The Kennedy Center

The 2017–2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellows

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The 2017–2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellows present their work collaboratively on the Millennium Stage as part of their 2017 Citizen Artist Fellow Retreat. This three-day performance and presentation series features the work of artist and designer Ekene Ijeoma, muralist and community arts educator Michelle Angela Ortiz, Executive Director of El Sistema USA Katie Wyatt, artist and activist De Nichols, poet Hakim Bellamy, violinist and founder of Street Symphony Vijay Gupta, and composer Reena Esmail.

Art, Public Space and Community
The power of an image and story can be used to either divide us or bring us together. These presentations will focus on two Kennedy Citizen Artist Fellows who create interactive art installations in public spaces to that connect communities. Michelle Angela Ortiz will be presenting works and audio stories from her project "Familias Separadas", a series of temporary site-specific public art works that mark locations and documents stories of immigrant families affected by deportations and detention in Pennsylvania. Ekene Ijeoma will present his participatory installation, "Heartfelt" which was inspired by life experiences and data studies showing NYC is one of the most diverse yet most segregated cities in the US. Heartfelt engages people in letting energy flow through them individually to collectively power and trigger lights. Both artists will discuss the common thread of using art to connect people, create empathy, reflection, and spark action for change.

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