Many thanks to the Brooklyn Arts Council, who awarded Shani a 2021 grant for her Lineage Podcast + Portrait project. BAC grants support artists whose work enhances the cultural climate of the borough, city, state, and nation. This program is supported by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).
Shani has been cast in a performance of the seminal Ntozake Shange choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When The Rainbow Is Enuf. This production is directed by Gina Belafonte. Special guests will include Alfre Woodard, Vanessa Williams, CCH Pounder and original Broadway director Oz Scott. Join us! Premiering live on Clubhouse on Saturday, 3.20, at 6pm EST/ 3pm PST. It will reprise in the UN75 Club on 4.17 at 6pm EST.
Launching February 18, 2021— in honor of the birthdays of literary giants Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde– We Hold These Truths is a new meditative film created and curated by conceptual artist Shani Jamila and produced in collaboration with Park Avenue Armory. The film introduces the artists featured in Season Two of Jamila’s Lineage Podcast + Portrait Project, which features intimate, in-depth interviews with contemporary socially engaged Black artists. We Hold These Truths includes inspiring reflections by artists across multiple disciplines, on some of the truths learned from their elders that have rooted them in these challenging times. Watch now for a first glimpse at the new season of Lineage, and stay tuned for bi-weekly audio interviews with each of the featured artists, beginning on Tuesday March 2nd. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to receive new episodes every other Tuesday.
Announcing the new season of the Lineage Podcast + Portrait Project! Lineage features intimate, in-depth interviews with contemporary socially engaged Black artists. Season Two will include conversations with renowned creatives and thought leaders Firelei Báez, R. Dwayne Betts, Camille A. Brown, Aimee Meredith Cox, Kamilah Forbes, Shani Jamila, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Kiese Laymon, Fabiola Jean Louis, Haki Madhubuti, Alicia Hall Moran, Jason Moran, Lynn Nottage, Mary Lovelace O’Neal, Wendi Moore-O’Neal, Fahamu Pecou, Sonia Sanchez and Carrie Mae Weems. Stay tuned for bi-weekly audio interviews with each of the featured guests, beginning on Tuesday March 2nd. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to receive new episodes every other Tuesday.
Announcing the Taneya Gethers Muhammad Memorial Scholarship! Taneya was a writer, educator, librarian, community builder and a proud graduate of Spelman College. She rigorously studied the history of radicalism at Spelman, wrote about the importance of renewing our commitment to cultural activism, and created library programs to educate the community about our undertold stories.
Shani is honored to have partnered with the college and Dr. Ruha Benjamin to develop this fund in Taneya’s name, supporting young scholar activists. In providing funding for Spelman students who share her commitment to making a radical impact on campus and in the community, they will continue her fierce devotion to her family, both blood and spirit.
Click here to learn more and to donate to the scholarship fund.
Shani is proud to be the voice of this campaign, produced by TIME’S UP Now. “The women running for office this cycle needed a squad of impassioned, dedicated activists to speak up and speak out. And you showed up — every single day. Thank you for your relentless fight — but we can’t let up now. #WeHaveHerBack is for more than the leaders of today—it’s for those still to come. Stay involved by texting HER BACK to 306-44 and continue to call out sexist and racist political attacks and news coverage when you see it. Because when it comes to women leaders — today, tomorrow, and always: We. Have. Her. Back.”
Join Shani Jamila for an artist talk sponsored by the African Diasporic Art Museum of Atlanta on Sunday May 10th. She will be in conversation with artists Shanequa Gay, Andrea Chung, and Ebony G. Patterson. The panel will be moderated by the Curator of Education at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Makeba Dixon Hill. The ADAMA Arts Salon series features conversations with contemporary artists, curators, scholars and more from across the African Diaspora.
Shani’s collage work is featured in the latest issue of The Iowa Review, Winter 2019/20. The “Americana Fantastica” portfolio is devoted to contemporary expressions of the surreal and the fantastical; it takes some of its inspiration from a 1943 issue of the avant-garde magazine View.
Shani has been appointed a 2020-21 Artist Fellow in fine arts/ painting at The National Arts Club, a private club in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park. The National Arts Club was founded in 1898 by author and poet Charles De Kay, the literary and art critic for The New York Times, to stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts.
The NAC Artist Fellowship program continues the Club’s 121-year history of supporting the arts and artists by recognizing and supporting a select number of leading artists from a range of disciplines, with the goal of furthering their careers.
Artist to Artist, Neighbor to Neighbor. Conversations About Home, Hosted by Shani Jamila.
Introducing Lineage! This new podcast + portrait project features intimate, in-depth interviews about the idea of home with some of New York City’s most imaginative thinkers– including MacArthur geniuses, Pulitzer Prize winners and Bessie Award recipients. And now there’s an opportunity for YOU to become an inaugural supporter of this work.
Shani has been named a 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar! The Aspen Scholars are a group of global leaders who are selected for their work, accomplishments, and ability to transform ideas into action.
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic magazine, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation’s premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.
From Aspen Lectures to debates to one-on-one interviews and more, days are filled from early morning to late evening. Attendees have exceptional opportunities to interact with public officials, artists, scientists, authors, business executives, scholars, economists, foreign policy specialists, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all kinds — on footpaths and sidewalks, over lunch on the lawn or coffee at the espresso bar, in auditoriums and in small seminar rooms. The intimacy of Festival gatherings renders the experience unique and unforgettable.
“Since opening in 1999, MASS MoCA has become one of the world’s premier centers for making and showing the best art of our time. With annual attendance of 120,000, it ranks among the most visited institutions in the United States dedicated to new art. More than 80 major new works of art and more than 50 performances have been created through fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams, making MASS MoCA perhaps the most fertile site in the country for new art. The museum thrives on making and presenting work that is fresh, surprising, and challenging.
Hosted by MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program, selected artists receive private studio space on MASS MoCA’s campus, newly renovated housing, free access to the museum’s galleries throughout the residency, optional financial and business coaching from Assets for Artists staff, and a daily group meal.”
Artist Shani Jamila’s collages, paintings and soundscapes explore family, lineage and identity.
The collages utilize her archive of photo essays created over the course of her travels to nearly fifty countries as source material. They interrogate how the idea of home is constructed and the surrealist nature of our political reality. As Jamila encounters people and places through her camera lens, moments of recognition or solidarity emerge which are reorganized and re-purposed through collage, simultaneously revealing and obscuring identity and familiarity.
Her paintings began as a creative mapping of her personal family records. If she wanted to delve even deeper into her family’s history, she may want to consider going throw the vast online archive of newspapers, obituaries, and genealogy records – others wanting to do the same can look at this to get a start learning about their ancestry. Jamila is in the seventh generation on both sides of her lineage. The content of the work, and its color palette, are drawn from enormous genealogical charts produced by her grandmother.
While the materials vary, there is a constant refrain in Jamila’s work of who she is, where she comes from and how she interacts with the world, whether via the camera, the photograph’s transformation to collage or the meditative repetition of pressing her fingertips to paint and canvas. With Seven, she invites us into an immersive installation to experience how the work is woven together.
“At Ace, we agree with Richard Avedon when he says, “Anything is an art if you do it at the level of an art.” Sculpture, mineral, sound and thought – some people wink and call it art. Each Sunday night our Artists in Residence program invites members of the community to spend one night with us, enjoying a modest tab and access to a cart of supplies. On Monday mornings, we find out what they’ve made.
This February, artist Shani Jamila will spend her Sundays at Ace Hotel. Her travels to nearly fifty countries deeply inform her collage, photography and painting practice. She has exhibited and performed at the Manifesta European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Harvard University’s Cooper Gallery, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Smack Mellon, SCOPE Art Fair, Brooklyn Museum, Corridor Gallery, City College, New Museum and Princeton. The community conversations she’s hosted at institutions including the Aperture Foundation, Lincoln Center, Schomburg Center and New York Live Arts are known for engaging discussions about the arts and society. This was also the subject of her TED Talk, “Reimagining Resistance Through Art,” which she delivered during a residency at the organization’s headquarters. A Fulbright scholar once named “One of the 35 Most Remarkable Women in the World” by ESSENCE Magazine, her image and quote are featured in “A Choice to Change the World,” a permanent exhibition at her alma mater Spelman College.
An artist yourself, you say? Make your marks at Ace Hotel New York using promo code ARTSCHOOL and recieve 10% off your stay.”
Shani Jamila is a conceptual artist & cultural worker whose work explores ancestry and identity formation in African American and African diasporic communities. She utilizes her family’s genealogical records as a primary source and her travels to nearly fifty countries deeply inform her practice. Her paintings, soundscapes, and collages have been presented at the Manifesta European Contemporary Art Biennial, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, Ace Hotel, Corridor Gallery and Harvard’s Cooper Gallery.
She is the curator and host of Lineage— an archive of intimate, in-depth interviews with contemporary socially engaged Black artists. Her meditative film "We Hold These Truths," produced with the Park Avenue Armory, features reflections from a multidisciplinary group of creatives. She also hosts live talks with artists, writers and scholars at organizations like the Brooklyn Museum, Aperture Foundation, Lincoln Center, Schomburg Center and New York Live Arts. Shani's portrait and quote are featured in “A Choice to Change the World,” a permanent installation of artists & advocates at her alma mater Spelman College. Her work has been supported by the National Arts Club, TED, the Aspen Institute, MASS MoCA, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the J. William Fulbright Foundation.