BROADWAY ADVOCACY COALITION Presents "The Fellowship Hall" Festival
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 03:31 pm EDT 05/06/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 03:08 pm EDT 05/06/21


Featured artists include Andrea Ambam, Daniella Carter, Jasmine Eileen Coles, Nicole Davis, DejaJoelle, Chelsea Dee Harrison, Faylita Hicks, Courtney Jamison and Kayla Stokes

NEW YORK (Tuesday, May 6, 2021) – The Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC) presents “The Fellowship Hall” celebrating the inaugural class of the BAC Artivism Fellowship, created this year to support Black femme identifying artist-activists using their craft, tools and care for others to have an impact on the world around them.

Inspired by the familiar southern Black church, “The Fellowship Hall” will spotlight the dynamic and varied voices of the Black women from this year’s Fellows and the artistic advocacy projects they have been developing over the last six months. “The Fellowship Hall” includes an Opening Night Celebration, the Fellowship Festival and the release of the online Fellowship Hall featuring the work of each Fellow.

The Opening Night on Thursday, May 20 is a night of celebration and reflection featuring BAC Co-founder Amber Iman, Artistic Director Chesray Dolpha, Program Managers Dria Brown and Nia Akilah Robinson and the full cohort of Artivism Fellows. The event will mark the official launch of “The Fellowship Hall” website spotlighting each of the Fellows and their work.
“The work of our Artivism fellows has produced the potion, spell and essence of Black girl magic personified,” said Artistic Director Chesray Dolpha. “They have poured endless ingenuity, love and joy into their work and it is evident. I stand as a witness to these Black women’s commitment to justice and equity. Through their work, I can imagine a world where Black women and our humanity is fully seen and affirmed.”

The Festival runs through Sunday, May 23, with a focus on each Fellow and the debut of their Artivism project both at the festival and online.
“This glorious community of Black women has completely transformed me as an artivist and as a human being,” said Fellow Andrea Ambam. “I feel surrounded, uplifted and propelled forward by a group of people who inspire me to hold a multitude of truths; to be both critical and gentle, radical and tired, joyful and furious, reactive and proactive, and all of the endless possibilities in between.”

OPENING NIGHT - Thursday, May 20; 6:30 p.m. ET House Opens with Amber Iman, 7pm ET Show Begins
NIGHT ONE - Friday, May 21, featuring:
NIGHT TWO - Saturday, May 22, featuring:
NIGHT THREE - Sunday, May 23, featuring;
Admission to the festival is free. To learn more or reserve your ticket, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/broadway-advocacy-coalition-presents-the-fellowship-hall-tickets-151880770473

This year’s fellows include Andrea Ambam (performance artist and writer; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Daniella Carter (creative producer and co-founder of Daniella’s Guestbook; Forest Hills, N.Y.), Jasmine Eileen Coles (storyteller, story seeker, storykeeper; New York), Nicole Davis (visual artist; Coralville, Iowa), DejaJoelle (healing artist and cultural healing curator; St. Paul, Minn./Charlotte, N.C.), ChelseaDee Harrison (theater-maker; Washington, D.C.), Faylita Hicks (poet, essayist and multidisciplinary artist; San Marcos, Texas), Courtney Jamison (multi-hyphenate; Los Angeles) and Kayla Stokes (storyteller, director and producer; New York/ Seattle, Wash.).

The BAC Artivism Fellowship provided financial support, mentorship, networking opportunities and education workshops for the group of Black women using narrative or stories in their work in order to impact systemic racism and criminal justice reform.

Broadway Advocacy Coalition is an arts-based advocacy nonprofit dedicated to building the capacity of individuals and organizations to dismantle the systems that perpetuate racism through the power of storytelling and the leadership of people directly affected.

The Broadway musical Wicked is proud to be the lead sponsor of the BAC Artivism Fellowship. This year’s Fellowship is also made possible by the generous support of Sonja and Jonathan Perkins, AT&T, The Elphaba Fund, Diana DiMenna, Abigail Disney, and the many other donors that supported this initiative.


ANDREA AMBAM is a NYC-based artist, actress and playwright whose roots sprout from Cameroon. As a politically engaged theatre artist who believes in the art’s potential for movement building and transformative justice, her current work centers Black lives and embodied ethnography. She is a 2020 Artist-in-Residence for Anna Deavere Smith’s class “One Person Shows,” a 2020 EmergeNYC Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a fellow at Girls Write Now a ten-time national champion in public speaking and dramatic performance where she has been awarded and “Top Speaker in the Nation” three times. She has performed at, written for and/or been commissioned as an educator/speaker by Classical Theatre of Harlem, Abron Arts Center, NYU Prison Education Program, NYU Verbatim Performance Lab, Artists’ Literacies Institute, Free Street Theater, and Centre for Social Innovation. Andrea has a master’s degree in Art & Public Policy (NYU Tisch School of the Arts). www.andreaambam.com

DANIELLA CARTER is a lifelong advocate for LGBTQ+ youth. She has given speeches at local, national and international events, including panel discussions with political leaders and dignitaries. She spoke at TED Talks Live and also delivered talks during TEDxABQ and TEDxMidAtlantic. She has appeared on MSNBC, Good Morning America, ABC News, the New York Daily News, People Magazine, Forbes.com and in the New York Times. She was featured in the Emmy award-winning MTV & Logo documentary, Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word. Daniella’s message transcends boundaries of race, class, and gender, focusing on the intersection of identities. Carter was recently the subject of an episode of Robin Roberts’ Thriver Thursday series.

In August 2020, she launched ‘Daniella’s Guestbook, in partnership with creative agency SpecialGuest.co. ‘Daniella’s Guestbook, a site and Instagram channel, spotlights the work of Black creators to unlock employment opportunities in advertising and creative industries for them and other BIPOC creators.

JASMINE EILEEN COLES is a local NYC artist whose work is grounded in Ritual Poetic Drama within the African Continuum. This methodology by Dr. Tawyna Pettiford Wates offers an indigenous perspective on storytelling that is cyclical vs linear and honors revelation versus resolution. Coles’ work emphasizes the use of a community centered around art that unpacks life, death, and transformation. A major portion of Jasmine’s work is embedded in wholeness and wellness in order to grapple with the trauma and darkness that sometimes comes with the truth. Cole’s work spans from original one woman shows, children’s books, community residencies, teaching artist work and holistic health and healing nutrition workshops. For information about specific projects please visit www.Jasmineeileencoles.com

NICOLE DAVIS is a visual artist based in Iowa working primarily in textile, photography, and painting. Her work evokes personal, ancestral, and cultural memory as a form of sustenance and resistance within societal structures that choose to elevate whiteness, maleness, and greed. Drawing attention to that which has been marginalized and challenging harmful power structures allows her to tell a story that is different than the one larger society declares as truth. It is through this practice that Cole sustains her humanness and resists and transforms the forces that wish to deny it. She served as a public school teacher for twenty-one years before pivoting to an art career. Davis received an MFA degree with honors from the University of Iowa in 2020.

DEJAJOELLE is an African-centered healing artist, choreographer, director, and cultural healing curator. She believes dance serves as our connection to ourselves, our communities, and our overall divinity. DejaJoelle creates intentional spaces for Black, LGBTQ2, and Deaf community to discover their own practices toward healing using dance, body reclamation, and other healing practices. As the world experiences collective hurt and grief, DejaJoelle trusts that our greatest act of REVOLUTION and REBELLION against hatred and corruption is self-love and healing. As she refuses to fuel the fire of destruction and heinousness, she instead focuses her art and energy on properly handling Black people who continue to be mishandled.

CHELSEA DEE HARRISON is a multi-hyphenate interdisciplinary creator and arts educator. Specializing in theater-making, she also performs, teaches, curates, facilitates, develops curriculum, directs, and produces arts events. Her focus is creating new works of theater that highlight history and challenge dominant narratives. She has written, performed, and produced her own work such as her solo show, The Guide to Getting What’s Yours. She is also a teaching artist who has facilitated workshops with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the New York City Department of Correction, and the New Victory Theater. Find her on IG @chelseadeee and @thatuppitygirl.

FAYLITA HICKS (she/her/they/them) is an activist, poet, essayist, and interdisciplinary artist born in Gardena, California, and raised in Central Texas. They are the former Editor-in-Chief of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the 2019 Balcones Poetry Prize, and the 2019 Julie Suk Award. Their work has earned them awards, fellowships, and residencies from Catapult, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Lambda Literary, Palette Poetry, Tin House, and The Right of Return USA, the first and only fellowship exclusively for previously incarcerated artists, amongst others. Their work is anthologized in The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood and has been featured in Adroit, American Poetry Review, the Cincinnati Review, HuffPost, Kenyon Review, Longreads, Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, Slate, Texas Observer, VIDA Review, and others. Hicks received an MFA in creative writing from Sierra Nevada University. www.FaylitaHicks.com

COURTNEY JAMISON is an award-winning multi-hyphenate artist born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She is a graduate of James Madison University and the Yale School of Drama MFA Acting Program, where she took part in the development process of many new works as an actor, writer, and director. Jamison starred in and produced Slave Cry with her brother Jai Jamison, winning the 2019 Commonwealth Award for Best Short Film at the Virginia Film Festival. Her directorial debut, Day 74, recently won the 2020 Curbside Shorts Film Challenge Grand Prize sponsored by Women in Film LA, IMDbPro, and Re-Frame Project. Some credits include: Slave Play, If Pretty Hurts..., Some Bodies Travel, Passion, and The Winter’s Tale (Yale Drama); School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play (MCC Theater); Assassins (Yale Repertory Theatre); Dreamgirls and The Color Purple (Virginia Repertory Theatre). This project’s for you Mama J. www.courtneyjamison.com

KAYLA STOKES is a writer, producer, director and, most importantly, a storyteller. She is passionate about investigating and telling the stories of people from all walks of life. Most recently she launched a podcast called “Bias Bender.” As producer and host, she explores the lives of Black women from the past and the present in order to imagine the future. Her directing credits include Dutchman (Carnegie Mellon), pato, pato, maricón (Ars Nova ANT Fest) andSix Left Feet (The Black Box Project). Selected assisting/interning projects include We’re Gonna Die (2nd Stage), Daddy (The New Group/Vineyard), OSCAR at the Crown (The Neon Coven) and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (NYTW). Kayla is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where she earned a BFA in directing.

Founded in 2016 by members of the Broadway community as a direct response to the nation's pandemic of racism and police brutality, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition is a multidisciplinary organization which unites artists, legal experts and community leaders to create lasting impact on policy issues from criminal justice reform to education equity to immigration. Via its partnership with the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School, BAC has collaborated with institutions across New York City, including the New York City Council, Bronx Defenders, and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. To learn more about their work, and to get involved, visit their website at https://www.bwayadvocacycoalition.org/ or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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