Lewis Center Past Fellows

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko headshot

Photo by Erik Carter


JAAMIL OLAWALE KOSOKO is a Nigerian-American curator, poet, and performance artist from Detroit, Michigan. He is a 2017 Jerome artist-in-residence with Abrons Arts Center, a 2017 Association of Performing Arts Presenters Leadership Fellow, a 2015 American Express Leadership Fellow, a 2012 Live Arts Brewery Fellow as part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, a 2011 Fellow as part of the DeVos Institute of Art Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and an inaugural graduating member of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University. He has held producing and curatorial positions at New York Live Arts, 651 Arts, and The Watermill Center, among others. Kosoko is the recipient of a 2018 NEFA National Dance Project Award, a 2019 DiP Residency and Production Grant Award from Gibney, a 2018 Live Feed Residency from New York Live Arts, a 2016 Gibney Dance boo-koo residency, and a 2016 U.S. Artists International Award from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. His work has received support from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Dance Advance, The Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, The Joyce Theater Foundation, and The Philadelphia Cultural Fund. Kosoko has created original roles in the performance works of visual artist Nick Cave, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Keely Garfield Dance, Miguel Gutierrez and The Powerful People, and Headlong Dance Theater, among others. Kosoko’s poems, interviews, and essays have been published in The American Poetry Review, Poems Against War, The Dunes Review, Silo, Detroit Research v2, Dance Journal (PHL), the Broad Street Review (PHL), MR’s Performance Journal, and Critical Correspondence (NYC). He continues to guest teach, speak, and lecture throughout the U.S. and abroad. His performance work #negrophobia received a 2016 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award nomination and toured throughout Europe.

In February 2019, Kosoko co-curated Black Poetry: A Conference at Princeton University with Tracy K. Smith and Joshua Kotin.


Performance of #negrophobia, September 29-30, 2017, The Beursschouwburg, Brussels. | Beursschouwburg.be

Examining Black Masculinity, October 27, 2017, BAM, Brooklyn NY | BAM.org

Performance of #negrophobia, November 1 – 2, 2017, Heavy Riders – Spielarts Festival, Munich | spielart.org

World Premiere of Séancers, December 6 – 9, 2017, Abrons Arts Center, New York NY | abronsartscenter.org

Performance of Séancers, May 10-12, 2018, FringeArts Festival, Philadelphia | fringearts.com

Chameleon (work in process), Fall 2018, Think Tank Gallery, Los Angeles | performancepractice.la

Within Practice, October 8-14, 2018, Sweden | withinpractice.se

Save Your Soul, November 9-10, 2018, Berlin | sophiensaele.com

Live Feed In-Process: Chameleon, March 1, 2019, at 6 PM | New York Live Arts Studios

Brighton Festival May 16-17, 2019, Brighton, United Kingdom | BrightonFestival.org

Transgressive Body Retreat and Intensive, August 5-9, 2019, Stolzenhagen, Germany | www.ponderosa-dance.de

Chameleon (The Living Installments), April 22, 2020, via YouTube Live | EMPAC.rpi.edu


Interview with Nora McInerny, Terrible, Thanks for Asking: “What Does All This Loss Mean?”

“Framing the Unruliness of Life and Loss in a Black Box,” The New York Times, December 5, 2017

Review: Seancers at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts at Sussex University, Brighton and Hove News, May 19, 2019

PODCAST: American Chameleon with Jaamil Olawale Kosoko | on Spotify

“This Artist Proposes a Community Space ‘to Dream, to Imagine'” | The New York Times, April 15, 2020