Kantara Souffrant is the Assistant Professor of Global/Nonwestern Art History and Visual Culture at Illinois State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University with certificates in Critical Theory, African and Diaspora studies, and Teaching. Kantara has taught at Oberlin College and Northwestern University, and served as a teaching artist in Chicagoland public schools through Columbia College’s Arts Integration Mentorship Project (Project AIM). Outside of her teaching, Souffrant worked as the Manager of School and Teacher Programs at the Milwaukee Art Museum, was a CO- MISSION Curatorial Resident at Links Hall and has curated a variety of performances and community programs. She has also held leadership positions on various community initiatives, and her published work appears in the anthology Vodou in the Haitian Experience; the art project Correspondence between NYC & PaP; Prospect.3: Notes for Now; Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, and The Huffington Post.
Souffrant is an artist-scholar. She combines movement, folk stories, interviews, and personal narratives to create what she calls “embodied storytelling.” She has presented her scholarly- artistic work at numerous venues including the Whitney Biennale under the Dance Diaspora Collective, the American Studies Association, The Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Northwestern University, New York University, Oberlin College, The Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diasporic Institute, Links Hall, the Milwaukee Art Museum, The Greater Milwaukee Foundation of Milwaukee, and the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Kantara uses her scholarly, performance, and community-based work to encourage dialogue, individual, and communal transformation. A trained mediator with a background in conflict resolution and facilitated dialogue, Kantara is a gifted community activator. She served as a facilitator and leader in Milwaukee’s city-wide, 200 Nights of Freedom initiative, which honored the 50th Anniversary of the “March on Milwaukee,” Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Fair Housing Marches (August 28, 1967 – April 8, 1968). Kantara uses her training and a variety of art forms to lead workshops and create engaging learning experiences in classrooms, boardrooms, and corporate spaces. Kantara is committed to facilitating community-centered
dialogues that helps people speak with honesty, listen actively, and define their goals with clarity.
Kantara Souffrant is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother. She tries to pursue and model balance—to enjoy the good things in life. When Souffrant is not teaching, grading, or facilitating, she is dancing—in the living room or out in the world. Dancing inspires Kantara’s embodied storytelling and encourages her to look for the connections between everyday experiences and radical transformation.