Strathmore and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s Arts and Social Justice Fellowship supports youth leadership and vision at the intersection of arts and social change. This powerful program is part of Strathmore and Woolly’s co-presentation of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon, based on the Parable novels by Octavia Butler. The fellowship centers youth leadership, young people’s vision of the future, and building community in the face of crisis—key themes in both the novels and the stage version. The Arts and Social Justice Fellowship seeks to identify the next generation of artists whose activism reflects Butler’s dynamic lineage.

MEET THE INAUGURAL COHORT OF FELLOWS!

Sophia Hall lives a double life: sixteen-year-old poet by day, secret agent by night. As a side gig, she attends eleventh grade at Holton Arms. She can be found wearing a frog bucket hat and Van Gogh socks. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards, the Library of Congress, Write the World, Worldwide Plays Festival, Writopia Lab, Bethesda Writer’s Center, and Ringling College. She sees poetry as a tool for social justice and creating societal change. An ambassador of the Harvard Undergraduate International Relations Scholars Program, she cares about foreign policy and public health. She also successfully completed the Social Innovators Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the news editor of her school newspaper and produces the weekly satirical school news show Screen. She has performed violin at Strathmore as part of the Levine School of Music Chamber Orchestra. Woolly Mammoth is her favorite theater. She is a thespian and a member of her school’s improv troupe. Follow her instagram @estelleuphoria to keep up with her adventures in writing, backpacking, and discovering her true self!

Allison Sweeney (she/her/hers) is a sophomore in the Humanities House at Poolesville High School. She is an avid musical theatre and Shakespeare enthusiast and enjoys creating works centered around current issues and youth engagement. Since 2020, she’s been a stage manager and performer with the Free Theatre, a student-led company, learning all facets of theatre-making under the mentorship of industry professionals. She is a staunch advocate for educational equity and works on several student collectives geared to empower and uplift today’s youth to assume their full potential. As the National Advocacy Director of InnovateX, she’s expanded Project Finance, an initiative to equip all students with personal finance education that has several novel branches nationwide. On Generation Ratify, she is a lead organizer in the DMV area to coordinate canvassing events to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. It is astonishing what our youth can do attuned with the ever-evolving sociocultural sphere. This cohort has extraordinary young people, and she’s honored to be a part of this innovative and fruitful program with the scaffolding to make a tangible impact. Cheers to Strathmore and Woolly Mammoth!

Emily Liu is an active and motivated student at Wootton High School, with a passion for advocacy and music. She has been playing the violin for nine years, since the age of seven. Since then, she has been the concertmaster of Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra’s (MCYO) Preparatory Strings, Chamber Strings, and Young Artists. She is also currently the Assistant Principal of Second Violins in MCYO’s Chamber Ensemble. She has participated in Young Artists of America (YAA), Maryland’s All State Orchestra, as well as soloed with the Montgomery County All- County Orchestra. Additionally, she is currently the concertmaster of Wootton High School’s Symphonic Orchestra. Being a lover of chamber music, Emily is the first violinist in a quartet called, “3+1 Quartet.” Together, the quartet has amassed a variety of accomplishments, including playing at Lincoln Hall in New York and the National Gallery of Art in DC. Emily got involved with politics and student advocacy last year, and has become committed to a variety of student organizations and campaigns. She is a part of the executive board for the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association (MCR- SGA), and serves on the Maryland Association of Student Council’s (MASC) Civic Engagement Committee. She has also been a co-coordinator for the Montgomery County Green New Deal Internship, sponsored by the National Institute for Peer Support. Furthermore, she is currently an intern for Montgomery County Board of Education member Lynne Harris, as well as Maryland General Assembly Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo.

Ambar Condori-Boughton is a student at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. She is currently a junior in the Visual Arts department where she studies traditional and digital art alongside her regular high school classes. Ambar was the runner-up of the 2022 Jazz Appreciation Month poster contest in association with the Smithsonian and is slated to have artwork published in the 2022 Celebrating Art anthology. Working in many mediums–including painting, drawing, photography, and mixed media–the themes of her artwork revolve around her background, personal experiences, and social and environmental justice issues about which she is passionate. Her recent artworks focus on climate change and protecting the world’s oceans, bringing awareness to the damaging effects of not taking care of the environment. Recently, Ambar was selected by global healthcare company Organon in partnership with Duke Ellington School of the Arts to create an artwork for the upcoming “The Art of Women’s Health” exhibition at the Renwick Gallery. Her piece will focus on how women are disproportionately affected by climate change, and how pollution will affect the future of women’s reproductive health. In the future, she aspires to major in environmental science or marine biology in college and hopes to blend her love for science and art.

Corvid Thomas is a Black and nonbinary artist and young activist. Corvid advocates mainly for the Black and queer communities, and specifically Black nonbinary people. Corvid enjoys an array of activities such as singing, songwriting, creative writing, drawing, theatre, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and creating wearable artwork, among many others. If it is a form of art, Corvid has probably at least dabbled in it. Corvid often channels a drive for activism through Corvid’s art, which displays the struggles of facing racism and transphobia, as well as what a joy it is to be Black and queer. Corvid lives in Washington, DC with Corvid’s family, cat, and dog.

 

 

Rose Kepka (she/they/he) is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School in the Communication Arts Program. She is an artist specializing in sculpting, collage, and costume design, and they are passionate about filmmaking, creative writing, and performing. He is a member of his school’s documentary program Silver Lens and their school’s theatre program Blair Theatre. Rose is also a Girl Scouts Cadette of Troop 804 where she volunteers for her community and teaches leadership to young scouts. They are thankful to be a fellow with the Strathmore Arts and Social Justice Fellowship program and are ready to create something amazing and thought provoking!

 

 

Rahimah Hagmagid is a 10th grader at George Washington University Online High School. She has always had a passion for all things art and has been creating it since childhood. She enjoys painting, drawing, sculpting, writing, and anything else that allows her to use her imagination. Rahimah is deeply honored to be included in the Strathmore and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s Arts and Social Justice Fellowship and is very excited for what’s to come! She lives in Sterling, Virginia with her wonderfully large family and can always be found preparing for her next project.

 

Dani Klein is a sophomore at Walt Whitman High School. She is thrilled to be a part of the Strathmore Arts and Social Justice Fellowship, stoking her passion for social justice and activism along with her avid interest in art. She loves to learn, spend time with friends, travel, play sports, listen to music, and eat good food. She spends a lot of time studying politics, philosophy, history, and current events, and is often found engaged in lively debates with family or friends. She is looking forward to learning how to make a difference in the world by expressing her creativity.