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Julie B. Johnson Named 2022 Dance/USA Artist Fellow

November 2022

Spelman College Dance Professor Julie B. JohnsonJulie B. Johnson, Ph.D.,  assistant professor and chair of the Department of Dance Performance and Choreography at Spelman, is one of 30 dance and movement-based artists with sustained practices in art for social change to receive a Dance/USA Fellowship. Each fellowship includes a $30,167 grant that may be used at the artist’s discretion. DFA is made possible thanks to generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

"As society grapples with unprecedented challenges and increasingly recognizes systemic inequities and injustices, Dance/USA is reaffirmed that the work of supporting artists like Dr. Johnson who engage in art for social change is pivotal and overdue," the organization said in its official announcement.

The goals of DFA include offering unrestricted financial support for individual artists, building a peer cohort among the artist fellows, and facilitating cohort spaces that are emergent and honor the artists’ choices and desires.

About Julie B. Johnson

Julie B. Johnson, Ph.D., is a dance artist and educator focused on participatory dance and embodied memory mapping to amplify the histories, lived experiences, and bodily knowledge of Black women as a strategy towards collective liberation for all. She does this work joyfully with community partners through her creative practice, Moving Our Stories, and at Spelman College where she serves as an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance Performance & Choreography. She brings this work to the publishing realm as a co-founder / consulting editor of "The Dancer-Citizen" an online open-access scholarly dance journal exploring the work of socially engaged artists.

Since 2019, Dr. Johnson has been exploring the history of Black women’s incarcerated labor, resistance and restoration in Georgia through Idle Crimes & Heavy Work (ICHW) a Moving Our Stories initiative in collaboration with Tambra Omiyale Harris, Giwayen Mata, and a collective of community visioners.

Dr. Johnson is a Partners for Change Artist as part of the inaugural 2020-23 cohort through Alternate ROOTS and The Surdna Foundation; a 2021 Distinguished Fellow-in-residence at the Hambidge Center made possible through the Georgia Council on the Arts Scholarship; and a member of the 2020-21 cohort of the Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion Institute.

In 2019, she received the Arbes Award and Black Spatial Relics Residency Award, and she was a Hughley Artist Fellow as part of the final 2018-2019 cohort. Johnson earned a Ph.D. in Dance Studies at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, researching meanings and experiences of ‘community’ in Philadelphia-based West African Dance classes.

More Information About Dr. Julie B. Johnson:

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