Holly Bass (right) with Christopher K. Morgan (also an NCCAkron Resident Artist) in Race: Talc & Ash (2016). 

Washington, DC


Dancing Labs Resident Artist

Holly Bass is a multidisciplinary performance and visual artist, writer and director. Her work has been presented at spaces such as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museums, the Seattle Art Museum, Art Basel Miami Beach (Project Miami Fair) and the South African State Theatre. Her visual art work spans photography, installation, video and performance and can be found in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the DC Art Bank, as well as private collections. A Cave Canem fellow, she has published poems in numerous journals and anthologies.

She studied modern dance (under Viola Farber) and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College before earning her Master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. As an arts journalist early in her career, she was the first to put the term “hip hop theater” into print in American Theatre magazine. She has received numerous grants from the DC Arts Commission and was one of twenty artists nationwide to receive Future Aesthetics grant from the Ford Foundation/Hip Hop Theater Festival. A gifted and dedicated teaching artist, she currently directs year-round creative writing and performance program for adjudicated youth in DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services as well as facilitating workshops nationally and internationally.

Her work includes 2013's "Crunk Lessons," a hip hop cover of Adrian Piper's "Funk Lessons." Her 2010 work "African Futures" was commissioned by the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with the exhibition Yinka Shonibare, MBE and features three time-traveling Afrofuturist women who mask themselves as migrating freedwomen. Bass came to NCCAkron in August 2018 as part of a Dancing Lab exploring embodiment and archival practice with RAWdance (San Francisco), Megan Young (Cleveland, OH), and Jonah Bokaer (Hudson, NY). 

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