Having a passion for community engagement and working with youth, Nicholas Felder builds community in artmaking, unlocking truths around self-identity, and creating a space for embodied expression. Nicholas currently leads an Activism Through Art program at the Neutral Zone, a teen-driven nonprofit in Ann Arbor, MI, and loves to encourage teens to express their social and political views through artmaking.
An active composer and collaborator, Nicholas has had his works performed nationally by ensembles, such as the Hawaii Youth Symphony, Mivos Quartet, Kennesaw State University Symphony Orchestra, DC Youth Orchestra Program and University of Michigan Converge Quartet. He recently worked with co-composer Alfredo Cabrera at The School at Marygrove in Detroit on a project called “Sing My Song.” Under the Hampsong Foundation’s partnership with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, Nicholas and Alfredo led workshops to guide a class through writing, recording, and producing a song about experiencing and overcoming trauma.
Nicholas has a passion for teaching and working with young students. His love grew as he started leading the Activism Through Art program at the Neutral Zone, a teen-driven nonprofit in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Each session, he notes work by arts activists, such as Toshi Reagon (Parable of the Sower opera, 2015) and Jeff Donaldson (Jampact and Jelly Tite visual art, 1988), to encourage teens to express their social and political views through artmaking. By offering a wide array of art pieces and open-ended discussion questions, Nicholas challenges students to not only critique public work but also consider the role of their own art in the world.
Nicholas earned degrees from the University of Michigan and Kennesaw State University, studying with Evan Chambers, Kristin Kuster, and Laurence Sherr.