Monday, September 07, 2015

Power of Words Conference: Transformation, Liberation & Celebration through the Spoken, Written and Sung Word

Jimmy Santiago Baca, Sha Cage & E. G. Bailey, Darren Canady and Xanath Caraza

 “How can one diminish the power of words and what they have done to me? They’ve changed my life, taught me to love, described what deep learning is, opened my eyes, shaped my speech, all bound together and much more to give me an amazing life, and this conference swells with that importance. It’s the epiphany and epicenter of using language to learn to love ourselves and others.” — Jimmy Santiago Baca


Join us September 18-20, 2015 at Unity Village in Kansas City, MO for our 12th Power of Words Conference: Transformation, Liberation & Celebration Through the Spoken, Written and Sung Word, with workshops, performances, talking circles, celebration and more, featuring writers, storytellers, performers, musicians, community leaders, activists, educators, and health professionals. The conference, founded in 2003, features workshops in four tracks: narrative medicine, social change, right livelihood (and making a living through the arts), ecological literacy, and engaged spirituality. See details at Scholarships, work-study and day rates available.




Jimmy Santiago Baca
Jimmy Santiago Baca, born in New Mexico of Native American and Mexican descent, went from being a teenage runaway and inmate at a maximum security prison to one of America’s most beloved poets. His books include poetry collections, prose, and an award-winning memoir, A Place to Stand, which was also the basis for a new film of the same title. Baca has devoted his post-prison life to teaching others who are overcoming hardship, and writing about barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country, and in 2005, founded Cedar Tree, Inc. to bring education and encouragement to people of many backgrounds.


Sha Cage is an interdisciplinary artist, actress, playwright, poet, director, filmmaker, producer, and visual artist. She is co-founder, artistic and managing director of MaMa mOsAiC, a woman of color performance collective, and she has been featured in many plays and performances, including with Penumbra Theatre, Pangea World Theatre, and Theare De la Jeune Lune. She is development director of Tru Ruts Endeavors, and the Minnesota SpokenWord Association, which she co-founded with her husband, E.G. Bailey.


E.G. Bailey is a Liberian-born multidisciplinary artist, actor, spoken word artist, filmmaker, playwright, director, and producer. Since ’95, he has co-founded and co-produced Write On RaDio!, an award-winning weekly literary radio program on KFAI Fresh Air Radio, and Arkology, an award-winning spoken word and music collective. His album American Afrikan was recently nominated for an Independent Music Award, and he is executive director of the Minnesota Spoken Word Association, which he co-founded with his wife, Sha Cage.

Sha Cage & E. G. Bailey
MADIBA [Muh•Dee•Buh]: This uniquely innovative performance duet has auspiciously adopted the South African leader, Nelson Mandela’s widely known nickname. E.G. Bailey and Shá Cage respectively from Liberia and Mississippi represent the diasporic legacy of continent of Africa and the American South. Theirs is a performance collaboration blending and bending words, layered voices, and cacophonous rhythms reminiscent of Sekou Sundiata mixed with Jessica Care Moore.

Darren Canady
Darren Canady’s work has been seen at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the Alliance Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Fremont Centre Theatre, Congo Square Theatre, the BE Company, American Blues Theater and Kansas City’s own Barn Theater. Darren is an alum of Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, and the Juilliard School. He is a former member of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New Writers Group, the T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange, and the America-In-Play theatre collective. He currently teaches playwriting at the University of Kansas.

Xanath Caraza
Xánath Caraza is a traveler, educator, poet and short story writer. Her book of poetry, Sílabas de viento / Syllables of Wind, received the 2015 International Book Award for Poetry.  It also received Honorable Mention for Best Book of Poetry in Spanish in the 2015 International Latino Book Awards.  Caraza is a writer for La Bloga and she writes the “US Latino Poets en español” column.  In addition, she writes the poetry/narrative section for Revista Zona de Ocio.

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