The prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship — better known as the “genius grant” — is a $625,000, no-strings-attached award that’s given to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential, and this year, Nigerian-American choreographer, Okwui Okpokwasili was one of the 25 individuals chosen.
Okwui follows in the steps of Nigerian creatives like Chimamanda Adichie, who in 2008 was bestowed with the grant and Njideka Akunyili Crosby who received hers last year last year.
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.