My name is Becca Khalil and I am one of your college mentors for the Bloomberg Arts and Culture Internship this summer! I am a Philly Native and a first generation American. Both of my parents are Coptic immigrants from Egypt and this has greatly impacted my artistic mission. I am a proud graduate of the Creative and Performing Arts High School of Philadelphia, Yale School of Drama’s Summer Intensive, Headlong Performance Institute, and the University of the Arts! I have performed, taught, or interned for many organizations and theatre companies in the city including Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (where I once played a Turkey ^^^), The Philadelphia Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, Applied Mechanics, and more. Throughout my career I have filled many roles in an attempt to use interdisciplinary art making practices to illustrate the multi-layered complexities of intersectionality.
Even in my work as a teacher, a community organizer, and as a private consultant, I focus on work that engages with art as a mirror to our socio-political climate. Like Frida Kahlo once said, “I paint myself because I am the subject I know best,” my work looks through the lense of my own experiences to illuminate a larger sense of the world. I was featured on a Documentary on CNN called Who is Black In America? With Soledad O’Brien in 2011 and much of my work continues to be fueled by this experience. I am most inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the philosophies of Intersectional Feminism. My ideal day in the city would include a visit to the Philadelphia Art Museum and a picnic in Rittenhouse Square.
I am so excited for this Summer together! There is so much in store for us to experience and I can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you.
Upcoming: Iphigenia in Iphigenia in Aulis at PAC [ http://www.philartistscollective.org/ ].
While the cops searched our house
for a crime
Momma fumed furnace
But I warrant answers
And the cops warrant answers
But still no crime
Still no found
But skin found
But accent found
We came here to find but lost
Came here to live but lost
When no one wants you
But The Terminal
Is dramedy of unidentifiable Eastern
But kicked off flight for
But classmate asked me yesterday
To edit their script for PC
And I’m aggressive these days
Because I don’t want to anymore
Because we’re all the same
As they search
For the crime
My name is Glorious Piner, and I am one of the college mentors for the Bloomberg Arts and Culture program. I’m a Creative Writing major at the University of the Arts, and have been trying to express myself through art and language since the tender age of 8 months old. This is not an exaggeration. I was able to talk before I could walk. My mother told me that I could hold full conversations, typically asking to be picked up from my carrier to be held and for Pepsi filled baby bottles. How’s that for a “Coke and a smile”? While I’ve been writing stories and poetry since early post-diaper days, I didn’t focus on developing craftsmanship and skill until attending the Creative and Performing Arts High School of Philadelphia, home of some of the most talented people in the city including, but not limited to, Boyz II Men, Jasmine Sullivan, and Black Thought and Quest Love of The Roots. I can’t declare a favorite form of writing. I’m a poet, short fiction writer, screenwriter, and journalist with thorough experience in each form. I was a slam poet, mentor, and coach for the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement’s high school league. I released my first collection of short fiction and poetry last September titled Dandelions which sold out of three stores in Philadelphia. I was a staff writer for both the Hook Music Journal and Urban Celebrity Magazine, and just finished up an internship with Esquire Magazine this past Spring. I feel compelled to express my thoughts and feelings and to encourage dialogues through creative language.
I believe one of the most powerful devices humans have to evoke emotion and action is our voices, and I’m excited to help the interns find theirs this summer.
ART IS MORE THAN JUST BEAUTIFUL.
I’m Daniella Uchendu-Oji and I am one of your college mentors for this summer.
I am originally Nigerian, but I was born in Houston, Texas. I am currently a sophomore at Drexel University studying 3D Animation and visual effects. I chose that major because of my obsession for story-telling; I feel the need to motivate and inspire young people like me and promote the purpose of the arts in my community and in the world. I come from a very artistic family, my mom is really artsy and she has been one of my greatest influences. She always made me perform on stage, starting from age 6, and my first performance ever was a ballet dance and I remember falling to the ground during that performance, and I was so embarrassed-From that day I became so shy, I was afraid of trying to thrive, but I noticed that whenever I drew or spoke my mind, I felt more fulfilled than I ever normally feel. I started having the urge to perform again when I got into middle school. I feel different anytime I am on stage and I have built up my courage from there.
I come from a country that art is appreciated but not accepted and I was always looked at by people as strange, too sensitive, I was even called a “deep house” by most of my friends- because most of my artworks had some deep connection or meaning. Then I knew that I was more complex than people expected me to be. I have always been motivated by the strokes of pencils, stains from paints, flashes from cameras and people that have abstract minds, people that possess the same complexity as I do, and therefore try to use that complexity to change the world, more importantly make an impact in the world they live in.
I led a campaign at my high school in 2014, which was done as a festival- it was called the “Festival of the arts”. It was motived by the injustice and inequality that was practiced in the school at the time. We had to fight to be recognized as a department in that school amongst the three departments: Arts, science and business. I have taught photography, interior design and fine arts to middle school students while in high school and my belief is that I owe the youths in my community; and to pay up my debt I have been given one duty- which is to teach you what I was taught by my parents and some of the people who have believed in me and motivated me, which is the purpose of comprehension over career, I’m trying to make sure you learn the things the schools are afraid to teach. Creativity is one of my strongest weapons and it can be yours too. I want you to keep in mind that a system built to divide, build and destroy cannot stand, if we do. Me and you! The more we learn and understand ourselves, the more we will mobilize.
We have a lot in store for you all, that we strongly believe will inspire, teach you and help you grow!
My names Asef Khurshan and I will be your mentor this year! (Alpha Gang! Woo woo!)
I graduated from Masterman High School in June and plan on attending Drexel University in the fall. As an alumni of the Bloomberg Arts Internship I loved everything this program had to offer. Bloomberg opened new doors for me, took me out of my shell, and gave me more opportunities than I could ever ask for. Through this program I’ve grown as a person, writer, and a thinker. I’ve been able to form a strong relationship with my mentors, even after the program ended as they went on to help me in my college process. Now, I can only hope to return the favor and work with Bloomberg by helping other interns who are in a similar situation as myself to get the same experience I received. I hope to help you grow as a person, to be able to help you tell your stories and experiences through writing. I hope to show you that your voice is unique and it truly does matter. Your short comings and setbacks are only there to catapult you to brighter futures.
I am so excited to begin working with each and every one of you. Come along and let’s have an amazing summer together!