charlotte, NC), ChelseaDee Harrison (theater-maker; Washington, D.C.), Faylita Hicks (poet, essayist & multidisciplinary artist; San Marcos, TX), Courtney Jamison (multi-hyphenate; Los Angeles, CA) and Kayla Stokes (storyteller, director & producer; New York, NY / Seattle, WA).

The Fellowship will provide financial support, mentorship, networking opportunities and education workshops for the group of 10 Black womxn. Each artist uses narrative or stories in their work in order to impact systemic racism and criminal justice reform.

"I am so incredibly honored to introduce our inaugural cohort to our community," said Dria Brown, the chief of staff at BAC and Fellowship mentor. "Now, more than ever it is important to amplify and uplift Black womxn and the incredible work we've consistently been doing. We're inspired by the artistry and advocacy work of these ten Black womxn we've selected and we are committed to investing in stories that speak truth to power and supporting change agents using their artistry to impact the world around them."

BAC received more than 180 applications for the Fellowship from across the country for the inaugural class. In October, the mentors and nomination committee reviewed the applications, selecting the 10 individuals who most reflected the values of BAC. The nominating committee for the fellowship included Zakiyah Ansari, Amber Iman, Andy Jean, Imani Mflame and Liza Jessie Peterson.

"The applications that these fellows submitted were moving, inspiring, and courageous," said Fellowship mentor Nia Akilah Robinson. "These Black leaders are anchors for the change they want to see. This cohort is forward moving and they all represent the definition of black excellence. I am honored to act as a mentor and resource to them in their six-month process with Broadway Advocacy Coalition. But, I'm sure that this bond will go beyond the six months. I feel that it will end up being a lifelong connection, which I am already incredibly grateful for!"

For more information, visit https://www.bwayadvocacycoalition.org/artivismfellowship.

ABOUT THE FELLOWS

ANDREA AMBAM is a NYC-based artist, actress, and playwright whose roots sprout from Cameroon. As a politically engaged theatre artist who believes in the art's potential for movement building and transformative justice, her current work centers Black lives and embodied ethnography. She is a 2020 Artist-in-Residence for Anna Deavere Smith's class "One Person Shows", a 2020 EmergeNYC Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a fellow at Girls Write Now, and a 10-time national champion in public speaking and dramatic performance where she has been awarded & "Top Speaker in the Nation" three times. She has performed at, written for, and/or been commissioned as an educator/speaker by Classical Theatre of Harlem, Abron Arts Center, NYU Prison Education Program, NYU Verbatim Performance Lab, Artists' Literacies Institute, Free Street Theater, and Centre for Social Innovation. Andrea has a Master's degree in Art & Public Policy (NYU Tisch School of the Arts). www.andreaambam.com

DEZI EIVAH BING D.C. credits include: The Great Society (Arena Stage); The Legend of Georgia McBride (Roundhouse Theatre Co.); All The Way (Arena Stage); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folger Shakespeare Theatre); Unexplored Interior (Mosaic Theater Company); Occupied Territories (2016 Helen Hayes-Award Winner for Best Choreography) (Theater Alliance); and the staged readings of For Black Trans Girls (Woolly Mammoth & The Public Theater NYC). Regional credits include Stage Directions at Penumbra Theatre Company and All Shook Up at The Ogunquit Playhouse. Dezi recently completed a year-long Kenan Institute Playwriting/Acting Fellowship at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where she finished and work shopped her first play, The Peculiar Awakening of Riley Parker. Dezi trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts & would like to thank her friends & family for their continued love & support and Hawaiian pop sensation, Hoku, for making the song, "Perfect Day."

Daniella Carter is a lifelong advocate for LGBTQ+ youth. She has given speeches at local, national, and international events, including panel discussions with political leaders and dignitaries. She spoke at TED Talks Live and also delivered talks during TEDxABQ and TEDxMidAtlantic. She has appeared on MSNBC, Good Morning America, ABC News, the New York Daily News, People Magazine, Forbes.com and in the New York Times. She was featured in the Emmy award-winning MTV & Logo documentary, Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word. Daniella's message transcends boundaries of race, class, and gender, focusing on the intersection of identities. Ms Carter was recently the subject of an episode of Robin Roberts' Thriver Thursday series.

In August 2020, she launched 'Daniella's Guestbook, in partnership with creative agency SpecialGuest.co. 'Daniella's Guestbook, a site and Instagram channel, spotlights the work of Black creators to unlock employment opportunities in advertising and creative industries for them and other BIPOC creators.

JASMINE EILEEN COLES is a local NYC artist whose work is grounded in Ritual Poetic Drama within the African Continuum. This methodology by Dr. Tawyna Pettiford Wates offers an indigenous perspective on storytelling that is cyclical vs linear and honors revelation versus resolution. Jasmine's work emphasizes the use of a community centered around art that unpacks life, death, and transformation. A major portion of Jasmine's work is embedded in wholeness and wellness in order to grapple with the trauma and darkness that sometimes comes with the truth. Jasmine's work spans from original one woman shows, children's books, community residencies, teaching artist work, and holistic health and healing nutrition workshops. For information about specific projects please visit www.Jasmineeileencoles.com

NICOLE DAVIS is a visual artist based in Iowa working primarily in textile, photography, and painting. Nicole's work evokes personal, ancestral, and cultural memory as a form of sustenance and resistance within societal structures that choose to elevate whiteness, maleness, and greed. Drawing attention to that which has been marginalized and challenging harmful power structures allows her to tell a story that is different than the one larger society declares as truth. It is through this practice that Nicole sustains her humanness and resists, and transforms, the forces that wish to deny it. Nicole served as a public school teacher for twenty-one years before pivoting to an art career. She received an MFA degree with honors from the University of Iowa in 2020.

DEJAJOELLE is an African Centered - Healing Artist, Choreographer, Director, and Cultural Healing Curator. She believes Dance serves as our connection to ourselves, our communities, and our overall Divinity. DejaJoelle creates intentional spaces for Black, LGBTQ2, and Deaf community to discover their own practices toward Healing using Dance, Body Reclamation, and other Healing practices. As the world experiences collective hurt and grief, DejaJoelle trusts that our greatest act of REVOLUTION and REBELLION against hatred and corruption is Self-Love and Healing. As she refuses to fuel the fire of destruction and heinousness, she instead focuses her Art and energy on properly handling Black people who continue to be mishandled.

CHELSEA DEE HARRISON is a multi-hyphenate, interdisciplinary creator and arts educator. Specializing in theater-making, she also performs, teaches, curates, facilitates, develops curriculum, directs, and produces arts events. Her focus is creating new works of theater that highlight history and challenge dominant narratives. She has written, performed, and produced her own work such as her solo show, The Guide to Getting What's Yours. She is also a teaching artist who has facilitated workshops with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the New York City Department of Correction, and the New Victory Theater. Find her on IG @chelseadeee and @thatuppitygirl.

FAYLITA HICKS (she/her/they/them) is an activist, poet, essayist, and interdisciplinary artist born in Gardena, CA, and raised in Central Texas. They are the former Editor-in-Chief of "Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review" and the author of "HoodWitch" (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the 2019 Balcones Poetry Prize, and the 2019 Julie Suk Award. Their work has earned them awards, fellowships, and residencies from Catapult, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Lambda Literary, Palette Poetry, Tin House, and The Right of Return USA, the first and only fellowship exclusively for previously incarcerated artists, amongst others. Their work is anthologized in "The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood" and has been featured in Adroit, American Poetry Review, the Cincinnati Review, HuffPost, Kenyon Review, Longreads, Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, Slate, Texas Observer, VIDA Review, and others. Hicks received an MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada University. www.FaylitaHicks.com

Courtney Jamison is an award winning multi-hyphenate artist born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She is a graduate of James Madison University and the Yale School of Drama MFA Acting Program, where she took part in the development process of many new works as an actor, writer, and director. Courtney starred in and produced Slave Cry with her brother Jai Jamison. It won the 2019 Commonwealth Award for Best Short Film at the Virginia Film Festival. Her directorial debut, Day 74, recently won the 2020 Curbside Shorts Film Challenge Grand Prize sponsored by Women in Film LA, IMDbPro, and Re-Frame Project. Some credits include: Slave Play, If Pretty Hurts..., Some Bodies Travel, Passion, and The Winter's Tale (Yale Drama); School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play (MCC Theater); Assassins (Yale Repertory Theatre); Dreamgirls and The Color Purple (Virginia Repertory Theatre). This project's for you Mama J. www.courtneyjamison.com

KAYLA STOKES is a writer, producer, director, and most importantly a storyteller. She is passionate about investigating and telling the stories of people from all walks of life. Most recently she launched a podcast called "Bias Bender." As producer and host, she explores the lives of Black women from the past and the present in order to imagine the future. Her directing credits include Dutchman (Carnegie Mellon), pato, pato, maricón (Ars Nova ANT Fest), Six Left Feet (The Black Box Project). Selected assisting/interning projects includes We're Gonna Die (2nd Stage), "Daddy" (The New Group/Vineyard), OSCAR at the Crown (The Neon Coven), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (NYTW). Kayla is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where she earned a BFA in Directing.


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