HEAR US 2021 Cohort

Launched in December 2020, the inaugural HEAR US Awards (Helping Elevate and Recapitalize Underrepresented Stories), were designed to celebrate and advance student projects that center BIPOC voices and stories, and to fund students actively working to combat systemic marginalization in the creation and leadership of artistic and scholarly works. Emerging from Tisch’s ongoing commitments to dismantle racism, HEAR US demonstrates our pledge to address historical gaps in support, communication, resources and engagement with BIPOC students by creating new opportunities for all underrepresented and marginalized students.

The following 13 HEAR US awardees were selected through a rigorous, multi-step process by a panel of professional artists and scholars, including several Tisch faculty members. This inaugural HEAR US cohort includes graduate and undergraduate students working in a variety of artistic and scholarly disciplines and representing seven Tisch departments. Please join us in congratulating these students whose work will help catalyze a long-term cultural shift at Tisch and in the professional field.

2021 Cohort

2021 Panelists & Mentors

  • Alrick Brown

    Alrick Brown

    Filmmaker; Assistant Professor, Graduate Film

    2021 Mentor

  • Ari Melenciano

    Ari Melenciano

    Future Imagination Collaboratory Fellow

    2021 Mentor

  • HEAR US Logo

    Charles Damga

    Adjunct Instructor, Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • HEAR US Logo

    Chitra Aiyar

    Attorney, Educator, Community-Builder

    2021 Panelist

  • Deborah Willis

    Deborah Willis

    Academic Director, Professor & Chair, Photography & Imaging

    2021 Panelist

  • Jamaica Gilmer (Photo Credit: Chris Charles)

    Jamaica Gilmer

    Founder & Executive Director, The Beautiful Project

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Jess Engel

    Jess Engel

    Executive Producer, Crimes of Curiosity

    2021 Mentor

  • Jonathan Hart Makwaia

    Jonathan Hart Makwaia

    Associate Arts Professor, Drama

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Karen Shimakawa

    Karen Shimakawa

    Associate Professor, Performance Studies

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Kevin Cunningham

    Kevin Cunningham

    Future Imagination Collaboratory Fellow

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Kristoffer Diaz

    Kristoffer Diaz

    Clinical Associate Professor, Gallatin; Associate Arts Professor, Dramatic Writing

    2021 Panelist

  • Lorie Novak

    Lorie Novak

    Professor of Photography & Imaging

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Mo Ogrodnik

    Mo Ogrodnik

    Associate Professor, UGFTV

    2021 Mentor

  • Mona Sloane

    Mona Sloane

    Future Imagination Collaboratory Fellow

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

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    Obden Mondésir

    Oral History Project Manager, Weeksville Heritage Center

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Pato Hebert

    Pato Hebert

    Chair, Art & Public Policy

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Philip Courtney

    Philip Courtney

    Chief Executive Officer, Urban Arts Partnership

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Shanelle Gabriel

    Shanelle Gabriel

    Interim Executive Director, Urban Word NYC; Poet/Singer

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Shanga Parker

    Shanga Parker

    Associate Arts Professor, Drama

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Shruti Kumar

    Shruti Kumar

    Adjunct Instructor, Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music

    2021 Panelist & Mentor

  • Tony Patrick

    Tony Patrick

    Future Imagination Collaboratory Fellow

    2021 Mentor

  • Yeseul Song

    Yeseul Song

    Future Imagination Collaboratory Fellow

    2021 Panelist & Mentor