Jess Hooks fell in love with participatory art in LA area nightlife in the early 90s. While attending Hampshire College she drew a connection between the avant-guard, medieval art & literature, monotheism, capitalism and the construction of female identities. After completing post-graduate programs at FIDM & UCSC, Jess received an MFA in Dramatic Art from UC Davis. For the next 10 years, she focused her efforts as a designer for contemporary dance, devised theater, nightlife, and fashion – collaborating with drag queens and academics, designing for festivals and theaters, making work with some of the most respected choreographers, fashion labels, event producers and directors in contemporary art, performance, nightlife & fashion. In 2010 she joined the leadership of The FIGMENT Project – an arts non-profit committed to advance social & personal transformation through creativity in the form of free participatory events.
In 2018 Jess completed GEMMA, Erasmus Mundus Masters Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. Her research explores social practice arts initiatives and projects during political transitions. She hopes to continue her work as producer of participatory art and art spaces with a focus on issues relating to gender, sexuality, and migration after the program.