Each year, independent panels are convened by Kresge Arts in Detroit to review the Kresge Artist Fellowship applications and select each cohort of fellows, utilizing the guidelines and selection criteria. Panelists are accomplished, well-respected national, regional, and local artists and arts professionals and are selected according to the categories of arts disciplines being reviewed. Over several months, through multiple rounds, local and national panelists review eligible applications and select both the fellowship and Gilda Award recipients. New panelists participate each year.

2022 Film & Music Panelists

Piper Carter


Piper Carter is an arts and culture organizer and Hip Hop activist focused on entertainment, environmental, climate, education, and food justices as well as makerspace communities. She hosts the Piper Carter Podcast on Detroit is Different where she discusses social justice and Hip Hop with a worldwide audience. Carter is also an image maker; she was among the first Black women to shoot for high-end publications Vogue France, Elle UK, and The New York Times, as well as notable music companies Def Jam, Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music. Her photography has been featured on Tyra Banks’ VH1 show, The Shot. Carter co-founded We Found Hip Hop, an organization that uplifts, celebrates, and supports women, helping them build careers in a safer environment, and is the creator of Dilla Youth Day, a highlight during Black History Month where youth explore S.T.E.A.M disciplines through leading and participating in hands-on, engaging, educational activities while honoring modern homegrown figure, J Dilla.

Michael Gillespie

FM_MichaelGillespieMichael Boyce Gillespie is a film professor at The City College of New York and The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research and writing focuses on Black visual and expressive culture, film theory, visual historiography, popular music, and contemporary art. Gillespie is author of Film Blackness: American Cinema and the Idea of Black Film (Duke University Press, 2016) and co-editor of Black One Shot, an art criticism series on ASAP/J. His recent writing has appeared in Film Quarterly, The Criterion Collection, Film Comment, and Ends of Cinema. Gillespie’s latest book project is entitled The Case of the 3 Sided Dream.

Mike Khoury

FM_MikeKhouryMike Khoury is a violinist, composer, improvisor, and researcher. He is the director of the Entropy Studios space and the proprietor of the Entropy Stereo record label, both featuring the work of international as well as Detroit artists. In addition to performing extensively as a soloist, Khoury also plays in the Redford Civic Symphony, in duet with percussionist Ben Hall, in duet with dancer/choreographer Leyya Tawil, and as a member of the group Porcelain Hammer. He has performed across North America as well as in Berlin and Beirut. Khoury holds a BA in economics from University of Michigan and an MA in economics from Michigan State University. He is author of a chapter on the composer Halim El-Dabh in The Arab Avant-Garde: Music, Politics, Modernity (Wesleyan University Press, 2013). Khoury’s projects have received funding from the Knight Foundation and, in 2020, he was awarded a Kresge Artist Fellowship.

Brian Kirkbride

FM_BrianKirkbrideBrian Kirkbride is a composer, sound artist, DJ, and programmer based in Chicago whose work investigates the re-contextualization of complex scientific and social systems through musical and other auditory representations. Musically, he explores the emotional and psychological effects of the uncanny by playing with near-musicality, arrested narrative, and the subconscious recognition of appropriated pop. Kirkbride’s work has shown at Whitechapel Gallery, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, Alchemy Film Festival, Biennial of Moving Images, Montréal Underground Film Festival, Onion City Film Festival, Videoex Festival, Kinodot Experimental Film Festival, Video Art Miden, Nonplussed Ultra Film Festival, Simultan Festival, and Fovea. He has collaborated on installations that have been exhibited at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Arts Club of Chicago, EXPO Chicago, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, and at Millennium Park.

Suzanne Kite


Kite aka Suzanne Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School. She is currently a PhD candidate at Concordia University. Kite’s scholarship and practice investigate contemporary Lakota ontologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fiber sculptures, immersive video and sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. Kite has also been published in several journals and magazines, including in The Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), where the award winning article, Making Kin with Machines—co-authored with Jason Lewis, Noelani Arista, and Archer Pechawis—was featured. She is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a 2020 Tulsa Artist Fellow.

2022 Live Arts Panelists

Shawntai Brown


Shawntai Brown is a Detroit writer, media commentator, literacy coordinator, and teaching artist whose work centers on empowering communities through experiences that educate, challenge, and entertain. She has a BA in creative writing from Western Michigan University and a MA in literacy learning from Marygrove College. Brown’s plays have been performed in New York, Chicago, and across Michigan, including her episodic series eLLe, centering queer women experiences. She co-hosts a web show, Woman Crush Everyday, reviewing Black woman-centered queer media and interviewing content producers, and co-founded Black LGBT+ Plays, a creative development network for film and theatre creatives.  Brown serves as the school coordinator with InsideOut Literary Arts where she previously taught poetry as a teaching artist. She is a board member and playwright with Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre and a 2020 Kresge Artist Fellow in Live Arts.

Zlatko Ćosić

Live_ZlatkoCosicZlatko Ćosić is a video artist born in Yugoslavia whose work includes short films, video installations, theater and architectural projections, and audio-visual performances. Ćosić’s experience as a refugee influenced and shaped the content of his early artistic practice. His work began with the challenges of immigration and shifting identities, evolving to socio-political issues connected to injustice, consumerism, and climate crisis. Ćosić’s artwork has been shown in over 50 countries in exhibitions such as the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Video Vortex XI at Kochi-Muzeris Biennial, St. Louis International Film Festival, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, /si:n/ Biennale, Institut Für Alles Möglische, and the Research Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Ćosić has received grants including the Regional Arts Commission Artist Fellowship, the WaveMaker Grant at Locust Projects, and a Kranzberg Grant from Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Mary Mar

Live_MaryMarMary Mar (BGIRL MAMA) is part of the Hardcore Detroit and Venus Fly dance crews. Mar started her journey in Hip Hop culture when she started breakin’ in 2001. She has performed, judged, and competed throughout the U.S. and Canada. She also served as an adjudicator for Screen Dance International Project in 2020 and 2021. In 2016, Mar became part of a dance collective duo, Mama2, with choreographer and educator Amirah Sackett. Mama2 toured with Caravanserai (2016) and Malaysia’s The Get Down Session Tour (2018). They performed at Detroit’s 1st Women in Hip Hop Concert (2016), Bates Dance Festival (2019), and Footsteps in the Dark (2020). Mar won several competitions including Breakin’ the Law in Madison, WI (2011); Detroit’s Quality All Styles (2014); On the Rocks (2016). As she continues her journey with dance and music, she never loses sight of who she is: a Cambodian Muslimah B-Girl.

Aimee McCoy

Live_AimeeMcCoyAimee McCoy is a film and theater artist and co-founder of The Artizen Company, a film and theater company based in Georgia that focuses on the intersection of arts, faith, and community. Her work utilizes audio/visual elements, live performance, narrative, interactivity, and immersion. In addition to being a director, devisor, and performer, McCoy is also an arts administrator at Alternate ROOTS Inc, a 45-year-old southern-based arts service organization that supports artists, organizers, and activists. She has had the privilege to occupy several different roles within the organization including general member, management fellow, administrator, operations manager, and now the director of membership, affording her an increasingly rounded view of the ecosystem. McCoy considers herself fortunate to be an artist with a penchant for numbers and organizational structures.

Arien Wilkerson


Arien Wilkerson (They/She) is a queer Black choreographer, dancer, filmmaker, director, producer, and installation artist. Wilkerson’s practice as an artist encompasses dance, choreography, installation, and theater, weaving elements from each into provocative performances and videos that resist categorization. Climate change, self-love, racism, and sexuality are a few of the issues they have explored through their work. They have received funding support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts (2021) and the Sachs Program for Arts and Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania (2020). Additionally, they are a Connecticut Office of the Arts’ Artist Fellow (2019). Other awards include: Connecticut Dance Alliance Jump Start Award (2019); Greater New Haven Arts Council and Connecticut Office of the Arts’ Artist Workforce Initiative Sponsorship (2019); Connecticut Office of the Arts’ Project Grant (2018); National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read Grant (2018); Director’s Discretionary Fund Award from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund (2018); New England Foundation for the Arts’ Rebecca Blunk Fund Award (2018); New England Dance Fund Grant (2017 & 2018); and the Spirit of Juneteenth Award from the Amistad Center for Art and Culture (2017).

2021 Literary Arts Panelists

Sarika Chandra


Sarika Chandra is associate professor of English at Wayne State University. She researches and teaches in the areas of globalization studies, American studies, and race and ethnic studies. Theorizing the US in a transnational frame, her work focuses on questions of race, ethnicity, im/migration, economy, and the environment. Chandra is the author of Dislocalism: The Crisis of Globalization and the Remobilizing of Americanism. Her publications have appeared in various volumes and journals, including American Quarterly, Cultural Critique, and Modern Language Notes.

Jack Cheng

LA_JackChengJack Cheng is a Shanghai-born, Detroit-based author of critically acclaimed fiction for young readers. His debut children’s novel, See You in the Cosmos, is the winner of the 2017 Golden Kite and Great Lakes, Great Reads awards for Best Middle Grade Fiction. Cheng visits schools around the world to speak with students about finding their paths as writers and artists, and he volunteers with 826michigan on in-class writing projects in Detroit Public Schools. He is a 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow in Literary Arts.

Douglas Kearney

Photographer: Bao Phi

Douglas Kearney has published six collections, including Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and California Book Award silver medalist (Poetry). M. NourbeSe Philip calls Kearney’s collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues (Subito, 2016), “a seismic, polyphonic mash-up.” Kearney’s Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” His newest collection, Sho (Wave, 2021) is forthcoming. His operas include SucktionMordakeCrescent CitySweet Land, and next year’s Comet / Poppea commissioned by American Modern Opera Company (AMOC). He has received a Whiting Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, as well as residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Kearney teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and lives in St. Paul with his family.

Jina B. Kim

LA_JinaKimJina B. Kim is an assistant professor of English Language & Literature and the study of women & gender at Smith College. Kim received her PhD in English and women’s studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She researches and teaches the fields of feminist disability studies, women-of-color feminisms/queer-of-color critique, and contemporary multi-ethnic U.S. literary studies. She is currently at work on a manuscript, tentatively titled Dreaming of Infrastructure: Crip-of-Color Imaginaries after the U.S. Welfare State, which examines political and aesthetic engagements with public dependency discourse in the literary-cultural afterlife of 1996 U.S. welfare reform. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Signs, American Quarterly, MELUS, Social Text, South Atlantic Quarterly, and the Asian American Literary Review.

Leslie Reese


Native Detroiter Leslie Reese is a poet, writer, and interdisciplinary arts educator. Currently she is a Chicago Poetry Center Poet-in-Residence in three Chicago public elementary schools—a role she first practiced with InsideOut Literary Arts Project and Broadside Press’s Poet-in-Residence Program. Since earning her MA in interdisciplinary arts from Columbia College Chicago, Reese created Folkloreandliteracy on Instagram, which uses books, visual art, music, movement, and performance as gateways to literacy, discovery, and self-expression. In addition to authoring the poetry collections, Upside Down Tapestry Mosaic History, and Urban Junkstar, Reese has composed and performed original poetry for projects by bassist Marion Hayden (2016 Kresge Artist Fellow) and violinist Regina Carter. She is honored to have performed with musicians Pamela Wise, Djallo Djakte, and Jaribu Shahid on Medicine—a celebration of the poetry of 2019 Kresge Eminent Artist Gloria House—as well as having contributed to House’s monograph, A Life Speaks.

2021 Visual Arts Panelists

Sima Familant


Sima Familant is the owner of Sima Familant: Private Curator & Art Advisor, an art advisory founded in 2006. There, she has been integrally involved in building important collections of contemporary art for her international clients. Her philosophy surrounding art has been largely shaped by receiving her MA in postwar & contemporary art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Her experiences there, being exposed to the burgeoning London art scene and viewing art internationally, made her recognize that you need to see art—a lot of art—to understand art. This engendered her strong commitment to, and love of, contemporary art, which has always served as the backbone in all of her ventures. She still relies on what she learned from her London days, and travels extensively to see art—from the Taj Mahal in India to the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead in Detroit.

John Brinton Hogan

VA_JohnBrintonHoganJohn Brinton Hogan is an artist living and working in San Diego, CA. His practice primarily involves the use of manipulated landscape photographs, which he transforms into complex mixed-media objects. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in numerous private, corporate, and public collections, including the Center for Creative Photography and the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art.

Sydney G. James

VA_SydneyJamesDetroit-bred and based fine artist, muralist, and 2017 Kresge Artist Fellow in Visual Arts, Sydney G. James earned her BFA at the College for Creative Studies in 2001 and began her career as an art director in advertising. James headed to Los Angeles in 2004 to expand her career as a visual artist in the film and television industry, and earned her master’s degree in secondary education. Returning to Detroit in 2011, James has become one of the leading creative voices in southeast Michigan. Recently, the racial and gender positioning of the Black woman in America—as “last” or “least among others” in society—has been the central theme in James’ work. Her portraits and murals seek to reposition this narrative of the Black woman’s visibility and importance, bringing them to the forefront of the conversation.

Osman Khan

VA_OsmanKhanOsman Khan is an artist and educator interested in constructing artifacts and experiences for social criticism and aesthetic expression. His work engages and subverts the materiality behind themes of immigrant and Muslim identity, home/land, postcolonialism, and social and public space through participatory and performative installations; as well as site-specific interventions. Khan is associate professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. His work has been shown at MassMOCA, MOCAD, Shanghai Biennale, Ars Electronica Center,  O.K Center for Contemporary Art, and Socrates Sculpture Park. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, Art Matters grant, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant, Knight Foundation Knight Arts Challenge grant, Ars Electronica’s Prix Ars Award of Distinction, and The Arctic Circle 2009 Residency, among others. Khan was born in Pakistan, grew up in New York City, and proudly calls Detroit home.

Kameelah Janan Rasheed

Courtesy of Kameelah Janan Rasheed

Kameelah Janan Rasheed grapples with the poetics, politics, and pleasures of the unfinished. With interests in the generative qualities of incompleteness, leakage, dispersal, and syncretism, Rasheed works across an ecosystem of iterative and provisional projects. Projects include sprawling, architecturally-scaled, Xerox-based collages; large-scale text banner installations, publications, digital archives, lecture-performances, library interventions, poems/poetic gestures, and forms yet to be determined. Rasheed has had national and international solo exhibitions and projects at the New Museum, NY; Transmissions Gallery, Glasgow, UK; Rice University, TX; Brooklyn Public Library, NY; Brooklyn Historical Society; and Brooklyn Museum, in addition to public installations with Public Art Fund and For Freedoms/Times Square Arts. Her work has also been exhibited at the 2017 Venice Biennale and will be included in the Glasgow International (2021) and Prospect.5 (2021). She is author of two artist books, An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019) and No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2019).

2020 Live Arts Panelists

Sherrine Azab

Live_SherrineAzabSherrine Azab is the Co-Director of Detroit-based devised theater ensemble A Host of People, which premieres shows in Detroit and tours nationally. Azab holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle), where she founded the critically acclaimed company Strike Anywhere Productions (2002-2007). During her stint in New York, she worked extensively with Target Margin Theater—of which she is still a proud Associated Artist—and also served as the associate producer for The Foundry Theatre (NYC) during 2011 and 2012. Azab holds a postgraduate certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in performance at Wesleyan University and was a member of the 2008 Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. Other professional highlights include being a staff member of Network of Ensemble Theaters (2012-2019), working with the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn), working with NYC-based theater Ping Chong + Co., and being a 2018 University Musical Society (UMS) Artist in Residence. 

Anna Drozdowski

Live_AnnaDrozdowski Anna Drozdowski builds cultural and civic experiences to engage performance as a method of communication. Common delivery systems include: artist exchange, gently organized chats, retreats, curation, residencies, cups of tea, and belles lettres. A faculty member in socially engaged art at Moore College of Art & Design, Drozdowski has recently brought forth projects with Temple Contemporary, David Lang, JJ Tiziou, Lola38, Matteo Fargion/Jonathan Burrows, Philip Glass, Artists U, and The Crossing. She launched the Headlong Performance Institute, led the adaptive re-use of Neighborhood House, and co-founded the Thirdbird performance series and ThinkingDance journal. Early work in ethnography shapes her practice–she is recognized by NEA Dance Journalism and Fulbright fellowships, as well as grants from: the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, TMU, DAAD, Chicago Seminar on Dance & Performance, PA Arts Council, and PHL Cultural Fund. Her itinerant studio, Cultivator, is reviving a creative homestead in the Vermont hinterlands. 

Miryam Johnson

Live_MiryamJohnsonMiryam Johnson is a Detroit-based dance artist with degrees from Eastern Michigan University in dance and African American Studies. She’s had the honor of training with the Ailey Extension and Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute, and has performed works by critically acclaimed choreographers Mae O’Donnell and Diane McIntyre.

Johnson’s work explores the intersection between improvised Black movement, vernacular, and communal connection. Her works have been presented at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, The Masonic Temple, Sidewalk Festival, Eastern Michigan University, and Play House. Johnson’s first evening-length work, Rebellion: An Artistic Exploration, was performed at the Charles H. Wright Museum in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion.

Johnson is a co-founder of Collective Sweat Detroit, an organizer with Daring Dances, a committed educator and community member, and a Model D under 30 feature. Johnson believes in using her body and art as protest.

Toby MacNutt

Live_TobyMacNuttToby MacNutt is a queer, nonbinary trans, and disabled dancer/choreographer, author, and teacher living in Burlington, VT. Their dance work includes Enter the Void (2018), a performance installation in the darkness of space, accompanied by a sci-fi poetry guidebook; and One, Two (2014), an exploration of embodiment and relationships in dancers with and without disabilities. Toby has also danced with Murmurations Dance’s immersive site works, When Women Were Birds and Bone Hooks, in projects by Tiffany Rhynard’s Big APE and Lida Winfield, and with Heidi Latsky’s GIMP, among others. They were a participating choreographer for AXIS Dance’s Choreo-Lab in 2018 and 2019 and a recipient of NEFA’s Rebecca Blunk Fund Award in 2019. Find out more at www.tobymacnutt.com or say hi on twitter @tobywm and instagram @tobymacnutt.

Jeff Michael Rebudal

Live_JeffMichaelRebudalA native of Honolulu, Jeff Michael Rebudal is the artistic director & arts administrator with Rebudal Dance. He is also a founding member of the critically acclaimed Seán Curran Company. Rebudal choreographed the American Premier of Philip Himberg’s Paper Dolls in Washington, DC. His opera and theatre choreography credits include L’Etoile (performed in New York City Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Glimmerglass Opera, Bergen National Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Austin Lyric Opera), Romeo et JulietteLa TraviataLa Rondine, and A Little Night Music (Michigan Opera Theatre), and Carmen (Cincinnati Opera). Rebudal also choreographed Two Gentlemen of Verona for The Old Globe and his concert dance choreography has been presented at Joyce SoHo, Danspace Project, Lincoln Center, NYC Downtown Dance Festival, Cunningham Studio, and DUMBO Dance Festival as well as among other venues such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and Anargyrios & Korgialenios Theatre of Helioupolis in Greece. 

Rebudal is a member of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, a longtime board member for the American College Dance Associationcurrently serving as vice president for membershipand a performing arts panelist for New York Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Council, and The Kresge Foundation, among others. He has an MFA in performing arts management & dance from the American University and a BA in dance & journalism from the University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa. Rebudal was previously associate professor and director of dance at Wayne State University. He currently resides in Manhattan, where he is the incoming director and clinical professor of arts & entertainment management graduate program for the Lubin School of Business at Pace University.

2020 Film & Music Panelists

Ephraim Asili

FM_EphraimAsiliEphraim Asili is a filmmaker, DJ, and traveler whose work focuses on the African diaspora as a cultural force. His films have screened in festivals and venues all over the world, including the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Milano Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, MoMA, MoMA PS1, LAMOCA, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Whitney Museum. Asili currently resides in Hudson, NY, and is a professor in the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College.

Leith Campbell

FM_LeithCampbellLeith Campbell is a musician and artist working in technologically mediated works exploring parallels between sound, architecture, and the human/technology interface. They have shown and performed extensively in Southeast Michigan and across the country, both solo and in collaboration with the electromechanical arts group Apetechnology. Notable installations include the “Vision In A Cornfield” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2012), New Music Detroit’s “Strange Beautiful Music” (2014), The Power Center Renegade Series (2017), and all of the Dlectricity Festivals. Campbell works in audio engineering, mastering, and technical direction, with releases on the Third Man and Two Rooms record labels. They have a Bachelors in Music Technology from Wayne State University (2012) and a Masters of Media Arts from the University of Michigan (2017). Campbell teaches music technology at Wayne State University and is a metal shop technician at the College for Creative Studies.

Amy Denio

Self-taught muFM_AmyDeniolti-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, and improviser, Amy Denio performs and produces soundtracks for film, TV, dance, and multimedia performances. 

Her work has been commissioned by the Berkeley Symphony, Relache Ensemble, Seattle Theater Group, On the Boards, New York Festival of Song, Bumbershoot Festival, Jack Straw Foundation, and Il Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, among others. Denio’s projects have received funding from Meet the Composer, Doris Duke Foundation, the National Education Association, Good Will Arts Festival, Washington State Arts Commission, and 4Culture. She has enjoyed Fellowships from Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, and Civitella Ranieri. Denio has received the Seattle Mayor’s Award and the NYC Bessie Award.

An inductee of the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame, Denio enjoys expanding all genres of music. She is a founding member and president of the all-women Tiptons Sax Quartet and has collaborated with a plethora of musicians and artists since 1980, having produced over 60 recordings and played 1,000 concerts internationally.

Marshalle Montgomery Favors

FM_MarshalleMontgomeryFavorsMarshalle Montgomery Favors is a filmmaker and producer/director raised in Inkster, Michigan. Since 2006, Montgomery Favors has produced six independent feature films and has written and directed three short films. In 2016, she was a top three finalist for The American Black Film Festival’s “Deeply Rooted In My Community” video contest. Her passion for indie movies inspired her to co-found the Trinity International Film Festival and the Fearless Tribe of Fanatic Filmmakers in Detroit. Montgomery Favors works in collaboration with other filmmakers to host film screenings, workshops, and networking events with industry professionals. Recently, she received a 25 Most Influential Women in Detroit Award. Montgomery Favors works purposefully to contribute to the growth of the film community in metro Detroit.

Oona Mosna

FM_OonaMosnaOona Mosna is an artist, author, curator, and director of Media City Film Festival. She has organized 1,000+ screenings, retrospectives, and performances with artists including Mati Diop, Barbara Hammer, Carolee Schneemann, and Kevin Jerome Everson at the Presidential Palace (Chile), Toronto International Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art Buenos Aires, Detroit Institute of Arts, 25FPS Festival (Croatia), and countless other festivals, museums, and grass-roots venues worldwide. An accomplished producer, her commissioned films have screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Venice Film Festival, Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, Jeonju IFF (Korea), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Pompidou Centre (Paris), National Gallery of Art (Washington), New York Film Festival, and Tate Modern, etc. She lives and works in Windsor-Detroit as well as internationally.

2019 Literary Arts Panelists

Terry Blackhawk

LA_Blackhawk_squareTerry Blackhawk’s five full-length poetry collections include Escape Artist (John Ciardi Prize, 2003), The Light Between (WSU Press) and One Less River (Mayapple Press, forthcoming 2019)—with awards from Nimrod (2010 Pablo Neruda Prize), America (1990 Foley Prize) and others. A former high school creative writing teacher, Blackhawk is founding director emerita (1995-2015) of InsideOut Literary Arts Project and a 2013 Kresge Artist Fellow. She received a Detroit Metro Times Progressive Hero Award (1999), the MI Governor’s Award for Arts Education (2001), grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts (1998-2000), and National Endowment for the Humanities (1992-1993), and was twice named MI Creative Writing Teacher of the Year (1990, 2008). She served (2008-2012) on the board of AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) and has presented for the White House and the Library of Congress. Blackhawk holds an Honorary Doctorate from Oakland University and divides her time between Connecticut and Detroit.

Desiree Cooper


Desiree Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, former attorney, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist. Her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother (Wayne State University Press, 2016), is a 2017 Michigan Notable Book that has won numerous awards, including a 2016 Foreword INDIES Finalist and a 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Cooper’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018, Callaloo, Michigan Quarterly Review, Hypertext Review, and Best African American Fiction 2010, among other online and print publications. Cooper is genre agnostic. In 2018, she translated one of her short fictions to video in “The Choice,” a short film about reproductive rights and recipient of a 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Berlin Flash Film Festival. Cooper collaborated with the director of dance at The College William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, to create a dance inspired by the feminist themes of her short fiction. The performance called “Aloft” debuted in October, 2018. Cooper was a founding board member of Cave Canem, the pre-eminent national residency for emerging black poets, and has received residencies at Kimbilio and Ragdale.

Rob Halpern


Rob Halpern lives between San Francisco and Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he teaches at Eastern Michigan University and Huron Valley Women’s Prison. His most recent book of poetry, prose, essays, letters, and manifestos is Weak Link (Atelos 2019). Other books include Common Place (Ugly Duckling Presse 2015) and Music for Porn (Nightboat Books 2012). Together with Robin Tremblay-McGaw, he co-edited From Our Hearts to Yours: New Narrative as Contemporary Practice (Contemporary Practice), which was listed among Entropy‘s “Best Non-Fiction” books of 2017. Halpern’s critical and lyrical essays appear in Mediations, Brooklyn Rail, Journal of Narrative Theory, Modernist Cultures, Chicago Review. He is currently completing his translations of Georges Perec’s early essays on aesthetics and politics, while editing Bruce Boone Dismembered: Selected Poems, Stories, and Essays, which will be published later this year.

Casey Rocheteau

LA_Rocheteau_squareCasey Rocheteau is the author of Knocked up on Yes (Sargent Press 2012) and The Dozen (Sibling Rivalry 2016) and the creator of the Black Medusa Tarot.They are one of the co-founders of the Fortify Writing Retreat in Detroit. The inaugural winner of Write A House, Casey is also a Cave Canem, Callalloo Writers Workshop, and Bread Loaf in Sicily fellow. They have taught creative writing as an InsideOut writer in residence. Casey is formerly an editor at The Offing and the former editor in chief of Heart Online Journal.

Tyrone Williams

LA_Williams_squareTyrone Williams teaches literature and theory at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of several chapbooks and five books of poetry: c.c., On Spec, The Hero Project of the Century, Adventures of Pi, Howell and As Iz. A limited-edition art project, Trump l’oeil, was published by Hostile Books in 2017. He and Jeanne Heuving edited the anthology, Inciting Poetics (2019). 

2019 Visual Arts Panelists

Cesar Cornejo

VA_Cornejo_squareCesar Cornejo’s work reflects critically on socio-political issues while exploring the relationship between art, architecture, and society. He has participated in exhibitions such as the California Pacific Triennial 2017, XII Havana Biennial, Busan Biennial 2008, Art Positions at Art Basel Miami 2011, the Biennial S-Files Museo del Barrio, NY; and V Biennial Barro de America, Venezuela. Cornejo received awards and residencies from the Creative Capital Foundation, Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation, The Brown Foundation Fellows Program at Dora Maar House, The George A and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation, Sharpe Walentas Studio Program, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Art Omi, among others. He received M.A. and PhD degrees in fine arts from the Tokyo University of the Arts and a bachelor’s degree and professional license in architecture from the Ricardo Palma University in Lima Peru. He is associate professor at the School of Art and Art History at the University of South Florida.

Carole Harris


Carole Harris is a fiber artist, working primarily in the art quilt medium. Her work has extended, refined, and subverted the boundaries and concepts of traditional quilting. Her recent work is inspired by the impact of time on natural and constructed environments. It celebrates and embraces the beauty in the frayed, the decaying, and the repaired. Harris has exhibited extensively worldwide. Among the many awards and honors she has received is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellowship. She earned a B.F.A. from Wayne State University, Detroit (1966); in interior architecture and crafts. In 1976 she established the interior design firm Harris Design Group. Her many successful clients over the next 33 years included numerous health care and educational institutions, hospitality and industrial venues, as well as private homes. The firm was dissolved in 2009, when Harris retired to commit to her studio practice full-time.

Erik Paul Howard

VA_Howard_squareErik Paul Howard is a photographer as well as co-founder of Inside Southwest Detroit, Young Nation, and The Alley Project, in southwest Detroit. He combines his passion for youth and community development with his love of photography. Through cultural and place-based activities such as lowriding and street art, Howard has been building with neighbors and youth in southwest Detroit for over 20 years. Erik’s photography documents his and others’ personal relationships and interactions in community. It captures the excitement of people in processes of development, discovery, and general life experiences.

Amitis Motevalli

VA_Motevalli_squareBorn in Iran, Amitis Motevalli explores the cultural resistance and survival of people living in poverty, conflict, and/or war. Through various media, including sculpture, video, performance, and collaborative public art, her work juxtaposes iconography with iconoclasm. Her work intends to ask questions about violence, occupation, and the path to decolonization, while invoking the significance of a secular grassroots struggle. For her current project, Motevalli is working internationally with a broad spectrum of transnational cultural Muslims in order to research what defines home, life, and labor in the urgency of survival. She is particularly concerned with conducting workshops with SWANA people who come from places of political and religious conflict and collaborating on public art projects. Currently living and working in Los Angeles, Motevalli exhibits art internationally while also working to create an active and resistant cultural discourse through information exchange in art, pedagogy, or organizing artist and educators.

Yao-Fen You

VA_You_squareYao-Fen You is senior curator and head of product design and decorative arts at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Prior to joining Cooper Hewitt in 2019, she was associate curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). At the DIA, she organized “Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate” (2016), the DIA’s first exhibition to engage all five senses; “Fabergé: The Rise and Fall, The Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts” (2012); and “Designed for Convenience: Tableware from the DIA” (2011). A frequent author and invited speaker, You has lectured and participated in symposia and panels nationally and internationally. Her publications and talks reflect her diverse expertise in European polychrome sculpture, the history of collecting and art markets, the art of dining, and Northern European decorative arts. You holds a PhD and M.A. in history of art from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

2018 Film & Music Panelists

Juanita Anderson

Juanita Anderson, area head of Media Arts and Studies in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University, is a veteran producer, executive producer and documentary filmmaker. A native of Detroit, she has previously held the positions of producer/director and production manager at WSIU-TV (Carbondale, IL), executive producer of Cultural Affairs and Special Projects for WTVS-Detroit Public Television, and series producer for WGBH-Boston. Her work has garnered numerous awards including seven regional Emmys, a DuPont Columbia Silver Baton and a George Foster Peabody Award. A long-standing advocate for diversity in public media and for independent media, Anderson has served on the board of directors of the Independent Television Service (1998-2005), and was a co-founder of the National Black Programming Consortium (now Black Public Media). Anderson is also a past president (1989-1991) of the National Conference of Artists (NCA), the nation’s oldest African American arts organization. She is currently a member of the NCA – Michigan Chapter’s board of directors and a member of Final Girls, an organization of women filmmakers in Detroit. Anderson is also an accomplished still photographer whose work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the permanent collections of Southern Methodist University and the Mott-Warsh Collection.

Raashad Newsome

Rashaad Newsome lives and works in New York City. He was born in 1979 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received a BFA in art history at Tulane University in 2001. In 2004, he received a Certificate of Study in Digital Post Production from Film/Video Arts Inc. (NYC). In 2005, he studied Max/MSP programming at Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center (NYC). He has exhibited and performed in galleries, museums, institutions, and festivals throughout the world including: the studio museum in Harlem (NYC), the National Museum of African American History and Culture (DC), the Whitney Museum (NYC), Brooklyn Museum (NYC), MOMA PS1 (NYC), SFMOMA (CA), New Orleans Museum of Art (LA), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow, Russia), and MUSA (Vienna, Austria). Recent awards include the 2017/2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, 2017 Rush Arts Gold Rush Award, and a 2011 the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.

Regina Carter

Jazz violinist Regina Carter began taking music lessons at the age of two, first for the piano and later for the violin. Though classically trained, she started to become interested in jazz and funk when she was a teenager. She graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan and enrolled in the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts. She went on to receive her B.A. degree in music from Oakland University. In 1987, Carter joined the all-female pop-jazz quintet Straight Ahead, and appeared on their first three albums before leaving the band in 1991 and moving to New York City, where she performed and recorded with a variety of high-profile jazz and pop artists, including Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Max Roach and Oliver Lake. Carter released her first solo album, Regina Carter, in 1995. It was followed by Something for Grace in 1997, Rhythms of the Heart in 1999, Motor City Moments in 2000, Paganini: After a Dream in 2003, I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey in 2006, Reverse Thread in 2010, Southern Comfort in March of 2014 and Ella: Accentuate the Positive in 2017. In 2006, Carter was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and in 2007, she was named artist-in-residence at her alma mater, Oakland University, for which she teaches master classes and works with students, faculty and ensembles. She also served as one of the Resident Artistic Directors for the discerning SFJAZZ during its inaugural season. Most recently, was appointed as the Director of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s All-Female Jazz Residency, a unique summer immersion program for aspiring women jazz professionals.

Wayne Horvitz

Recipient of the 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, composer Wayne Horvitz’s own ensembles include the Snowghost Trio, Sweeter Than the Day, and The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble. Horvitz’s commissioners include The Kitchen, The Seattle Symphony, Kronos, BAM, New World Records, The Flynn Theater, and Vienna Jazz. He has received 3 MAP Fund Awards, the NEA American Masterpiece Award, 3 Artist Trusts Fellowships and more. As a collaborator and producer, he has worked with Bill Frisell, Robin Holcomb, Butch Morris, Bobby Previte, George Lewis, Reggie Watts, John Zorn (Naked City Etc.), World Saxophone Quartet, Fontella Bass, John Adams, and Eddie Palmieri. Collaborators in theater, dance, and film include Carey Perloff, Bill Irwin, Gus Van Sant, Paul Taylor, and Paul Magid. “There’s nobody else out there I hear even attempting to cover some kind of similar range, and do it so convincingly” — All About Jazz

Ara Topouzian

Ara Topouzian is an Armenian-American musician whose proficiency at the kanun (Middle Eastern harp) has made him a nationally recognized artist. He has performed in concert, at music festivals and many celebrated venues across the united states, with the top musicians in Middle Eastern music. Topouzian’s traditional musical style keeps to his Armenian heritage but has expanded to include music from around the Middle East, as well as jazz, fusion, new age, and blues. The recipient of numerous awards, Topouzian’s music has been heard and sold around the globe. In 2012, Topouzian became an Kresge Artist Fellow and in 2015, he was honored as artist in residence for Farmington Hills, MI.

2018 Live Arts Panelists

Billy Mark

Billy Mark is an experimental artist whose work is rooted in the art of poetic freestyle. Based in poetry, his work extends to areas of music, theater, sculpture, movement and installation. His current work explores the production of improvisational books and other multidisciplinary long forms of improvisation. A graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, his writing has been published in The Guidebook of Alternative Nows and SEEN magazine. His work has been performed at REDCAT (Los Angeles), Spiel Festival (Austria), Detroit Contemporary, and Bushwick Open Studios (New York).

Billicia Hines

Billicia Hines is an Assistant Professor and is Director of the Black Theatre Program at Wayne State University. Previously, she was Director of Theatre at Elizabeth City State University. She began her formal training in drama in the high school program at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Thereafter, she attended NC Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC (BFAA, Professional Theatre) and University of Missouri at Kansas City (MFA, Acting). She is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique from the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, an organization in which she proudly holds the position of Associate Artist. Billicia has presented Michael Chekhov Acting Technique workshops throughout various universities and theatre conferences. Also, she has performed the one-woman shows, HeLa: the Immortal Cell Line of Henrietta Lacks, Testimonies Of Truth: Truth, Parks, and Giovanni, and Flying On Broken Wings: A Journey Through Domestic Violence. She has also found time to do voice-over work, independent films, and many other promotional videos.

Lisa Rose LaMarre Wilmot

Lisa Rose LaMarre Wilmot is a choreographer testing the boundaries of performance-based artwork and working to bring the art of dance away from the lofty stage and into the realm of everyday life. She is the Director of LaMarre and Dancers, a teaching artist for VSA Michigan, and has been instructing at Wayne State University since 2012. She is a member of both the Michigan Dance Council and National Dance Education Organization. Her choreography has been produced for Wayne State University, Grand Valley State University, Oakland University, ArtPrize7, DDC Dances, People Dancing, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit Contemporary, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Music Hall, Sidewalk Performing Arts Festival, ArtPeers, and numerous spaces nationally. Lisa, pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching Artistry, is a Presidential Scholar of Western Michigan University holding a Bachelor of Arts.

Marjani Fortè-Saunders

Marjani Fortè-Saunders is a choreographer, performer, organizer, and curator and is currently the co-director of Alkebulan Cultural Center of Pasadena, CA. She is a recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Performance Bessie Award as one of 21 Black Womyn Artists of Skeleton Architecture. Marjani is an inaugural recipient of the Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Fellowship and a two-time Princess Grace Foundation awardee. Memoirs of a…Unicorn is a recipient of the 2017 MAP Fund, Jerome Foundation Grant, and was named Dance Magazine’s Best of 2017. In 2016, as recipient of the Surdna Foundation, Marjani curated an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art in Brooklyn titled Being Here…in Memory. Marjani facilitates within UBW’s BOLD Teaching Network, offering their unique approach to community engagement and organizing.

Rulan Tangen

Rulan Tangen’s work explores movement as an evolving language, rooted in global indigenous cosmologies from her own lineage and cultivated through collaborative creation processes with diverse indigenous and intertribal peoples. She acknowledges dance as a functional ritual for transformation and healing, integral to the process of decolonizing the body, and in kinetic energetic connection with all relations – human and beyond. As Founding Artistic Director/Choreographer of Dancing Earth, she has passionately cultivated successive generations of indigenous contemporary performing artists, and embodies her belief in dance as a purposeful center of continuance of life. She is a recipient of the 2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award and is grateful for all that roots her, supporting pathways for the dreaming and doing of Dancing Earth: moving, shaking, and stomping the world into renewal.

2017 Literary Arts Panelists

Lynn Crawford

Fiction writer and art critic Lynn Crawford is a founding board member of Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), a 2010 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow and a 2016 Rauschenberg Writing Fellow. Her books include Solow, Blow, Fortification Resort, a series of art-related sestinas, Simply Separate People and Simply Separate People, Two. Her latest novel (2016) is Shankus & Kitto : A Saga. Her work appears in various anthologies (Oulipo Compendium, Fetish, Brooklyn Rail, Fence) and journals (Art in America, Infinite Mile, Detroit Research, Hyperallergic, Tema Celeste, McSweeney’s, Lilies and Cannonballs, Parkett, Bookforum, Metro Times). Most recently she contributed a story, TNW and Me to The-N-Word, a monograph on African-American painter Peter Williams edited by Ryan Standfest, and an essay to Detroit, The Dream is now, a collection of photographs of art, food and design by Michael Arnaud (Abrams Books). Lynn earned a MSW from New York University and has worked in various psychiatric, community, hospital, museum and school settings. She lives with her family north of Detroit.

Kahn Santori Davison

Kahn Santori Davison is from Detroit, Michigan. He is formerly an art columnist for The Gazette News and Arts and Entertainment writer for the Michigan Citizen. He’s currently a music writer for the Detroit Metro Times. He has served as a creative writing instructor at Detroit Impact Community Center and Inside Out Literary Arts. He was one half of the poetry group Khaos and a co-star in the award winning play Mahogany Drams.

He’s been featured on the Boyce Watkins Show, Brenda Perryman Show, and others. He’s a Cave Canem fellow who’s works have been featured in The Alabama Poetry Society, The Entoitist, The Baltimore Review, London’s X-Bout, Barbaric Yap, Callaloo, Black Reniaissance Noire, and The Litchfield Review. He is author of the poetry book Blaze (Willow Books). He is the recipient of the 2015 Kresge Literary Arts Fellowship.

Janet Webster Jones

Janet Webster Jones, a native Detroiter, attended Detroit Public Schools for elementary and secondary education.  She graduated from Spelman College (B.A,) and Wayne State University (M.Ed.), and was employed as an educator in Detroit Public Schools for nearly 42 years serving students, families and the Detroit community in several positions: Elementary Education Teacher, Speech and Language Pathologist, teacher consultant, and Administrator and Staff Development Specialist.  Jones is currently the owner/operator of Source Booksellers, a unique niche of Non-fiction books located in Midtown Detroit.  Source Booksellers was among 50 best independent bookstore in the USA named by Huffington Post (April28 2017).  She resides in Detroit.

Anna Moschovakis

Anna Moschovakis’s most recent books are They and We Will Get Into Trouble for This (poems) and Bresson on Bresson (interviews with Robert Bresson, translated from the French). She is the author of two previous books, You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake and I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone, as well as numerous chapbooks and translations. She teaches in the MFA programs at Pratt Institute and Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and was the 2016 Holloway Lecturer in the Practice of Poetry at U.C. Berkeley. A longtime member of Brooklyn-based publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse, she recently co-founded Bushel, an art and community space in Delhi, NY. Her first novel, The Rejection of the Progress of Love, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press.

Brian McGuigan

Brian McGuigan was born and raised in Queens, NY and now lives in Seattle where he’s the Program Director at Artist Trust, a nonprofit arts organization providing grantmaking and professional development for Washington State artists of all disciplines. When he’s not working in the arts, he’s working on a memoir. His writing has appeared in Gawker, The Rumpus, Salon, The Stranger, The Weeklings, City Arts, and elsewhere and has received support from 4Culture, Artist Trust, and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. In 2010, The Stranger shortlisted him for their Genius Award in Literature, and in 2011, City Arts named him one of Seattle’s Power 50 Culture Makers. For about a decade, he worked in programs at Hugo House, the second largest writers’ center in the country, where he devised and organized hundreds of literary readings, events, and programs.

2017 Visual Arts Panelists

Sabrina Nelson

Sabrina Nelson is a Detroit born painter, by degree from Center for Creative Studies. Influenced by Yoruba Religion as well as Eastern and African Philosophy

Sabrina has been a professional artist for over 36 years and an educator. As a studio artist at the Detroit Institute of Arts, she lectures and preforms art demonstrations. She is also on the staff for the College for Creative Studies.

Sabrina has lectured on the preservation of Black Feminism in Art at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. In addition, she has judged art competitions for over 27 years. Sabrina often interviews guest artist for the City of Detroit’s Culture video channel MyDetroitCable.

Work has been exhibited in MI,Florida, New York, Louisiana, Illinois and Ohio. Most recently she was invited to American University in Paris, France to participate as a sketching artist for the James Baldwin Confrence.

Valerie Cassel Oliver

Valerie Cassel Oliver is senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston were she has organized numerous exhibitions including Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image with Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft and Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012). In addition, she has mounted numerous surveys by such artists as Benjamin Patterson, Donald Moffett, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jennie C. Jones and Angel Otero, among many others.

Cassel Oliver has lectured widely and published extensively. She is the recipient of a Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship (2007); the prestigious David C. Driskell Award (2011) for scholarship in African American art; and the Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Foundation-to-Life Fellowship at Hunter College (2016). In 2009, she was selected as a fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership.

Jorge Rojas

Born in Morelos, Mexico, Jorge Rojas is a multidisciplinary artist, independent curator, and art educator. He studied Art at the University of Utah and at Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and uses traditional and new media and performance art to explore the creation and processes involved in artistic production. At the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, he oversees all education, community outreach, and adult programming initiatives for the Museum. Mr. Rojas’ work and curatorial projects have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the US, including Museo del Barrio, the Queens Museum of Art, and White Box in New York; New World Museum and Project Row Houses in Houston; and the UMFA and Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City. In 2009 he founded Low Lives, and international, multi-venue online performance festival, where he served as director, producer, and curator.

Sarah Rose Sharp

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, photographer and multimedia artist. She writes about art and culture, online and in print, for Art in America, Hyperallergic, Flash Art, ArtSlant and others. She was named a 2015 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow for Arts Criticism and was selected as a participant in the 2015 Art Writing Workshop facilitated by AICA/USA and the Art Writers Grant Program. She is primarily concerned with artist and viewer experiences of making and engaging with art, and conducts ongoing research in the state of contemporary art in redeveloping cities, including a process blog called Breakfast with the Artist.

John Sims

John Sims, a Detroit native, is a multi-media conceptual artist, writer and producer, and former Coordinator of Mathematics at Ringling College of Art and Design. His projects span the areas of installation, text, music, film, performance and large scale activism, informed by mathematics, the politics of sacred symbols/anniversaries and poetic collaboration. He is currently completing the Recoloration Proclamation, a 16-year multimedia project featuring: a collection of various Confederate flags installations, annual national Burn and Bury event, a play, a documentary film and the music project – AfroDixieRemixes.

He has lectured and exhibited both nationally and internationally and his work has been featured in Art in America, Sculpture, Transition, FiberArts, Science News, CNN, NBC News, New York Times, USA Today, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the science journal Nature.

2016 Film & Music Panelists

Njia Kai

Film&Music Njia KaiA native Detroiter and Howard University graduate, Njia Kai directs and curates major public events and cultural arts projects with a focus on community enrichment, and in support of placemaking initiatives. Her 30 years of production experience include the annual City of Detroit Tree Lighting, Art X Detroit and Noel Night in Midtown, the Wright Museum African World Festival, and the downtown entertainment series at Campus Martius Park. Njia has led arts-based summer and after-school programs for city youth and lends her expertise to a wide variety of community projects.

Frank Pahl

Film&Music Frank PahlFrank Pahl received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Wayne State University, Detroit and a master of fine arts degree in art and design with an emphasis in sound art from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has received over 80 commissions to write music for theater, film and dance and has performed throughout North America, Europe and Japan. His music has appeared on over 70 releases. Since 2000, he’s actively created kinetic sound installations, which are frequently designed to accompany his music. Pahl has taught sound design at College for Creative Studies, Detroit and sound-related courses at University of Michigan. His current music projects are Scavenger Quartet and Little Bang Theory.

Todd Chandler

Film&Music Todd ChandlerTodd Chandler is a filmmaker, musician, and interdisciplinary artist. His work has been featured at the Hammer Museum, the Torino Film Festival, Brooklyn Museum, Mass MoCA, 01SJ Biennial, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. His first feature film, Flood Tide (2013), documents and reimagines a journey down the Hudson River on a fleet of sculptural rafts dreamed up by the artist Swoon. He is the co-creator of Empire Drive-In and was a founding member of the Miss Rockaway Armada and the band Dark Dark Dark. He has received fellowships and support from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, Experimental Television Center, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. He teaches in the Department of Film at Brooklyn College.

Terence Nance

Film&Music Terence NanceTerence Nance is an artist born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Each of his siblings are artists: Norvis Jr. Djore, and Classi. Terence makes music under the name Terence Etc. His first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiered in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film has garnered Terence recognition from Filmmaker magazine, where he was selected as one of the 25 new faces of independent film. Oversimplification… also won the 2012 Gotham Award for “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.” The film has since been released theatrically in the US, UK, France, and South Africa. It is currently available on DVD and Digitally through Cinema Guild. Terence currently resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn – along with the rest of The Swarm and is currently developing his next feature film.

Pamela Z

Film&Music Pamela ZPamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist working with voice, sound processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live looping techniques, she creates works combining experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, processing, and gesture-activated MIDI controllers. She has composed scores for dance, film, and new music chamber ensembles including Kronos Quartet. Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan – including appearances at Bang on a Can (New York), Other Minds (San Francisco), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Festival (Wuppertal, Germany). She’s shown installation works at the Whitney Museum (NY), Diözesanmuseum (Cologne), and Krannert Museum (IL). Her awards include a Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital, the Alpert Award, MAP Fund, ASCAP Plus Award, Ars Electronica, and the NEA Japan/US Friendship Fellowship. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

2016 Live Arts Panelists

Penny Godboldo

Penny Godboldo completed her Ph.B. degree in Education at Wayne State University and holds an M.A. Degree in Humanities from University of Detroit in English, with a cognate in Dance/Theater. She trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance School, Broadway Dance Center, Steps Dance Studio and the Martha Graham School in New York City. She mentored under dance Icon Katherine Dunham for over 20 years and is the only certified instructor of the Dunham technique in Michigan. She has taught and performed in the U.S. (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles) as well as Toronto, Canada and various countries including England, Scotland, France and Japan. Godboldo has conducted research: “Traditional Dance” and “Dance in Religion” in Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Benin, and West Africa. Since 2006 she has frequently presented papers on her work at the KOSANBA Academic Colloquium, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Massachusetts University, Wayne State University, among other places. Professor Godboldo is currently in her 32nd year on faculty at Marygrove College, Artistic Director of the Hartford Baptist Church Liturgical Dance Ministry, and directs a community mentoring program through the arts, “Discovery: GAP” for adolescent girls and directs the Detroit Legacy Project each summer.

Carrie Morris

Carrie Morris is a director, puppeteer and performance artist with an interest in creating experiences that extend beyond the stage and out into the world.

Carrie’s work as a director and performing artist combines puppetry, multimedia and the gestural language of experimental theater. She has a BFA in directing theater from NYU and an MFA in studio art from U of M Ann Arbor. Her work has been seen in the New York International Fringe Festival, The Athens Museum of Art, Seattle’s Annex Theater, the Canadian Fringe Festival, the CATCH! New Artist Series in Brooklyn, NY, the Orlando International Fringe Festival, the Matrix Theater, as an invited artist working with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, at The Flicker Film Festival in Richmond, VA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. She is a J. William Fulbright grantee in the field of performance art for creative work in multimedia shadow puppetry in Solo, Indonesia, a Princess Grace grantee in the field of theater for puppetry design and direction and for several years was the program manager of Puppetry and Performing Arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She has been the director of CMAP (Carrie Morris Arts Production) since it was established in 2012 as a place where Detroiters can experience and explore contemporary puppetry, performance and multimedia works.

Aku Kadogo

Aku Kadogo is an international theatre director, choreographer, performer, educator and cultural arts curator. Kadogo has directed and created theatre works in Australia, Korea, Europe and the United States. This multi-faceted artist directs highly energetic, imaginative, original theatre works.She has served as the Director of the Black Theatre Program at Wayne State University, been a guest Faculty member at Yongin University in South Korea and is currently a Visiting Scholar at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Kadogo has worked in film, television and stage making her career debut in the original Broadway production of for colored girls who considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.

She divides her time between Atlanta and Sydney, Australia..

Leyya Mona Tawil

Live Arts Leyya Mona TawilLeyya Mona Tawil is an artist working with dance and music practices. Tawil is the artistic director of DANCE ELIXIR and TAC: Temescal Art Center. Her work has been presented in Russia, Canada and 13 countries throughout Europe and the Arab world. Her approach to experimental performance is based on conceptual scoring and location based variables. She has discussed this process with author Linda Weintraub for Movement Research’s Critical Correspondence; as well as interviews with NEA Art Talks, Art21 (NYC), Art Territories (Ramallah), Wall Street Journal and American Theater Magazine. Presentation highlights include New York Live Arts/Live Ideas (NYC), Dock11 (Berlin), MOCAD (Detroit), BIPOD9 (Beirut), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), TransDance15 (Cairo) and the Museum of Nonconformist Art (Saint Petersburg). www.danceElixirLIVE.org

Sarah Wilke

Live Arts Sarah WilkeSarah Wilke has served as the Managing Director of Seattle’s On the Boards contemporary performing arts center since 2004. Prior to OtB, Wilke worked as the Managing Director of Consolidated Works in Seattle, as the Associate Curator of Education at the Tacoma Art Museum, and at the Freer & Sackler Galleries in Washington, DC where she held various education, programming and curatorial positions. Prior to moving to Seattle, Wilke was a Fulbright Fellow in Sri Lanka. She is a graduate of Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine) and received her Master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Cambridge, MA). She has served as a panelist for the NEA, the National Performance Network, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

2015 Literary Arts Panelists

Samiya Bashir

Samiya Bashir is the author of Gospel, finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the 2009 Lambda Literary Award, and Where the Apple Falls, a Poetry Foundation bestseller and finalist for the 2005 Lambda Literary Award. Bashir is editor of Black Women’s Erotica 2 and co-editor, with Tony Medina and Quraysh Ali Lansana, of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. Bashir’s poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications including, most recently and forthcoming, in Poetry, World Literature Today, Ecotone, HOAX, The Normal School, Poet Lore, Michigan Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, Cura, The Normal School, Eleven Eleven, Cascadia Review, Hubbub, Callaloo and The Encyclopedia Project. Her long poem, Coronagraphy, was a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee. A long-time communications professional focused on editorial, arts, and social justice movement building, Bashir is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writer’s festival for LGBT writers of African descent. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches creative writing at Reed College. www.samiyabashir.com

renée c. hoogland

renée c. hoogland is Professor of English at Wayne State University where she teaches literature and culture after 1870, critical theory, cultural studies, and visual culture. She has published widely in American and British literature, film, visual culture, and critical theory. Her most recent book is A Violent Embrace: Art and Aesthetics after Representation (2014, Dartmouth College Press). hoogland is the editor of Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts.

Kim Hunter

Kim Hunter is life-long Detroiter employed in media relations for social justice groups. He has served as Poet-in-Residence in several Detroit public schools through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project. He co-directs the Woodward Line Poetry Series which received a Knights Arts Challenge Detroit award in 2013. His work has appeared in Rainbow Darkness, Abandon Automobile, Triage, Hipology, Metro Times, Dispatch Detroit and Graffiti Rag. He has published two collections of poetry: borne on slow knives and edge of the time zone. In 2012, he received a Kresge Artist Fellowship in the Literary Arts. www.kimhunterdetroit.com

Albert Mobilio

Albert Mobilio is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and the National Book Critics Circle award for criticism. His work has appeared in Harper’s, Black Clock, Bomb, Cabinet, Open City, Jacket, and Tin House. Books of poetry include Bendable Siege, The Geographics, Me with Animal Towering, and Touch Wood. A volume of short fiction, Games and Stunts was published in 2012 by Belladonna Books. He is an assistant professor of literary studies at the New School’s Eugene Lang College, an editor at Bookforum, and an editor for Hyperallergic Weekend.

Anne Waldman

Anne Waldman is a prolific poet, editor, professor and performer, creating radical hybrid forms for the long poem. Author of over 40 books, including the magnum opus, The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment, which won the PEN Center 2012 Award for Poetry. Her book Gossamurmur is an allegorical adventure and plea for poetry’s archive. She co-founded and directed The Poetry Project at St Mark’s in the 1960-70s and went on to co-found The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University with Allen Ginsberg, where she continues to curate the Summer Writing Program. Widely traveled and translated, she has worked most recently in Morocco, India and France. Her most recent anthology is CROSS WORLDS (co-edited with Laura Wright). She is a recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013-14, and is a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. www.annewaldman.org

2015 Visual Arts Panelists

Chakaia Booker

Born in 1953, sculptor Chakaia Booker fuses ecological concerns with explorations of racial and economic difference, globalization, and gender by recycling discarded tires into complex assemblages. Booker began to integrate discarded construction materials into large, outdoor sculptures in the early 1990s. Tires resonate with her for their versatility and rich range of historical and cultural associations. Booker slices, twists, weaves, and rivets this medium into radically new forms and textures, which easily withstand outdoor environments. For her, the varied tones of the rubber parallels human diversity, while the tire treads suggest images as varied as African scarification and textile designs. Though she has adopted utilitarian jeans and work boots in her studio, she always wears a large, intricately wrapped headdress, which has links to her earliest wearable art and has become her fashion signature. Booker received a BA in sociology from Rutgers University in 1976, and an MFA from the City College of New York in 1993. She gained international acclaim at the 2000 Whitney Biennial with It’s So Hard to Be Green, her 12.5 x 21 foot wall-hung tire sculpture. Booker received a Pollock-Krasner grant in 2002 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. She has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. www.chakaiabooker.com

Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark’s work has been exhibited in over 300 museums and galleries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Since 2006, she has been Chair of Craft /Material Studies in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. Formerly, she was Baldwin-Bascom Professor of Creative Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the recipient of several awards including an Art Prize Grand Jurors Prize in 2014, a Pollock-Krasner grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, a United States Artist Fellowship and an Art Matters grant. www.sonyaclark.com

Elizabeth Dee

Elizabeth Dee is an American gallery owner and co-founder of Independent New York and Independent Brussels. Elizabeth Dee Gallery is located on West 20th Street in Chelsea, and has produced numerous groundbreaking and internationally-recognized exhibitions by such artists as Adrian Piper, Miriam Cahn (debut), Philippe Decrauzat, Derek Jarman, Leo Gabin (debut), Josephine Meckseper (debut), Ryan Trecartin (debut) and Mark Barrow, among others. Previously Dee established X Initiative, a nonprofit consortium of the global art community presenting exhibitions and programming in response to the major philosophical and economic shifts in Contemporary art. She was also recently included in Art + Auction Magazine’s list for the 100 most powerful figures in the art world.www.elizabethdee.com

Valerie Parks

Valerie Parks is a Detroit painter whose studio practice spans over the past 30 years, since her graduation from Wayne State University. She has participated in many solo and group exhibitions and her work can be found in area and national art collections. Parks worked for thirteen years at the Detroit Institute of Arts in the museum’s Learning and Interpretation Department, where she taught drawing and painting and curated many of the Detroit Public School Exhibitions at the DIA. Valerie Parks is also co-owner of TravelArt Services.

Senghor Reid

Senghor Reid develops figurative paintings and films that explore the connections between culture, art, science and our interactions with the natural environment. Currently an Artist-in-Residence at Cranbrook Schools, Reid received a BFA from the University of Michigan, a MAT in Art Education from Wayne State University and attended the internationally-recognized Marathon Program at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. He has received several awards, including a Kresge Artist Fellowship in the Visual Arts (2009) and the prestigious Michigan Governor’s Emerging Artist Award. Reid has exhibited in galleries and museums in various parts of the United States and abroad including the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Kentler International Drawing Space, St. Catharine Museum and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. www.senghorreid.com

2014 Dance/Music Panelists

Left to Right:
Kristy Edmunds, Choreographer, executive and artistic director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, founder of Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
Johnny Evans, Composer, musician and bandleader
Karen Sherman, Choreographer, performer and scenic designer
Carl Craig, Grammy Award-nominated composer, producer, electronic musician and artistic director of Movement Electronic Music Festival
George E. Lewis, Composer, performer, professor and vice-chair of the department of music at Columbia University

2014 Film/Theatre Panelists

Left to Right:
Shaun Nethercott,  Executive director and co-founder of Matrix Theatre Company
Brian Rogers, Director, video artist, co-founder and artistic director of The Chocolate Factory Theater in New York
Shay Wafer, Theatre director and executive director of New York-based 651 ARTS
Kenneth Cosby, Screenwriter, playwright, director, actor and artist in residence at Towne Street Theatre in Los Angeles
Sue Marx, Academy Award-winning director and producer

2013 Literary Arts Panelists

Left to Right:
Wanda Coleman, Poet and author
Ken Mikolowski, Poet, editor, publisher and lecturer in English at University of Michigan
Claudia La Rocco, Performance critic for The New York Times and editor-at-large for The Brooklyn Rail
Bill Harris, Playwright, poet, critic and novelist
Robert Polito, Director of writing programs at The New School and incoming president of The Poetry Foundation

2013 Visual Arts Panelists

Left to Right:
Hamza Walker, Associate curator for the Renaissance Society, University of Chicago
Shinique Smith, Visual artist
Rebecca Hart, Associate curator of contemporary art, Detroit Institute of Arts
Eric Fischl, Painter and sculptor
Nancy Mitchnick, Painter and educator

2012 Literary Arts Panelists

Left to Right:
Thomas Lynch, Poet and author
Toi Derricotte, Poet and professor of English at University of Pittsburgh
John Yau, Poet, critic and weekend editor, Hyperallergic.com
Melba Joyce Boyd, Distinguished professor and chair of Africana studies at Wayne State University
Ishmael Reed, Poet, essayist and novelist

2012 Performing Arts Panelists

Left to Right:
Don Byron, Composer, multi-instrumentalist, critic and educator
Thom Jurek, Music critic and staff writer, Allmusic.com
Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, Musician, Sweet Honey In the Rock, actress and educator
Laura Kuhn, Executive director, John Cage Trust and professor of performance art at Bard College
Michael Kondziolka, Director of programming, University Musical Society

2011 Visual Arts Panelists

Left to Right:
Mary Fortuna, Exhibition director, Paint Creek Center for the Arts
Nick Cave, Artist
Fred Wilson, Artist
Anne Pasternak, President and creative director, Creative Time
Mame Jackson, Professor emerita, art history, Wayne State University

2010 Literary Arts Panelists

Left to Right:
Cary Loren, Owner, Bookbeat
Lynne Tillman, Writer and cultural Critic
Thylias Moss, Professor, University of Michigan
Brad Leithauser, Professor, John Hopkins University (on monitor)

2010 Performing Arts Panelists

Left to Right:
Grisha Coleman, Artist/assistant professor in arts, media and engineering, Arizona State University
Benjamin Hernandez, Curator of public programs, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Aaron Dworkin, Founder and president, Sphinx Organization
Greg Tate, Musician and writer

2009 Visual Arts Panelists

Left to Right:
Susan Bandes, Former director, Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University
Dick Goody, Associate professor and director, Oakland University Art Gallery
Lorna Simpson, Artist
Richard Tuttle, Artist
Aaron Betsky, Director, Cincinnati Art Museum (not pictured)