Essence Harden is a Ph.D. Candidate, independent curator, writer, and artist. Essence has curated exhibitions at Charlie James Gallery, California African American Museum (CAAM), Antenna Gallery (New Orleans), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), The Advocate and Gochis Galleries, and Residency Art Gallery (Inglewood). Their writing has appeared in Leste Magazine, Performa Magazine, SFAQ: International Arts and Culture, Everyday Feminism, Palmss Magazine, and Acres. Essence is a recipient of The 2018 Creative Capital, Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program Grant.


Essence graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and received their Master of Arts from the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. Essence is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley.

Essence resides in Los Angeles, CA where they co-publish the art publication kin. and designed a pair of shoes for Everybody.World.