2024 Rainin Arts Fellows - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

2024 Rainin Arts Fellows

The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows are visionary artists working across dance, film, public space and theater in the Bay Area.

Short video featuring the 2024 Rainin Fellows. Video credit: Fox Nakai

Basahin ang tungkol sa 2024 Rainin Fellows sa Tagalog. (Read about the 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows in Tagalog.)

In April 2024, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced the recipients of The Rainin Arts Fellowship, an annual program honoring visionary artists and collaboratives for their significant contributions to the Bay Area’s cultural ecosystems.

Administered by United States Artists, the Fellowship awards four artists annually with unrestricted grants of $100,000, as well as supplemental support tailored to address each Fellow’s specific needs and goals, including financial planning, communications and marketing help and legal services. The Fellowship funds artists working across dance, film, public space and theater who push the boundaries of creative expression, anchor local communities and advance the field. The 2024 Fellows received multiple nominations from Bay Area artists and cultural leaders in previous years, and were chosen by four Bay Area jurors.

Collage of four rainin arts fellows headshots
The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows are (clockwise from top left): TNT Traysikel (Public Space), Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow (Dance), Adrian Burrell (Film) and Ayodele “WordSlanger” Nzinga (Theater).

Meet The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows

Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow  | Dance

Watch this short video featuring Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow. Video credit: Fox Nakai

Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow, is an award-winning, internationally known Black, Indigenous, Deaf and Disabled choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, producer and Deaf advocate. Hunter creates opportunities for Disabled, Deaf and hearing artists and produces Deaf-friendly events. Hunter founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company in 2007 and the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013 to promote Deaf culture through dance. Hunter’s recent work “GentriDeafcation: Echoes of Houselessness in the Bay” explores true stories of Deaf and Disabled individuals experiencing homelessness within Hunter’s community. Hunter’s work has been performed globally and Hunter is a recipient of numerous awards, including the 2023 Dance Magazine Award and the 2022 Disability Futures Fellowship. 

Adrian Burrell | Film

Watch this short video with Adrian Burrell talking about his interdisciplinary work​. Video credit: Fox Nakai

Adrian L. Burrell is a third-generation Oakland artist utilizing photography, installation, film and experimental media. Burrell’s work examines issues of race, class and intergenerational dynamics, inviting moments where collective storytelling can be a site for remembering. Burrell’s multimedia practice has been exhibited and published across the world and he has held residencies at SFFILM, Black Rock Senegal and the Black Freedom Fellowship in Salvador, Brazil. Burrell’s series “It’s After the End of the World, Don’t You Know That Yet?,” which examines normalized violence inflicted on Black lives, resides in SFMOMA’s permanent collection. His short documentary “The Game God(S)” premiered via The New Yorker in 2022. He is in development on his first feature film, “Cousins,” which follows three kids from East Oakland who are sent on a wild adventure after their favorite cousin escapes house arrest. The film was the recipient of a 2022 SFFILM Rainin Grant.

TNT Traysikel | Public Space

Watch this short video with TNT Traysikel’s co-founders Michael Arcega, Paolo Asuncion and Rachel Lastimosa talking about their work. Video credit: Fox Nakai

TNT Traysikel—Michael Arcega, Paolo Asuncion and Rachel Lastimosa—is a team that began working together in the SOMA Pilipinas Arts & Culture Committee to increase the visibility, empowerment and acknowledgment of the Filipinx American community through the arts. Their activities blur conventional and non-traditional art practices, taking sculptural, spatial, relational, performative and cinematic form. Projects include TNT SideCaraoke, karaoke activations of joyful sing-alongs; “Lost and Found: TNT in America,” a short film that centers an immigrant object searching for a home in America; and TNT SideNotes, listening sessions to give community members space to share their stories. TNT Traysikel’s free and inclusive events occur in museums, galleries, plazas, parks and on sidewalks.

Ayodele “WordSlanger” Nzinga | Theater

Watch this short video with Ayodele “WordSlanger” Nzinga talking about her work. Video credit: Fox Nakai

Ayodele “WordSlanger” Nzinga, MFA, PhD is a multi-disciplined artist, community advocate, arts educator and cultural architect invested in creating structures that facilitate cultural production. Working at the intersections of community well-being, cultural sovereignty, transformation and change, Nzinga is a renaissance woman: an author, director, producer, thespian, dramaturge and the inaugural Poet Laureate of Oakland. Nzinga is the founding director of Lower Bottom Playaz, Oakland’s oldest North American African theater company, as well as the Black Arts Movement Business District Community Development Corporation of Oakland. She is a leader and contributor to many other cultural institutions and collectives, which uplift artistic practice in her community. She is also the author of four books of poetry and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies.

Media Coverage

How The 2024 Rainin Fellows Were Selected

The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows were chosen by four Bay Area jurors. This year’s selection process placed greater emphasis on the Foundation’s artist-centered approach by recognizing a group of visionaries who received multiple nominations from Bay Area artists and cultural leaders in the Fellowship’s previous years. This process reduced the labor of applicants, allowing them to re-use previous years’ applications. While this new selection process determined the 2024 Fellows, it does not reflect an official change.

Bay Area Jurors

A white woman with long blond hair and bangs smiles against a neon purple background.

Valerie Imus, Artistic and Co-Director, Southern Exposure

A Nikkei person with long black wavy hair wears a dark purple shirt and smiles at the camera. In the background is a wall with a blurred black and white repetitive star design.

Debby Kajiyama, Co-director, NAKA Dance Theater

A Filipino man with dark brown hair and a mustache wears a collared, navy blue coat with a gold design.

Ely Sonny Orquiza, Director of Education and Community, The Magic Theatre

A woman with short brown hair, green eyes, and olive skin wears a red top.

Amanda Salazar, Public Programmer, UCLA Film & Television Archive; Short Film Programmer, Sundance Film Festival; Co-Director, Camera Obscura