WE SPEAK FOR THE UNHEARD VOICES


“An Artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” 

-Nina Simone-


WHAT WE DO

We are an artistic movement that spans across countries and continents, in which Black narratives are told by and in complete control by Black Artists with the mission in mind to empower all audiences.

Our mission is to empower artists of color and the communities they are a part of. 
We empower black artists to be activist and to transform their neighborhoods through their art. 
We aim to create lasting changes in how artists view how their voice serves to better their lives, their communities, and ultimately the world that surrounds them.       

JOIN 100 WOMEN OF COLOR ON THE GOODMAN STAGE 

As part of our most exciting festival to date, I AM... FEST we are inviting women of color in CHICAGO to perform in the U.S. premiere of The Interrogation of Sandra Bland by Mojisola Adebayo, directed by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway - featuring 100 women of color performing the transcript of Sandra Bland's arrest.  



It's an opportunity for us to see and hear ourselves in our own words and cadences, with the brush of our own pen. It's an opportunity for us to love on ourselves, and the various villages from which we descend. It is an explosion of Black writers to continue to be the foremost scribes of their own experiences. 

This is Black Lives, Black Words. 


Dominique Morisseau

Award-Winning Playwright & Artistic Associate at Black Lives, Black Words International Project

I AM... FEST 

A CELEBRATION OF WOMEN OF COLOR IN ARTS, ACTIVISM AND LEADERSHIP April 27 – 29 at Goodman Theatre

Black Lives, Black Words are thrilled to announce their biggest and most ambitious event I AM... FEST, in partnership with Artistic Directors of the Future and the Goodman Theatre to celebrate women of color artists, activists and leaders. 


Three days of innovative events and artistic and educational programming showcase the voices and talents of women of color. From April 27-8, audiences will experience FREE workshops facilitated by Surviving The Mic, Red Clay Dance Company and Mojisola Adebayo, documentary film screenings from women of color filmmakers, including The Feeling of Being Watched by Chicago-filmmaker Assia Boundaoui and Chisolm '72 by Shola Lynch and panel discussions featuring women of color leaders in arts and activism. 


The Festival will conclude on Monday April 29th, 2019 with our much-loved "International Ten-Minute Play Showcase," including celebrated Chicago playwrights Nambi E. Kelley and Loy Webb, and culminates with a closing performance of The Interrogation of Sandra Bland—a U.S. premiere featuring 100 women of color performing the transcript of Sandra Bland’s arrest. 


The I AM... Fest is curated by Black Lives, Black Words Co-Founders Reginald Edmund and Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, in partnership with Artistic Directors of the Future and Goodman Theatre. 


All screenings, workshops and discussions are FREE events but require an RSVP. The 10-Minute Play Showcases is a paid event with a separate ticket. Tickets for the Showcase start at $10.

“It has been a joy to shape and design the festival and program some of the most talented women of color artists, leaders and activists to take part in this international celebration of voices, minds and experiences. I hope that this festival will continue to inspire as many people who encounter it and ignite a new approach to art, activism as well as increase the personal libraries and awareness of the richness of talent that exists within our community both locally and internationally.


I am honored to be directing 100 Women of Color on the Goodman’s stage for the American premiere of The Interrogation of Sandra Bland. At a time where we desperately need solidarity, healing and hope, this closing performance will not only pay homage to Sandra Bland and the many female victims of police brutality, but will showcase the strength that we possess when we come together to stand up to social and political injustice.”


Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway 
Co-Founder of Black Lives Black Words International Project and Executive Director and Creative Producer.

"It felt fitting that this year's program celebrated women of color that are artists, activists and leaders in a bold and historic way, proactively opening the door for the discussion revolving around the arts about equity through our programming. 






Every program in this festival is entirely led by, produced by, directed and written and facilitated by women of color. Our hope is to encourage art organizations large and small across the globe to provide more artistic and decision-making opportunities to women of color both onstage and off-stage."




Reginald Edmund
Black Lives Black Words International Project Co-Founder and Managing Curating Producer.


BLACK LIVES, BLACK WORDS INTERNATIONAL PROJECT 

BRINGING HEALING, SUPPORT AND INSPIRATION TO ARTISTS OF COLOR IN AMERICA AND THE WORLD 

OUR WORK 

Black Lives, Black Words SHOWCASE 

DO BLACK LIVES MATTER? Join over 400 BLBW international artists of color that have taken part in our ground-breaking BLBW Showcases. From aspiring to veteran playwrights these unique showcases explore the black diaspora experiences and empowers Black artists to have control of their own narratives. 


Playwriting as Activism
WORKSHOP

Designed and facilitated by the Co-Founder of BLBW and award-winning playwright, Reginald Edmund, this exclusive workshop provides an historical insight into the rich legacy of art as activism as well as provides a fun, practical and interactive workshop to raise the level of social consciousness in new play development and plays. 

College Takeovers
EDUCATION

Gain the opportunity to work with our Co-Founders and Artistic Associates through our College Takeovers to provide your students to learn, write and produce a showcase at their colleges. This empowering educational initiative provides a hands-on opportunity for students to become global citizens, leaders and socially conscious activists.