It is essential to collaborate as an artist. Many of my artistic highs have come at the hands of a group of individuals. I feel pushed and invigorated when I work with other artists who share the same vision. Art comes alive when it gains the involvement of more than one mind. My entire professional life has consisted of collaborations. Its truly the only way I thrive. Even when writing a solo piece of theater, it gained true momentum once I began the technical process of producing it. As I worked with the lighting designer on my cues and the overall feeling I wanted to achieve through lights, I felt the scenes really take life and form.
My greatest collaborators have been the children and young people I have been blessed to encounter. I started my career as a poetry writing teacher and book group leader for teen mothers. This lead to a career in Chicago for over 10 years where I have taught blues poetry to kindergartners, taught Zora Neale Hurston at alternative schools and public aide offices, taught hip hop yoga to 5th graders and lead a residency with 8th graders that ended with a 4 hour poetry reading marathon on a bullhorn. I have worked with every grade starting from kindergarten all the way through college. I have been stretched, tested and inspired by the natural creative abilities of children. I have said a mouth full. But, to keep it short and sweet: I need others to reach my highest potential as an artist.
Over the past 15 years I have collaborated on poetry, writing, theater and social justice inspired projects with the following:
Center for Puppetry Arts
Chicago Public Schools
City of East Point Summer Programs
Columbia College Chicago
DePaul University Theatre School
Literature for All of Us
Literature for Life
United States Peace Corps
I would love to take you out for coffee to discuss your needs. My areas of expertise include:
- After School Programming for K -12
- Summer School Programming for K-12
- Extended Learning/Extracurricular Programming for K-12
- Artist Residencies for Theater, Performance Art, Sociology and African American Studies Departments at College and Universities
- Black History Programming
- Workshops for Not for Profit Organizations with a mission to empower youth and under served communities
Do you have a dream project or topic you would like to infuse with art for your students or organization?