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Hari Vutukuru

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MA Arts Politics, Class of 2015

BA Political Science and Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 

Hari Vutukuru, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is a cultural policy advocate, community organizer, video producer & writer, progressive political consultant, and military officer. Hari was first drawn to politics and public service during the 2008 American presidential election and eventually went on to be a campaign operations intern in the Metro-Detroit, Michigan area for then Senator Barack H. Obama's campaign, Obama For America.

Since then, Hari has worked on numerous local and state campaigns in various capacities for progressive candidates in Michigan. During his undergraduate career at the University of Michigan, Hari studied political science & screen arts and cultures (film, tv, media studies), enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard, and joined the Army ROTC program. In college, Hari concentrated his studies on leadership, community organizing, and film production/writing. A critical moment during Hari's college years included an amazing opportunity to work as a student community organizer for the Detroit Action Commonwealth, a nonprofit membership organization that develops individual and collective power to challenge and change root causes of poverty, homelessness, and injustice.

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of arts, and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant, transportation officer into the New York Army National Guard, Hari joined the master of arts (MA) Arts Politics program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. At Tisch, Hari took a wide variety of classes to fuse both his interests in government, public service, and the arts. Hari concentrated his studies on cultural policy and governance, new media studies and political communication, international political economy, and writing. Upon graduation from New York University, Hari was selected to participate in the NYU Center for Art and Public Policy's summer fellowship and started work and research to create a cultural plan for the city of Detroit, Michigan modeled off of recent legislation that was passed in Chicago and New York City.

In addition, Hari recently completed an internship with the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities - the official cultural advisory body to the White House in Washington, D.C.

Please check www.harivutukuru.com for more information, connect with him on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @harivutukuru.

What are you doing now?

Hari is continuing his work and research on creating a cultural plan for the city of Detroit, Michigan. He is also an associate video producer & writer for Vanishing Pictures, a multifaceted Video & Film Production Company based in California and New York City. Hari also continues to serve our nation in the United States Army; Lieutenant Hari Vutukuru is a distribution platoon leader for New York City's famous "Fighting Sixty-Ninth" Infantry Battalion. Hari hopes to further his passion for arts politics and community action for social change by attending law school in the future.