Ato Blankson-Wood is multi-talented — an actor, singer, and dancer — who is capable of deftly blending poetry, story-telling and music in performance. The third of five children born to Ghanaian parents, his childhood home was filled with dancing, laughter, story and song. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he earned early-career professional credits with the Broadway revival of Hair (2009-10) and Lysistrata Jones (2011). Eager to expand his abilities and range, he enrolled in the MFA Acting program at the Yale School of Drama. After receiving an MFA degree, he was selected for the lead role in the musical The Total Bent at The Public Theater, and Spike Lee has cast him in She’s Gotta Have It for Netflix. The Fellowship will put him that much closer to his artistic and professional goals: continued training (on-camera classes, voice lessons, audition coaching), activities to advance his career (trips to Los Angeles for pilot season, a trip to Ghana and its National Theater to study storytelling traditions, a weekend songwriting retreat), and investments in other professional services.