Aymar Jean “AJ” Christian is an assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and a Peabody Fellow at the Media Center at Peabody. Dr. Christian’s first book, Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood, forthcoming on New York University Press, argues the web brought innovation to television by empowering independent producers. His work has been published in numerous academic journals, including The International Journal of Communication, Cinema Journal, Continuum, and Transformative Works and Cultures. He leads Open TV (beta), a research project and platform for television by queer, trans and cis-women and artists of color. Open TV (beta) programming partners have included the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Block Museum of Art, and City of Chicago, along with numerous galleries, community organizations, and universities. He has juried television and video for the Peabody Awards, Gotham Awards, Streamy Awards, and Tribeca Film Festival, among others. He received PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Meida McNeal works with the Chicago Park District as Arts & Culture Manager supporting community arts partnerships, youth arts learning, cultural stewardship and civic engagement initiatives across the city’s parks and cultural centers. She is also Artistic and Managing Director of Honey Pot Performance, an Afro-feminist creative collaborative that integrates movement, theater, and first-voice to examine the nuanced ways people negotiate identity, belonging, and difference in their lives and cultural memberships. The symbiotic relationship between ethnography and choreography is at the heart of Meida’s artistic practice informing the ways she develops movement, story, and sound for the everyday body, tying together individual experience and collective social themes. http://honeypotperformance.com