March 2024

in the news

The 2024 AFH Artists Fellowship Kicks Off

The Artists For Humanity Artists Fellowship 2024 Cohort

Five Emerging Boston Artists Begin their Journey as AFH Artists Fellows

We are thrilled to announce the 2024 AFH Artists Fellowship cohort: Audrey Calhoun, Victoria DelValle, Dubem Okafor, Taijai Slaughter and Ananda Toulon. The 2024 Fellowship empowers both AFH alumni and local artists to amplify their voices, bridging traditional and digital realms while fostering career growth and creative innovation.

AFH Executive Director Anna Yu shares, "Our second cohort marks an evolution of not just our Fellowship program, but also for Artists For Humanity. We are expanding to include not just alumni, but also local artists. We were also drawn to digital content, which in many ways allows greater reach and artistic exploration." 

Over the next nine months, the Fellows will embark on a journey to advance their artistic goals in mentorship with entrepreneur and changemaker Christopher Hope, while contributing to a growing and thriving intergenerational artistic community here at AFH. Founder of The Loop Lab, Loop Lab Studios, and Equity Intelligence, a DEIB & staffing company, Hope is dedicated to equipping individuals and communities with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities needed to thrive in the digital era, at the intersection of the creative economy and the ever-evolving digital arts sector. 

Designed as an immersive experience, the nine-month Fellowship offers ample time to delve into the realms of digital media, storytelling, and utilizing social media platforms as powerful tools for promotion and engagement. It encourages artists to explore the dynamic intersection of traditional visual arts with the boundless possibilities of digital media.

“Over the next nine months, our incredible Fellows will embark on an inspiring journey filled with creativity, growth, and collaboration. As the founder of The Loop Lab and Equity Intelligence, I'm honored to join them on this adventure to grow their creative enterprises, and ready to dive in and make this an incredible experience,” said Hope.

Alongside building their unique body of work, Fellows participate in working sessions with industry experts, share their expertise with AFH teens via a series of individual workshops, and network at events to build long-term creative connections. The Fellowship ends with a culminating exhibition in October, where individually and as a collective they will share their body of work and the impact of the Fellowship.

We are grateful to all the dedicated funders who have been supporting our growing Fellowship program—The Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation, The Pasculano Foundation, the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund, and the TD Bank Charitable Foundation. We couldn't make it happen without our funding community!

Meet the Fellows

Audrey Calhoun (she/they) Audrey is a multi-hyphenate producer, writer, script supervisor, and actress experienced in independent film with additional creative background in still photography. Her primary work centers around relationships, conflict, and the human connection. She recently graduated from Lesley University with a BFA in digital filmmaking and a minor in photography. Her short film Creative Differences is coming out in April 2024. Website @audreycalhounfilm @creativedifferencesfilm

Victoria ‘Tori’ Alicea DelValle (she/her) Tori is a Puerto Rican visual artist, designer & educator based in Boston, MA. Her current artistic practice has roots in storytelling. She has performed as a spoken word youth poet at Louder Than the Bomb Massachusetts, Brave New Voices and at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. She transitioned into pursuing her passion for visual arts while receiving a BFA at New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2022. In 2023, she held her first solo exhibition, “Lost Grief,” at Nubian Square Open Studios for the Arts in Roxbury, MA. She uses her foundation of writing and performance to develop her visual art concepts and engage with students. Introduced to Boston’s art community through her participation in multiple social justice centered youth art programs, she recognizes the significance of art education and mentoring young people. Website @thirteenvicarchive 

Dubem Okafor (he/him) A Nigerian-American creative, Dubem delves into a variety of mediums including music, visual art, and arts education with the institute of Contemporary Arts Boston. In 2023, Dubem produced a fully staged theater production which manifested the thesis of his latest music album—cellsexual. Dubem aims to unite people through showcasing vulnerability, truth, and a good laugh. @ckcdotonline

Taijai Slaughter (he/him) Taijai is a video producer from Boston, MA working in narrative, advocacy, podcasting and music video production. His experience in the non-profit sector includes videos for The Boston Foundation, American Repertory Theatre, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston’s Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, and others. Educated in Boston, at Howard University and the University of Massachusetts, he completed an intensive creative development program with The Loop Lab. He has produced everything from social media advocacy videos to feature length films, including production work on the Disney Studios release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. As a filmmaker, Taijai loves storytelling, especially telling the stories of people in underrepresented communities—because those are the communities he grew up in. His mission is to be a vessel for the voices and stories in underrepresented communities. Website @taijaisuper

Ananda Toulon (she/they) Ananda is an AFH alumna, turned Assistant Mentor in AFH’s Painting Studio and then transitioned to AFH’s Registrar & Exhibitions Coordinator through mid 2023. Since 2020, Ananda has been working as a full time artist, polishing her portfolio and participating in a number of Art Battles. Her Art Battle at the Boston City Championships won her the opportunity to go to the National Championship in Daytona Beach in 2023. Ananda has worked on a number of projects including on Janelle Monae’s ‘Age of Pleasure,’ helping to create the centerfold of the vinyl sleeve. @anandatoulon

Follow their journeys and progress on our social media platforms and look out for more details on the October culminating exhibition!

Thank you to our supporters, including:

The Lynch Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Sustaining Grants - Cummings Foundation - Cummings Foundation
State Street
John Hancock - MLK Scholars
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Mass Cultural Council
The Wilson Sheehan Foundation
Wellington Management
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Ann Theodore Foundation
edvestors - Driving Change in Urban Schools