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Pauli Murray Residency for Art and Racial Justice

Applications opening this spring for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Named for the radical/revolutionary queer Black Civil Rights lawyer, activist, and poet Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray, the Pauli Murray Residency for Art and Racial Justice is an annual collaboration between Eaton DC, STABLE Arts, and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center. The residency supports artist-activists from the DMV region and beyond, offering them space and time to work on existing or forthcoming projects at the intersections of race, equity and social justice. The residency benefits from the expertise and support of American University faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences Departments of Studio Arts and Performing Arts and Creative Writing Program, as well as the School of Communication’s Division of Film and Media Studies. 

From "Light Multiplies." Courtesy Seema Reza.

2023 Artist-in-Residence

Seema Reza is a poet, performer, curator, and community builder. She is the author of "A Constellation of Half-Lives" and “When the World Breaks Open” and the founder of Community Building Art Works, an organization that uses the arts to create healing communities for thousands of people impacted by war, trauma, and grief. Her work has been anthologized and featured in "The LA Review of Books," “LitHub,” "The Washington Post," among other publications. Reza’s work with service members was featured in the 2017 HBO Documentary “We Are Not Done Yet.”

During the residency she produced a work titled “Light Multiplies: Healing Upstream,” which was exhibited at Eaton DC in Washington, D.C. April 28 to May 31."Light Multiplies" is informed by personal experience and over a decade of community-based grief and trauma work across military, incarcerated, addiction disordered, and displaced populations. The exhibition makes use of kinetic text, digital projection, and portraits on glass to create a space of intergenerational healing. Drawing inspiration from ‘eusocial’ matrilineal mammal populations, Reza invites audiences to claim the right to safe and healthy emotional environments for themselves, for their immediate ancestors, and for those in their care. The exhibition highlights the urgency of intergenerational healing and affirms the capacity of communities of color to create and uphold rituals designed to multiply their own light.

2022-2023 Artists-in-Residence

Mary Ellen Strom and the late Danielle Abrams were the inaugural artists for the Pauli Murray Residency for Art and Racial Justice. They explored the intertwined histories of segregation and recreation through their collaboration WATERMARK, which exhibited at STABLE March 24- May 14, 2022. The exhibition, which included video installation, performance, and discussions between community leaders,