An Oakland native, Antoine Hunter, aka Purple Fire Crow, 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, produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company in 2007 and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013. Awards include the 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 been performed globally, and he has lectured across the U.S., including at the Kennedy Center’s VSA, Harvard and Duke Universities, and the National Assembly of State Arts as an ambassador for social change. 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.
Along with CEO Susan Paley, his shoe company, DropLabs, released an innovative haptic product to help people feel music. Hunter curated the 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.
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. www.realurbanjazzdance.com