featuring Leading Artists in Theater, Literature, Music,
Visual Art, and More
These unique and engaging programs are offered throughout Sarasota County (and online) featuring incredible artists such as 2022 Hermitage Major Theater Award Winner Shariffa Ali, accomplished violinist and Beyoncé collaborator Lady Jess, ground-breaking composer and performer Molly Joyce, and award-winning author Diane Cook, among others. A full line-up of January, February, and March programs will be announced in the coming weeks.
(November 21, 2022) — The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) today announced the first several programs for the new calendar year. These events will be presented on the Hermitage’s historic beachfront campus on Manasota Key and throughout Sarasota County. Hermitage programs introduce world-renowned artists to Florida’s Gulf Coast community for candid and engaging conversations, musical performances, play readings, work-in-process showings, and educational opportunities for students and adults.
Newly announced January programs include ongoing partnerships with Bookstore1 and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, among others. Featured artists and performers sharing their work include author of Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood DaMaris B. Hill, composer and performer Molly Joyce, interdisciplinary visual artist Kenneth Tam, soloing violinist in pop superstar Beyoncé’s band Lady Jess, playwright Terry Guest returning to the Hermitage after an extended run at Urbanite Theater and a sold-out showing in a previous “Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens” appearance, author of critically acclaimed story collections and novels Diane Cook, playwright and director Kareem Fahmy, and 2022 Hermitage Major Theater Award-winner Shariffa Ali.
The aforementioned artists coming in January join previously announced Hermitage programs in November and December. Next up is a celebration of the recently launched initiative to support Sarasota performers carving out a generative creator role – the Hermitage Cross Arts Collaborative – made possible with generous support from the Koski Family Foundation. This year’s institutional partners, Westcoast Black Theater Troupe and Florida Studio Theater, are represented by Derric Gobourne Jr. and Tsebiyah Mishael Derry, respectively. These talented performers will share excerpts of worked developed while in residence at the Hermitage this summer in “Cross Arts Collaborative: New Voices and New Work,” presented on the rooftop terrace of Westcoast Black Theater Troupe’s performing arts campus on Wednesday, November 30th starting at 5pm.
December programming on the Hermitage’s Manasota Key campus launches with “Multihyphenate Multimedia: Music, Visual Art, and Theater” an exploration of interdisciplinary work featuring Hermitage Fellows Raquel Acevedo Klein and Guadalís Del Carmen on Friday, December 2nd at 5pm on the Hermitage Beach. The following Friday, December 9th at 5pm will see Puerto Rican-born composer and 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner Angélica Negrón in “Angélica Negrón: Playing a Plant,” in which this celebrated composer and multi-instrumentalist showcases the non-traditional instruments that inspire her work; presented on the Hermitage Great Lawn in partnership with ensembleNew SRQ, UnidosNOW, CreArte Latino, and New Music New College; made possible with support from the Greenfield Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. And the final program of 2022 “Notes: On Writing and Music” featuring Hermitage Fellows Chigozie Obioma and Levy Lorenzo presented in partnership with the Johann Fust Library Foundation on the Hermitage Beach, Thursday, December 15th at 5pm.
“We have been working around the clock since Hurricane Ian to bring the Hermitage campus back to life and resume operations, and we’ve been truly overwhelmed by the generous support from our extraordinary artists, audiences, donors, partners, and neighbors,” said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “We are incredibly proud of our mission and the work we are doing to serve artists and our community. We are excited to be resuming live programming on the Hermitage Beach and our historic campus – two of the most beautiful venues in all of Florida – in addition to the live and virtual events we continue to offer throughout Sarasota County.”
The newly announced programs in the Hermitage’s 20th Anniversary Season pick up on Friday, January 6th, 2023 at 5pm on the Hermitage Beach with “Distinction and Unity.” Featuring three inventive artists working in three different fields, this cross disciplinary conversation spans literature, music, and visual art. Visual artist Kenneth Tam’s work focuses on ritual and reframing masculinity with a self-described “strain of absurdity and awkward humor.” Author DaMaris B. Hill’s latest work has been called “urgent” and “luminous” by Publisher’s Weekly, while composer and performer Molly Joyce has been described as one of the “most versatile, prolific, and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome” by The Washington Post.
On Thursday, January 12th at 5pm, the previously announced “Violin and Voice,” cancelled in October due to Hurricane Ian, will be reborn on the Hermitage Beach. Combining the music of Lady Jess, violinist, arts leader, and frequent Beyoncé collaborator with the poignant and humorous words of award-winning playwright Terry Guest, this program paints a picture of the experience these two leading artists have living and making work in the United States and around the world. Presented as the sun sets on the Hermitage Beach, don’t miss the chance to meet these two remarkable artists as they create the works of tomorrow.
The Hermitage returns to Bookstore1 on Friday, January 20th at 6pm where Hermitage Fellow Diane Cook presents a program focused on her collection of stories, Man V. Nature. The author’s debut work garnered substantial critical attention, making the short list for the Guardian First Book Award, the Believer Book Award, the PEN/Hemingway award, and the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction. Hear the author read selections of the work and discuss the different considerations when creating a story collection versus a novel, which she has since published to critical acclaim (shortlisted for the Booker Prize in Fiction).
This season of the Hermitage’s “Artists and Thinkers” online series begins with “Kareem Fahmy’s Distinct Society” on Monday, January 23rd at 5pm ET. In the lead-up to its world premiere with Pioneer Theater in Salt Lake City, Fahmy’s play tells the story of a sleepy library that straddles the U.S.-Canada border as it becomes an unlikely crucible for five people all grappling with the “Muslim ban” in various ways. Dive into the literary, historical, and cultural considerations that influenced the writer as well as the characters and what examining their actions reveals about our own humanity.
The popular “Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens” series continues on Thursday, January 26th at 5pm with 2022 Hermitage Major Theater Award Winner Shariffa Ali. This incredible theater maker hailing from South Africa is joined by singer, collaborator, and Ali’s dear friend Vuyo Sotashe to share insights into the plan for her new commission. Still in progress, the work is centered on small-town South Africa where a middle school choir, their principal, and their parents conspire to disguise the town’s most beloved singer as a girl in order to have him sing as a female soloist in a national competition. Learn about the origin for this commission in its early stages, hear text and songs that could influence the story, and get to know the theater-makers creating the work. The Hermitage Major Theater Award is made possible with generous support from Flora Major and the Kutya Major Foundation.
(Full program details for all events are provided below below. Additional February and March programs will be announced in the coming weeks.)
Nearly all Hermitage programs are free and open to the public (with a $5/person registration fee), offering Gulf Coast audiences a rare chance to engage and interact with some of the world’s leading talent. Due to capacity limitations and social distancing, registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage hosts artists on its Gulf Coast Manasota Key campus for multi-week residencies, where diverse artists from around the world and across multiple disciplines create and develop new works of theater, music, visual art, literature, dance, and more. As part of their residencies, Hermitage Fellows participate in free community programs, offering audiences in the region a unique opportunity to engage with some of the world’s leading artists and to get an authentic “sneak peek” into extraordinary projects and artistic minds before their works go on to major galleries, concert halls, theaters, and museums around the world. These free and innovative programs include performances, lectures, readings, interactive experiences, open studios, school programs, teacher workshops, and more, serving thousands in our regional community each year.
See below for complete program details and artist bios.
For more information about the Hermitage and upcoming programs, or to support the Hermitage’s hurricane repair efforts, visit HermitagArtistRetreat.org.
FULL PROGRAM DETAILS
Previously announced program descriptions:
- “Cross Arts Collaborative: New Voices and New Work” – Wednesday, November 30 @ 5pm: Designed to inspire and encourage generative work created by some of the best and brightest performers in our vibrant performing arts community, the inaugural year of the Cross Arts Collaborative celebrates the work of Tsebiyah Misheal Derry and Derric Gobourne Jr. Join these two remarkable performers as they share excerpts from the songs, poems, and other works that were developed during their residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Presented in partnership with Florida Studio Theater and Westcoast Black Theater Troupe. Made possible with generous support from the Koski Family Foundation. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 N Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
- “Multihyphenate Multimedia: Music, Visual Art, and Theater” featuring Hermitage Fellows Raquel Acevedo Klein and Guadalís Del Carmen – Friday, December 2nd @ 5pm on the Hermitage Beach: Join us for a sunset beach program featuring two Hermitage Fellows whose talents cannot be contained in a single medium, style, or language. Raquel Acevedo Klein was named by The Washington Post as one of “2022’s Classical Composers and Performers to Watch,” and she is also an immensely talented visual artist. Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Guadalís Del Carmen creates original work across stage, screen, and film that doesn’t shy away from the multifold perspectives of contentious issues, giving her audiences “no easy answers and no one to hate” while leaving them “more than a little entertained and a whole lot wiser,” (ChicagoOnStage). See and hear works from this incredible duo and dive into the unique, intersectional voices driving their work. Guadalís Del Carmen’s Hermitage Residency generously sponsored by Michael and Carol Clark. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223
- “Angélica Negrón: Playing a Plant” featuring Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner Angélica Negrón – Friday, December 9th @ 5pm on the Hermitage Great Lawn: 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner Angélica Negrón is inspired by nature and the music all around her. Her wide-ranging performance and compositional practice extends beyond the traditional repertoire to include unconventional instruments such as plants and found objects, often layering in vocals and other electronics. Be among the first to hear a demonstration from this revolutionary artist and learn about her creative process before the outdoor orchestral string presentation of her Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission in Sarasota in 2024. Presented in partnership with CreArte Latino, ensembleNewSRQ, UnidosNow, and New Music New College. Made possible with generous support from the Greenfield Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Hermitage Great Lawn, 6660 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223
- “Notes: On Writing and Music” featuring Hermitage Fellows Chigozie Obioma and Levy Lorenzo – Thursday, December 15th @ 5pm on the Hermitage Beach: Featuring two artists who both bring an international perspective, the program spans literature and music. Nigerian-born Chigozie Obioma, whose two novels The Fisherman and An Orchestra of Minorities were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize in Fiction, reads selections of his work and discusses his creative process. He is joined by Filipino-American musician, instrument designer, and returning Hermitage Fellow Levy Lorenzo, whose quirky and innovative work has been described as “a potent force on the side of exuberance, pleasure and awe of virtuosity” by The New York Times. Join these two incredible artists as the sun goes down on the Hermitage Beach. Presented in partnership with The Johann Fust Library Foundation. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223
Newly announced program descriptions:
- “Distinction and Unity” featuring Hermitage Fellows DaMaris B. Hill, Molly Joyce, and Kenneth Tam – Friday, January 6th @ 5pm on the Hermitage Beach: Distinction is a term that is used to both elevate as well as separate. Join three distinguished Hermitage Fellows spanning literature, music, and visual art, each working through different styles and life experiences, each achieving recognition for the inventive work they create. Author DaMaris B. Hill’s latest work has been called “urgent” and “luminous” by Publisher’s Weekly. Molly Joyce is a composer and performer whose work focuses on disability as a creative source; she has been described as one of the “most versatile, prolific, and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome” by The Washington Post. Visual artist Kenneth Tam’s work focuses on ritual and reframing masculinity with a self-described “strain of absurdity and awkward humor.” Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223
- “Violin and Voice” featuring Hermitage Fellows Lady Jess and Terry Guest – Thursday, January 12th @ 5pm on the Hermitage Beach: Celebrated violinist, arts leader, and advocate Lady Jess combines talents with award-winning playwright Terry Guest in this dynamic program. This incredible duo will share words and music inspired by their experiences living and making work in the United States and around the world. Presented on the Hermitage Beachas the sun sets, don’t miss the chance to meet these two remarkable artists as they create the works of tomorrow. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223
- “Man V. Nature: The Art of the Story Collection” featuring Hermitage Fellow Diane Cook – Friday, January 20th @ 6pm at Bookstore1 (Downtown Sarasota): Award-winning author and Hermitage Fellow Diane Cook’s debut work Man V. Nature is a collection of stories “told with perfect rhythm and unyielding brutality” (goodreads). Hear the creator of this remarkable work read selections from the text and discuss the intricacies of weaving a story collection around a theme. If you’d like to read the book in advance, contact Bookstore1 about joining their reading group. Presented in Partnership with Bookstore1 (Downtown Sarasota). Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). 117 S Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
- VIRTUAL EVENT: “Artists and Thinkers Series: Kareem Fahmy’s Distinct Society” featuring Hermitage Fellow Kareem Fahmy – Monday, January 23rd @ 5pm ET Presented on Zoom: In Hermitage Fellow Kareem Fahmy’s play A Distinct Society, a sleepy library that straddles the U.S.-Canada border becomes an unlikely crucible for five people from around the world when families separated by the “Muslim ban” begin using the library as a meeting place. Having its world premiere at Pioneer Theater in Salt Lake City only a few days after this event, hear from the playwright about the origins of the story, the literary and cultural influences at play, and what this moment in history has to tell us about our present. Moderated by Hermitage Programs Manager James Monaghan, this Zoom conversation kicks off this season’s Hermitage “Artists and Thinkers” series, presented online. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/household registration fee).
- Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens Series – “Shariffa Ali: Roots, Routes, and Rhythm” featuring 2022 Hermitage Major Theater Award Winner Shariffa Ali – Thursday, January 26th @ 5pm at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Downtown Sarasota): 2022 Hermitage Major Theater Award Winner Shariffa Ali shares her latest thinking on her new Hermitage commission in development. In collaboration with her longtime friend and South African-born vocalist Vuyo Sotashe, her project centers on small-town South Africa where a middle school choir, their principal, and their parents conspire to disguise the town’s most beloved singer as a girl in order to have him sing as a female soloist in a national competition. Learn about the origin for this in-progress commission, hear text and songs influencing the story, and get to know the theater-makers behind it in this next exciting installment of the “Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens” series. The Hermitage Major Theater Award and Shariffa Ali’s residency is made possible with generous support from Flora Major and the Kutya Major Foundation.. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). 1534 Mound St., Sarasota, FL 34236.
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:
The Hermitage is a non-profit artist retreat located in Manasota Key, Florida, inviting accomplished artists across multiple disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hermitage artists are invited to interact with the local community, reaching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage Fellows have included 15 Pulitzer Prize winners, Poets Laureate, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, and multiple Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar winners and nominees. Works created at this beachside retreat by a diverse group of Hermitage alumni have gone on to renowned theaters, concert halls, and galleries throughout the world. Each year, the Hermitage awards the $30,000 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, the newly announced $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award for an original theater commission, and the Aspen Music Festival’s Hermitage Prize in Composition.
For more information, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage is supported by:
Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by The State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes), as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
ALL ANNOUNCED HERMITAGE PROGRAMS:
Wednesday, November 30th @ 5pm, “Cross Arts Collaborative: New Voices and New Work,” with Derric Gobourne Jr. (WBTT)and Tsebiyah Mishael Derry (FST) (Live and outdoors on Westcoast Black Theatre Troup’s Rooftop Terrace, Sarasota)
Presented in partnership with Florida Studio Theater and Westcoast Black Theater Troupe
Friday, December 2nd @ 5pm, “Multihyphenate Multimedia: Music, Visual Art, and Theatre” with Hermitage Fellows Raquel Acevedo Klein and Guadalís Del Carmen (Live and outdoors on the Hermitage Beach, Manasota Key)
Friday, December 9th @ 5pm, “Angélica Negrón: Playing a Plant,” with Hermitage Grenfield Prize Winner Angélica Negrón(Live and outdoors on the Hermitage Great Lawn, Manasota Key)
Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, CreArte Latino, ensembleNewSRQ, UnidosNow, and New Music New College
Thursday, December 15th @ 5pm, “Notes: On Writing and Music,” with Hermitage Fellows Chigozie Obioma and Levy Lorenzo (Live and outdoors on the Hermitage Beach, Manasota Key)
Presented in partnership with the Johann Fust Library Foundation
Friday, January 6th @ 5pm, “Distinction and Unity,” with Hermitage Fellows DaMaris B. Hill, Molly Joyce and Kenneth Tam (Live and outdoors on the Hermitage Beach, Manasota Key)
Thursday, January 12th @ 5pm, “Violin and Voice,” with Hermitage Fellows Lady Jess and Terry Guest (Live and outdoors on the Hermitage Beach, Manasota Key)
Friday, January 20th @ 6pm, “Man V. Nature: The Art of the Story Collection,” with Hermitage Fellow Diane Cook (Live and indoors at Bookstore1, Downtown Sarasota)
Presented in partnership with Bookstore1
Monday, January 23rd @ 5pm ET, Hermitage “Artists and Thinkers Series: Kareem Fahmy’s Distinct Society,” with Hermitage Fellow Kareem Fahmy (Presented Live on Zoom)
Presented with support from Florida Humanities
Thursday, January 26th @ 5pm, “Shariffa Ali: Roots, Routes, and Rhythm,” with 2022 Hermitage Major Theater Award Winner Shariffa Ali (Live and outdoors at Marie Selby Gardens, Downtown Sarasota Campus)
Presented in partnership with the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Kutya Major Foundation
COMPLETE ARTIST BIOS
(in chronological order of upcoming programs)
Raquel Acevedo Klein
Named by The Washington Post as one of “2022’s classical composers and performers to watch” and a “force to be reckoned with,” Hermitage Fellow Raquel Acevedo Klein finds her greatest joy creating with other like-minded artists. Acevedo Klein has premiered works and operas by Philip Glass, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Paola Prestini, Bryce Dessner, and George Lewis, to name only a few. She has recorded and performed with dozens of artists, including Anthony Roth Costanzo, Glen Hansard, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, The National, Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens, and the New York Philharmonic. In 2021, as part of the NY PopsUp initiative, Acevedo Klein curated a four-week festival entitled NYC FREE, celebrating the opening of the Pier 55 public park, Little Island. As part of that festival, she premiered her original, audience-interactive vocal symphony “Polyphonic Interlace,” made from 40 recorded layers of her voice that audiences could accompany using their phones. Some of the other highlights of Acevedo Klein’s live music history include vocal and instrumental performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, The Town Hall, BAM, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, the NYC Guggenheim, Rockefeller Center, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, WNYC, National Sawdust, and Bard Fisher Center. She counts the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Beth Morrison Projects, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra among the many groups and orchestras that she conducts for. Over the course of her young career, Acevedo Klein’s performances and curations have already caught the attention of The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Time Out New York, The Wire, and Hyperallergic. RaquelAcevedoKlein.com
Guadalís Del Carmen
Hermitage Fellow Guadalís Del Carmen (she/her/ella) is a Black Dominican playwright and screenwriter from Chicago, based in NYC. She is an Ars Nova Resident Artist, and a 2020 Steinberg Playwriting Award recipient. She’s the Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Latinx Playwrights Circle. Her plays include Not For Sale (UrbanTheater Company, Joseph Jefferson Award New Play Nominee 2019), My Father’s Keeper (part of Steppenwolf Theatre’s The Mix, The Kilroys Honorable Mention 2019), Bees and Honey (MCC Theatre/SOL Project 2023), Daughters of the Rebellion (Montclair State University 2019, The Kilroys Honorable Mention 2017, 50Playwrights Project Best Unproduced Latinx Plays 2017), A Shero’s Journey or What Anacaona and Yemayá Taught Me (Yale Magazine 2019, The Parsnip Ship Podcast Season 4), Blowout (Aguijón Theater 2013). She was a Co-Producer of Atlantic Theater Company’s African Caribbean MixFest 2021. She’s worked for HBO, FX, and Amazon Studios. Guadalís has performed as an actor in Chicago, NYC, and St. Louis.
Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón is the winner of the 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize. She writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys, and electronics as well as for chamber ensembles, orchestras, choir, and film. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2), while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise.” Negrón has been commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kronos Quartet, loadbang, Prototype Festival, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Sō Percussion, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, and the New York Botanical Garden, among others. Negrón received an early education in piano and violin at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico where she later studied composition under the guidance of composer Alfonso Fuentes. She holds a master’s degree in music composition from New York University where she studied with Pedro da Silva and pursued doctoral studies at The Graduate Center (CUNY), where she studied composition with Tania León. Also active as an educator, Negrón is currently a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program. She has collaborated with artists like Sō Percussion, Lido Pimienta, Mathew Placek, Sasha Velour, Cecilia Aldarondo, Mariela Pabón, Adrienne Westwood, Tiffany Mills and has written music for films, theater and modern dance. She was recently an Artist-in-Residence at WNYC’s The Greene Space working on El Living Room, a 4-part offbeat variety show and playful multimedia exploration of sound and story, of personal history and belonging. Recent and upcoming premieres include works for the Seattle Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra and NY Philharmonic Project 19 initiative and multiple performances at Big Ears Festival 2022. | AngelicaNegron.com
Hermitage Fellow Chigozie Obioma was born in Akure, Nigeria. His two novels, The Fishermen (2015) and An Orchestra of Minorities (2019), were shortlisted for The Booker Prize, making him one of only two novelists to be shortlisted for multiple works. They have won awards including the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Award and the LA Times Book Prize, and been nominated for many others. His books have been translated into more than 29 languages. The Fishermen was adapted into an award-winning stage play by Gbolahan Obisesan that played in the UK and South Africa between 2018-2019. He was named one of Foreign Policy’s “100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015.” His works have been published in The Guardian, VQR, Paris Review, New York Times, and elsewhere. He is the James E. Ryan Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and divides his time between the US and Nigeria. ChigozieObioma.com
Born in Bucharest, Filipino-American Levy Marcel Ingles Lorenzo, Jr. works at the intersection of music, art, and technology. On an international scale, his body of work spans custom electronics design, sound engineering, instrument building, installation art, free improvisation, and classical percussion. With a primary focus on inventing new instruments, he prototypes, composes, and performs new electronic music. Lorenzo’s work has been featured at MoMA PS1, MIT Media Lab, STEIM, pitchfork.com, BBC, Burning Man, and The New York Times which named him an “electronics wizard.” A core member of the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble, he fulfills multiple roles as sound designer, electronics performer, and percussionist. Other performance engagements include Claire Chase’s Density 2036 project, and the Peter Evans Ensemble. Dr. Lorenzo holds a position as Assistant Professor of Creative Technologies at The New School, College of Performing Arts. LevyLorenzo.com
DaMaris B. Hill
Returning Hermitage Fellow DaMaris B. Hill is the author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African-American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland (2020 NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry), The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland, Vi-zə-bəl Teks-chərs (Visible Textures). Hill is inspired by the anxieties of our contemporary existence, complicated by fears that certain linear narratives of history fail to be inclusive. “I belong to a generation of people who do not fear death, but are afraid that we may be forgotten,” she states. Driven by a keen interest in the work of Toni Morrison and theories regarding ‘rememory’ as a philosophy and aesthetic practice, Hill uses digital material and critical fabulation research methods to write about “America” and geographic place. Similar to her creative process, Hill’s scholarly research is interdisciplinary. Hill is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky. For more information: DaMarisHill.com
Hermitage Fellow Molly Joyce has been hailed as one of the “most versatile, prolific, and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome” by The Washington Post. Her work is concerned with disability as a creative source. She has an impaired left hand from a previous car accident, and the primary vehicle in her pursuit is her electric vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay which engages her disability on a compositional and performative level. Molly’s creative projects have been presented and commissioned by Carnegie Hall, TEDxMidAtlantic, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Bang on a Can Marathon, Danspace Project, Americans for the Arts, National Sawdust, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, National Gallery of Art, Classical:NEXT, and in Pitchfork, Red Bull Radio, and WNYC’s New Sounds. She is a graduate of Juilliard, Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Yale, and alumnus of the YoungArts Foundation. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies from City University of New York, and is a doctoral student at the University of Virginia in Composition and Computer Technologies. She has served on the composition faculties of New York University, Wagner College, and Berklee Online.
Hermitage Fellow Kenneth Tam works in video, sculpture, installation, and photography, using the male body as a starting point for discussions about performance, physical intimacy and private ritual. Tam received his BFA from the Cooper Union. He has had solo exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; MIT List Center for Visual Arts; the Visual Arts Center at UT Austin, Commonwealth and Council, LA; Night Gallery, LA; Queens Museum, NY and at the ICA LA. Tam has participated in group shows at 47 Canal, NY; Hollybush Gardens, London; the Hammer Museum, LA; InPractice at SculptureCenter, Queens The Shed’s Open Call. He has participated in residencies including Artist Lab at 18th Street Arts Center; LMCC Workspace; The Core Residency Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Pioneer Works; and at The Kitchen. Tam is a Lecturer at Princeton University, Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University and film/video faculty at Bard MFA. He was born in and currently lives in Queens, NY.
Hermitage Fellow Lady Jess performs regularly in New York City and Los Angeles. She is the Artistic Director and lead violinist of the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra (UPCO) in New York, leads strings under the baton of Darin Atwater’s Soulful Symphony in Baltimore, and is a regular session musician in Los Angeles. She is a soloing member of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s band and has toured with the superstar. Artist credits include collaborations with Stevie Wonder, The Roots, J.Lo, Max Richter, Alicia Keys, Imagine Dragons, Hans Zimmer, Diana Ross, Spike Lee, Miley Cyrus, Stewart Copeland, Terence Blanchard, Jay Z, Solange, and more. TV credits include: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (with The Roots), Saturday Night Live, and more. Recent projects include the Emmy-nominated documentary Homecoming with accompanying live album, the “On The Run II Tour” with Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the Grammy-nominated joint album Everything Is Love, and the soundtrack to Disney’s re-released The Lion King with Hans Zimmer. As a session musician in Los Angeles, she can also be heard on the soundtrack of Charlie’s Angels, It II, and more. While in LA, Lady Jess also performs with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, most recently for performances of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Disney Pixar’s Coco Live. In 2021, she served as contractor and concertmaster for the Academy Award-winning film Judas and the Black Messiah. For a complete Bio: LadyJessMusic.com
Hermitage Fellow Terry Guest is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, and teaching artist whose works include A Ghost in Satin (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Magnolia Ballet (2022-2023 rolling world premieres), Marie Antionette and the Magical Negros, Andy Warhol Presents: The Cocaine Play, Ghost Town (Chicago Children’s Theatre), and At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen (The Story Theatre), which also played a critically acclaimed run in Sarasota at Urbanite Theatre last season. His latest play is in development at the Goodman Theater. Follow Terry on Instagram @TerryExplainsItAll or at TerryCGuest.com
Hermitage Fellow Diane Cook is the author of the novel The New Wilderness, shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and the story collection Man V. Nature, a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, the Believer Book Award, the PEN/Hemingway award, and the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction. She is a former producer for the radio show This American Life. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her family.
Hermitage Fellow Kareem Fahmy is a Canadian-born playwright and director of Egyptian descent and was a 20-21 TCG Rising Leader of Color. His plays, which include American Fast, A Distinct Society, The Triumphant, Pareidolia, The In-Between, and an adaptation of the acclaimed Egyptian novel The Yacoubian Building, have been developed at the Atlantic Theatre Company, New York Stage & Film, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Northlight Theatre, Target Margin Theater, The Lark, Fault Line Theater, and Noor Theater. He has directed and developed new plays at theaters around the country, including MCC, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The New Group, New Dramatists, The Civilians, Geva Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, Portland Stage, Silk Road Rising, San Diego Rep, and Berkeley Rep. Fellowships/Residencies: Sundance Theatre Lab, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Phil Killian Directing Fellow), The O’Neill (National Directors Fellow), Second Stage (Van Lier Directing Fellow), Soho Rep (Writer/Director Lab), Lincoln Center (Directors Lab), New York Theater Workshop (Emerging Artist Fellow & Usual Suspect). Kareem is co-founder of the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at The Lark and of Maia Directors, a consulting group for organizations and artists engaging with stories from the Middle East. MFA in Theatre Directing: Columbia University.
Shariffa Chelimo Ali, born in Kenya and raised in South Africa, is an international theater maker, creative leader, director, and academic committed to advancing radical change through the power of art and activism. As a filmmaker, Ali’s works have been featured at acclaimed film/VR festivals and institutions throughout the world, including Sundance Film Festival (USA); Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (South Africa); Brooklyn Film Festival (USA); Pan African Film Festival (USA); Electric Africa VR festival (South Africa) and DOK Neuland (Germany). As a theater artist and academic, Ali has taught at NYU, Brooklyn College, Yale University, and Princeton University. Past theater productions include Eclipsed, Detroit ’67, Intimate Apparel, We Are Proud to Present, and an original new musical called We Were Everywhere. In 2022, Ali was named Elizabeth M. Swayzee Artist-in-Residence at Miami University, where she curated the inaugural Black Roots Festival in the spring of 2022.