“KLRU programming was essential in forming my art.”

Local artist Hakeem Adewumi has been a creator for a long time, but he started out as another viewer like you.

“I grew up on PBS KIDS,” Hakeem tells KLRU. “I think all my friends did.”

Hakeem also distinctly recalls watching a civil rights program on KLRU that hit him hard, capturing a long history of racism and resistance.

“I really used that moment and experience,” he says. “I carry that with me to curate my art, to start talking about the importance of inclusivity and diversity and race, Black history and Black culture.”

Hakeem’s work has taken him all over the world, tracing the roots and pathways of the African diaspora. Last year, a KLRU documentary team followed Hakeem and collaborating artists for an episode of the original KLRU series Arts In Context.

Almost exactly a year ago, the episode premiered on PBS stations all over the country.

It’s something of a full circle for Hakeem: once, KLRU programming inspired and influenced him as an artist. Now, in turn, his story has become part of KLRU’s mission: to share history, art, culture and community with audiences near and far.

“My art is always with a Black lens, it’s always my perspective. But my goal at the end of the day is to always build community,” Hakeem says. “And that platform has been shared widely on KLRU. I’m super grateful for that.”

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