2022 Artist in Residence

2022 Artist in Residence: Saskia Tomkins + Mixed Museum

Created to foster cultural cross-pollination, diversify audiences, and nurture artistic growth, FAI’s Artist in Residence program pairs folk musicians with institutions and community organizations through innovative partnerships. Learn more about past projects here.


This year’s pairing and focus intentionally relate to our ongoing efforts to examine race and equity issues in our global community through the lens of folk music.

About the 2022 AIR Project

For the project, Tomkins is composing an instrumental piece weaving Roma, traditional fiddle, and blues elements to accompany a narrated photo/video essay exploring her family’s search to find her grandfather, a segregated African-American G.I. forbidden to marry his white girlfriend and required to return to the US while his daughter (Saskia’s mother) was twice forced into an orphanage as part of England’s buried and rarely-discussed “Brown Babies/half-castes” era.

The piece will be presented at the annual Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, MO, on Friday, May 20, 2022. The performance will also be live-streamed for virtual attendees.

About Saskia Tomkins

Saskia Tomkins is a master of violin/fiddle, viola, cello, and nyckelharpa. She is classically trained with a folk background, holds a B.A. (Hons) in Music (Jazz), and won the All Britain Champion Irish Fiddler Award. She has appeared with countless artists including The Chieftains and she is credited with the “Celtic-ifying” of the Broadway hit “Come From Away.” She performs solo, with multiple ensembles, and is part of several orchestras.

About The Mixed Museum

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, The Mixed Museum is a non-profit organization seeking to preserve and share the history of Black, Asian, and wider ethnic minority presence and racial mixing in Britain. The museum’s “Brown Babies” exhibition exploring stories of children born to black G.I.s and white women in the Second World War was honored with a Museums Association 2021 Museums Change Lives award.