Lula Saleh, East African Diaspora Artists Initiative (Founder & Exec./Artistic Director)
- About Lula Saleh, East African Diaspora Artists Initiative (Founder & Exec./Artistic Director)
Lula Saleh is an Eritrean and Ethiopian, Saudi-born, Muslim American poet, singer-songwriter, healer, journalist, artist-organizer and third culture kid who was raised between Saudi Arabia, the U.K., East Africa, and the US. Lula is an inaugural Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellow and a Creative Community Fellow with National Arts Strategies.
Lula uses writing, music and performance as a form of storytelling about her multiethnic diasporic identities. As a singer, her genre is electronic soul with jazz influence, reflecting the diversity of her heritage and global upbringing.
Lula has received national and region-wide recognition for her work as an artist. Her song-poem called, "How Many More?" highlighting the global plight of African refugees, went viral, featured in OkayAfrica and Upworthy, and her latest poem, "#NABRA: a Eulogy" was in memory of slain Black Muslim American teen Nabra Hassanen, which was featured in City Pages.
She has also been featured/published in:
Al Jazeera English, Colorlines, The Nation, Voice of America, Minnesota Public Radio, and more. Lula is an alum of the Givens Black Writers Fellowship and the Institute of Political Journalism (Georgetown University). She has also performed at, or collaborated with: the National Endowment for the Arts, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Button Poetry, Springboard for the Arts, the Loft Literary Center and more.
Currently, Lula works as the Creative Placemaking Program Manager at African Economic Development Solutions and Little Africa, leading all of AEDS' arts and culture programming with African immigrants in St. Paul. Lula is also the founder of the East African Diaspora Artists Initiative (EADAI), a global creative and social collaborative platform for East African diasporan artists. She received her B.A. in journalism and political science, with a focus on African/African American Studies from the University of Minnesota. Lula is passionate about the intersections and notions of loss, home, healing, diaspora blackness, and citizenship as an immigrant, third culture kid, Muslim woman, and a multiethnic African in the diaspora and believes fiercely in the power of art and music to build empathy and heal.