Fatimata Traore headshot

Fatimata Traore

Visual Arts

I’m a native African, first generation American citizen in Illinois. My nickname from my grandmother when I was younger was “little girl with golden hands.” I’ve been crafting since I was a very young age. I quickly developed my craft as a braider and in 2010 earned an Illinois state license in this work. With my leadership skills, I became the head of all braiders and natural hair stylists in Illinois.

I participate in the African Festival of Art and in initiatives to address braiding hygiene, business management, and safety. I also work as a legal and medical interpreter/translator from French-Bambara into English. In 2015-16, I received the “Crossing Boundaries Prize” from Arts + Public Life. I have presented work at the University of Chicago, MCA Chicago, South Side Community Art Center, and Silent Funny. I’m a storyteller with the “One Chicago” project through the Office of the Mayor and work with “Night Out in the Parks” with the Chicago Park District.

Fatimata Traore has crowd-funded a project with 3AP