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News || Scholar in Residence at UPENN

LGBT Center at University of Pennsylvania
TS HAWKINS - Arts & Education

The Penn LGBT Center is thrilled to announce its three 2024 Scholars in Residence, all of whom are esteemed local entrepreneurs and activists within the city of Philadelphia. This year's selection is particularly resonant, reflecting the Center's commitment to fostering connections with queer professionals who embody the diverse fabric of our local community. This year's Scholars in Residence program aims to provide a platform for local voices and expand LGBTQ+ education beyond traditional boundaries. By incorporating these discussions into classroom settings, the program seeks to spark social change and cultivate allies across various communities, fostering greater awareness and understanding of LGBTQ+ identities and work.

Congratulations to TS Hawkins for being selected as part of UPenn's 2024 LGBT Center Scholar in Residence cohort! This residency will focus on stretching the boundaries of what the status quo or the nonprofit industrial complex believes is possible.

The Scholar in Residence Selection Committee has stated that, "TS's steadfast dedication to broadening the horizons of Philadelphia's performing and written arts community is a testament to commendable efforts and exceptional vision. Their groundbreaking work is far more than innovative—it is a reflection of intellectual prowess and unyielding commitment to nurturing an environment of open dialogue through the transformative power of art. As they reshape the cultural landscape, TS compels us to critically engage with the narratives they so skillfully bring to life, both on stage and in print. Their invaluable contributions are not merely enriching the community, but also redefining artistic standards in today's society; setting a precedent for future generations of artists." TS is elated to join in the journey of serving the community in a new and enthralling way!

  • QPenn Pride Week Keynote/TedTalk/Masterclass
  • Community Dinner w/ TS Hawkins
    • April 9th; 5PM
      • RSVP Requested
  • Queer Imaginings Exhibition w/ TS Hawkins
        • May 1st; 4PM

TS HAWKINS (they/them) is an international author, performance poet, art activist, playwright, trauma-informed & award winning educator, and member of the Dramatists Guild. Plays, short works, and books include Seeking Silence, sweet bread peaches (formerly, Cartons of Ultrasounds), Too Late to Apologize, In Their Silence (formerly, They’ll Neglect to Tell You), #RM2B, The Secret Life of Wonder: a prologue in G, AGAIN, #SuiteReality, “don’t wanna dance with ghosts...”, #SuiteTea, Sugar Lumps & Black Eye Blues, Confectionately Yours, Mahogany Nectar, Lil Blaek Book: all the long stories short, and The Hotel Haikus. Hawkins’ works and powerful performances have been praised by the Barrymore Awards - Victory Foundation for Excellence in Theatre Education recipient, Philadelphia Magazine - Best of Philly, BroadwayWorld, Philly Voice, NPR, WHYY, WURD Radio, Philadelphia Weekly, Chicago Tribune, The Dramatist, and dosageMagazine. Featured playwriting opportunities include Dramatists Guild Foundation National Fellowship Finalists 2024-25. Ongoing projects: TrailOff and Community Capital: an Afrofuturism South Philly Walking Experience. [click for full biography]

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center’s mission is to enrich the experiences, foster success, celebrate victories, and affirm the existence of Penn’s LGBTQ+ undergraduates, professional and graduate students, staff, faculty, and alum using the lenses of social justice and intersectionality. Through education, support, and advocacy, the Center cultivates a campus climate where all students, regardless of their gender or sexual identity, can live authentically. After 35+ years, we are incredibly proud of the Center’s progress and status as an invaluable campus resource. That said, we are constantly working to better serve the ever-changing and diverse LGBTQ+ community!

"TS Hawkins (they/them/theirs exclusively) is a multi-hyphenated artist with a big laugh and an even bigger heart. They are an international author, performance poet, art activist, playwright, trauma-informed and award winning educator, and member of the Dramatists Guild. Hawkins’ works and powerful performances have been praised by the Barrymore Awards, Philadelphia Magazine, BroadwayWorld, Philly Voice, NPR, WHYY, WURD Radio, Philadelphia Weekly, Chicago Tribune, dosage MAGAZINE and The Dramatist. Their play Cartons of Ultrasounds had the pleasure of an off-Broadway run in New York to rave reviews. They are also one the Dramatists Guild Foundation National Fellowship finalists of 2024-25. I could go on, but it’s time to chat...." -Suzi Nash, PGN

"The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn LGBT Center’s Scholars-in-Residence Program is returning for 2024 and will welcome three new LGBTQ+ scholars with diverse backgrounds, all from the Philadelphia area. This year’s program includes a TedTalk by each of the scholars, which will take place during the University of Pennsylvania’s QPenn week March 22-29. This year’s scholars include a cohort of three local activists and entrepreneurs: TS Hawkins, Kyle Cuffie-Scott and Dr. Danna Bodenheimer." -Liz Declan, PGN

"Who knew that the mystery of Black Conscious cosmos was in South Philadelphia and could be found on a casual stroll?" -A.D. Amorosi, editor of dosageMagazine

"It could be said that writers are innovators by nature because you routinely create characters, context, relationships, sometimes languages, and even whole worlds in your art. And then in the midst of COVID-19, dramatists have had one of the signature ingredients of theatre—the gathering of both audiences and artists in the same space at the same time—suspended. Or at least so it seemed. These three scrappy and resourceful theatre writers put their well-practiced powers of innovation to use. I’m excited to talk to TS Hawkins about Community Capital: an Afrofuturism South Philly Walking Experience, Krista Knight about CRUSH, and Gabriel Jason Dean about #Rift." -Joey Stocks, editor for The Dramatist - Innovation Issue


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