Kelly Tsai is an award-winning artist, singer, songwriter, and producer based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2019, she has been selected for the Adidas Nitejogger #Beatmakers Lab for music production and will be releasing instrumental tracks and her EP Villain. Her music pairs introspective lyricism with experimental production, drawing from the soulful and subconscious to explore new emotional terrain in avant-pop, art pop, electronica, and alternative R&B.

She is also currently working on her memoir, The Invisible Word  (2017 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship - Nonfiction Literature, Nominated for 2019 New York Community Trust Ellen Levine Prize) and a series of digital poetry GIF’s, #guessitsfate. Her award-winning film collaboration with illustrator/animator Ryan Hartley Smith, “To Find Your Place in the World,” was projected on the Manhattan Bridge for the 2019 Light Year art exhibit. She has also been selected as a member for Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective for the 2019-2020 season.

Her work as a spoken word poet has been featured at 700+ venues worldwide including the White House (under Obama), Apollo Theater, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, three seasons of HBO's "Def Poetry," HBO's "East of Main Street: Asians Aloud," and events for Gloria Steinem & Tyra Banks. Her work has been profiled by Forbes, NPR, New York Daily News, Huffington Post, NBC News, NY1, C-SPAN, and HBO. 

Her work as an interdisciplinary performance artist has been presented nationally and internationally via New York Live Arts, Brooklyn Museum, HERE, Ars Nova, Culture Project, Taipei Poetry Festival and more. Her short films have been screened at film fests in the US and abroad and won awards at Media That Matters & UrbanWorld VIBE. In 2018, Kelly was featured as an actress on HBO’s Peabody Award-winning series, “Random Acts of Flyness.” She is a member of ASCAP, SAG/AFTRA, & The Wing.

Biographical Info

Presenters & Venues (Selected Listing) 


American Association of University Women's Woman of Distinction Award
Americorps Alums National Leader Award
Media that Matters Film Festival War & Peace Award
Outstanding Asian American Alumni of the Year, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Artist Fellowships & Workshops

Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective (Film)
Callaloo (Fiction)
Cave Canem (Poetry) 
Kundiman (Poetry)
New York Foundation for the Arts (Non-Fiction Literature / Memoir)
Rising Circle PlayRISE (Playwriting)
Voices of Our Nation Foundation (Poetry)

Artist Grants & Residencies

Asian American Arts Alliance
Asian Women’s Giving Circle
Illinois Arts Council
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
New York Foundation for the Arts
New York Live Arts
Poets & Writers


2nd Round, Sundance Screenwriters Lab
2nd Round, Hedgebrook Screenwriters Lab
Finalist, Public Theater Emerging Writers Group
Finalist, Creative Capital
Finalist, New York Theater Workshop Emerging Fellows of Color 

Juror / Artistic Panels

Brooklyn Arts Council (Theater)
Hedgebrook (Multi-Genre Literature)
Kundiman (Poetry)
Leeway Foundation (Multi-Genre Arts)
The Loft Literary Fellowship (Poetry)
The Rumpus (Fiction)
Maryland State Arts Council (Poetry)