Home » 116-year-old artist program names Black woman as executive director, drops ‘colony’ from its name

116-year-old artist program names Black woman as executive director, drops ‘colony’ from its name

by The Grio

NEW YORK (AP) — MacDowell, one of the oldest artist residency programs in the U.S., has tapped Chiwoniso Kaitano as its new executive director, the organization announced Friday.

Kaitano joins MacDowell with a mandate to “intensify outreach to traditionally underrepresented artistic voices,” among other charges, a release said.

“Our search was rigorous, all our finalists compelling. But Chi’s expertise, energetic and collaborative methods of engagement, and inspiring leadership qualities proved irresistible,” author Nell Painter, the chair of MacDowell’s board, said in the statement.

Kaitano is the former executive director of Girl Be Heard, a nongovernmental organization that uses theater and the performing arts to advocate for social change. Originally from Zimbabwe, she also serves on the boards of several arts organizations.

The prestigious MacDowell retreat is based in Peterborough, New Hampshire, where David Macy serves as resident director. Kaitano will work from the organization’s New York office when she joins in mid-March. She will take over from transitional leader Philip Himberg.

In the wake of the 2020 protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd, MacDowell shed “Colony” from its name in response to feedback from fellows and artistic communities.

“In the language we speak today, colony is a word tied to occupation and oppression,” Painter told The Associated Press at the time. A statement from the organization said the name change was “in keeping with the organization’s longstanding commitment to eliminate financial, geographic, cultural and accessibility barriers to participation.”

Friday’s statement referenced the shift in announcing Kaitano’s appointment.

“This change in MacDowell’s leadership follows an intense period of inquiry and innovation throughout the pandemic and recent social justice movements,” said board…

Read the full article here

Have information to send to Urban New Now? Contact our reporters. Advertising inquiries? Contact us. Opinions? Email us.

You may also like

About Us

Urban News Now is your number one website for the latest news affecting the Black community. Follow us now to get the news and updates that matters to you.

Feature Articles

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news and updates. Let's stay updated!

Copyright © 2023 Urban News Now – All Right Reserved

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More