Shining a Light on Artivism

Kenya Bullock '19

Kenya Bullock '19 

It wasn’t long after arriving at Dickinson that Kenya Bullock ’19 found her fit with the theatre & dance department. After taking several courses, she’s become enthusiastic about the lighting side of theatre productions and about artivism, the combination of art and activism. After graduating from Dickinson, she hopes to found a nonprofit focused on helping teens. Learn about the class that inspired her plans, the importance of artivism, her upcoming research project and more.


Theatre & dance major, film studies minor.

Clubs and organizations:

F.R.U.I.T.,  MOB and Peer Educators.


Samuel G. Rose scholarship, ETS-Trenton Central High School Scholarship and AAUW Undergraduate Scholarship.

Favorite book:

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

Favorite movie:

Memento by Christopher Nolan.

Favorite place on campus:

Mathers Theatre.

Favorite dining hall food:

Chicken and parmesan rice.

On choosing Dickinson:

MOB was actually the reason that I decided to attend Dickinson. I loved the campus and the people, but I was still interested in another school. I visited on the day of Red Out and I was sold. Just learning about how much Dickinson invests in their students made me comfortable to call Dickinson home for four years.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… a pediatrician.

On choosing majors:

After taking the Stage Design and Technologies course, I knew that the theatre & dance department was for me. Everyone was so friendly and loving. In just 13 weeks, I was able to learn how bad I was at costuming and how creative I could be with lighting. The theatre department is a different world, my world, and I love it!

Favorite class so far:

I am currently taking an Arts Activism course with [Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance] Erin Crawley-Woods. I consider myself an artivist (artist and activist), so I figured, “Why not?” This is my favorite course because I get to learn about artivists that I look up to, like Amina Doherty. My assignments are to help organize artivist projects such as the Dickinson Rising event we organized, which was a flash mob in solidarity with One Billion Rising, who rises for gender violence. I get a grade for being myself!

Favorite professor so far:

[Assistant Professor of Theatre Design] Kent Barrett! [He’s] the most talented, kindhearted, passionate professor that I’ve ever had. He has been guiding me into my interests and passions.

About my research:

I am currently preparing to do research with my advisor, Kent Barrett. The research will be on the topic of lighting for the camera and for theatre shows. I have grown really interested in lighting and how [it] affect[s] a show or a film piece. I will be learning the ins and outs of equipment, also practicing videography along the way.

Plans for the future:

After Dickinson, I hope to receive a doctorate in media studies from the University of Pennsylvania. My ultimate goal is to use my passion for artivism and organize a nonprofit that helps train teens to find art and use it as an outlet and also learn how to use that art to speak out against injustice. I love bringing people together.

About my internships:

I’ve interned with Bank of America as a student-leader, with New Jersey Seeds as a student-advisor and with the Carlisle Heart and Soul Project as a story collector.

Through the Bank of America internship, I learned the importance of positive affirmation, service and knowledge. We workshopped a lot on encouragement in the workspace and how that can set the team up for shared positive energy. The service aspect confirmed why I try to continuously give back; it’s a cycle. Those that mentored me provided a way, and I must do that [for others]. Through N.J. Seeds, I learned the importance of mentorship, patience and availability. The teens I worked with let me love them, and I am so grateful. The Carlisle Heart and Soul taught me the meaning of Carlisle. I learned so much about the people, and also the importance of bridging the gap between Dickinson and Carlisle.

Little-known fact:

I have a third-degree black belt in Korean karate.

Three things readers might be interested to know:

  1. I went on the Detroit service trip this past spring break, and it changed my life.
  2. I am looking for creative souls to be around. I love art and “vibing!”
  3. I am a videographer, and I am working on a project called “Internal Thoughts.” Please email me at if you’re interested.

Learn more

Published June 29, 2017