Huntington Theatre Company - Singer

Artists and a World out of Balance

Boston becomes creative home base for award-winning playwright, poet, author, and actor, Daniel Beaty in his work that uses storytelling for individual and community transformation.

"Part of the reason that our nation and our world are so out of balance is that artists aren't playing a full role" said playwright poet writer and actor Daniel Beaty in a piece in the New York Times last week on his work that "promote[s] artistry and social good." This is the same combination punch Barr was pleased to help bring back to Boston – in the form of a three-year residency for Beaty at ArtsEmerson in partnership with Emerson College's Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement.

This residency gives Beaty a Boston home base and pilot site for his nationwide initiative (funded by the W.K. Kellogg, Annie E. Casey, and Ford foundations among others) that uses the tools of storytelling for individual and community healing. It builds on Beaty's 2013 residency at ArtsEmerson which culminated in a presentation of his piece Emergency and it continues collaborations with Year Up, Boston Busing and Desegregation Project, and City Year to engage diverse communities throughout Greater Boston. Beaty will give live stage performance teach courses and lead workshops throughout the city. He will also develop a train-the-trainer curriculum for new teams of artists to replicate the program.

One element of Barr's arts and culture grantmaking is to promote artistic risk taking through efforts like this residency which diversify how people encounter and engage with art and culture. For more about Beaty's Boston residency and to watch its launch event in March at ArtsEmerson (including a live performance of Beaty's newest work) visit Howlround ArtsEmerson's online platform for knowledge-sharing in the arts. For a 2-minute blast of Beaty's creative power watch his piece that went viral after he performed it on Def Poetry Jam in 2010 -"Knock Knock"

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Lauren Woody

Guest Author Former Program Assistant