Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Jody Kuehner is a Seattle-based dance artist, director, and drag queen Cherdonna Shinatra. She is a 2015 Stranger Genius Award winner, Velocity Dance Center's 2014 Artist in Residence, and 2010 Spotlight Award winner. Her choreography has been presented by every major contemporary dance venue in Seattle including On The Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Bumbershoot, CityArtsFest, Northwest Film Forum, Henry Art Gallery, and Frye Art Museum. Jody received funding for her current work from the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, which supports a two-year, three-part project, one great, bright, brittle alltogetherness. With this funding along with a unique partnership between the Henry Art Gallery, Velocity Dance Center, and On the Boards, the parts of this project are in residence and touring throughout the US. Jody was Dayna Hanson’s Production Coordinator and Assistant Director 2010-2015 for various projects. She danced with Pat Graney company from 2007 - 2016 and assisted with Graney’s KTF Prison Project. As Cherdonna, she performs with award-winning international sensations Kitten N’ Lou and BenDeLaCreme (RuPaul’s Drag Race). Kuehner teaches Professional Contemporary Dance at Velocity and has taught at Strictly Seattle and Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation.

In 2014, she received a GAP award to hire Seattle local fashion designer Mark Mitchell to make a one-of-a-kind costume for her show Worth My Salt. This performance is part bio drag queen performance art and part contemporary dance. It focuses on a persona named Cherdonna who is an atypical drag queen – a combination of an abstract mover and a modern day old world clown. Cherdonna takes what you recognize about dance, what you believe about drag, what intrigues you about improvisation and what delights you about entertainment, toss it in a mason jar, shake it up, and open the lid.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

Funding awards of this nature are instrumental in an artist’s sustainability. This award is more than just an exciting gift, it is my livelihood. Sustainability for artists is the ultimate question and receiving this Fellowship grants me the ability to focus on what I am made to do in this world. I never take these opportunities lightly, I am forever grateful.

Jody Kuehner