KRANZBERG ARTS FOUNDATION
2024 ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Building on efforts to strengthen the St. Louis arts economy, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation has announced the 11 local artists selected for its 2024-2025 Kranzberg Arts Residencies for Individual Artists in the categories of Visual Arts, Music and Writing.
The Kranzberg Arts Residencies for Individual Artists program was launched in 2021 with the mission of helping each participant define, pursue and achieve their individual goals as an artist by providing the tools and space to improve their skills, develop new professional relationships and increase their knowledge. The program grew out of KAFs Music Artist in Residence program that was established in 2018, expanding to include visual and literary arts.
Each residency will support artists through six distinct pillars (details tailored to each category), including:
- Dedicated workspaces;
- State-of-the-art presenting/performance spaces;
- Technology, tools and training;
- Programming and wellness support;
- Marketing, storytelling and partner support;
- Cash stipends
Artists were selected from over 370 pre-qualified applicants who responded to The Call, KAF’s open call process that ran from May 30-July 10, 2023. The 18-month residency will take place from January 2024 through June 2025 for visual artists and writers, and April 2024 through September 2025 for musicians, who will complete their residencies with a performance at the 2025 Music at The Intersection Festival.
The Kranzberg Arts Residencies for Individual Artists were selected via an application process with applications reviewed and scored by a panel of artists, arts professionals and educators. Panelists selected applicants based on a concise scoring rubric. Subsequently, those chosen by the panelists were interviewed to determine, for practical purposes, the best fit for the KAF infrastructure.
HIGH LOW WRITERS IN RESIDENCE
Charli Alexa Cooksey
Charli Alexa Cooksey is a creative writer, documenting the transformation of STL.
Cameron is a professional actor, writer, director, and filmmaker, and is Founding Producer of Soul Siren Playhouse, a theater arts production company inspired by social consciousness and responsibility. A St. Louis native, he has worked internationally and abroad, creating original works emphasizing the exploration of culture, identity and societal transformation. Cameron has written and produced original works including screenplays, stage plays, adaptations, spoken word poetry, and other narrative forms. Most recently, he presented an original piece as a guest artist at the St. Louis Art Museum in honor of their 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Celebration. Cameron also has published an original poetry collection with an adjoining spoken word album titled, “Gold, Blood, Apples, & Honey,” under his artist name Djruaezsol, available of listen on SoundCloud. Cameron gives thanks to The Most High, from whom his words and blessings flow.
“I am super blessed to have been chosen as a awardee of the residency at the KAIR. As an artist who sat in a prison cell for 27 years reading about residencies in magazines dreaming that I would one day get one but now that dream has come true. What makes it even better is that I am getting it from a St. Louis institution. This is a testament to people that your artistic dreams can come true. Just keep believing and keep writing. Most of all please keep using your art to heal and change the world for the better.” – Poet In Residence at KAIR, Bobby Bostic.
MUSICIANS IN RESIDENCE
T-Dubb-O is a Hip-Hop artist born in Saint Louis, MO. He began freestyling at the age of 6 and progressed to writing, producing and recording by the age of 11. In 2010, Dubb entered the Streets Status Battle League arena and was quickly recognized internationally as one of the best rappers coming out of Missouri. From there, he released a couple mixtapes that destroyed the stereotype that battle MC’s could not make good music and became cult classics on the underground scene. Dubb enjoyed a rapid ascent in the music world after realeasing his third mixtape. In 2016, Dubb released his first LP entitled “The Drop”. The project garnered international support even being featured on BET France. From there we saw Pleasure, Money, & Pain followed by a collaboration release with UFC Legend Tyron Woodley titled “Chaos Theory. Dubb has collaborated with a plethora of legends like Wiz Khalifa, Berner, Freeway, Crooked I, etc. Dubb has many records and been the first to break down many doors. He’s been featured on and in Rollingstone, Sway in the Morning, Complex, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, ALLHIPHOP, XXL, The Source, Ebony Magazine, RT, & more. What separates Dubb from the rappers of today’s time is not just his extraordinary flow, but the work he does in the community. His grass roots organization, Hands Up United, has been labeled America’s New Black Radicals. Dubb was even granted the opportunity to sit with President Obama in the Oval Office to discuss racial issues and systemic problems here in America. This meeting coined his phrase on his album The Drop, “I shook Obama hand with the same hand I sold crack with”. Dubb is the epitome of what Hip-Hop is and represents.
VISUAL ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
José Garza is multimedia artist and educator working within a socially engaged practice based in St. Louis. He draws inspiration from a wide range of cultural and subcultural sources, and his work encompasses traditional and new media, including photography, video, sculpture, drawing, curated exhibitions and screenings, ad hoc libraries, performances, and co-creations. Garza has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including at the 2017 Biennale di Spazio Pubblico in Rome, the 2019 Counterpublic Triennial, and Border Control at Stamps Gallery at the University of Michigan.
Currently, he is the Museum Academic Programs Coordinator at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, a part-time faculty member in Photography and Social Practice at Saint Louis University, and a board member of the Tarble Arts Center, Latinx Arts Network, The Luminary, and New Music Circle. Before pursuing a full-time career in visual art and education, he served in the U.S. Navy for eight years.
Born in a large farmer family with very limited resources in India, Mee Jey’s childhood was spent learning life-skills of using resources in the most efficient manner. These learnings took her to nature, mythology and books and helped to interweave these complimentary sources of knowledge closely.
With research degrees in History and Field Archaeology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, she went on to receive MFA degree in visual arts from Washington University in St. Louis, USA. With solo shows and performances at Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Bruno David Gallery (St. Louis), Middlesex University ( London, UK), India Habitat Center (New Delhi), her works have been shown in group shows in Athens (Greece, Europe), New York (MA), London (UK), Michigan, Miami (FL), St. Louis (MO), Alton (IL), New Delhi (India). She was Artist-in-Residence at the Laumeier Sculpture Park (MO, 2022), Procreate Project (London, 2023), Craft Alliance (2022-23) and Resident-Teaching Artist at Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2022-23). Currently Mee is Creative Lab Fellow at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2023). She is recently awarded St. Louis Visionary Emerging Artist Award (2022) and Mother Art Prize in London (UK, 2023).
David Kirkman, a visionary writer, film director, and film composer from Ferguson, is the founder of Woke Nation Studios. He’s known for creating films about Black superheroes and documentaries showcasing Black life. His work has caught the eye of industry giants like Netflix, marking him as a rising star in the film world. His Milestone Comics films have over 4 million online views, and his Black Entrepreneur series highlights impactful business owners. David’s time as an artist fellow at Washington University in St. Louis was transformative, leading to his highly anticipated film, “UNDERNEATH: Children of the Sun.” He’s a shining inspiration in St. Louis and beyond, paving the way for a more inclusive future.