Grisha Coleman’s Monuments Dissected


With a grant from the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT) Meredith Drum was able to commission this excellent music and interview collage from Grisha Coleman in 2022.

Artist and scholar Grisha Coleman works in movement, digital media, and performance that engage creative forms in choreography, music composition, and human-centered computer interaction. Coleman is currently working on “The Movement Undercommons,” artistic research which reimagines the use of new mobile motion-capture technology to build a data repository of movement portraits that center on critical and often overlooked narratives. Coleman is the 2021- 2022 Radcliffe-Film Study Center Fellow/David and Roberta Logie Fellow at Harvard. Additionally, her work has been supported by Carnegie Mellon University’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Creative Capital, the Jerome Foundation, MacDowell, the MAP Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Pioneer Works, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Stanford University’s Mohr Visiting Artist Program, and the Surdna Foundation. 

Michele Deramo


Michele Deramo is Virginia Tech’s Associate Vice Provost of Diversity Education & Engagement. In this role she is responsible for education and training initiatives that advance the diversity strategic goals including: InclusiveVT Insights, inclusive pedagogy, diversity badging, the diversity search advocates training, and leadership & capacity building programs for InclusiveVT  representatives and diversity committees.  She also administers the Advancing the Human Condition Symposium Grants.

Prior to her current position, Deramo directed the Diversity Development Institute and was the founding director for the former Service-Learning Center in 1995. In 2008 she received a commendation from the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education for Outstanding Contributions in the field.

Charlie Newton

Black artist, Charlie Newton began drawing at the age of five years old. Raised in the tough College Hill Courts housing projects in Chattanooga Tennessee at the age of five Charlie’s mother Sarah went grocery shopping leaving Charlie and his brother, John who was a year older, with “Brother”, a teenager who lived in the apartment above them. When the two boys got upstairs the older boy proceeded to show them drawings of superman and batman that he had completed with colored pencils. The sight of the brightly colored drawings captured Charlie’s attention in a dramatic way. “I saw the light of God coming through the window when I saw drawings for the fist time in my life. From then on I was hooked” Charlie exclaims. From that time until the present Charlie Newton has been drawing and painting. He was in the Art club at his high school (Riverside High) and entered undergraduate college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to pursue art as a career graduating with a BA in art in 1975.

Newton received his MFA from Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University in their consortium program in 1987. He also studied with the University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad Program in Cortona Italy. Since 1986 Newton has exhibited in London, Italy, New York, New Jersey, Washington, DC, Richmond Virginia, and numerous galleries in the South East including The Red Clay Survey, Huntsville Museum and Boundless Expressions, H. Lee Moffit Center, Tampa, Florida. His work is represented in private and public collections in the US and abroad including The Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN, The College of St. Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ, Sun Trust Bank, Chattanooga, TN, Wallace H. Kuralt Center, Charlotte, NC and The Chattanooga African American Museum, Chattanooga, TN. In 2012 Mr. Newton and his wife, painter Iantha Newton came full circle back to College Hill Courts projects founding SPLASH a free art school for low income urban at-risk youth. Mr. Newton maintains his art studio where he paints full time in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Josiah Golson


Josiah Golson is an artist, lawyer, and writer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is the founder of the 800 Collective, a diverse group of artists using art as a means of civic engagement and public discourse. Josiah’s artistic practice includes creative workshops, public art projects, and community collaborations. 

Michael Gilliland


Michael Gilliland  is the Organizing Director for CALEB, a nonprofit built of member organizations including faith groups, labor unions and community organizations. He also serves as the Board Chair for Chattanooga Organized for Action (COA), a community nonprofit founded in 2010. Michael has been involved in COA’s efforts at affordable housing advocacy, research regarding local bank lending disparities and equitable development, as well as participating in “The People’s History of Chattanooga” Project. In addition to COA, Michael serves as Vice President of the Orchard Knob Neighborhood Association.

Scroll to Top