Ashon Crawley

2022 Crossroads Arts Fellow


Ashon Crawley is a writer, artist and teacher, exploring the intersection of performance, blackness, queerness and spirituality. Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia, he is author of Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility (Fordham University Press) and The Lonely Letters (Duke University Press). He is currently working on a book about black social life; a book about the Hammond B3 organ, the black church, and sexuality; and a short story collection. A MacDowell interdisciplinary arts fellow, and a New City Arts Initiative Fellow, his work has been featured at Second Street Gallery, Welcome Gallery, Bridge Projects and the California African American Museum. All his work is about otherwise possibility.

Crossroads Arts Fellow Project

loss. nothing. memorial.

A multidisciplinary memorial combining augmented reality, light sculpture and sound installations honoring musicians, singers and choir directors lost to HIV/AIDS in the Black Church between 1980 and 2005. The public health crisis impacted and was consequential to the social reality, theological understanding and sound practices of the black church. As a fellow, Crawley will work on the sound portion of the installation, taking music created by musicians that performed while living with HIV and died with AIDS-related complications, and remixing their music with his own performances on the Hammond organ.