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Seattle Arts Fellowship Announces Inaugural Cohort

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The 2021/22 fellows are Dalanie Harris (Seattle Symphony), Kierra Nguyen (Seattle Opera), and Gabriela “Gabi” Páez Shutt (Pacific Northwest Ballet).

Seattle Arts Fellowship Announces Inaugural Cohort

Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Seattle Symphony are announcing the inaugural cohort of the Seattle Arts Fellowship, a new initiative for emerging arts leaders and administrators of color. The 2021/22 fellows are Dalanie Harris (Seattle Symphony), Kierra Nguyen (Seattle Opera), and Gabriela "Gabi" Páez Shutt (Pacific Northwest Ballet). Each fellow will be placed at one of the presenting organizations for a year. Areas of focus will range from Marketing, Community Education, and Artistic Planning. Beginning in 2022, the program will also include Broadcasting as Classical KING FM 98.1 joins the roster of presenting organizations.

Kierra Nguyen, a dancer and visual artist from Seattle, is looking forward to broadening her tools as someone dedicated to a lifetime in the arts:

"The foundational goals of this fellowship uphold my belief that art and artists must be cared for in a way that will sustain their growth for generations to come," Nguyen said. "As a recent college graduate, I want to continue to engage in arts administrative roles that promote the arts in informed and innovative ways."

The paid fellowship includes hands-on work experience in administration and learning opportunities including leadership training, skill building, mentorship, and networking. The cohort will engage in peer-to-peer learning, connect with local arts leaders, and build a strong network to support their career development.

In addition to making a positive impact on Seattle Symphony, Dalanie Harris, a bassist and podcaster from Los Angeles, reflects on what she hopes to gain during the experience:

"Ultimately, I'd like to be in a position to uplift, celebrate, and bring awareness to Black music in return for all the joy it has brought to my life and the world," Harris said. "I'd like to be challenging the ways we as individuals interpret and analyze music."

The Seattle Arts Fellowship is available to individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) or as ALAANA (African/African American (diaspora), Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American/Indigenous, and Asian Pacific Islander). The program is designed for those who have just entered the workforce such as college graduates or those transitioning into nonprofit arts careers.

"My ultimate goal in the arts is to increase access to arts education for students, specifically low-income students," said Gabi Páez Shutt, a recent graduate from Florida State University with an M.A. in Arts Administration. "I was very fortunate to have incredible performing and visual arts education through my public schools, but this is not the case for many students."

2021/22 Fellows:


DALANIE HARRIS (SEATTLE SYMPHONY)
Dalanie Harris is a double bassist and podcaster from Los Angeles, CA. She began her musical studies with piano at age 7, and later switched to double bass at age 12. She has played in orchestras all over Los Angeles, including the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Youth Orchestra Los Angeles. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Harris is a fierce advocate for equity and cultural inclusivity in classical music spaces. In November 2018 Harris co-founded Classically Black Podcast, which brings listeners into the world of classical music through the eyes of Black classical musicians with a new and interesting twist. Harris has hosted and presented at conferences promoting equity and inclusion for Black musicians across the country including SphinxConnect, the YOLA National Symposium, and the El Sistema USA National Symposium.

KIERRA NGUYEN (SEATTLE OPERA)
Kierra Nguyen is a dancer and artist from Seattle, Washington. A recent graduate of Oberlin College, she received her BA in Dance and Studio Art, where she immersed herself in performance, choreography and collaboration. She also pursued leadership roles as a stage manager, performance director, dance research assistant and student department representative. She is honored to be a part of the inaugural Seattle Arts Fellowship cohort and looks forward to the work and learning ahead. Recently, Kierra worked as an Arts Administrative Assistant for Equinox Development Unlimited LLC as well as a dance teacher for young kids. She feels lucky to have performed in LanDforms Dance's drive-through performance Cooped Up: We're Still Inside in October of 2020. Kierra has had the privilege of performing in works by Pat Graney, Amy O'Neal, Kate Wallich, Gil Kerer, Alon Karniel, Alysia Ramos and Nathan Trice. She is a recipient of the Helen Ward Memorial Prize in Theater & Dance.

GABRIELA PÁEZ SHUTT (PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET)
Gabriela (Gabi) Páez Shutt is an emerging arts administrator with a passion for education, community engagement, and access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most recently, Gabi graduated from Florida State University with a M.A. in Arts Administration. During her graduate studies Gabi interned with the Arts Administrators of Color Network, "Negro Spiritual" Scholarship Foundation, and the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium. Gabi is excited to start her new role as the Community Engagement Fellow with the Pacific Northwest Ballet as part of the inaugural cohort of the Seattle Arts Fellowship in the summer of 2021.

To learn more about the Seattle Arts Fellowship, go to seattleopera.org/fellowship.


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