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Q&A with Eliaichi Kimaro | 2010 GAP, Visual

Artist Trust

Q:  What kind of art do you make?
A:  My creative focus has shifted over the past couple years, from filmmaking to encaustic mixed media art.  Earlier this year, I contributed encaustic pieces to Tracy Rector’s multidisciplinary group art show Women on the Brink at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar in Capitol Hill. 
Q:  How did you use your award?
A:  My Artist Trust award helped cover the considerable finishing costs of my feature-length documentary A Lot Like You which premiered at SIFF in 2011.  Receiving this grant also allowed me to leverage additional funding opportunities.  So I am truly grateful for Artist Trust’s support!
Q:  What was the impact of this award/Artist Trust on your art career/life?
A:  The journey this film has taken me on has forever changed the trajectory of my life.  I’ve been fortunate enough to travel with the film, engaging with audiences all over the world.  The film was broadcast nationally on PBS for 3 years, and was just picked up by KCTS Reel NW for another two years.  Five years after our film’s release, and I’m still busy on the campus and conference lecture circuit, using the film as a springboard for exploring how our stories can connect us to who we are and where we come from.  I will be speaking at TEDxSeattle in November about why the world needs our stories.  I’m passionate about making media more accessible to everyone—so I joined the Board of the Seattle Globalist, and am on the Steering Committee of Seattle Documentary Association.  I’ve had the privilege of being a festival juror, a grant panelist, and serving on exhibition planning committees.  And I continue to produce videos for non-profit organizations working to address social and economic justice issues.  Truly, this award has opened more doors for me than I could have imagined. 

Activist/Artist/Filmmaker Eliaichi Kimaro is director of 9elephants productions, a company that uses art and video to bring stories of struggle, resistance and survival to a broader audience. 9elephants productions has produced over 80 videos for local and national non-profits working within underserved communities to address social and economic justice issues.  Kimaro brings a lifetime of personal and professional experience exploring issues of culture, identity, race, class, and gender to her Award-winning directorial debut,  A Lot Like You. Drawing upon her 10-year film journey, she is currently on the campus/conference lecture circuit engaging communities around the world in discussions about issues raised in her film, including gender-based violence, global mixed race/multicultural issues, cultural identity and the power of personal storytelling.
From 2006-2011, Kimaro served as President of the Board at the NW Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse.  Prior to joining the Board, she was on staff for four years as a crisis counselor and community organizer. Kimaro is currently serving on the Seattle Globalist  Board of Directors, a daily online publication dedicated to elevating diverse voices through media.  She is a Mentor with the Globalist Apprenticeship Program. Kimaro is also Vice President of Seattle Documentary Association, and coordinates the Works-In-Progress Program. In addition, she has served as a grant panelist, a festival jury member, on exhibition planning committees, and on numerous advisory committees.
In May 2016, Kimaro’s encaustic mixed media art was included in the Women on the Brink  exhibit at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar (Seattle).  This multi-disciplinary art show, curated by Tracy Rector, showcased works by “women who are fiercely pushing their creativity to the edge…”.

Find out more about Eliaichi Kimaro on her website.