Declaration artist Paul Rucker will speak at the 2018 TED Conference, joining a class of 20 young innovators from four continents.

Amazing news!

Cellist and Visual Artist Paul Rucker, an iCubed Visiting Arts Fellow embedded here at the ICA, has been selected as a 2018 TED Fellow. He joins a class of 20 change-makers from around the world who will deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Members of the new Fellows class include a journalist who fights fake news in her native Ukraine; a Thai architect designing buildings and spaces with climate change in mind in order to protect vulnerable communities; and a pediatrician who helps families file their taxes in the doctor’s waiting room. A full list of the new TED Fellows and Senior Fellows is available at

As part of iCubed’s Racial Equity, Arts and Culture transdisciplinary core, Rucker helps foster critical dialogue about the fair treatment of all people in and through arts and culture. The program is a collaboration of VCU’s School of the Arts, the Department of African American Studies, and the ICA.

Richmond and Baltimore-based Rucker integrates live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art in his investigation of community impact, human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions surrounding particular subject matter.

Much of his current work focuses on the prison-industrial complex and the many issues accompanying incarceration in its relationship to slavery. He has presented performances and visual art exhibitions across the country–in schools, active prisons, and inactive prisons such as Alcatraz–and has collaborated with educational institutions to address the issue of mass incarceration.

Rucker’s piece, Storm in the Time of Shelter, will appear in our inaugural exhibition, Declaration, which opens to the public on April 21, and will remain on view through September 9, 2018.