Artist in Residence Program

2017-2018 Artists in Residence

The Kaplan Humanities Institute is proud to recognize and financially support working artists across the visual, performing, and literary arts. See below for more details about the program.

For Fall 2017, we welcome Hamdi Attia.

Hamdi Attia Hamdi Attia

Hamdi Attia (b. 1964 in Assiut, Egypt) lives and works in Cairo and Chicago. He studied at the College of Fine Arts in Cairo, at the Egyptian Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, and at the University of Pennsylvania. His work engages in experimental vocabulary, using video, mapping, drawing, and sculpture. He represented Egypt at the Venice Biennial in 1995, where he received the top pavilion prize with Akram Al-Magdoub. His work was also exhibited in the Cairo Biennial in 1997 and the Canaries Biennial in 2006. His work has been featured in private and group exhibitions in Cairo, New York, Paris, Rome, Sao Paulo, Detroit, Copenhagen, Zanzibar and Philadelphia. Attia has been commissioned for a number of public works in Egypt, Italy, and the U.S.

Hamdi's residency is co-sponsored by Northwestern's Middle East and North African Studies Program and the Kaplan Humanities Institute.

Events with Hamdi Attia:

October 23, 2017 - 12pm - MENA Monday talk with Chris Abani (Board of Trustees Professor of English and Comparative Literature/Northwestern)

This event is co-sponsored by the Middle East and North African Studies Program, Kaplan Humanities Institute, and Northwestern's Arts Circle.

Hamdi is available to visit classes, and the Northwestern community is encouraged to see him in the Kaplan Artist in Residence studio in Kresge Hall #2315. To arrange a visit, please email Rosie Roche, Northwestern Arts Manager.


For December 2017, we welcome Rosy Simas and Heid E. Erdrich as Artists in Residence of Northwestern's Center for Native American and Indigenous Research and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

Rosy Simas headshotRosy Simas

Rosy Simas is an award-winning Haudenosaunee (Seneca Nation, Heron Clan) mid-career choreographer based in Minneapolis. She is a designer and director of dance, solo and collaborative performer, movement-based and multidisciplinary teacher, and mentor of diverse artists. Her work critically centers Indigenous cultural/political persistence and addresses how ancestry, homeland, culture, and history are stored in the body and can be expressed through dance. For over 20 years, her immersive, intersectional, Indigenous-centered artistic practice has remained historically situated, geographically grounded, and politically current. Building community across difference while maintaining a Native cultural focus, Simas collaborates with Indigenous, feminist/womanist, Two-Spirit/queer, people of color, and other differently embodied dancers and artists to deepen and amplify her practice of engaging stories that create complex somatic, visual, and acoustic landscapes. Simas was a 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow, 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, 2016 McKnight Choreography Fellow and 2016 First Peoples Fund Fellow. Her work has been supported nationally by NEFA National Dance Project Production and Tour awards, and the National Presenters Network Creation Fund.

Events with Rosy Simas:

December 1-2, 2017 - 7:30 pm - Skin(s) - Performance by Rosy Simas Danse

Skin(s) shares the beauty and diversity of how Native people identify and examine the contradictions, pride, joy, pain, and sorrow that arise out of our many dimensions of identity. The dance explores what we hold, reveal, and perceive through our skin.


Heid Erdrich headshotHeid E. Erdrich

Heid E. Erdrich is a poet, writer, and filmmaker. She is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media and Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest, which was a City Pages Top Ten food book for 2014. Heid has curated many exhibits of contemporary Native American art since 2007. Her collaborative poem films have been selected for screening at festivals internationally including ImagineNative, Native Film Festival, Vision Maker, and at the Santa Fe Indian Market film festival, Class-X. These poem videos have won Best of Fest, and a Best Experimental Short awards in 2014 and 2015. Heid grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. She teaches the MFA Creative Writing low-residency program of Augsburg College.

Events with Heid Erdrich:

November 15, 2017 - 12:00 pm - Reading from Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media

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The Kaplan Institute's Artist in Residence Program brings internationally acclaimed artists to campus for quarter-long residencies. The program seeks to facilitate production of new work and to provide insight into the process of conceptualizing and producing creative work.

Since 2008, the Kaplan Institute has hosted 18 innovative and award-winning artists working in diverse media. Unlike other residency programs, the Institute situates the artist within a scholarly interdisciplinary community. Artists in Residence present and discuss work at lunch colloquia along with Kaplan fellows and affiliates. The artists also share their practice with the broader Northwestern community through screenings, exhibitions, lectures, concerts, readings, or performances.

A department or program at Northwestern must nominate and cosponsor an artist for residency. The program provides a stipend, production budget, and housing, and artists are expected to have substantial interaction with students over the course of the residency, through teaching appointments, short-term seminars and open studio events.

In the past, the Kaplan Institute has collaborated with the departments of Art Theory and Practice, Art History, Latina/o Studies, Radio/Television/Film, Asian American Studies, the Segal Institute, Global Languages Initiative, Residential Colleges, the Block Museum of Art, and the Northwestern Library.