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Panelists for the 10YAC Cultural Commons OCCUPY YOUR IMAGINATION contest

Gayle Brandeis, Riverside, CA
Brandeis is the author of several books; her first novel, The Book of Dead Birds, won Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change, and she was named a Writer Who Makes a Difference by The Writer Magazine. She is also a writer for CODEPINK, a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations.

Sarah Browning – Washington D.C.
Browning is a poet and the executive director of Split This Rock and DC Poets Against the War. She is also the author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology.

Nancy BuchananValencia, CA
Buchanan is a multi-disciplinary artist and video arts pioneer whose work explores the spaces between political essay, poetry and performance and calls attention to the lapses between recognition and action, and complacency and terror – made manifest (or more often ignored) by mainstream media. She is a faculty member at the School of Film/Video, CalArts.

John Carr – Los Angeles, CA
Carr is an internationally acclaimed artist, designer and curator based in Los Angeles. He is the curator of Yo! What Happened to Peace? a traveling peace/antiwar poster exhibition and editor of a poster art book by the same name. In 2008 Carr created LAvsWAR, earning the Center for the Study of Political Graphics “Art as a Hammer” award for his achievements.

Pritika Chowdhry - Minneapolis, MN
Chowdhry is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, scholar, and educator. As a curator, Chowdhry founded the Transdiaspora Project, an ongoing series of exhibits that bring together artists from diverse locations around overarching themes. As an artist, Chowdhry has shown her works nationally and internationally in group and solo exhibits in the Queens Museum, New York; the Nature Morte gallery, Berlin; the Islip Art Museum, Long Island; the Hunterdon Art Museum, New Jersey; the Seven Art gallery, New Delhi; and the Rohtas gallery, Pakistan.

Kayhan Irani, New York, NY
Irani is an artivist, performer, and an Emmy award winning writer. Irani has co-edited a volume of essays entitled, “Telling Stories to Change the World: Global Voices on the Power of Stories to Build Community and make Social Justice Claims”, about projects around the world that use storytelling as a way of creating social justice.

Megan Johnston, Fargo, ND
Johnston is the Director of Curatorial Affairs for the Plains Art Museum. She produced publications for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, served as curator at the Leadwhite Gallery in Dublin, Ireland, and was art director and lead curator at the Millennium Court Arts Centre in Portadown, Northern Ireland, from 2003 to 2009. Most recently, Johnston served as director and lead curator at the LaGrange Art Museum in LaGrange, Ga.

Diane Samuels, Pittsburgh, PA, 
Samuels is a visual artist and the co-founder of City of Asylum Pittsburg, which provides asylum to writers exiled, under threat of death, imprisonment or persecution in their native countries. Samuels has won two international competitions for permanent site-specific artworks. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University in Greensburg.

Mark Wojahn, Minneapolis, MN
Wojahn is a documentary photographer/filmmaker and public artist. For his documentary, What America Needs, Wojahn has traveled across the country asking this very question of citizens from across the land. Wojahn was awarded a 2010 McKnight Fellowship for Filmmakers, and his documentary film, Trampoline, premiered at the San Francisco Docfest that same year.


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