Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Marc Bamuthi Joseph

A Leading Voice in Performance and Arts Education



Marc Bamuthi Joseph is one of the country’s most vital voices in the intersection of the arts and social justice. He currently serves as the Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact at The Kennedy Center. Bamuthi is a 2017 TED Global Fellow, an inaugural recipient of the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative, and an honoree of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, among other honors and awards. Most recently, he was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In pursuit of affirmations of Black life in the public realm, Bamuthi co-founded the Life is Living Festival for Youth Speaks, and created the installation “Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos” for Creative Time. A spoken-word poet, dancer, playwright, and actor, he incorporates a range of art forms into his performance pieces - from hip hop to jazz to opera.

His opera libretto, “We Shall Not Be Moved,” was named one of 2017’s “Best Classical Music Performances” by The New York Times. His newest opera, “Watch Night”, will premiere in New York’s Perelman Center under the direction of Bill T. Jones in the Fall of 2023. His piece “The Just and the Blind” investigates fatherhood in the age of mass incarceration, and premiered at a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall in 2019. An emergent onscreen talent, he is among the featured performers in HBO’s screen adaptation of “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehesi Coates.

Bamuthi is formerly the Chief of Program and Pedagogy at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the founding Program Director of the exemplary non-profit Youth Speaks. A proud alumnus of Morehouse College, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the California College of Arts in 2022.

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

  Topic Areas

African Americans/Black
Environmental Justice
High School Programs
Leadership Development
Summer Institute Instructors
Professional Development
Hip Hop
Race/Racial Justice/Racism

  Related Links


"You Have the Rite" | Marc Bamuthi Joseph


#HowWeHeal: Waves and Bridges


What soccer can teach us about freedom | Marc Bamuthi Joseph


Bassey Ikpi & Marc Bamuthi Joseph - Millennium Stage (August 26, 2019)

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

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