Columbia College Chicago Announces Second Madeleine Moore Burrell Fellow

Keli Garrett
The fellowship, which honors playwrights whose work demonstrates a commitment to communities of color, announces its 2020 recipient.


Columbia College Chicago today announced 2020 Madeleine Moore Burrell Fellowship recipient, Keli Garrett. The academic residency, which is named after Columbia trustee, Madeleine Moore Burrell, is now in its second year.

“We are thrilled to announce the second Madeleine Moore Burrell Playwriting Fellow,” said Rosita M. Sands, interim dean of the Columbia College Chicago School of Fine and Performing Arts. “Not only does this residency provide fellows with the opportunity to mentor and share their particular expertise with students who are at various stages of preparation for future careers, but the fellowship also gives our students the opportunity to engage in academic and preprofessional opportunities that highlight a range of theatrical experiences rooted in African Diasporic aesthetics and cultural traditions.”

The fellowship was created to advance Columbia College Chicago student learning, to support new play development by providing resident playwrights with resources and time to write, and to strengthen Columbia’s commitment to cultural inclusion by exposing faculty and students to a broad pool of playwrights, particularly those representing communities of color.

Keli Garrett is a writer, director, and performer whose play adaptations have been produced and developed at numerous venues. Her work is anthologized in Contemporary Plays by African American Women. Garrett was born and raised in Chicago and holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA from Brown University.

“My time at Columbia College Chicago helped me find my voice as an artist and to think more completely about what that meant. Overall, I felt tremendously supported by members of faculty,” said Garrett about her time at Columbia College Chicago. “I feel great about returning as a fellow. It's full circle in a way. It means a lot that the work I have done in performance and writing has brought me back to my artistic beginnings. It's also an opportunity to work with and teach my younger peers. I’m looking forward to sharing what I know and learning from them at the same time.”

Keli will be teaching the Topics in Playwriting course Black Women and Experimental Theater this semester and will be working on developing a new play during her fellowship. A reading of the play will be performed by students during Columbia College Chicago’s Manifest Urban Arts Festival in May.


Daisy Franco
Communications Manager