Artists In Residence

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Through theater, dance, art, photography, and literature, these visionaries are shaping culture as we see it today.

Brandon Breaux
Brandon Breaux. Photo by Tamara Sangdow.
Brandon Breaux
Artist and Designer

A multi-talented contemporary artist, Breaux had a remarkable solo exhibition debut at the Blanc Gallery in April. The Chicago native revisited the South Side neighborhood of Chatham, where he grew up, and creatively explored the places and languages that shaped his identity. Incorporating painting, print, fashion design and installation, his showcase revealed the capabilities of an artist at the top of his game. In February, Breaux teamed up with EBONY to produce the viral art for its memorable André Leon Talley memorial cover story.

Brian Anthony Moreland
Brian Anthony Moreland. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images.
Brian Anthony Moreland
Broadway Producer, B More Now Productions

As Broadway’s Global Producer of the Year, Moreland has been on a hot streak. He is a member of the producing team for the 2022 Tony Award-nominated play, Thoughts of a Colored Man, and is currently producing a revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington and Danielle Brooks. This fall, he will partner with Lee Daniels to bring the satirical play Ain’t No Mo’, written by Jordan E. Cooper, to the stage. When he’s not producing, Moreland dedicates his time to such organizations as the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) and The Broadway League, where he is co-chairman of the Multicultural Task Force. He is also a trustee of the board for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Brit Bennett
Brit Bennett. Image: Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images.
Brit Bennett
Bestselling Author

A critically acclaimed author, Bennett wrote the bestselling novels The Vanishing Half and The Mothers, both of which landed on the New York Times best-seller list. Her works probe timely, poignant issues that are important to the Black community, surrounding topics like colorism, sexism, trans identity, racism, passing and love. The Vanishing Half is currently in the works to become a miniseries for HBO, with Hoorae Media’s Issa Rae and Jeremy O. Harris on board as executive producers.

Faith Ringgold. Photo Courtesy of ACA Galleries
Faith Ringgold. Photo Courtesy of ACA Galleries.
Faith Ringgold
Painter, Mixed Media Sculptor, and Performance Artist

An artist, author, educator, and organizer, Ringgold is one of the most influential cultural figures of her generation, with a career linking the multidisciplinary practices of the Harlem Renaissance to the political art of young Black artists working today. For 60 years, she has drawn from personal autobiography and collective histories to document her life as an artist and mother, and to amplify the struggles for social justice and equity. This year the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City launched Faith Ringgold: American People, providing the most comprehensive assessment to date of the artist’s impactful vision.

J. Ivy. Image: Anthony Arroyo.
J. Ivy. Image: Anthony Arroyo.
J.Ivy
Spoken Word Poet, Author and Actor

Known for his performance on Kanye West’s Grammy Award-winning debut album The College Dropout, which features him on the song “Never Let Me Down,” J.Ivy also boasts a three-peat on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. He has been commissioned by Michael Jordan, Deepak Chopra and Beyoncé. In 2021, Ivy recorded and filmed Catching Dreams: Live at Fort Knox Chicago, which garnered a 2022 Grammy Award nomination in the “Best Spoken Word” category. He is also the lead writer and voice director on the 2022 Netflix documentary jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, which received a nomination for Outstanding Documentary Series at the 2022 Primetime Emmy Awards. A trailblazing talent of transcendent creativity, this month Ivy drops a new album, The Poet Who Sat By The Door.

Jeremy O. Harris. Photo by Micaiah Carter.
Jeremy O. Harris. Photo by Micaiah Carter.
Jeremy O. Harris
Playwright, Producer, Writer and Actor

At the 74th Tony Awards, Harris received 12 nominations for his provocative piece Slave Play. The production broke the record for most nominations for a non-musical play, which was previously held by the 2018 revival of Angels in America. Harris gained acclaim for his ability to merge controversial topics within his own established art form. Recently named the presiding playwright for the 2023 Yale Drama Series Prize, which is one of the most prestigious playwriting honors, Harris continues to explore searing topics through the medium.

Lelanie Foster. Photo by Lelanie Foster.
Lelanie Foster. Photo by Lelanie Foster.
Lelanie Foster
Artist and Photographer

A Bronx-based photographer, Foster captured the first White House portrait of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black female Supreme Court justice, in April. Known for honoring the strength and beauty of Black and Brown individuals in her work that spans fashion, film and fine art, Foster’s image has been widely celebrated for its cementing of one of the most momentous occasions in modern American history.

Michael R. Jackson. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.
Michael R. Jackson. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.
Michael R. Jackson
Playwright, Composer and Lyricist

A playwright, composer and lyricist, Jackson made waves throughout the theater world for A Strange Loop and its riveting depiction of a gay Black man’s desire to free himself from his innermost thoughts. The musical, which critiques the boundaries of Blackness, has been regarded as one of the most poignant productions to ever hit the Broadway stage. Subsequently, Jackson’s work earned him the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2022 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Myles Frost. Courtesy of Subject.

Myles Frost. Courtesy of Subject.

Myles Frost
Tony Award-Winning Actor, Dancer, Singer-Songwriter and Music Producer

While attending the HBCU Bowie State University, Frost was tapped to star as Michael Jackson in MJ the Musical, marking his Broadway debut. His portrayal of the legendary “gloved one” garnered praise from across the entertainment community. Winning the 2022 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, the 23-year-old artist has embarked on what is sure to be an illustrious career.

Roshunda Jones-Koumba. Photo by Rick Armstrong.
Roshunda Jones-Koumba. Photo by Rick Armstrong.
Roshunda Jones-Koumba
Drama Teacher and Theater Director

Jones-Koumba, a Tony Award-winning drama teacher, received the 2022 Excellence in Theatre Education Award at the 75th Tony Awards at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The award is given to K-12 educators who demonstrate “exemplary impact on the lives of students and who embody the highest standards of the profession.” The Houston-based instructor is no stranger to such accolades. She has received the Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award presented by the ASCAP Foundation and the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). Recently, she was inducted into the Texas Thespians Hall of Fame.

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