Student Fellowships



The Institute for Diversity in the Arts is bringing together a team of imaginative fellows who are passionate about the role of cultural workers at the intersection of community-based arts practice and social justice. We are a creative community committed to art, disruption, transformation, and justice. Together we work to advance and support creativity, cultural equity, and healing for marginalized communities. We actively center narratives of the colonized and other marginalized voices in and through our work. We do this because we are working to create the world we want to experience.

The IDA Fellowship is a year-long paid program for undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds, creative disciplines and majors. This fellowship program provides support from a close-knit creative community, time for generative arts' practice; alongside professional development and deepening of social justice principles. An incredible fellowship for artists and activists, this group works together to advance and support creativity, equity, and healing for all communities.

**Applications for the 2020-2021 school year NOW CLOSED! **


Those who are not chosen to be Fellows are deeply welcome to join the IDA community through our cohorts, classes, events, and other programming. This opportunity is for those wanting a more intensive commitment to IDA, to work within the space and lead a committee in programming, event planning.

Students will meet once a month with IDA staff and special guests, alongside time for creative practice, this fellowship is about 8 hours per week. This is a paid opportunity. The program will culminate with celebration and a showcase of new work. 

Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in:

  • IDA's Annual Spring Course: AAAS / CSRE 170A Unlearning Racism, Redefining Identity (Spring online)



In 1969, a group of students came together to form the Committee on Black Performing Arts (CBPA) as a cultural resource to Stanford and surrounding communities. CBPA hosted artists, created master classes and workshops, staged productions, and published the Black Arts Quarterly, a literary journal.

**Applications for the 2020-2021 school year NOW CLOSED! **


The Committee on Black Performing Arts (CBPA) started as Stanford's first program dedicated to the arts and racial justice. CBPA preceded and birthed the Institute for Diversity in the Arts.  IDA honors this 50-year legacy and is excited to announce a new fellowship led by CBPA Artistic Director, Amara Tabor-Smith. The CBPA Fellowship Program is a year-long paid program for Black identified, Afro-Latinx, Afro-Indigenous, African and Caribbean undergraduate and graduate students.

In this performance and movement-based fellowship, students will develop their artistic practice rooted in experimental Black performance and ritual spirituality. The program will pair students with a mentor who will provide creative guidance and will push the boundaries of their work; creating an intensive and deeply nourishing experience with an eye toward liberation. Students will meet with their mentor twice a quarter and will meet with their cohort twice a month. The program will culminate with celebration and performance.


Students who are interested in becoming fellows are strongly encouraged to enroll in:
  • DANCE 160A Conjure Art 101: Performances of Ritual, Spirituality and Decolonial Black Feminist Magic (Fall online)
  • IDA's Annual Spring Course: AAAS / CSRE 170A Unlearning Racism, Redefining Identity (Spring online)

The weekly time commitment for this position is 8-10 hours and is a paid opportunity.

 Students are required to attend:

  •  2 meetings a quarter with their mentors
  • 2 meetings a month with the CBPA + IDA fellows cohort
  • CBPA + IDA Artist Talks




        Charlotte Brathwaite

Charlotte Brathwaite’s genre-defying works illuminate the realities and the dreams of the marginalized and center unheard, unseen, and overlooked stories. Dealing with subject matter from the historical past to the present and the distant future, her work brings to light issues of social justice, race, sex, power and the complexities of the human condition. Current projects include Chapter & Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin created with Meshell Ndegeocello is active September – December 2020; The Future is Present (TFP), a collaborative performance laboratory that amplifies the life-affirming demands of young black and indigenous activists. Future projects include: Omar, an opera composed by Rhiannon Giddens, Forgotten Paradise: Grazettes Sun, a feature-length film and traveling installation on historical trauma and the legacy of the transAtlantic slave trade. Charlotte is an Associate Professor Theater Arts at MIT. Check to learn more  about her work.

Click here to view Sharon's Artist Talk

Sharon Bridgforth

A Doris Duke Performing Artist, Sharon Bridgforth is a writer that creates ritual/jazz theatre. A 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member, Sharon has received support from Creative Capital, MAP Fund, the National Performance Network and is a New Dramatists alumnae. Sharon has served as a dramaturg for the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative’s Choreographic Fellowship program and was co-writer and performer for Amara Tabor-Smith's, "REVIVAL: Millennial Remembering in the Afro NOW." She has been in residence with: Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program; University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Program; The Theatre School at DePaul University; allgo, A Texas Statewide QPOC organization; and The Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

Widely published, Sharon is Executive Producer and Host of the Who Yo People Is podcast series. Take a listen at:

Click here to view Sharon's Artist Talk

Jumatatu Poe

Jumatatu Poe is a dance/performance-based artist, educator, organizer, and voyager based in Philadelphia (though frequently “on the road”) who grew up dancing around the living room and at parties with they siblings and cousins. Their early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira performances on California college campuses where their Pan-Africanist parents studied and worked, but formal dance training did not start until college with Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique. Their work continues to be influenced by various sources, including foundations set in those living rooms and parties, early technical training in contemporary African dance, continued study of contemporary dance and performance, movement trainings with dancer and anatomist Irene Dowd around anatomy and proprioception, and sociological research of and technical training in J-sette performance with Donte Beacham. Jumatatu strive through their artistic work to engage in and further dialogues with Black queer folks, create lovingly agitating performance work that recognizes History as only one option for the contextualization of the present, and continue to imagine pathways toward artists’ economic and emotional sustainability.

To learn more about their work, check

Click here to view Jumatatu's Artist Talk

Be Steadwell

Be Steadwell is a musician, filmmaker, storyteller from Washington DC. In their live performances, Be utilizes looping, vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be's original music features earnest lyricism, and ​affirming LGBTQ content. Be's goal as a musician is to make other black girls, queers, introverts and generally marginalized weirdos feel seen and loved.

With a BA from Oberlin College ​and an ​MFA in film ​from ​Howard University​, Be's love for music expands into filmmaking​. Their film Vow of Silence ​screened in film festivals around the world, including Black Star, HBO's OutFest, The Schomburg Center, Inside Out Toronto, and Fringe Fest UK​. ​Be has shared stages with fellow artist activists Big Freedia, Nona Hendryx, Nikky Finney and Gina Yashere. In 2017 Be sang at The Women's March on the National Mall behind Maxwell and Janelle Monae in Toshi Reagon's Big Lovely Band. In 2019, Be composed the music for The Alvin Ailey Dance Company's production of "the gone". In ​2019 Be wrote and directed a musical, A Letter to My Ex​. Be's musical​ tells stories of love- narrating one character’s journey through the year following a breakup. ​In 2020, ​Be released her newest album, Succulent.

During the pandemic, you can find Be on her Patreon channel at:

Click here to view Be's Artist Talk