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Broadway Advocacy Coalition Announces Inaugural Class of Fellows for BAC Artivism Fellowship

Stage Directions • Industry NewsTheatre Buzz • November 23, 2020

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC) announces 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!”

Broadway Advocacy Coalition is an arts-based advocacy nonprofit dedicated to building the capacity of individuals and organizations to dismantle the systems that perpetuate racism through the power of storytelling and the leadership of people directly affected.

The Broadway musical Wicked is proud to be the lead sponsor of the BAC Artivism Fellowship. This year’s Fellowship is also made possible by the generous support of Sonja and Jonathan Perkins, AT&T, The Elphaba Fund, Diana DiMenna, Abigail Disney, and the many other donors that supported this initiative.

Further information from the Broadway Advocacy Coalition: https://www.bwayadvocacycoalition.org/artivismfellowship

ABOUT THE BROADWAY ADVOCACY COALITION
Founded in 2016 by members of the Broadway community as a direct response to the nation’s pandemic of racism and police brutality, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition is a multidisciplinary organization which unites artists, legal experts and community leaders to create lasting impact on policy issues from criminal justice reform to education equity to immigration. Via its partnership with the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School, BAC has collaborated with institutions across New York City, including the New York City Council, Bronx Defenders, and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. To learn more about their work, and to get involved, visit their website at https://www.bwayadvocacycoalition.org/ or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

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