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Simona Lucchi
Simona Lucchi, who recently graduated from Kennesaw State University with a double major in dance and journalism, is the inaugural ArtsATL Fellow.

ArtsATL, NBAF partner for fellowship to mentor aspiring arts writers of color

Simona Lucchi, a recent graduate of Kennesaw State University, has been named as the inaugural ArtsATL Fellow, a new program designed to mentor aspiring arts writers of color.

Lucchi, who graduated with bachelor’s degrees in dance and in journalism, interned with ArtsATL over the summer. She is now part of the ImmerseATL artist program.

Executive editor Scott Freeman said the ArtsATL Fellowship is intended to identify an aspiring post-graduate arts writer of color each year and then provide them with a solid foundation in arts journalism. “Simona is the ideal person to launch this fellowship,” he said. “She impressed all of us during her internship. She’s a talented writer who is eager to learn her craft on a deeper level.”

The one-year fellowship is underwritten through a partnership with the National Black Arts Festival. “NBAF seeks to ensure that the art and stories of Black people are increasingly presented and valued,” said Stephanie Owens, executive director of NBAF. “We are committed to our work that helps shape a more equitable and impactful arts ecosystem. NBAF is excited to partner with ArtsATL on their fellowship program that will nurture the next generation of arts writers in an effort to continue to elevate emerging artists of color.”

The program will include mentoring sessions with ArtsATL editors on writing stories and reviews, practical experience with editing stories, in addition to regular writing assignments.

“Arts journalism is essential to the cultural ecosystem,” Freeman said. “It’s important to mentor the next generation of arts writers, and especially to ensure those voices are diverse. We are deeply appreciative that the National Black Arts Festival has partnered with ArtsATL to launch this fellowship.”

Lucchi, who was born in Italy and took up ballet at the age of 14, was named Outstanding Senior by KSU’s Department of Dance. While at KSU, she performed in Ivan Pulinkala’s Moon Dust and Andrea Knowlton’s This Land. A piece she choreographed for her senior project was included in the annual student dance concert.

She said writing and dancing are her two passions, and that she is thrilled to be the inaugural ArtsATL fellow. “It’s not every day that well-established people in their fields look behind them to help the next generation succeed,” Lucchi said. “I’m honored that I have this opportunity to learn from incredible editors and writers who have been involved in the arts and journalism world for decades. It will be exciting to see where this takes me and I’m extremely pleased that it gives me the chance to meld my two passions.”