[Atlanta, GA] – Aku Kadogo, performer, theater director, choreographer and educator, has been named Spelman College William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professor in the Arts for the 2014-2015 academic year. As the new Cosby Chair, Kadogo comes to Spelman with a global palette of experiences and performances in her portfolio.
Unlike many artists whose performance tours take them to other countries, Kadogo works with communities in other countries such as Brazil, Cuba, Australia, and Senegal to build her performance works. She most recently served as a visiting faculty member at Yongin University in Seoul, Korea. As a performer, she has worked in film, television and theater. She is one of the original cast members of the award-winning Broadway production of …for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange.
“Aku Kadogo was selected as the Cosby Chair in the Arts because of her stellar achievements in theater, choreography and education,” said Myra Burnett, Ph.D., Spelman interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She is a global ambassador of performance art, traversing continents and cultures with ease, giving and receiving as she goes. She is an outstanding model of excellence for our students, emanating a creative, imaginative, and interdisciplinary spirit that we hope they, too, will develop. We are delighted that she has come to us for this year.”
Kadogo’s academic experience includes serving as director of the Black Theatre Program at Wayne State University in Detroit from 2006 to 2011. As a faculty member, she directed plays and musicals as well as taught dramatic literature and performance studies courses.
“It’s a great honor to be selected as Cosby Chair,” said Kadogo. “I’ve led an independent and unique life and this affords me an opportunity to share my vision with others.”
The theme of her term as Cosby Chair is “Fearless Exploration of the Imagination!” During the academic year, Kadogo will teach courses through the Department of Drama and Dance and host globally recognized artists for lectures and performances. She also intends to explore ways in which African-American artists, curators, directors, and others articulate and maintain their cultural voice while immersed in an international art community.
Kadogo welcomes Marc Bamuthi Joseph to campus Nov. 18 for the conversation, “Where People Gather: Hip Hop, Activism and Innovation.” A Morehouse College graduate, Joseph was named by Smithsonian magazine as one of “America’s Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences.” He is the artistic director of the seven-part HBO documentary “Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices” and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s “greatest living artists.”
“I’m excited to have this conversation with an artist of another generation. I’ll be interested to hear how Joseph continues to develop as an artist and what it means for him to be an interdisciplinary artist,” said Kadogo.
“Where People Gather: Hip Hop, Activism and Innovation: A Conversation with Arts Activist Marc Bamuthi Joseph”
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, 6 p.m. Free and open to the public.
Cosby Academic Center Auditorium
For more information: www.spelman.edu.