Ta-Nehisi Coates Named Apollo Theater’s Inaugural Artist-in-Residence

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Photo: Anna Webber (Getty Images for The New Yorker)

On Monday, the Apollo Theater announced that Ta-Nehisi Coates—the critically acclaimed writer who recently presented his case for reparations during a riveting Congressional testimony—has been named its inaugural Artist-in-Residence.


According to a statement provided to The Root, Coates will kick off his residency on Sept. 23 with the launch of his national book tour for The Water Dancer, his first novel.

“Coates is an artist changing the landscape of American culture. As a performing arts space squarely focused on commissioning and presenting work that centers on African-American voices, it was a natural fit for the Apollo to offer him a home for his work and ideas,” Apollo’s Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes said in a statement. “We look forward to announcing future events and programs very soon.”

The residency will be a three-year initiative designed to expand upon the creative partnership between Coates and the theater. It will consist of events on both the Apollo’s legendary stage in addition to the Victoria Theater, beginning in the fall of 2020, and is described as “further advancing the nonprofit theater’s commitment to celebrating African-American arts and culture, supporting emerging and established artists of color across disciplines, and serving as an artistic, educational, and community resource.”

Previously, Coates and the Apollo joined forces to produce the world premiere staging of his bestselling book, Between the World and Me, as well as a pair of conversations exploring his collection of essays, We Were Eight Years in Power, and the blockbuster film Black Panther.

As arguably the greatest essayist of our time, it’s beautiful to see Coates’ works be treated as the timeless treasures they are.


For more information on the partnership between Coates and the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.