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Art, Travel + Application Opportunities

 


Shani recently had the opportunity to travel to Chile. She visited a coastal city that was one of Pablo Neruda’s hometowns, spent time in the country’s capital Santiago, gazed at the Andes mountains and took a hot air balloon ride over the Atacama Desert– known as the driest place in the world. She also visited the beautiful country of Panama! Click here to check out her travel photography on her Instagram account.
 

Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter


 

Shani is a member of the Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter collective, which works in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. Currently, BWA for BLM is included in a group exhibition,”Vanishing Points” at New York’s James Cohan Gallery, and at Project Row Houses in Houston, TX. If you are in either city, please stop by!
 


 

The Porter Colloquium


Lastly, Shani traveled down to DC to attend the Porter Colloquium on African American Art at Howard University. In the dawn of her career, she organized a symposium series about the arts and human rights on Howard’s campus, so it was really wonderful for her to be back “home” for this occasion.

 

APPLICATION OPPPORTUNITIES

Please see below for news about two organizations that are currently accepting applications for upcoming opportunities. Shani is a mentor at New INC and a Resident at TED, and highly recommends both groups. If either of these would be a good fit for you or someone you know, please apply and forward widely!
 


 

NEW INC is “the first museum-led cultural incubator dedicated to supporting innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship across art, design and technology. It occupies eight thousand square feet of dedicated office, workshop, social and presentation space. Each year they select an outstanding interdisciplinary community of one hundred members who are investigating new ideas and developing sustainable practices.” Applications are now open, click here to learn how you can become a part of this dynamic organization.

“The TED Residency program is an incubator for breakthrough ideas. It is free and open to all via a semiannual competitive application. Those chosen as residents spend fourteen weeks at the organization’s headquarters in New York City working on their ideas.” If you are interested in applying for the 2017 Fall Residency cohort, click here to learn more.

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NYT, Schomburg, Harlem Stage and more!

New York Times Broadcast

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Shani is featured in a New York Times broadcast about how American identity is constructed. The conversation, which was filmed live at the NYT offices, is resonating with tens of thousands of people from around the world– it reached over 190,000 views after just one day!!
 

The NYT describes the series as follows: “What makes someone American? That’s the central theme of “Hyphen-Nation,” which tackles the issue of American identity being tied to the concept of “whiteness” through the lens of 9 people who don’t identify as white.” Join Bayete Ross Smith, Armando Somoza and Shani by adding your comments on race, identity and citizenship to the discussion posted below from the NYT Facebook page.
 


 

Afro Punk Harlem Takeover

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Shani loved hosting a conversation with this magical group of women: musician Tamar-Kali, dancer and choreographer Adia Whitaker, director Ashley Brockington and writer Feminista Jones. The panel was preceded by an incredible performance of Demon Fruit Blues, featuring Ase Dance. Many thanks to the co-sponsors AfroPunk and the Harlem Stage, in addition to all the members of the sold out audience!
 

The Schomburg Center

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In January Shani was pleased to host a spirited discussion of writers and scholars at Harlem’s renowned Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The event featured Brittney Cooper, Susanna Morris and Robin Boylorn taking on popular culture, politics, race and gender as they celebrated the launch of their new book The Crunk Feminist Collection. Click here to watch!
 

The Whitney Museum

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On Inauguration Day, Shani was proud to stand with fellow members of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter to read their Notes Toward a Manifesto.  They joined a long list of artists who chose to spend the day speaking out about their principles and who they stand for.
 

Brooklyn Arts Exchange

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Lastly, it was a true pleasure for Shani to head over to the Brooklyn Arts Exchange as a contributor to their forum on the five year history of Dancing While Black. It was a great afternoon visioning and strategizing about the arts and social change during Artist Services Day.

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Art + Creative Change- 2016 In Review

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Harvard University’s Cooper Gallery

One of Shani’s favorite 2016 moments happened at Harvard University’s Ethelbert Cooper Gallery.  She was invited to be their inaugural Late Night Thursday’s speaker! Shani screened her short film, Altar: A Moving Meditation, which features music by Alicia Hall Moran and Brett Sroka, and delivered an artist talk as part of the programming for Carrie Mae Weems’ breathtaking exhibit, “I Once Knew A Girl.” She couldn’t have been more thrilled to present her work in this stunning space- helmed by the indomitable Vera Grant and designed by David Adjaye, who also designed the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

 

Emory Douglas Exhibit
Another highlight of the year was curating an exhibit of Emory Douglas’ work, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Black Panther Party. “We Have Nothing to Lose But Our Chains” featured work from the collection of Alden & Mary Kimbrough, and was mentioned in the New York Times.

 

Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter
It did Shani’s heart well to join with over one hundred Black women artists, in a convening organized by Simone Leigh, to respond to the continued inhumane institutionalized violence against black lives. Their first evening of collectively organized healing workshops, performances, digital works, participatory exchanges, displays and the distribution of materials was held at the New Museum. BWA for BLM focuses on the interdependence of care and action, invisibility and visibility, self defense and self determination, and desire and possibility in order to highlight and disavow pervasive conditions of racism. Stay tuned, they are working on more for this upcoming year.

 

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Public Speaking + Public Service

TED Residency
Shani met the goal of a lifetime when she took the TED stage  in December to deliver a talk about art, justice, freedom and travel. This was the culmination of a three month residency she participated in at the organization’s headquarters.  We can’t wait to share the video with you once it becomes available!

 

Black Portraitures, South Africa
In November Shani traveled to Johannesburg to speak at one of her favorite conferences, a convening of artists, curators, cultural workers and scholars called Black Portraitures. This year also saw international travel to Senegal, Portugal, Germany, France, Greece, Denmark and Mexico.

 

Facilitating Community Conversations
Finally, in 2016 Shani continued her work addressing inequity and catalyzing cultural change. Two stand out moments were moderating the Democracy and Distrust forum for the New York Council for the Humanities, and co-facilitating an annual convening of dancers, choreographers and scholars organized by Camille Brown, called The Gathering.

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Harvard, South Africa + TED

Shani has been invited to speak at Harvard’s Ethelbert Cooper Gallery! On the evening of December 1st, she will screen a short film she recently made and deliver an artist talk about her career using the arts to transform society.  The film, which features music by Alicia Hall Moran and Brett Sroka, will be shown  in the midst of an exhibit by the brilliant Carrie Mae Weems, I Once Knew A Girl. Click here for more details.

 

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Shani will get to Harvard fresh off of an epic trip to South Africa, where she spoke at the Black Portraitures Conference about how she’s used her art to catalyze conversations about race, gender and criminal justice reform.  This conference gathers artists, curators, cultural workers and scholars from throughout the diaspora for three days of brilliance and beauty.

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As shared in a previous post, Shani was awarded a place in the TED Residency program – an in-house incubator for breakthrough ideas. She’s part of a cohort of amazing thinkers who are spending four months in the TED office, creatively taking on projects that are making significant changes in their communities, across many different fields. The date that they film their TED Talks is rapidly approaching! We look forward to sharing  the end product with you.

 

ted-residency

 

Finally, Shani will be in a poetry reading on November 28th at Bluestockings Books in NYC to support the people of Haiti. She’ll be performing with Elana Bell, Kathy Engel, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Candice Iloh, Caits Meissner, Roberto Garcia, Yemeni Montill and youth poets from the Bronx Academy of Letters.

 

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Media Mentions

The Emory Douglas exhibit Shani curated, We Have Nothing to Lose But Our Chains, is mentioned in today’s art section of the  New York Times!  Click here to read the piece, which chronicles the lasting influence of the Black Panther Party– founded fifty years ago today.

 

NYT Oct 2016

 

Next head over to Ebony.com, where the latest edition of The Spin’s important conversation on consent is featured. This week’s contributors are Marc Lamont Hill, Sofia Quintero and Shani Jamila.  To read the article and tune in to the podcast hosted by Esther Armah, click here.

 

Ebony

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