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Asha Iman Veal

Arts Professor and Curator


Asha Iman Veal is Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Her exhibitions Beautiful Diaspora/You Are Not the Lesser Part and LOVE: Still Not the Lesser brought together cross-diasporic conversations between global artists Xyza Cruz Bacani, Widline Cadet, Cog•nate Collective, Sunil Gupta, Kelvin Haizel, Ngadi Smart, and more; and celebrations of love and desire by Jorian Charlton, Jess T. Dugan, Mari Katayama, and more. She has curated exhibitions for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the MSU Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum by Zaha Hadid (forthcoming), and Hyde Park Art Center.

Her biennial exhibition and radio-broadcast public program series RAISIN vol 1. commissioned several new artworks and generated community among more than 30 global artists including Işıl Eğrikavuk, Amanda Williams, and Tintin Wulia; and was featured by international cultural organizations such as Pakhuis de Zwijger Amsterdam and Istituto Italiano di Cultura Chicago. She has separately worked on projects and/or arts research in New York, Tokyo, Havana, Vietnam, Edinburgh, Darby/London, Berlin, Juárez, and Chicago.

“I believe that it’s possible to challenge and reflect on a nation’s identity through exploring cross-cultural solidarity across communities that are often kept apart by geographic or political distance.”

Asha Iman is also Associate Professor Adj at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Arts Administration & Policy, where she expanded direct curricular links to global arts, culture, and multimedia discourses by inviting and hosting more than 100 virtual and in-person discussions with guests such as Yane Calovski and Hristina Ivanoska, the late Bisi Silva, and ballet dancer, movement adviser for robot technology David Ennio Minor.

Additionally, Veal bridges interdisciplinary relationships between the arts, government, corporate and nonprofit sectors through her role as a Senior Fellow of Humanity in Action (EU/UK/US), member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network (Global Table), and a Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leader. She is a board member of Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago.

Asha Iman began her career as the VOTE campaign staff and as a festival producer for playwright Eve Ensler’s V-Day global movement to end violence against women and girls (New York). She earned her BA at New York University’s Gallatin School, MFA Creative Writing at The New School, and MA Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Learn more about Asha’s Landecker Democracy Fellowship project here and you can find her blog here.

Updated April 2023