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Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Apr. 4 — Apr. 5, 2014

red, black &GREEN: a blues / The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
Washington, DC
Marc Bamuthi Joseph in rbGb. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Word Becomes Flesh 2011. Photo by Jati Lindsay/Hip Hop Theater Festival^1 Life is Living Chicago 2009. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Tommy Shepard, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Theaster Gates in rbGb^1 Marc Bamuthi Joseph in rbGb with audience looking on. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Life is Living Chicago 2009. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Life is Living Oakland 2009. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1

Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project

LIFE IS LIVING is a series of day-long festivals in underutilized urban parks that focus on eco-equity, the radically democratic position that poor communities and communities of color are logistically and psychologically included in the new, clean and green economy.

The model for LIFE IS LIVING, organized by Marc Bamuthi Joseph/Living Word Project, began at DeFremery Park in West Oakland, CA in October 2008.  Replications took place in 2009 and 2010 in Chicago, Houston and New York, and have continued yearly in Oakland since 2008.

Introducing LIFE is LIVING from MVMT on Vimeo.

The events of each LIFE IS LIVING aim to build community through art and education, planting a seed for further local eco-equity action.  Activities include:

  • A graffiti battle, with each artist given a 6x8 foot canvas on which to create environmentally themed tags based on the word "LIFE."
  • Performances by local spoken word youth groups, dance and theater artists, co-curated by Bamuthi and the local host organizations.
  • Invited speakers from community and environmental groups, and information stations manned by local green organizations and activists.
  • Demonstrations of green activities, such as building structures with sustainable materials, gardening exhibits, tree planting, and recycling.  
  • A follow-up convening, with local presenters, community organizations, artists and funders to share information and views on this new model for partnership between members of the arts community and civic activists and organizations, and for embedding artistic creation in this type of civic dialogue and exchange.

Documentation of each LIFE IS LIVING is feeding into the poetry, monologues, video and visual art that have come together on stage in Joseph's performance project, red, black & GREEN: a blues.