Meet the 2018-19 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellows

Meet the 2018-19 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellows


Based in Boston, violinist and composer
Shaw Pong Liu works to engage diverse communities in music and meaningful
conversation. She is a founding member of Play for Justice, a network of musicians
and artists supporting social justice causes. In 2016 as an artist-in-residence
for the city of Boston, she began Code: Listen, which uses music
to support healing and dialogue around gun violence, race, and law enforcement in collaboration with the Boston Police Department, local musicians, teen artists,
and family members surviving homicides. Her current work also includes Sing Home,
a project that gathers and shares songs from Boston’s Chinatown community to
create new compositions as a way to start conversations about immigration,
neighborhood, and cultural and civic identity. Donney Rose. Donney Rose is a community activist, educator, and active member of
the poetry scene in his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is the marketing director for Forward Arts, a youth poetry organization that
serves more than 3,000 youth in the Baton Rouge area through in-school
creative writing workshops, open mics, poetry slams, and a youth poet laureate
program. Using his art form to address racial inequality, Donney has been part
of the spoken word and slam circuit for over 15 years and has facilitated spoken
word events for youth for over a decade. Through his work and art, Donney helps
youth find their voice in a racially and ecumenically divided Baton Rouge. Justus Harris. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14, Justus Harris has
combined his experience as a patient with his skill as a technologist and
artist to advance medical literacy and improve patient care in his Chicago
community. Justus is the founder of MedSculp,
which produces educational content featuring data-driven visual artworks
and designs that help people with diabetes who struggle with conventional
explanations of how to treat and understand their disease. Justus is an active member of the Chicago entrepreneurship, media, and arts
communities, where he mentors artists to create sustainable, professional lives. Rulan Tangen has worked tirelessly to inspire a new generation of indigenous
performers to express their culture in vital contemporary and experimental art
forms. She is the founder, choreographer, and featured dancer in The Dancing Earth, a company whose work has been described as “rooted in the spirit and energy of
the first peoples and the land.” Rulan engages community through
intergenerational dance training workshops and full-length theater
productions, and she teaches extensively in Native communities across the
Americas. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and San Francisco, California, the company
tackles themes that reflect contemporary Native people, such as nature
transformation, and decolonization. Omar Offendum. Omar Offendum is a Syrian
American rapper and a poet raised in Washington, DC and who lives in Los
Angeles. He first felt a strong connection with rap while studying
Arabic poetry, which he describes as the backbone of the Arabic language. As an entertainer and activist, Omar has been able to speak to diverse global
audiences over his decade-long career. He tours the world performing at
international music festivals, lecturing at major academic institutions, and fundraising for humanitarian relief organizations. His first solo album “Syrian Americana” was released in 2011.

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