National Dance Day & International Deaf Week Spotlight: Antoine Hunter

Today, Comcast celebrates National Dance Day and kicks off International Deaf Week by spotlighting 2023 “Icons Among Us” Winner Antoine Hunter, also known as Purple Fire Crow.

“Icons Among Us” is an initiative done in partnership with the Black Joy Parade in Oakland. Comcast has been a proud supporter of this initiative for the past three years. It was created to recognize local activists and leaders dedicated to being a warrior for racial equality. The award has since become an extension of the organization and a popular initiative that the community actively engages in as they nominate selfless individuals and celebrate the movement of racial equality beyond Black History Month.

Antoine Hunter is an award-winning, internationally known African American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, producer and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disabled, Deaf and hearing artists and produces Deaf-friendly events.

An innovator and changemaker at heart, Hunter has founded many organizations and programs driven to expand diversity and inclusion within the arts. He founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company in 2007 and the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013. Hunter utilizes his company’s artistic talents to engage with audiences, empower Deaf and disabled communities, and advocate for human rights and access, working to end discrimination and prejudice. His shoe company, DropLabs, released an innovative haptic product to help people feel music. In response to COVID-19 in July 2020, Hunter founded #DeafWoke, an online talk show that amplifies BIPOC Deaf and Disabled stories as a force for cultural change.

Hunter curated 2021 Bay Area Deaf Arts at SOMArts, is a 2021 YBCA 100 honoree, is on the production team of Signing Animation actively working on inclusive films, and serves on the boards of Dance/USA, BABDA, Museum of Dance and councils for CalArts Alumnx and Intrinsic Arts. His awards and recognitions include the 2023 USA Artists Fellowship Award, 2022 Disability Futures Fellowship, 2021 Dance Teacher Award, 2019 National Dance/USA fellowship recognized by the Mayor of Oakland, 2018 inaugural Jeanette Lomujo Bremond Humanity Arts Award, and 2017 Isadora Duncan (Izzie) for BAIDDF. Hunter’s work has also been performed globally, and he has lectured across the U.S., including at Kennedy Center’s VSA, Harvard and Duke University, and the National Assembly of State Arts as an ambassador for social change.

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