Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Chad Goller-Sojourner (Seattle) is an award winning solo performer, who spent 15 years seeking temporal relief and better reflections in restroom stalls. His work has been funded by the NEA and featured on NPR and continues to explore how the narrow categories we assign ourselves and others inevitably fail to represent our whole selves. In July 2008, his highly anticipated solo show, Sitting in Circles with Rich White Girls: Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy, debuted at Seattle’s Brownbox African-American Theatre, receiving overwhelming support and accolades from the community at large as well as the following civic and arts organizations: Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, previous Artist Trust awards, The Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas and King County: 4Culture.

Funds received from his 2011 GAP will be used to offset costs associated with Chad’s upcoming performances of Riding in Cars with Black People & Other Dangerous Acts: Memoirs of a Post Honorary White Childhood. This show seeks to explore the dangers, complexities and occasional hilarities associated with navigating black adult maleness in America, when your only compass is eighteen years of honorary white citizenship and suburban privilege. The GAP will help cover promotion/marketing costs as well offset the costs of retaining a multi-media artist and videographer for this upcoming series of performances.

Chad received a 2008 GAP to help promote, create and document a 90-minute multi-media show entitled Sitting in Circles with Rich White Girls: Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy. Goller-Sojourner will explore the process and pattern of identity construction, “in this case how growing up fat, dark-skinned, gay, and adopted by white folks affected and shaped [his] maturation.” This show made its debut June 20, 2008 at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center in Seattle with a run of six shows.

As part of his Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Chad designed a class for 35 students of all levels of experience at Newport High School in Bellevue, from those who have never explored spoken word to seasoned writers and performers. Chad spoke of the history of spoken word and several acclaimed spoken-word artists. Through writing exercises, performance exercises and feedback, students gained basic tools needed to create and perform. The focus was spoken word that enlivens political, social and identity issues, much as Chad’s work does. In the end many students expressed interest in continuing this spoken-word exploration.

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