News Story

Renowned Choreographer Begins Groundbreaking Residency in Disability Studies

In January 2022, the Program in Disability Studies will welcome renowned choreographer Jerron Herman as its Artist/Scholar/Activist-in-Residence. During the spring semester, Herman, who is also an advocate, dancer and playwright, will engage the Georgetown community through the development of his new piece, VITRUVIAN, which is set to premiere in New York City in May 2022.   

By Adrian Court: color photo of Jerron smiling while seated against a chair in a Baroque grand room. He wears a chartreuse top and black leggings.

“It is a great honor to be invited into the Georgetown community in this way. I hope to spend my time edifying the students and faculty through my art, discussion and being together,” Herman says. “I cannot think of a better way to spend a semester!”

While working on VITRUVIAN, Herman is interested in developing a dialectical online platform to facilitate community engagement with his ideas and work. As part of his residency, Herman will also offer virtual office hours, class visits, public workshops/talks and other opportunities to inform, enrich and teach. 

“Jerron brings unparalleled brilliance and expertise in disability arts, as well as a collaborative, generous spirit,” says Professor Jennifer Natalya Fink, director of the Program in Disability Studies. “His award-winning work engages the intersections of disability arts and Black masculinities and crosses genres as well as discourses.”

Herman is a prolific artist in the disability space, whose nuanced work has not only invited discussions but drawn accolades as well. Herman has been featured in – and on the cover of – Dance magazine, at The Hastings Center and in theater, dance and performance venues around the world. He is a collective member of Kinetic Light, with which he is developing Wired, premiering 2022. He is also a trustee for Dance/USA and a teacher-choreographer for children with disabilities for the DREAM Project at the National Dance Institute. 

A model, dancer, choreographer, advocate, educator and theater artist, Herman is known for his collaborative, innovative and thoughtful approach to building art and community. Last year, Herman was named a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow by the Ford Foundation & Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His play 3 Bodies will be featured in Theater magazine’s forthcoming issue. 

This exciting residency is made possible through the support and work of several people. Notably, Professor Watts Belser, who initially connected with Herman and both Matt (C’02, L’09) and Jenae (L’09) Ruesch, whose generous donation supports both the Ethics Lab and the Disability Studies Program. 

Professor Libbie Rifkin, Founder and Associate Director of the Program in Disability Studies, has been instrumental in establishing this residency alongside Maggie Little, a senior research scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. 

-by Hayden Frye (C’17)

Disability Studies
Performing Arts