Katie Miranda received her BFA in Illustration and Painting from the Academy of Art University and her MFA also from the Academy or Art University in Graphic Novels.
In 2007 she studied Arabic calligraphy with Palestinian calligrapher Ehab Thabet in Ramallah. While studying for her MFA she had the opportunity to take a jewelry and metal smithing elective. For her final project she decided to combine the arts of Arabic calligraphy and metalsmithing which was how the business began.
Katie is a cartoonist currently published in Mondoweiss and Middle East Eye. Her work has also appeared in Middle East Monitor, Common Dreams, Dissident Voice, and Al Jazeera.
From 2005-2008 Katie lived in the West Bank cities of Hebron and Ramallah while volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). In 2006 Katie’s team of ISM volunteers came under tank fire while entering Balata refugee camp in the West Bank while the camp was under curfew to deliver food and help escort sick or injured Palestinians out. None of the volunteers were hurt.
Inspired by Juliano Mer-Khamis’ documentary Arna’s Children, Katie founded Art Under Apartheid in 2007, a program that taught art, English and yoga to underserved children in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood and Balata refugee camp in Nablus.
Katie and Jonas Moffat founded the Tel Rumeida Circus for Detained Palestinians in 2006 in responses to witnessing Palestinians getting beaten up at a checkpoint. Katie and Jonas had been practicing a circus and juggling routine earlier in the day and in order to distract the soldiers, they started performing the circus routine at the checkpoint. The effect was to draw the soldiers attention away from Palestinians they were harassing or beating and put their focus on Katie and Jonas. Katie and Jonas continued to use this technique throughout the West Bank and also performed circus shows in Hebron, Beit Leed and Askar refugee camp.
In 2007 Katie organized a teach in and t-shirt making demonstration at Checkpoint 56 in Hebron. Palestinian children were invited to create t-shirts at the checkpoint which contained the Martin Luther King Jr. quote “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed” in Arabic, Hebrew and English.
In 2008 Katie led a team of ISM volunteers to a village in the northern West Bank where a video tape had been dropped in a field by an activist who filmed a critical event before he was arrested by the Israeli army. The video contained proof needed to exonerate a Palestinian who had been falsely arrested for a crime he did not commit. Katie’s team successfully bi-passed two army jeeps in a closed military zone and snuck under a guard tower to retrieve the video tape which eventually lead to the Palestinian being freed.
In 2014 Katie hosted the Palestine Solidarity telesummit where she interviewed 23 people on how to bring an end to apartheid in Palestine. Interviewees included Issa Amro, Philip Weiss, Remi Kanzi, Haneen Zoabi, Diana Buttu, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Miko Peled, Omar Barghouti, Richard Falk, Jeff Halper, and Ahmed Kathrada (colleague and cellmate of Nelson Mandela).
In 2015 Katie started Palbox: a quarterly subscription box featuring fair trade Palestinian olive oil, olive oil soap, za’atar, arts and crafts from Palestine and Katie Miranda jewelry. The idea for Palbox came about when Katie was selling Palestinian olive oil at fairs and events in the Bay Area to raise money for the International Solidarity Movement. Customers would lament they they could not get the olive oil outside of coming to these fairs so Katie came up with a plan to get the oil and other Palestinian products delivered to their door. Palbox serves to support Palestinian farmers and artisans by delivering these products.
Highlighted Shows and Events
Katie was invited to participate in the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture festival in the United Arab Emirates in 2014. The festival was held under the patronage the princesses of Sharjah Sheikha Jawaher al Qasimi and her daughter Sheikha Boudour al Qasimi who both became customers.
In 2013 Katie was part of the International Museum of Women’s Muslima exhibit and spoke at the Museum’s fundraiser in San Francisco.
Katie’s paintings were shown at U.C. Berkeley’s Ryder-Worth Gallery in 2011.
Katie had her first solo art show at the Islamic Community Center of Northern California in 2011.
Katie and fellow International Solidarity Movement activist Jonas Moffat, completed an 11 date art show and speaking tour of northern California in 2006 where they reported on their experiences participating in Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance in the West Bank and displayed Katie’s paintings and cartoons.