Eliaichi Kimaro worked for 12 years as a community organizer and crisis counselor supporting survivors of rape and abuse before she found filmmaking. She has produced over 80 videos for nonprofits addressing social, racial and economic justice issues.
Her feature film A Lot Like You (2011) won six Best Documentary Awards on the film festival circuit before being broadcast nationally on PBS. A Lot Like You shows how our experiences of culture, race, class, gender and trauma shape our understanding of who we are and where we come from. After eight years on the international campus/conference lecture circuit, Eliaichi distilled her keynotes in her 2016 TEDxSeattle talk, “Why the World Needs Your Story.”
In 2014, visual art became her primary focus. Eliaichi was selected for COCA's Storefronts [UN]Contained Residency in 2017. Since then, she has been the recipient of the Artist Trust Fellowship, two CityArtist Grants through Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, and a scholarship from the International Encaustic Association. Eliaichi has served on numerous nonprofit Boards, art grant panels, film festival juries, museum exhibition planning committees, and advisory committees. She is a member artist at Columbia City Gallery and the COCA Gallery, and a juried member of the City of Seattle’s Ethnic Artist Roster and the Art In Shops program.
As a self-taught artist and creative storyteller, Eliaichi Kimaro is constantly reinventing herself, learning whatever medium it takes to tell the story that is emerging. Over the past 40 years, she has used writing, music, photography, film, storytelling, and now mixed-media art to explore her personal/family narrative.
As a queer, mixed-race woman of color, daughter of immigrants (Korean mother, Tanzanian father), and a survivor of abuse, Eliaichi makes art to tell stories. Her work explores family stories spanning generations and continents, stories that breathe in and out of space and time.
Across every medium, Eliaichi finds beauty in the rusty, weathered and worn. She loves the stories that scars hold ~ and feels compelled to take those stories of survival, and turn them into something beautiful to behold.