Benji Hart headshot

Benji Hart

2015 3Arts Awards /  2020 The MacDowell Colony Fellow /  2018 The Rauschenberg Residency Fellow
Teaching Arts

Benji Hart is a Chicago-based author, artist, and educator whose work centers Black radicalism, queer liberation, and prison abolition. Their words have appeared in numerous anthologies, and been published at Time, Teen Vogue, The Advocate, The Funambulist, and elsewhere. They have led workshops for organizations and at academic institutions internationally, and facilitated convenings for groups like Law For Black Lives, National Bail Out, Dissenters, and Project NIA. They have read their poems at the Guild Literary Complex, Young Chicago Authors, and Women & Children First. Their performances have been featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, USA (2021); Den Frie, Copenhagen, Denmark (2021); Museo del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico (2020); and the Amsterdam University of the Arts, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2019). They have been a 3Arts fellow at The Rauschenberg Residency and The MacDowell Colony, and are a 3Arts awardee in Teaching Arts.

Benji Hart is a Black, queer, femme artist and educator currently living in Chicago. They are the writer behind the blog Radical Faggot, and have essays featured in the anthologies Rebellious Mourning: Collective Works of Grief (2017) and Taking Sides: Radical Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism (2015), both from AK Press. Their writing has also been published in Truthout, Salon Magazine, Socialist Worker, and other feminist and abolitionist media.

While formally certified as an elementary educator, their teaching philosophy is grounded in popular education, and relies on art to inspire resistance and direct action. Their areas of expertise include the dance form vogue, spoken word poetry, trans history, and prison and police abolition. They have taught voguing to queer and trans youth at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Broadway Youth Center, and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. They have offered workshops on a range of political topics to such groups as Assata’s Daughters, Chicago Desi Youth Rising, For the People Artists Collective, and others.

Their original one-person piece Dancer As Insurgent–which explores the street dance style of vogue as a form of radical resistance–has been performed at conferences and universities across Chicago, such as Black & Pink’s National Gathering (2017), Creating Justice (2016), INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence’s conference Color of Violence 4 (2015), and Jane Adams Hull House (2015). Their poetry and spoken word have been featured at showcases and venues around the city.

Featured Artworks

  •  Benji Hart artwork
  •  Benji Hart artwork
  •  Benji Hart artwork

Benji Hart has crowd-funded a project with 3AP

    • $5,630 raised of $5,000 goal
    • 0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
      • 3Arts matched
      • 113% funded

    Focusing on the dance forms of bomba and vogue, I am organizing a creative exchange among Black artists in Chicago and Puerto Rico to learn from and interrogate the ways in which gender and sexuality impact Black diasporic traditions. Our …

    Read more about Black Performance Exchange