Skip To Content
Painting by Chante Fontaine, C'2011

Division for the Arts 

Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., Chair

Spelman Division Chair Ayoka CheziraAyoka Chezira, Ph.D., is an award-winning artist who creates with the moving image through filmmaking, interactive digital media and interactive theater. She is a graduate of New York University (B.F.A. Film), Columbia University/Teachers College (M.A. Education) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Ph.D. Digital Media).

A recognized pioneer in Black independent cinema, Dr. Chenzira is part of the first generation of African American filmmakers who helped create a genre of filmmaking now identified as Black independent cinema.  She is one of a handful of independent filmmakers who has created a distinctive body of work that spans fiction, documentaries, animation, performance, experimental narratives and interactive cinema. Dr. Chenzira is recognized as one of the first African American women to write, produce and direct a 35mm feature film, to create animation and to direct interactive cinema.

Dr. Chenzira's productions continue to be presented nationally and internationally.  Her films are a part of many permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture.  Beginning 2018, Dr. Chenzira’s films will be stored and preserved at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences archives.

Majors and Minors