Kira Simon-Kennedy is the co-founder and director of China Residencies, a nonprofit supporting creative exchange in within China and the diaspora by sharing resources and creating a network of over 30 different residencies in mainland China and Hong Kong. Through the nonprofit's year-old fiscal sponsorship program, China Residencies supports creative collectives and community organizations like BUFU, a collaborative living archive centered around (pan)Black and (pan)Asian cultural and political relationships; Yellow Jackets, a queer/intersectional Yellow American collective collaborating towards radical futures that centralize marginalized bodies; and The W.O.W Project, a community space and artist residency resisting gentrification and shaping the future of New York's Chinatown. Since 2016, she has been a part of the New Museum's incubator for art, technology & design, NEW INC, as one of the founders of res, a search engine to help connect creative people with opportunities worldwide.
Kira is a board member of Res Artis, the worldwide network of artist residencies, and contributes to online publications like the British Council's UK China Now and ArtsEverywhere. She is also a French and Mandarin translator for contemporary art publications and an independent documentary film producer focused on developing women-led projects in China, Iceland, Mexico, and Mississippi. Kira holds a BA in Chinese and photography from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of the inaugural Arts & Culture Social Impact Strategy program at Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice.