In this class, nationally recognized spoken word artist Michelle Myers (part of Yellow Rage), will lead students in discovering the creative potential of activism through poetry. The course will tackle questions like, "Is writing a poem enough?" and "Can a poem or performance piece in and of itself be a political act?" Participants will have the opportunity to write and workshop their own social justice performance pieces. Finally, the class will consider artistic application as participants discuss how their messages can find life within community.
About the Instructor: Michelle Myers is a spoken word poet, community activist, and educator. She is a founding member of the spoken word poetry group Yellow Rage, a dynamic duo of Philly-based Asian American female spoken word poets; the group is best known for appearing on the first season of the critically-acclaimed HBO television series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry. As a solo artist, Michelle is dedicated to raising awareness about social injustices and building positive relationships across communities. Her notable solo performance credits include the 2002 Vincent Chin Remembrance events in Detroit, MI; the 2009 Up in Arms benefit concert for Fong Lee’s family and to protest police brutality in Minneapolis, MN; and the 2010 GirLFest Hawaii in Honolulu to prevent violence against women and girls through education and art. Michelle was also a March 2011 recipient of a Leeway Foundation Arts and Change Grant. In the spring of 2011, she released her solo poetry book The SHE Book; all proceeds from the book support two projects: 1) Write the World, a program that seeks to connect children around the world to one another through the arts and letter-writing, and 2) Odanadi-U.S., an anti-trafficking organization that services women and children in India. Michelle was a featured performer in the 2011 First Person Arts’ RAW Festival; her show The SHE Project was presented at The Painted Bride Arts Center in November 2011. Finally, Michelle is a featured artist in Jessica Chen Drammeh’s documentary film Anomaly; the film explores the mixed race experience.
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