Cornelia Stokes curatorial practice is based in Pan-African practices and kinship, focusing on building community through the arts and philosophies of the Black diaspora. Looking to complexify the oversimplification of Blackness within mainstream culture, Stokes invests in opportunities to promote and explore the wide varieties of the Black experience. Specifically, Stokes has designed innovative spaces for conversation and art-making, centering young Black students, creatives and local businesses. Stokes has worked at Syracuse University, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and the Telfair Museums. She graduated from Spelman College with B.A. in Art with
a concentration in Curatorial Studies and received
her M.A. in Pan-African Studies from Syracuse University, where her thesis focused on contemporary artist Amy Sherald.