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Wed, Mar 17


Online Event

Women in the Arts

A panel discussion on Women in the Arts and their contribution, influence, and impact on history, culture, and communities with guest speakers- Tammi Lawson, Shadi Ghaheri, and Diedra Harris-Kelley.

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Women in the Arts
Women in the Arts

Time & Location

Mar 17, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Online Event

About the Event

In recognition of Women's History Month, join us for a panel discussion on Women in the Arts and their contribution, influence, and impact on our history, culture, and communities with special guests Tammi Lawson, Curator, Art and Artifacts Division, Schomburg Center, Diedra Harris-Kelley, Co-Director, Romare Bearden Foundation, and Shadi Ghaheri, theater/film director, choreographer, and writer.

Tammi Lawson is Curator of the Art and Artifacts Division at the Schomburg Center where she is the steward of a collection of approximately 15,000 works of fine art and artifacts dating back to the 17th century that reflect the history and expressive culture of the African Diasporas. The items conserved within Ms. Lawson’s division range from African Art, paintings, and sculpture; works on paper, textiles; to important representations of ephemeral and material culture. Ms. Lawson advises and supports the students, scholars, and curators who visit the collection to research and prepare papers, books, catalogs, and exhibitions on black art and artists. As a curator, she collaborated on the Schomburg exhibition Curators’ Choice: Black Life Matters and recently curated the exhibit A Labor of Love: The Constance E. Clayton Collection.

Ms. Lawson holds an MLS degree from Queens College, CUNY specializing in the preservation of cultural heritage materials, museum collections, and digital curation. In 2022 Little Brown and Company will publish a Young Adult book she has collaborated on with Poet Marilyn Nelson entitled: Augusta Savage a Shape of a Life. Ms. Lawson is the recipient of the 2020 Bertha Feder Franklin Award which recognizes her outstanding contribution to the care, expansion, presentation, and accessibility of the collections.

Diedra Harris-Kelley is currently Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation, the non-profit organization perpetuating the legacy of one of our greatest American visual artists. She offers a unique perspective on Bearden’s work being a formally trained painter, and niece of the artist’s late wife, Nanette Rohan Bearden. For the last 9 years, she has been part of the team leading the foundation through a successful run of exhibitions, publications, educational and celebratory programs around the life and art of Bearden.

Ms. Harris-Kelley earned a BA in Art from California State University, Long Beach, and an MFA from the University of Michigan. She currently teaches a seminar course at Barnard College and has taught studio art at New York University, Parsons School of Design Studio Program, and for alternative high school and elementary school programs; as well as conducting professional development workshops and lectures on art. She was a member of the curatorial team of Jazz at Lincoln Center from 2009 to 2012; and is the author of “Revisiting Romare Bearden’s Art of Improvisation,” published in Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (Columbia University, 2004)

Ms. Harris-Kelley’s own artwork has been published and recently shown in a solo exhibition at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Arts, Snug Harbor, Staten Island. (2016-17); For the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Winter 2018 Postcard series, her entry “Playhouse Collage with Monk-118th St” highlighted Minton’s jazz club.

As a cultural leader, she participated on committees with the Wallach Gallery of Columbia University, the Harlem Semester initiative of Barnard College, and the Harlem Cultural Collaborative that spearheads the Harlem Renaissance 100 initiative. She is also a board member of 5Plus Ensemble, a dance company promoting the work of older dancers.

Shadi Ghaheri is a Theatre/Film director, choreographer, and writer from Tehran, Iran based in New York City. She has directed, Mother Courage (Hunter College), Tosca Tehran (Rough Draft), Fen (Columbia University), Untitled (Rattlestick Theatre), Lucretia (HERE), Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Williams College), Shahr-e-Farang (Spectrum NYC), Death of Yazdgerd, Titus Andronicus (Yale School of Drama). Other Credits, The Slow Sound of Snow (Yale Cabaret). She co-curated a four-play season, directing Trojan Women, and Lear (Yale Summer Cabaret). Also, she co-founded and co-curated Emruz Festival, and co-founded Peydah Theatre Company

Ms. Ghaheri was a 2016 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, the 2018 directing fellow at Rattlestick Playwright Theatre, and the winner of Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase 2019.

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