News Brief
Photo courtesy of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Nigerian-American Choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili Is a 2018 MacArthur 'Genius Award' Recipient

Okwui Okpokwasili is being recognized for making the lives of women who've been left out of dominant culture narratives and their stories visible.

The 2018 class of the MacArthur Fellows program has been announced Thursday, where 25 individuals from various fields are given a no-strings $625,000 award to encourage them to continue to innovate, take risks and pursue their creative vision.

Nigerian-American choreographer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili is one of the recipients of the "genius award" and is duly being recognized for making the lives of women who've been left out of dominant culture narratives and their stories visible.


Born and raised in the Bronx, Okpokwasili's work focuses on the interior lives of women of color, especially those of African descent, whose stories have been overlooked and deemed invisible. The histories of both the Bronx and Nigeria and the women and girls who live in both places are significant points of reference in her work.

Her productions are experimental and meet at the intersection of theater, dance and the visual arts.

Learn more about her work in her 2018 MacArthur Fellow feature below.

Music

11 Rwandan Artists You Should Be Listening To

Musicians like Bushali, Kivumbi King, Rita Ange Kagaju, and Alyn Sano have been putting their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

The current landscape of modern Rwandan music is more dynamic than ever before, from updated versions of traditional folk sounds to the recent 'KinyaTrap' phenomenon that has permeated playlists across the country. For decades, Rwandan airwaves have been dominated by international hits — and by a handful of established Rwandan superstars — but now, as the country continues to develop and diversify, so does its musical setting, with new and different sounds ascending from the hills. The past five years have seen the emergence of an army of young artists eager to reclaim their languages (Rwanda has four official languages) and identity, interlacing their music with influences that stretch far and wide.

Here are 11 artists that have emerged in the past five years to put their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

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