Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton Announces five Hodder Fellows for 2024-2025

Friday, January 12, 2024

Pictured Above: Nami Yamamoto. Photo Credit: Wolfgang Daniel



Princeton, NJ – Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts has announced the selection of five Mary Mackall Gwinn Hodder Fellows for the 2024-25 academic year. This year’s recipients include percussionist Britton-René Collins, visual artist Abigail DeVille, theater artist Ayesha Jordan, writer Suji Kwock Kim, and choreographer Nami Yamamoto.


In making the announcement, Lewis Center Chair Judith Hamera said, “We are so excited to welcome this impressive group of Hodder fellows to our LCA community where they will explore a range of profound and compelling issues in their chosen mediums: living with and through colonization; the ruptures of emigration; complex relationships between stories and places, communities, and ecosystems; and art’s capacity to catalyze social change. We continue to be deeply grateful to Mrs. Hodder for providing the time and support essential to creating brave and rigorous artwork like those our Hodder Fellows have proposed and look forward to the ways they will expand our thinking in the year ahead.”

Hodder Fellows may be writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists, or other kinds of artists or humanists who demonstrate, as the program outlines, “much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts.” Artists from anywhere in the world may apply in the early fall each year for the following academic year. Past Hodder Fellows have included novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, painter Mario Moore, poet Natalie Diaz, choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili, playwrights Lauren Yee and Martyna Majok, and Zimbabwean gwenyambira (mbira player), composer, and singer Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa.

Pictured Above: Britton-René Collins. Photo Credit: James Hardy.

Britton-René Collins is an award-winning percussionist and educator. In 2020 she won the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, receiving the Ambassador Prize for exceptional musicianship and demonstrating an active passion for creating social change through her music. A Grand Prize winner of the 2022 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition and the 2021 Chicago International Music Competition, Collins has performed as a soloist in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has made several concerto appearances, including the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In addition to her active solo career, Collins is a chamber musician with her New York City-based groups Excelsis Percussion Quartet and Vision Duo. Her upcoming chamber collaborations include touring with the Sphinx Virtuosi, where she will premiere a new work by Curtis Stewart. As an advocate for new music, her current projects involve generating new works for multi-percussion and marimba. As an artist endorser, Collins performs using Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Zildjian cymbals, Marimba One instruments, and Remo drumheads. During her fellowship year she will be conducting research and commissioning new works by underrepresented composers, which will culminate with her debut performance installation, “Sphygmology–– Cultural Exchange for Solo Percussion,” centered on desegregating Western Classical Music spaces through utilizing percussion as a medium for celebrating Black identity.

Pictured Above: Abigail DeVille. Photo Credit: John Edmonds.

Abigail DeVille was born in New York, where she lives and works. Maintaining a long-standing interest in marginalized people and places, DeVille creates site-specific immersive installations designed to bring attention to these forgotten stories, such as with the sculpture she built on the site of a former African American burial ground in Harlem. DeVille’s most recent solo exhibitions include In the fullness of time, the heart speaks truths too deep for utterance, but a star remembers. at JTT in New York City; Original Night at Eric Firestone Gallery; Bronx Heavens, Bronx Museum of the Arts Light of Freedom, organized by Madison Square Park Conservancy, which traveled to the Momentary at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, and Kenyon College (2023); The American Future at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland; Lift Every Voice and Sing (amerikanskie gorki) at Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; and Empire State Works in Progress (2017) at the Whitney Museum of American Art. DeVille was a 2022 Anonymous Was a Woman Award recipient, 2018 United States Artists Fellow, 2017-2018 Rome Prize fellow at the American Academy in Rome, 2015 Obie Awardee for Design, 2015 Creative Capital grantee, 2014-15 fellow at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, 2013-14 Artist in Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem, and a 2012 Joan Mitchell Foundation grant recipient. During her fellowship year she will be conducting an in-depth investigation of the site-specific practice she has developed over the past 13 years, hoping to have a book published highlighting key installations, communities, and local histories engaged at specific sites.

Pictured Above: Ayesha Jordan. Photo Credit: Zenith Richards

Ayesha Jordan, from Winchester, Virginia, is a multidisciplinary performer and creator currently based in Oslo, Norway. Her current research is based in applied permaculture studies, regenerative community/ecosystem formation and adaptation, event curation, heritage and how these areas can be explored through performance and inform performance methodologies. This research is currently being integrated in a forthcoming project titled “Shasta Geaux Pop presents: Shasta Greaux Crops.” In 2021 and 2022 Jordan presented two iterations of “Gather (g)Round” (“Observe & Interact” and “In Relation”). This ongoing multi-iterative research project seeks to redefine concepts of community, ecosystems, and gathering incorporating 12 permaculture principles within its stages of development. Each principle is broken down into immersive events spread over the course of several days or several weeks. Jordan’s artistic pursuits extend beyond conventional boundaries, intentionally amplifying marginalized voices, especially from the global majority and disenfranchised communities. Her work encompasses themes such as ritual-making, multigenerational knowledge and exploration, archives, legacy, and collaborative and cooperative modes of production. As a Hodder Fellow she will spend time centering the development and groundwork for “Shasta Geaux Pop presents: Shasta Greaux Crops.” This developmental process will parallel nature’s seasons and seed cycles, with a focus on creating methodologies for integrating eco-performance frameworks and interspecies collaborations.

Pictured Above: Suji Kwock Kim. Photo Credit: Raymond Collier Short.

Suji Kwock Kim is the author of Notes from the Divided Country, which received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets (selected by Yusef Komunyakaa), the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (selected by Charles Simic), the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Bay Area Book Reviewers/Northern California Book Award, The Nation/“Discovery” Award, and was a finalist for the Griffin Prize; Private Property, a multimedia play performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Notes from the North, which received the International Book & Pamphlet Award (selected by Michael Schmidt, Neil Astley, and Amy Wack), Untitled, and And the Pursuit Of, two pamphlets forthcoming in the U.K. She is 2023 Poet-in-Residence at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, and 2024 Writer-in-Residence at the Gladstone Library in Wales. Selections from Disorient received three Poetry Society of America awards, among others, and are appearing or forthcoming in numerous anthologies and international publications. Her work has been performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus at Pablo Casals Hall, Tokyo; Chorusorganisation, Koreanische Frauengruppe and Japanische Fraueninitiative in Berlin; the Solera Quartet at the Art Institute of Chicago; Dalhousie University Orchestra in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; and recorded for BBC Radio, National Public Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Free Amsterdam, Radio Free Genoa, the Library of Congress, Poetry Archive (U.K.),  and translated into Spanish, Russian, German, Italian, Croatian, Korean, Japanese, Bengali and Arabic.  During her Hodder Fellowship year, Kim will complete Disorient, which will incorporate these three chapbooks and newer work. 

Nami Yamamoto, from Matsuyama, Japan, is a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awardee for production of Headless Wolf, which was presented at Roulette in 2017. Her work has been funded by Creative Capital, Jim Henson Foundation, Creative Engagement by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, City Artist Corps, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and others. She has held residencies at Movement Research, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, New Dance Alliance, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Gibney DiP Resident Artist, Center for Performance Research, and, most recently, Baryshnikov Arts Center. Currently, she is a faculty member at Lehman College and teaches dance at New York City Public Schools through Together in Dance and Dance Makers at Movement Research. She serves as a core council member of Artists of Color Council at Movement Research. Through the Hodder Fellowship, she will be researching what her mother and her mother’s generation experienced during World War II. She will gather historical information and collect personal stories especially about the Japanese occupation of Manchuria between 1931 and 1945 while practicing, improvising, and exploring movement in the studio.

In addition to creating new work, Hodder Fellows may engage in lectures, readings, performances, exhibitions, and other events at the Lewis Center for the Arts, most of which are free and open to the public.

Visit the Lewis Center website to learn more about the Hodder Fellows, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, and lectures presented each year, most of them free.

Read it First, Subscribe to Our Newsletter