Kemi Adeyemi’s Visionary Black Embodiments Studio Generates Synergy at UW and Recognition of Black Arts in Seattle 

Submitted by Whitney Miller on

Shortly after arriving as a new member of the GWSS faculty, Kemi Adeyemi founded the Black Embodiments Studio, an arts writing incubator and public programming initiative dedicated to building discourse around contemporary black art. The conceptualization for this project built, in part, upon her experience collaborating with mentors and peers in the Performance Studies Program at Northwestern University, where she received her PhD in 2016. 

Black Arts Scholarship at UW 

A July 2022 Perspectives story, “The Power of Cohorts & Collective Histories,” explores the rare academic serendipity that led to the reunion of Dr. Adeyemi with two of her friends from graduate school, Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud and Nikki Yeboah, at the University of Washington. Dr. Mahmoud and Dr. Yeboah both joined the UW School of Drama in 2021. The three are interviewed by Berette Macaulay, a former participant in the Black Embodiments Studio. 

Black Arts Legacies 

Kemi Adeyemi and Jasmine Mahmoud recently worked together as project editors of the Black Arts Legacies project, which highlights the long-standing, vital and ongoing role of Black artists and arts organizations in the cultural landscape of the Seattle region. The inaugural class of the project recognizes an intergenerational group of 26 local musicians, dancers, visual artists, poets, performers, curators, and architects, whose creative expressions document the complexity of being a Black artist in Seattle. Meshell Sturgis, who served as a research assistant for the project, is also a former participant in the Black Embodiments Studio.