Alumna Jillian Walker Named UMS Research Residency Artist

October 17, 2017

Alumna Jillian Walker ‘17 is the new Education and Community Engagement (ECE) Research Residency Artist of the University of Michigan. The UMS ECE Research Residency provides time and resources for an artist to spend an extended period of time in Ann Arbor developing a new performance piece. You can find more info about the Residency and how to apply here.


According to the University’s website, “during her time with UMS, Jillian will be developing her latest project, a play called Tignon, inspired by a late 18th-century law in New Orleans that required women of color to wear a covering—called a tignon—on their heads to hide their hair”


In an interview for the University, Jillian talks about her writing process: I hope to use “this fascinating slice of legal truth as an intersectional site to explore sex, power, policy, religious practice, gender roles, race, and economy in one of the most interesting and still misunderstood American cities our complicated country has to offer"


Jillian is an award-winning artist and cultural leader with a passion for creating seismic cultural shifts. Her theatrical work bends genre and ruminates on “non-traditional” themes to deliberately disrupt the status quo and dig for a path to collective liberation. Named “one of New York City’s most exciting playwrights” by the Bushwick Starr in 2016, her latest work, SKiNFoLK: An American Show, appeared in 2017 ANT Fest (aka All New Talent Festival) at Ars Nova. We talked to her about this show last year. Her first play, Sarah's Salt, is the winner of the Columbia@Roundabout Reading Series.


Jillian has expressed excitement to return to her alma mater for this new opportunity. She studied at the University of Michigan during her undergraduate degree and remains a die-hard Wolverine.