Shawn Renee Lent is a social practice dance artist, program manager, dance educator, writer, and facilitator.
Shawn Renee Lent moves this world as both a program manager and a social practice dance artist, with experience from a field in Bosnia to a children’s cancer hospital in revolutionary Egypt. Her work is investigating embodied peace, diplomatic innovation, and the arts as a conduit for critical social intervention.
- Program Director for Chicago Dancemakers Forum
- Lead of Dance Peace, an initiative creating dance and music education opportunities for Syrian refugees alongside their diverse neighbors in Chicago [Dance Peace was recently featured on PBS P.O.V.] Dance Peace is a fiscally-sponsored project of Fractured Atlas and donations are tax-deductible.
- Contributing Editor for the Clyde Fitch Report
- Dance educator/Teaching Artist-In-Residence at Educare Chicago/Ounce of Prevention Fund, Old Town School of Folk Music, Hanna Sacks Bais Yaakov High School, and Marshall Field Garden Apartments/Art on Sedgwick.
Shawn served as the EducationUSA Egypt Advising Coordinator at AMIDEAST Cairo (through the U.S. Department of State) 2013-2015, receiving an award from the ambassador which is a rare honor for a non-embassy employee. She is honored to have been a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Egypt 2012-2013, a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations International Fellow, and the 2014 Commencement Speaker for Millikin University. From 2006-2012, she served as Arts Integration Program Specialist for Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Community Arts Partnerships, and from 2015-2017 she was a writer and Alliance Building Lead for the think tank and online publication Createquity.
Shawn creates dance experiences that haven’t before existed in the world, and is becoming an artist on her own terms. Her recent works include collaboration on Global Water Dances – Flint MI 2017, years of arts programming at 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital of Egypt, and a project through SUNY Purchase bringing dance conservatory students into dance activism in Yonkers. She has spoken about her practice while a panelist/presenter at the University of Maryland, Brigham Young University, Hope College, Georgetown University, Universal Exposition Milan, Dance + Social Justice Conference at NYU, and TEDx Shibin El Kom. In 2013, her blog post Am I a Dancer Who Gave Up? went viral.
IN THE WORDS OF OTHERS…
From Sydney Skov of the Dance + Social Justice Conference, “Shawn Lent is a surprising force; when she leads a workshop, her calm demeanor gives way to the kind of energy that sparks excitement and encourages all involved to engage with every activity. She immediately creates a safe, communal space with her practiced and authentic facilitation skills. As a speaker, Shawn brings unique perspectives to discussions and clearly demonstrates a deep expertise of her fascinating field.”
From Associate Professor Angela Yetzke at Hope College, “Shawn speaks a powerful message and a much-needed one about bringing art into every part of our world and wearing our artist hat in every conversation, every situation. She inspired our students to dream bigger. They left her workshop encouraged and hopeful about using their art for greater things.”
From The Honorable Maged Refaat Aboulmagd, Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Chicago, “Many thanks for your most inspiring activities in Cairo as well as here in America. That’s what’s most needed.”
From Cynthia Weiss, former Assistant Director at the Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Columbia College Chicago, “Shawn is the rare individual that excels at both the visionary and operational work of running a program. She is trained as a dancer and choreographer and is also a consummate, professional manager. She can access the best from both worlds and offers an expansive new model of leadership well suited to the needs of the culturally diverse global economy.”
From the Fulbright Commission in Egypt, “As a Fulbrighter, we think your experience in Egypt has been unique and exceptional where you clicked the right note on both the academic and cultural levels.” “We’re lucky to have you as one of our ideal Fulbright alumna. Thank you for being such a great cultural ambassador to the U.S. in Egypt!”
From an undergraduate student awaiting news if she got a Fulbright Student grant, “Just know that 15 minutes of looking at your blog/website brought a sense of empowerment and good energy.”
From 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt, “As Shakespeare said,’There are no other words I can say but thanks and thanks.!!’ Your participation at our first ever camp was pivotal to its being a success. Thank you for sharing your time and great talents, seeking us out all the way from Chicago and spreading the international language of dance to our children.”