Marc Bamuthi
Joseph

Details

Biography
Topics
African Americans
Art & Politics
Environment
Hip Hop
Multiculturalism
Performance
Poetry/Spoken Word
Programs for High School Students
Youth/Student Activism

Marc Bamuthi Joseph is one of America’s vital voices in performance, arts education, and artistic curation. After appearing on Broadway as a young actor, Joseph has written and performed in a series of poetically-based works for the stage that have toured across the U.S., Europe, and Africa. These include Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, and the break/s: a mixtape for stage.

His full-evening theater work, red, black & GREEN: a blues premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2011 and toured 13 U.S. cities. red, black & GREEN: a blues was nominated for a 2013 Bessie Award for “Outstanding Production of a work stretching the boundaries of a traditional form.”

Bamuthi's next piece in this artistic vein is called /peh-LO tah/, and is a Balinese-style shadow play that examines global economies and sexual identities through the lens of soccer's World Cup.

A gifted and nationally acclaimed educator and essayist, Joseph has lectured at more than 200 colleges and universities, been a popular commentator on National Public Radio, and has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford University, Lehigh University, Mills College, and the University of Wisconsin.

ln the Fall of 2007, Bamuthi graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine after being named one of America's Top Young lnnovators in the Arts and Sciences. He is the artistic director of the 7-part HBO documentary Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country's "greatest living artists". He is the 2011 Alpert Award winner in Theater and in April 2012, he was one of 21 artists to be named to the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists.

He is Artistic Director Emeritus of Youth Speaks, where for a decade he mentored young writers and curated the Living Word Festival and Left Coast Leaning. He co-founded “Life is Living,” a national series of one-day festivals designed to activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life through hip hop arts and focused environmental action. Joseph currently serves as Director of Performing Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
 

Testimonials

"…[H]e continues to excel as a cutting edge artist forging his own hybrid medium—an amalgam of rap music, poetry, movement, and theater…he's an electrifying performer and a great storyteller."

The Seattle Times

"Eloquent...seamless...and remarkable."

The New York Times

"Rarely do word and movement mesh so seamlessly and elegantly. . . [Joseph's] stories put sound and gesture on a single continuum of expression."

— Washington Post

"He speaks to the issues and ideas that are relevant and inspiring to all of us committed to social justice, to understanding ourselves and our world, and making a difference with our work. Marc is not just a triple-threat performer. He's a thinker, a poet, an activist and a choreographer - someone whose thoughts and ideas resonate with all of us."

— Kenneth J. Foster, Executive Director, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

"red, black & GREEN: a blues is art at its best and most purposeful; a visceral, engaging narrative that combines theatre, dance, music, spoken word and visual art created and expressed by and for “wonderful human beings” to ask what we are doing to protect and nurture our world and our humanity."
— Ella Martine, Los Angeles Theater Review, Stage and Cinema

"Faculty and students both absolutely raved about Bamuthi! I'm not exaggerating when I say that we rarely have a speaker who creates that kind of immediate impression. I kept hearing how inspired guests were as they left the talk. Bamuthi is truly a rare talent, and such an important voice to have on campus at this moment. We are so glad we had the opportunity to host him!"
— Lauren Witwerding, Lowell Humanities Series, Boston College
 
Faculty and students both absolutely raved about Bamuthi! I'm not exaggerating when I say that we rarely have a speaker who creates that kind of immediate impression. I kept hearing how inspired guests were as they left the talk. Bamuthi is truly a rare talent, and such an important voice to have on campus at this moment. We are so glad we had the opportunity to host him!
 
— Lauren Witwerding, Boston College English Department, Assistant Director, Lowell Humanities Series
Speeches

Bamuthi combines elements of hip hop, poetry and dance to explore issues of

  • Black Identity in Modern America
  • Environmental Justice: Being Black in the Green Movement
  • Race and Fatherhood
  • Socially Responsive and Responsible Community-Building
Media