Boston-born ceramic artist and mixed media sculptor Josephine Burr’s minimalist, abstract sculpture draws on ceramic traditions ranging from architecture to domestic objects, capturing ideas of time, handwork and the unnoticed spaces of daily life. Burr received her B.A. from Earlham College and MFA from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Program in Artisanry. She has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, with artist residencies at Reykjavik School of Visual Art, Babson College, Haystack School of Crafts, and others. Burr teaches at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has taught and given workshops and lectures at several other universities and art centers.
L’Merchie Frazier’s social justice frame as a public artist, historian, activist, poet and multimedia visual artist engages one-life work, “Save Me from My Amnesia.” She is Director of Education and Interpretation for the Museum of African American History, Boston/Nantucket, creating programs, lectures and workshops with her mission to expand the American historical narrative. Her artistic residencies and awards include residencies in Brazil, Africa, Taiwan, Costa Rica and the Boston Foundation’s Brother Thomas Artistic Fellowship. Her work appears in several publications and in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the White House, Museum of Art and Design and the Mia.
Dey Hernández is an Afro-Caribbean interdisciplinary artista, permaculturist, cultural organizer, curator and designer. As a border artist between Puerto Rico and Boston, Hernández untangles this so-called nation’s complicated diasporic and colonial histories, centering on collaborative projects and practices. In a myriad of formats, they create counter-hegemonic narratives throughout their work while finding joy in the ordinary. Hernández received a master of architecture degree from the University of Puerto Rico. Currently, Hernández is the co-host, producer, and director of the podcast, When We Fight, We Win!, director of projects at AgitArte, and a member of Papel Machete and Danza Orgánica.
Kaovanny Holguin is a performing artist and true fusion in her existence. Representing a hybrid, Spanglish generation, she fuses sounds and movement from her Latinx upbringing and from Black artists who raised her across several musical genres. Holguin’s live experience awakens audiences with a unique, energetic exchange. Coming from a lineage of bold writers, Holguin speaks to dualities in culture, religion, identity, sexuality and everything she’s learning that it is and is not. Using writing and music to celebrate, communicate and worship, Holguin naturally floats between her masculine and feminine energies in her delivery to connect, educate and then entertain.
Jonathan Bailey Holland
Jonathan Bailey Holland’s works have been commissioned and performed nationally and internationally. He was the first Composer in Residence for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and has held similar roles with the Detroit and South Bend Symphonies, among others. He has received honors and awards from the Boston Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Fromm Foundation, American Academy of Arts & Letters, American Music Center, ASCAP, Presser Foundation, and more. He holds degrees from Curtis Institute of Music and Harvard University. Holland is Chair of Composition, Contemporary Music, and Core Studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Literary Arts: Poetry
Tatiana Johnson-Boria’s writing explores identity, inherited trauma and healing. Her work was selected as a finalist for the Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest (2020) and the Solstice Literary Poetry Prize (2020). She received honorable mention for the Academy of American Poets Prize (2020, 2021) and Auburn Witness Poetry Prize in Southern Humanities Review (2019) and was a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee. She completed her MFA in creative writing at Emerson College and is a 2021 Tin House Scholar. She serves on the board for VIDA: Literary Arts. Find her work in or forthcoming at Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Pleiades and others.
Fred H.C. Liang received his BFA from the University of Manitoba and MFA from Yale University. Liang’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including Fidelity, the Gund Collection, and Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum. He has exhibited internationally—from Boston and Berlin to Cadiz and Beijing, and recently completed residencies at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Santiago de Chile and the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai. Honors include Massachusetts Cultural Council Arts grants in painting, printmaking and works on paper, and the 2020 Joan Michell Foundation Grant. Liang is a professor and Coordinator of the Printmaking Department at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Fabiola M. Mendez
Fabiola M. Mendez is a Puerto Rican cuatro player, educator and composer taking part in a musical movement, crossing over lines of genres such as folkloric, jazz and Latin. A 2018 graduate from Berklee College of Music, Mendez has worked with and performed for artists such as Totó La Momposina, Eddie Palmieri, the Puerto Rican Symphony Orchestra, and Pedro Capó, among others. She currently works as an independent artist throughout the Northeast and Puerto Rico, collaborating with organizations such as Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), Celebrity Series of Boston, Fred Rodgers Productions, Hyde Square Task Force, and Agora Cultural Architects.
Patricia Zarate Perez
Patricia Zarate Perez was born and raised in Chile and came to the US at age 21. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from New York University. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Panama Jazz Festival, Assistant Professor of Berklee’s Music Therapy Department, and is part of the Advisory Board of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. She is also a student in the Global Inclusion and Social Development doctoral program at the University of Massachusetts and homeschools her three children from birth to college.
Lyricist and visual artist Moe Pope reflects on equality, love, family, community and the human experience through music. The Roxbury native has been part of the bands Mission, Electric Company, Project Move, and is currently lead vocalist for STL GLD, with a studio album in progress. The Boston-based hip hop band draws from indie rock, punk, soul, jazz and more to create its unique style and performances rich with visual art, musician collaborations and audience interaction. With work released at the Museum of Fine Arts and a historic collaborative performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pope shatters unwarranted limitations imposed on hip hop.
Allison Maria Rodriguez
Allison Maria Rodriguez is a first-generation Cuban-American interdisciplinary artist working predominantly in video installation. Her work focuses extensively on climate change, species extinction and the interconnectivity of existence. Through video, digital animation, performance, photography, drawing, collage and installation, Rodriguez creates immersive experiential spaces that challenge conventional ways of knowing and understanding the world. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally, in both traditional and non-traditional art spaces. In addition to her practice, Rodriguez is also a curator, educator and arts organizer.
Literary Arts: Writing
Grace Talusan is a writer, teacher, immigrant and author of the memoir The Body Papers, which won the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, the Massachusetts Book Awards in nonfiction, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection. Her short story, “The Book of Life and Death,” was translated into several languages, including Filipino, for the Boston Book Festival’s One City One Story program. Currently, Talusan is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University, where she teaches creative writing and is working on her first novel.
Haitian American artist and educator Chanel Thervil combines abstraction and portraiture to convene dialogue around culture, social issues and existential questions. At the core of her practice lies a desire to empower and inspire tenderness and healing among communities of color through the arts. She holds a BFA in painting from Pace University and a master’s degree in art education from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She’s been a catalyst for change via educational collaborations, public art and residencies with institutions like The Museum of Fine Arts, The Boston Children’s Museum, PBS Kids and nonprofits across Boston.
Fabric and Textiles
Susan Thompson is both a textile artist and art educator. She lives and works primarily in the Greater Boston area. Her work reflects the diverse cultural influences that she has encountered in her travels abroad and in her own cultural heritage. Her African ancestors have been a major and recurring theme in much of her work. Her art creates unique designs, telling stories that communicate the struggle and soul of her people. She is represented in public and private collections and is currently an artist in the African American Master Artists in Residence Program at Northeastern University.
Literary Arts: Writing
Cynthia Yee is an educator, writer, artist and artistic collaborator. She writes creative, nonfiction essays from the viewpoint of an American-born Taishanese girl coming of age in Boston’s Chinatown and Combat Zone through the 1950s and ’60s. Yee has discovered that her humble stories of one girl, one street, and one time in Boston history resonate with many, and have significance in modern times. She continues exploring the themes of what makes for thriving community life and child development, how structural racism oppresses, how feminism can be nurtured, and how social justice can look in America.
Karen Young is a cultural organizer, taiko player and educator based in Boston. Young combines taiko and creativity with community organizing strategies to empower, engage and inspire people into action. As a 2018 Boston Artist in Residence, she used the arts to bolster the voice of elders concerned about street safety from BCYF Grove Hall Senior Center in Dorchester. She is a Live Arts Boston awardee, the founding director of The Genki Spark, and the co-founder of the Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival. Through her projects, Young works to preserve and grow a vibrant, diverse arts ecosystem in Boston.