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Imani Sims: Shaping the Way of Pursuing Her Craft

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Imani Sims, Making Magic, 2015. Allyce Andrew.

Seattle native Imani Sims is an accomplished performer, poet, and educator. Hailed by the Seattle Art Museum’s Priya Frank as “a force of nature with the ability to create platforms that bring people together,” Imani founded Split Six productions, which is a POC, LGBTQ, and Allied production company.

Imani holds a BA in English from Hampton University and an MA in teaching from Seattle University. She currently teaches at Hugo House, Seattle Arts and Lectures, and South Puget Sound Community College. She was a 2016-2017 Rain City Teaching Fellow.

Although she started writing at a young age and began performing poetry since she was fourteen, Imani notes that her participation in Artist Trust’s professional development programs helped her grow and channel her ambitions as an artist.

“[It] gave me practical knowledge to apply towards my writing career,” says Imani. “I learned how important it is to consistently submit work to multiple sources and I left the program with a binder full of knowledge that I reference often. It was also helpful to encounter working artists in my field and ask them questions. Their advice shaped the way I see myself as a writer and the aggressive way in which I pursue my craft.”

In 2016, Imani received an Artist Trust GAP to help fund The Fresh Brewed Tour, featuring work from her latest collection, (A)live Heart, and two other women of color performance poets. The Fresh Brewed Tour aims to integrate performance, ritual, and audience participation while increasing the visibility of women of color poets.

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.