Culturebearers Transforming Communities

What could two dance artists - Charya Burt, a classical Cambodian dancer and Christopher "Mad Dog" Thomas, a Chicago Footwork street dancer - possibly have in common? Besides being culture bearers and innovators of their forms, they are fiercely committed change makers in their communities. Selected as co-recipients of the 2022 Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities, don't miss this conversation about how these radically different dance forms function as cultural grounding in their communities. Hear how both work as teaching artists with youth and community members to heal generational trauma resulting from the Cambodian genocide and issues of violence, policing, and environmental racism in Chicago. Be uplifted by a fascinating “dance dialogue” where Charya and Mad Dog explore the meaning behind their movement. Moderated by Roko Kawai, dancer, choreographer, and youth worker.


Charya Burt, Cambodian Classical Dance master and choreographer
Christopher "Mad Dog" Thomas, Chicago Footwork street dancer
Roko Kawai, dancer/choreographer, youth worker

Artistic performance by Charya Burt and Christopher "Mad Dog" Thomas