Imana Gunawan, a Texas-born Indonesian, is a Seattle-based storyteller, multimedia journalist, dance artist and creative director. Through her journalism and dance work, Imana believes in empowering those who have historically been pushed aside. As a journalist, Imana specializes in breaking news reporting and digital journalism, but has a soft spot for community-centered journalism and audio production. Imana currently works as news domain expert for Dataminr and is part of the On the Boards Ambassador Writer's Corps. She was previously an editor at Breaking News (NBC News Digital) and producer at Humanosphere, where she produces/hosts weekly podcasts on community-based solutions to global poverty and inequity. She is a member of Au Collective — a dance-based nonprofit centering people of color, queer people, and womxn — with which she regularly performs, collaborates and teaches. Since graduating from University of Washington's journalism and dance programs in 2015, she has been commissioned/produced by American Dance Guild in NYC, Velocity's Next Fest NW, Full Tilt, Washington Ensemble Theater, and BOOST Dance Festival, among others. She has also received residencies from the University of Washington, Center on Contemporary Art, and Shunpike. As a performer, Imana has worked with renowned artists and companies such as Chamber Dance Company, Alice Gosti, BANDALOOP, George Staib (Staibdance), Jennifer Salk, Mary Sheldon Scott, Amy O'Neal, and Gianti Giadi (GIGI Dance Company). She has performed on- and off-stage in Washington and Jakarta since 2011, and taught in Seattle, Jakarta, and Amman, Jordan. She has also been featured on music videos or live show visuals. Imana is passionate about facilitating community conversations and has hosted panels on knowledge sharing for artists of color at events including the Artist of Color Expo and Symposium and the Womxn's Creative Industries Meetup.
In the journalism sphere, Imana has contributed written, audio, and/or photographic work to NBC News, The Jordan Times, NPR's Next Generation Radio, Seattle Weekly, International Examiner, SeattleDances, The Seattle Lesbian, and more. She was awarded the Pioneer News Group Award for Excellence in Journalism for her community reporting work, and was a 2014 recipient of the Foreign Intrigue Scholarship, which allowed her to work for The Jordan Times in Amman, Jordan. Her reporting interests include underrepresented communities and histories, the intersection between policy and culture, and the arts—issues which often seep into her dance works.
In her spare time, Imana takes photos, writes essays and poetry, cultivates her personal style, sings, and talks/reads/thinks about the intersection of pop culture and the lives of people of color. Imana believes in the Oxford comma.
Humanosphere | 2015-2017
text + audio
On the Boards | 2016-present
text - responses to works presented by the On the Boards as part of the Ambassador Writers Corps.
SeattleDances | 2013-2017
The Jordan Times | June-August 2014
Freelance | 2013-present
text + audio
bylines from NBC News, NPR's Next Generation Radio, Seattle Weekly, International Examiner, The Seattle Lesbian, among others.