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Black Feminism, Film and the Performing Arts with Chasten and Marja Harmon

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Join us for the second guest lecture in our online speaker series: Women Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs?—Working & Living in Full Color.

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On Stage: Black Feminism, Film and the Performing Arts with Chasten and Marja Harmon

Moderated by Aimee Zoeller

Presented by the Columbus Area Arts Council, in collaboration with the African American Fund of Bartholomew County and IUPUC Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Live online via Zoom and recorded for future viewing.

In Part Two of the series, sisters Chasten and Marja return – virtually – to Columbus. They’ll reflect on their experiences as Black women growing up in southern Indiana, and share more about their personal and professional journeys since leaving their hometown.

Marja Harmon is currently playing Angelica Schuyler in the San Francisco company of the hit musical Hamilton. She also played the Puerto Rico engagement alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda reprising the title role. She previously made audiences laugh as Mrs. Brown in the Tony Award winning musical The Book of Mormon on Broadway. In 2008, she made her Broadway debut among theatrical giants James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Debbie Allen, before touring the U.S. as Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King, and the U.S and China in the title role of Aida. Her television appearances include: “God Friended Me”, “Murphy Brown”, “Jessica Jones”, “Madame Secretary”, and “Person of Interest“. Marja graduated from USC with a BA in Theatre and BS in Music. She also enjoys sketching, pastels, and creating wall murals with friends. Last but not least , Marja is a leader engaged in promoting and leaning into social justice issues with her Hamilton cast team.

Chasten Harmon is not only a knitwear designer/fiber artist...she is also an actress, eco- spiritualist and embodiment specialist. She has graced the screen in a myriad of projects in film and television since graduating from Yale School of Drama in 2015, during which she founded Plush Amour. As her simultaneous passions for knitwear and studying the art of humanity through physical embodiment grew, so did Plush Armour. In its expansion, it has grown into a knitwear line and wellness brand designed to reconnect women of color to their bodies and heal generational trauma through movement, eco-spirituality and pleasure. Chasten also serves on the Board of Directors for Shaping Her Earth, a non-profit organization formed with the purpose of celebrating, embracing and empowering young women of color to shape their own destinies, while reshaping the world in which they live.

About this series:

In collaboration with the African American Fund of Bartholomew County and IUPUC Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Columbus Area Arts Council is hosting a three-part virtual lecture series, Women Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs: Working & Living in Full Color, highlighting women of color whose work is centered around creativity and social justice. The speakers represent a broad range of creative disciplines, including architecture and design, performing arts and craft, and language and cultural studies. Using a virtual platform, this inspiring series will connect Black female professionals to graduate students from IU’s J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program and undergraduate students from IUPUC’s Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies Program. As part of the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 curricula, students will have the opportunity to meet virtually with all of the selected speakers prior to the public talks. There will also be affiliated student internship opportunities open to one student per session as a way to enhance the learning experience and build stronger engagement among local community partners.

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