I am a multimedia artist, researcher, and educator of Afrofuturism and Black Islam in the U.S. based in Baltimore, MD.

Read more about me here.

Islam & Prints What Happens When We Nurture exhibition named “Best of” in the Baltimore Beat’s end-of-year publication.

Baltimore Beat’s review of Islam & Print’s What Happens When We Nurture exhibition.

UMBC Magazine’s alumni profile, “The Mundane Afrofuturism of multimedia artist Safiyah Cheatam”

  1. Assistant Manager of Teen Programs at the Walters Art Museum
  2. Co-founder of Islam & Print
  3. Trustee at the Awesome Foundation

︎ Work
︎ Research
︎ Programs
︎ Podcast
︎ About
Selected CV


2021       MFA, Intermedia + Digital Arts, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD
2017       BS, Electronic Media and Film, Towson University, Towson, MD
2010       Young Scholars Program, Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
                     Courses: ARCH 150 - Discovering Architecture (3)

Solo Exhibition History


Things Imagined, VisArts, Rockville, MD


Everything is Connected, Jubilee Arts, Baltimore, MD (online due to COVID-19)

Group Exhibition History


I Am Muslim, Above Art Studios, New Brunswick, NJ (curated by Nzingah Oyo)
Dispersive Archives Vol. 2, Eubie Blake Cultural Center, Baltimore, MD (curated by Joy Davis, Waller Gallery)


SPARK IV: A New World, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD


Refusing Refusal, Baltimore, MD (online due to COVID-19)


No Walls, No Bans, No Borders, The Peale Center, Baltimore, MD (curated by Rebel Lens Bmore)
Supernova, StartUp Shell, University of Maryland, College Park, MD (curated by Tajbik Sheikh)
Sister Cities Animated!, Sweaty Eyeballs Animation, Baltimore, MD (curated by Lynn Tomlinson and myself)


Born in Baltimore Film Festival, Baltimore, MD


Progress, 4c Gallery, Baltimore, MD (curated by Markele Cullins and Suldano Abdiruhman; Online)

Awards, Grants, Residencies


Wherewithal Project Grant, Washington Project for the Arts & The Andy Warhol Foundation, Washington D.C.

“as imminent as bread” Grant, Orange Tangent Study, Brooklyn, NY
Baltimore City Artist Recovery Grant (ARG), Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Baltimore, MDWherewithal Research Grant, Washington Project for the Arts & The Andy Warhol Foundation, Washington D.C.
Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY


Grit Fund – Emergency Recovery Grant, Baltimore, MD
Fleur And Charles Bresler Residency, VisArts, Rockville, MD, September - January 2022
Summer Research Grant, Center for Religion and the City | Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD


Most Cultured Podcast Nominee - OBSIDIAN Podcast, Black Podcasting Awards
Red Bull Arts Baltimore Microgrant - August
Best Fiction Podcast Nominee - OBSIDIAN Podcast, Ignyte Award FIYAHCON 2020, FIYAH Literary Magazine
Baltimore Artist Retreat, Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Baltimore, MD


Rubys Artist Grant - Media Arts - OBSIDIAN Podcast, Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Baltimore, MD
Professional Development Grant, UMBC Graduate Student Association, Baltimore County, MD

Born in Baltimore Film Festival, Baltimore, MD
    Official Selection, A Letter From the 8th Floor (2017)
Women in Leadership Conference, Towson University, Towson, MD
    Nominated Attendant by College Dean


Media Arts Festival, Towson University, Towson, MD
    2nd Place Music Mixing, Across (2016)

Curatorial Experience


Co-curator, What Happens When We Nurture: 2022 Islam & Print Cohort Exhibition, Black Artist Research Space (BARS), Baltimore, MD, July 8 - 30


Islamic Art Advisory Committee Member, Across Asia: Arts of Asia and the Islamic World, The Walters Art Museum, April 2023 

Curatorial Team, Betting on Hope: Baltimore and the Collective Work of 2022, Morgan State University’s James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, Oct 29 - Feb 4, 2022


Research Assistant, Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C.


Co-curator, Sister Cities Animated!, Sweaty Eyeballs Animation, Parkway Theater, Baltimore, MD, February 11


Co-curator, Bmore Accomplished: Not Just History... Black History, Calendar, Wide Angle Youth Media, Baltimore, MD, 

Curator, The Skin We’re In, Zine, Wide Angle Youth Media, Baltimore, MD, Spring 2018

Presentations, Conferences, Panels

“Islamic Art Advisory Committee Roundtable - Docent Enrichment,” Walters Art Museum, May 9

“Counter-Memory & Critical Histories,” Center for Media at Risk, The University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School, April 20

“Speculative Histories and Futures," University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts (CADVC), moderator, March 4

“Yarrow Mamout: Weaver of Islam, Counter-Memory, and Afrofuturism in late 18th century Georgetown, D.C.,” Claiming Space Symposium, Smithsonian Institute, presenter, January 27-29


"Black Muslim Freedom Dreams" Critical Talk with Prof. Dr. Aminah Al-Deen PhD, Muslim Network TV, panelist, August 26

"Black Muslim Freedom Dreams: 101," Black Muslim Psychology Conference, panelist, Muslim Wellness Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, August 20 (online due to COVID-19)

"Making a Case for W.E.B. Du Bois as a Proto-Afrofuturist," History Should Make You Uncomfortable, presenter, Coalition of Master's Scholars on Material Culture, November 21 (online due to COVID-19)
“WOC Artists Panel,” The BlackPrint, presenter, University of Maryland, College Park’s Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy (MICA), College Park, MD, February 26


“Baltimore Spotlight: OBSIDIAN,” From Disordered to Deadly: Information and Power, presenter, Media Democracy Fund, Baltimore, MD, December 4

“Instances of Behavioral Dissonance,” Border Control: Symposium & Exhibition, presenter, New Media Caucus, Ann Arbor, MI, September 21

“#AllRappersGoToHeaven,” Shell Talk, presenter, StartUp Shell - University of Maryland, College Park, MD, April 4


“Mapping a Pathway to Success through Creative Youth Development,” presenter, Maryland Out-of-School Time Network Conference, Baltimore, MD, January 10

Teaching Experience

2020-22 Teaching Artist, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
                     Various Art Activities, December 2020, May and June 2021, October 2022, January and February 2023

2022       Guest Lecturer, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
                     Foundations for Immersive Storytelling, October 2022

2019-20 Teaching Assistant, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD
                     Introduction to Printmaking, Fall 2020
                     Intermedia Studio, Fall 2020
                     Introduction to Art + Media Studies, Fall and Spring 2019-2020
                     Visual Concepts I, Fall 2019

2019-20 Instructor, Summer Enrichment Academy (SEA), University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD
                     The Art of Stop-Motion Animation, Summer 2020
                     The Art of Sound Animation, Summer 2019

2016-18 Lead Media Instructor, Wide Angle Youth Media, Baltimore MD
                     Animation, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017
                     Social Design, Fall and Spring 2016-2018

2016-17 Teaching Assistant, Towson University, Towson, MD
                     Visual Effects, Fall 2016
                     Animation Action Lab, Spring 2017

2013-16 Teaching Assistant, Govans Elementary School, Baltimore, MD
                     Writing and Reading Comprehension, Fall and Spring 2013-2016

Professional Development

2022 “Teaching and Learning as ‘PRIMITIVE HYPERTEXT’” instructed by Kameelah Janan Rasheed, School for Poetic Computation, Brooklyn, NY

2022 “VIRTUAL ARTIFACT: Basics of 3D Model Creation,” instructed by StrikeWare Collective, MC3 Arts Education Studio - Media Arts, Baltimore, MD

2020 Human Subjects in Research Certification, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.


2020-Present Trustee, Awesome Foundation, Baltimore, MD

2021-2022  Member, Islamic Art Advisory Committee, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD

2021       Member, Baltimore Field School Working Group, Baltimore, MD

Press, Publications


Staff Reports, “Best (And Worst) Of Baltimore 2023: For The Culture. Here’s Our List of The Best And Worst of 2023.” Baltimore Beat, November 28, Print/Web. https://baltimorebeat.com/best-and-worst-of-baltimore-2023-for-the-culture/

Rahne Alexander, “From nurture to apocalypse (and back again) —The Mundane Afrofuturism of multimedia artist Safiyah Cheatam.” UMBC Magazine, July 27, Web. https://umbc.edu/stories/afrofuturism-multimedia-artist-safiyah-cheatam/

Teri Henderson, “What Happens When We Nurture? What happens when individuals from marginalized communities create structures to uplift and restore folks who look like them?” Baltimore Beat, July 25, Print/Web. https://baltimorebeat.com/what-happens-when-we-nurture/

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Kevin Strait, and Kinshasha Holman Conwill, eds., Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2023. Print.

“Announcing the Recipients of 2023 Wherewithal Grants,” The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, January 17, Web. https://warholfoundation.org/2023/02/17/announcing-the-recipients-of-2023-wherewithal-grants/


“Studio Visits,” Issue 13: Collect, Bmore Art, May 13, 70, Print.

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, “Where is Blackness in Islamic Art?” BlackFlash, March 31, Web. https://blackflash.ca/blackness-in-islamic-art/

Jasmin Hernandez, “The New Generation of Black Women and Nonbinary Gallerists,” Artsy, March 1, Web. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-new-generation-black-women-nonbinary-gallerists-redefining-gallery-model

Rebecca Juliette, “BmoreArt’s Picks: February 1-7,” BmoreArt, February 1, Web. https://bmoreart.com/2022/02/bmorearts-picks-february-1-7.html

“Washington Projects for the Arts Announces the Recipients of 2022 Wherewithal Grants” The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, January 28, Web. https://warholfoundation.org/2022/01/28/washington-projects-for-the-arts-announces-the-recipients-of-2022-wherewithal-grants/

Editorial Team, “January and February 2022 Exhibitions At Visarts Galleries.” East City Art, January 24, Web. https://www.eastcityart.com/openings-and-events/january-and-february-2022-exhibitions-at-visarts-galleries/ 

Rebecca Juliette, “BmoreArt’s Picks: January 11-17,” BmoreArt, January 11, Web. https://bmoreart.com/2022/01/bmorearts-picks-january-11-17.html


Cara Ober, "An Art Exhibit Considering Our Collective Future." BmoreArt, June 23. Web. https://bmoreart.com/2021/06/an-art-exhibit-considering-our-collective-future.html

Rebecca Juliette, "BmoreArt’s Picks: May 4-10," BmoreArt, May 4. Web. https://bmoreart.com/2021/05/bmorearts-picks-may-4-10.html


"Podcast Recommendations for Your Long Ride Nowhere" Bello Collective, 17 November. Web.

Lauren Passell, "⚰️ Lincoln's cadaver, Billie Holliday, a hip-hop conspiracy theory, Oklahoma City 🎶 Endless Thread's Amory Sivertson 🧵" Podcast The Newsletter, 12 October. Web. 

"60 Minutes Through Space." Open World, 8 October. Web. https://www.openworldradio.com/2020/10/08/60-minutes-through-space/

Lakshmi Gandhi, "55 years later, 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' still inspires." NBC News, 10 September. Web.  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/55-years-later-autobiography-malcolm-x-still-inspires-n1239797

Safiyah Cheatam, “Making a Case for W.E.B. Du Bois as a Proto-Afrofuturist.” The Drinking Gourd | Medium, 31 July. Web. https://medium.com/the-drinking-gourd/making-a-case-for-w-e-b-du-bois-as-a-proto-afrofuturist-302c60d8db8d

Aysha Khan, “Muslim women are building new worlds in science fiction and changing the confines of the genre.” The Washington Post, 17 July. Web. https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/muslim-women-are-building-new-worlds-in-science-fiction-and-changing-the-confines-of-the-genre/2020/07/17/ddea6a6e-c7aa-11ea-a99f-3bbdffb1af38_story.html

“Art Fix Friday: June 18, 2020,” National Museum of Women in the Arts, 18 June, https://nmwa.org/blog/art-fix-friday/art-fix-friday-june-18-2020/

Catalina Sofia Dansberger Duque, “Podcast Fever.” UMBC Magazine, 9 June. Web. https://magazine.umbc.edu/podcast-fever/

Teri Henderson, “MASTERS: Safiyah Cheatam.” BmoreArt, 28 May. Web. https://bmoreart.com/2020/05/masters-safiyah-cheatam.html

Vanessa Taylor, “Degrowing the Future. Part One of The Drinking Gourd’s Afrofuturism roundtable series." The Drinking Gourd | Medium, 31 January. Web. https://medium.com/the-drinking-gourd/degrowing-the-future-3bbfc28a725