keith-corprew-headshot-web.jpgKeith Corprew earned his Master of Theological Studies degree from Candler in 2020. In 2022, Corprew won the Fulbright Trinity Laban Postgraduate Award in Music and Dance, specializing in dance. We checked in with Keith as he’s wrapping up the first of two years studying at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.

What have you been up to since you graduated from Candler?

After graduating in 2020, I continued working at Morehouse College as the program coordinator of the Howard Thurman Honors Program and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Scholars. These roles provided the opportunity for me to think deeply about community formation and how to implement tools of introspection and contemplative meditation to encourage the scholars to do the same for themselves.

I also resumed training and working as a dancer and choreographer. I choreographed and performed for the 2022 Candler-sponsored conference on Howard Thurman, “The Unfinished Search for Common Ground.” Additional experiences included booking a movie set to be released in 2023, working with local dance companies Komansé Dance Theater and the Adinkra Project, as well as choreographing as a 2022 Dance Canvas and Atlanta Contemporary Art Museum Summer Resident Choreographer.

What inspired you to apply for a Fulbright?

My journey with Fulbright first began as an undergraduate student at Morehouse. While I did not apply at that time, it was the initial seed that reemerged to consider Fulbright as a potential opportunity to pursue. After graduating from Candler and experiencing the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was quite frustrated not knowing what lay in store for me in the future. As I reflected on the experiences that I found to be the most life-giving at that time, I realized that I was yearning for an experience that would allow me to travel internationally for an extended period and prioritize my artistic development in ways that I never had the opportunity to before. 

How did your experience as a Candler student impact your plans to apply for the Fulbright? Has it played into any part of your UK experience thus far?

There are so many things to mention. I’ll start first by speaking to the desire for international travel. As a Candler student, I had the opportunity to travel internationally for the first time on a World Methodist Evangelism Institute (WMEI) travel seminar to Sri Lanka. While I thoroughly enjoyed my time on this trip, as we neared the end of the two weeks I was grateful for the return home. I did not have the endurance at that time to be immersed in a culture that different to American culture for a longer period. As I reflected on a desire to have more experiences like the trip to Sri Lanka, I realized that it would be advantageous to pursue international opportunities that could help me to build that endurance. Fulbright was one of the main opportunities I was aware of that offered just that.

The extracurricular activities that I participated in as a Candler student were also inspirational and quite supportive in my preparation for my Fulbright experience. Under the mentorship of Associate Dean of Worship and Spiritual Formation Khalia Williams, I became more confident in my choreographic and dance leadership capabilities. Dean Williams recognized my potential and offered a space for that potential to blossom, through working with the Chapel to form the Candler Dancers, which danced at Chapel services as well as on tour with the Candler Singers in 2019.

I also found the coursework I completed in the Master of Theological Studies program and Black Church Studies Certificate program to support the clarification of my research interests concerning Black cultural productions and their significance to the communities that they originate from. 

What are you up to in the UK? How is the program going so far?

This program is amazing! There have been some challenges but overall, it has been quite a fulfilling experience. I am pursuing my MFA in the Creative Practice: Transdisciplinary Programme at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and furthering my practice as a performer, choreographer, filmmaker, community practitioner, and scholar.


What has been your favorite experience (or a few highlights!) so far?

My favorite experience so far has been the creation of my first film project as a part of my filmmaking module. This film focused on the experiences of Black women across the conservatoire and was an affirming experience for all of us. One of the collaborators on this project remarked:

“This project gave me something that I did not know I needed, to feel comfortable, to feel vulnerable, and it gave me closure; specifically, because I have spent nearly four years in an environment with people who would not understand how the world views me, or how I view it. I didn’t feel alone.”

For me, I felt affirmed that the inquiries I had regarding the connectivity of experiences of members of the African diasporic community across the world are valid inquiries to investigate today.

I am quite proud of this work and the process it took to bring it into fruition. It has affirmed me in this new venture of creating film and community facilitation. 

During my time at Trinity Laban, I also aim to create a film that explores the experiences of Black men in the UK and how their identities impact their sense of belonging to self, location, and community in the United Kingdom and the world beyond. This will take place through conducting interviews and community workshops that gather Black men together for a series of activities and conversations.

I am currently in the relationship building process with community organizations that focus on uplifting Black males and fostering relationships with Black male artists to collaborate with in the making of this work.

Photos: Keith Corprew