2022 Fellow

MaKayla Harrie (She / Her)

Performance Artist

Meet MaKayla Harrie

MaKayla Harrie is a femme queer performance artist with a focus in Neo Burlesque from North Omaha, who wants her art to inspire other POC women to talk about sensuality and to inspire other queer black folk to express themselves however they see fit. After a major life change, she began to use her art as a form of healing and it expanded a chance to work with different organizations to showcase her art.

She began performing in Omaha as a femme queen in local queer bars 10 years ago. She fell in love with the movement of drag, the animation and the absolute drama of it all. That started her interest in other styles of performance art similar to drag, but introduced a conversation about nude black/brown bodies – not sexualizing them but seeing them as art.

A 2021 recipient of a Populus Fund Emergency Funds grant, it inspired her to seek different opportunities to expand her reach when it comes to burlesque and performing. She takes elements of drag, dance, mime and sometimes spoken word and applies it to her art. She has also worked with BFF and Queer Nite.

She says: “I just want to show that burlesque is for everyone; It’s poetry in motion and such a sight to see. I want to create a new narrative when it comes to black women/queerness, sexuality vs. sensuality, and the conversation of black naked bodies on stage.”

Follow MaKayla on Instagram at: @purrisstilton

Portrait of Ma Kayla Harrie

2022 Fellows

Jus.B (He / Him)

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Carina DuMarce (They / Them)

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Doriette Jordan (She / Her)

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Prentiss Matthews (He / Him)

Actor, Playwright, Director, and Teaching Artist