Image description: Julie B. Johnson, a Black woman with light skin, and curly dark-brown hair pulled into an afro puff, smiles as she leans toward the camera with her arms crossed in front of her. She wears dangly earrings, a green blouse, and a black sweater. Photo by Patricia Villafañe.
Dr. Julie B. Johnson
Muskogee/Creek; Decatur, GA
Julie B. Johnson, PhD, is a dance artist and educator focused on participatory dance and embodied memory mapping to amplify the histories, lived experiences, and bodily knowledge of Black women as a strategy towards collective liberation for all. She does this work joyfully with community partners through her creative practice, Moving Our Stories, and at Spelman College where she serves as an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance Performance & Choreography. She brings this work to the publishing realm as a Co-Founder / Consulting Editor of The Dancer-Citizen, an online open-access scholarly dance journal exploring the work of socially engaged artists.
Since 2019, Johnson has been exploring the history of Black women’s incarcerated labor, resistance, and restoration in Georgia through Idle Crimes & Heavy Work (ICHW) a Moving Our Stories initiative in collaboration with Tambra Omiyale Harris, Giwayen Mata, and a collective of Community Visioners.
Johnson is a Partners for Change Artist as part of the inaugural 2020-23 cohort through Alternate ROOTS and The Surdna Foundation; a 2021 Distinguished Fellow in-residence at the Hambidge Center made possible through the Georgia Council on the Arts Scholarship; and a member of the 2020-21 cohort of the Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion Institute. In 2019, she received the Arbes Award and Black Spatial Relics Residency Award, and she was a Hughley Artist Fellow as part of the final 2018-2019 cohort. Johnson earned a PhD in Dance Studies at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, researching meanings and experiences of ‘community’ in Philadelphia-based West African Dance classes.
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