Kate O. Wagner
Class of 2021
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Research Interests: Arts & culture, especially cultural relief for displaced communities; youth empowerment and job training for the global creative economy; and the effects of the democratization of visual media and its potential today
Kate O. Wagner is a filmmaker and teaching artist from Washington, D.C. After working in the media and film fields for a number of years—with organizations like Discovery Communications, Freethink Media, Meridian Hill Pictures, and Solas Nua—she co-founded the studio Sameblood Productions in 2017. Kate focuses on stories that challenge stereotypes and highlight underrepresented communities, and was very fortunate to work on projects in Lebanon and Palestine, where she fell in love with the Levant. She recently worked with the Middle East Institute to open the MEI Art Gallery, which features modern and contemporary art from the Middle East, and partnered with DC Public Schools to introduce Middle Eastern arts workshops into participating middle and high schools. As a teaching artist, Kate conducts film workshops for displaced youth, most recently working with resettled refugee children (primarily from Syria) in Berlin, Germany, and aims to use arts workshops to provide much-needed skill-development opportunities for displaced youth interested in the creative economy. In her study, she is particularly interested in the historical and potential role of art in social innovation and development. She was an inaugural Artist in Residence at 202Creates in 2018, and a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) Arts and Humanities Fellow. Kate graduated with honors from the Catholic University of America in 2013, where she earned her BA in Media Studies concentrating on Documentary Production.