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Kira Simon-Kennedy          

Co-Founder & Director of China Residencies, Co-founder of Rivet & Independent Film Producer; Best Known for "Ascension"

Kira Simon-Kennedy is the co-founder & co-director of China Residencies, a multifaceted arts nonprofit that has supported hundreds of different international creative exchanges to China since its inception in 2013. She has been a fellow at NEW INC, the New Museum’s incubator for art, design & technology, as well as the IFP Made in NY Media Center, building Rivet to connect creative people with opportunities worldwide. She is also an Academy Award nominated independent film producer (登楼叹 Ascension, 2021) as well as ongoing series about the creative scenes in China’s smaller cities, and a previous year long project about China’s underground music scene for the record label Modern Sky.

Simon-Kennedy holds a BA in East Asian Studies and Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and was a member of the inaugural class of Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice program in Social Impact Strategy and Arts & Culture. She is a translator of French and Chinese texts on art and philosophy and co-wrote "Holy Shit My Friend Has Cancer," a website to help young people deal with tough situations.

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