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16 Artists

16 Artists

By Reylon
A conversation series with young creators finding their way in the world. Hosted by Reylon Yount in partnership with the Office for the Arts at Harvard.

Music by Reylon. Mixing by Shez Manzoor. Cover art by Cindy Niu.
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The Value of Music Beyond Mastery with Rose Whitcomb and Isaac Alter
Music director Isaac Alter and music educator Rose Whitcomb give insight to how the pandemic halted the theatre world and further stunted the existing struggle of student access to arts education. They discuss the varied ways our society can appreciate music and how citizen-artists can shape the next generation’s experience of the performing arts. Isaac is a freelance pianist and conductor in New York. He has performed for Frozen, Dear Evan Hansen, King Kong, Wicked, and Moulin Rouge on Broadway, and served on the development teams for Waitress, The Great Comet of 1812, and Frozen. He also has worked on many workshops and readings for new musicals. Since the pandemic began, he has worked as a research associate at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Rose is a musician and educator in the greater Boston area. She has taught general music in Everett Public Schools for 3 years, currently working at two different schools for grades K-12. She also teaches enrichment piano classes at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Cambridge, MA. Rose graduated with a Master’s in Music Education from Boston University this spring. This podcast is presented in partnership with the Office for the Arts at Harvard and the Harvard Alumni Association. Learn more at 16artists.com This episode was co-edited by Jenny M Ng.
44:32
June 01, 2022
Centering Black Stories & Creating in Community with Joshuah Brian Campbell and Eli Wilson Pelton
Parsing intertextual memes; learning on the job with Cynthia Erivo and Issa Rae; collectively centering Black stories in entertainment --  these are some of the experiences GRAMMY- and Oscar-nominated composer/singer Joshuah Brian Campbell and HBO television writer Eli Wilson Pelton cover in their conversation. JOSHUAH BRIAN CAMPBELL is a singer, composer, songwriter, ministry worker and actor from Cheraw, South Carolina. He is the co-writer, along with Cynthia Erivo, of the Grammy and Oscar-nominated and World Soundtrack Award-winning “Stand Up” (performed by Cynthia Erivo and produced by William Wells and Gabe Fox-Peck '20). Joshuah grew up groomed by Southern Black gospel traditions, and this grounding serves as his vantage point to all the music he performs and composes. He's finishing a master of divinity at Union Theological Seminary (NYC) in May 2021, where he does work in Hebrew and Greek translation, Christian/faith education, biblical interpretation, and Black religious studies. Eli Wilson Pelton is a television writer living in Los Angeles, CA. He has written for High Fidelity on Hulu, Insecure on HBO, and Generation on HBOMax, among others. He studied History and Literature but somehow got out of writing a thesis because he’s lazy. He also hates bios and doesn’t know how to end this so just will. This podcast is presented in partnership with the Office for the Arts at Harvard and the Harvard Alumni Association. Learn more at 16artists.com. #16artists
35:14
November 03, 2021
Toxins, Tonics and Trixie Mattel (part 2) with Ekoo Beck & Susan Bin
Recovering from Lil Nas X's MONTERO music video; storytelling to bring invisible lives into focus; illustrating Indian boarding schools to process intergenerational trauma: these are some of the topics covered in part 2 of our conversation with artist-activists Susan Bin and Ekoo Beck. Susan Bin, the inaugural Women in Animation Scholar, and her work have  been featured in books, film, TV, and video games. She has exhibited her  art domestically and internationally and serves as a local community  liaison for DFW-area artists with organizations like the Crow Museum of  Asian Art, Kinokuniya, and the Dallas Public Library, among others. She  mainly works in cinema with an interest in horror and queer themes, and  continues to work on projects dedicated to opening up new tributaries of  storytelling and talent. Iko'tsimiskimaki “Ekoo” Beck is a Community Organizer at Montana  Women Vote, an organization that works to uplift the voices of  low-income Montanan's through advocacy, civic engagement, and policy  change. Ekoo grew up in Missoula, the settler occupied homelands of the  Bitterroot Salish, and graduated with an A.B. in Social Studies. Ekoo's  current artistic endeavors include a drawing project on Indian Boarding  Schools in Montana, a mural installation with other Indigenous artists  of Missoula, and lots of beading. They are an enrolled descendent of the  Blackfeet Nation, are a member of the Little Shell Chippewa (Red River  Métis) and are German American.
16:46
June 26, 2021
Toxins, Tonics and Trixie Mattel (part 1) with Ekoo Beck & Susan Bin
Artist-activists Ekoo Beck and Susan Bin debrief us on Drag Race's double-edge, the role of art in resistance, and a mural in Missoula celebrating Blackfeet botanical approaches to reproductive care. Susan Bin, the inaugural Women in Animation Scholar, and her work have been featured in books, film, TV, and video games. She has exhibited her art domestically and internationally and serves as a local community liaison for DFW-area artists with organizations like the Crow Museum of Asian Art, Kinokuniya, and the Dallas Public Library, among others. She mainly works in cinema with an interest in horror and queer themes, and continues to work on projects dedicated to opening up new tributaries of storytelling and talent. Iko'tsimiskimaki “Ekoo” Beck is a Community Organizer at Montana Women Vote, an organization that works to uplift the voices of low-income Montanan's through advocacy, civic engagement, and policy change. Ekoo grew up in Missoula, the settler occupied homelands of the Bitterroot Salish, and graduated with an A.B. in Social Studies. Ekoo's current artistic endeavors include a drawing project on Indian Boarding Schools in Montana, a mural installation with other Indigenous artists of Missoula, and lots of beading. They are an enrolled descendent of the Blackfeet Nation, are a member of the Little Shell Chippewa (Red River Métis) and are German American.
28:01
June 26, 2021
Art, Science and Afrobubblegum (part 2) with Jumai Yusuf & Javi Aranzales
Dance artist Javi Aranzales and filmmaker Jumai Yusuf discuss synergy between art and science, the egocentricity of international development, and practical tips for artists who are just starting out.  Jumai Yusuf is a MFA student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Winner of the 2020 Student Academy Award in the Experimental/Alternative category, she integrates her passion about genre filmmaking (sci-fi, fantasy, horror) with her aspiration to bring the stories and characters of underrepresented minorities to the screen.  Javi Aranzales is a dance artist based in Nairobi, Kenya, who works to empower at-risk youth and bridge cultural gaps through dance & education. He has previously worked with young people in slum cities of and refugee camps in Rwanda.  16 Artists is presented in partnership with the Office for the Arts at Harvard. As part of our virtual college reunion, I will be talking to sixteen of my former college classmates who dove into uncertainty to chase their dreams. We talk about their creative paths since graduation, their visions for the future, anything that comes up in between.  These conversations are for anyone who wonders about how to balance work and life with their creative passion. Our hope is to demystify life in the arts and nourish your creative spirit.  Learn more at 16artists.com
26:01
April 23, 2021
Art, Science and Afrobubblegum (part 1) with Jumai Yusuf & Javi Aranzales
Filmmaker Jumai Yusuf and dance artist Javi Aranzales discuss the metaverse, Muslims in Hollywood, and the future-facing media collective Afro-bubblegum.  Jumai Yusuf is a MFA student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Winner of the 2020 Student Academy Award in the Experimental/Alternative category, she integrates her passion about genre filmmaking (sci-fi, fantasy, horror) with her aspiration to bring the stories and characters of underrepresented minorities to the screen.  Javi Aranzales is a dance artist based in Nairobi, Kenya, who works to empower at-risk youth and bridge cultural gaps through dance & education. He has previously worked with young people in slum cities of and refugee camps in Rwanda.  16 Artists is presented in partnership with the Office for the Arts at Harvard. As part of our virtual college reunion, I will be talking to sixteen of my former college classmates who dove into uncertainty to chase their dreams. We talk about their creative paths since graduation, their visions for the future, anything that comes up in between.  These conversations are for anyone who wonders about how to balance work and life with their creative passion. Our hope is to demystify life in the arts and nourish your creative spirit.  Learn more at 16artists.com
33:45
April 23, 2021
Uncrush Your Soul with Co-Editors of The Drift, Kiara Barrow & Rebecca Panovka
Launching a magazine during a pandemic turned out better than they thought it would. Rebecca Panovka and Kiara Barrow are co-editors of The Drift, a new digital (soon to be printed) magazine of culture and politics. The Drift distinguishes itself by providing a platform for young writers who haven't yet been absorbed into the media hivemind. Currently in production for its fourth issue, The Drift has already received attention for its "bracing new sensibility," "gorgeous writing," and "utterly devastating criticism of the self absorption of elite, liberal media." This episode features a special clip of journalist Krithika Varagur reading an excerpt from her Drift essay, "Nothing To Apologize For: Samantha Power's Bosnia Syndrome." You can check out The Drift for yourself at thedriftmag.com Learn more about 16 Artists at 16artists.com.
33:18
April 15, 2021
Leeches and Letting Go with Renee Zhan & Sumire Hirotsuru
Our season opens with Renee Zhan and Sumire Hirotsuru. These two rising artists discuss how to release the past and the future, and other ways they navigated early stages of their creative careers. Sumire Hirotsuru is a violinist, writer and social entrepreneur. Based in Tokyo, Sumire has performed as a soloist at major venues in the U.S. and Japan including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. She has also written best-seller books in Japan on self-management and organises education programs for schoolchildren. Renee Zhan is an animator and director currently based in London. In her films, Renee is primarily interested in exploring issues of the body, nature, and sexuality - all things beautiful, ugly, and squishy. Her short films have screened and won awards at festivals internationally including Locarno, Tiff, SXSW, and the Jury Prize for Animated Short at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival as well as been nominated for the Student BAFTA and Annie Awards. Learn more at 16artists.com. Episode art by Cindy Niu.
37:23
April 06, 2021