Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow
Singer, composer, musician, producer, and curator Toshi Reagon was appointed Bowdoin College’s Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow and led a yearlong inquiry into racial justice, climate justice, gender justice, and faith during the 2022–2023 academic year. While the fellowship year has come to a close, Parable Path Maine continues to deepen its roots through sustained relationships and programming.
The Indigo Arts Alliance, Maine Humanities Council, and the McKeen Center at Bowdoin College collaborated to embody the theories and practices of change illustrated by Octavia E. Butler’s canonical novel, The Parable of the Sower—that we need one another for survival and success as a planet, that art can be an opening for truth telling and healing, and that right relationships with humans and with the natural world around us are one and the same. Toshi Reagon became a channel for this form of community organizing and artistic engagement, illustrated in part by the archive of multi-disciplinary events and programs facilitated over the year and testimonials from participating community members.
Bowdoin College greatly values the collaborative spirit, artistic sensibilities, and organizational acumen that Indigo Arts Alliance (IAA) and Maine Humanities Council (MHC) brought to actualizing Parable Path Maine. These organizations understand how harnessing the power of art and literature as mediums for social change helps us to expand our vision and create a more just and loving world. They honor the capacity of community to transform and work towards healthy and healing relationships with one another, with all living beings, and with the Earth.
We encourage you to visit their websites for upcoming events connected to themes of Parable Path Maine:
Toshi Reagon has been an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Creative Futures Artist-in-Residence with the Carolina Performing Arts organization; other recent projects include her involvement in the Met Civic Practice Partnership; and Parable Path artist residencies at the University of Michigan, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign, Strathmore College, and Emerson College, from which she received an honorary doctorate in 2022. Additionally, in 2021 Reagon received the Religion an Arts Award from the American Academy of Religion, The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and the APAP Award of Merit for Achievement in the Performing Arts. Please visit Toshi Reagon’s website for her full bio and more information about her expansive career.