NI’JA WHITSON (They/Them/Theirs)
Ni’Ja Whitson (NY/LA) is a Queer Nonbinary Trans multidisciplinary artist, United States Artist Fellow, Creative Capital and two-time “Bessie” Awardee, wound and word worker, referred to as “majestic” by The New York Times, and recognized by Brooklyn Magazine as a culture influencer. They engage transdisciplinarity through a critical intersection of the sacred and conceptual in Black, Queer, and Transembodiedness. Whitson is an 18th St. Artist in Residence (Los Angeles), 2021-2023 New York Live Feed Artist in Residence, featured choreographer of the 2018 CCA Biennial, 2018-2020 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellow, and invited presenter at the 2019 Tanzkongress international festival. Residencies and fellowships include Jerome at Camargo, Dance in Process at Gibney, Hedgebrook, Movement Research, Bogliasco Fellowship with commissions including EMPAC, California African American Museum, St. Mark’s Church at Danspace, American Realness and Vision festivals. Their award-winning practice extends to choreography and directing in conventional and experimental theatre and performance with recent commissions from Yale Dance Lab, and the Spoleto Festival (Omar composed by Rhiannon Giddens, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite). Whitson received an M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a second M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College, receiving merit and artist awards at both. They are a sought-after speaker, presenter, masterclass facilitator and conversationalist whose offerings have been shared among notable institutions and arts organizations: Princeton, Cornell, LAX Festival, Movement Research, 2020 keynote speaker at the Collegium for African Diasporic Dance conference, and UNESCO.