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Chinaka Hodge, Playwright

Chinaka is a poet, educator, playwright and screenwriter who grew up in Oakland, California and worked for Youth Speaks for 10 years, rising to become Associate Artistic Director. In 2015, Chinaka was named the Associate Director of Programs and Pedagogy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Chinaka is a 2015 Playwright in Residence at San Francisco's Playwrights Foundation and a 2013/14 Artist in Residence at Intersection for the Arts. Chinaka was selected a 2013 Fellow for Sundance Institute's prestigious Screenwriters Lab. She was the recipient of the 2012 Gerbode and Hewlett Foundations' Playwright Collaboration Award to create a new play with the multicultural ensemble Campo Santo - "Chasing Mehserle" which premiered at Intersection for the Arts before its national tour. Chinaka was the 2012 recipient of The San Francisco Foundation's Jackson Phelan & Tanebaum Literary Award for emerging artists. Chinaka graduated with a creative writing major from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and was chosen the student speaker at the 174th Commencement exercise. She was awarded the prestigious Annenberg Fellowship by the NAACP and the CBS Television Network for her graduate studies at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, where she received an MFA in screenwriting. Chinaka was a member of the U.S. Artist Delegation to the World Social Forum in Narobi, Kenya in early 2007. Her poems, editorials, interviews and prose have been featured in Newsweek, San Francisco Magazine, Believer Magazine, PBS, NPR, CNN, C-Span, and in two seasons of HBO's Def Poetry.