Marc Bamuthi Joseph at BU

In collaboration with African American & Black Diaspora Studies Program, the BU Arts Initiative is excited to welcome artist/activist Marc Bamuthi Joseph to Boston University on November 17th & 18th

The following events are free and open to the public.

Arts & Social Justice Panel

PLEASE NOTE – the time has changed to 5:30 pm for this event.
Thursday, November 17, 2022, | 5:30 PM | Photonics Colloquium Rm# 906- 8 St. Mary’s St, Boston, MA| (Register Here)

Join Bamuthi and local activist artists Dzidzor and Anita Morson-Matra for a conversation on arts and social justice moderated by André de Quadros.

Dzidzor (Jee-Jaw) Azaglo is a Ga-Ewe folklore performing artist, who is paused and moved by Octavia E. Butler’s question, ‘What do we need to do now, to create the future that we want?’ She often echoes the words of Toni Morrison’s words and her father’s prayers as a guide to reach back into the past to lead us toward the present. Dzidzor uses the tool of storytelling, community archiving, and collaging sounds as a portal to transcend through time and space. Dzidzororganizes community art events and facilitates workshops around empowerment and strengthening the voice, she intentionally calls for the community to reach into the lessons of yesterday while honoring proverbs, poems, and prayers that challenge and lift us up.  Dzidzor is the founder of the Black Cotton Club and partners with Grubstreet, ICA Boston, and Boston Public Schools to teach creative empowerment workshops in Boston. Dzidzor is a candidate for a Masters in Theological Studies at Boston University and holds the role of a Community Archivist at Northeastern University. She is currently working on a listening and public art project entitled, ‘Wilderness’ with Crystal Bi. .

Anita Morson-Matra (creative entrepreneur & founder of Baldwin in the Park, & Nubian Nights) is known to be a creative thinker who offers options to amplify programs’ impact through a number of lenses from creative place-keeping and care for social and mental health.  Anita exhibits qualities of compassion and empathy that make her work so competent and emotionally resonant. She is an urban planner who brings genuine respect, a textured understanding of our history, and a focus on equity.

Dr. André de Quadros is a Professor of Music at Boston University with affiliations in African, African American, Asian, Jewish, and Muslim studies, prison education, and Antiracist Research. As an artist and human rights activist, he has worked in over 40 countries in the most diverse settings including professional ensembles, projects with prisons, psychosocial rehabilitation, refugees, and victims of torture and trauma. His work crosses race and mass incarceration, peacebuilding, forced migration, and Islamophobia. He directs choirs and choral projects in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the United States, Israel and the Arab world, and the Mexico-US border. In 2019, he was a Distinguished Academic Visitor at the University of Cambridge.



Friday, November 18, 2022, | 7:00 PM | Tsai Performance Center-685 Commonwealth Ave. | (Register Here)

BLACKBIRD, FLY is a live performance that weaves together an enduring tapestry of movement, narrative, music, and Haitian folklore to engage audiences in dialog about critical questions of our time. Steeped in a hip-hop aesthetic, this intimate duet between two preeminent sons of Haitian immigrants —composer/violinist DBR, and arts activist & spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph —unveils their life stories in search of their identity and role models, and explores universal themes of tolerance and inclusion.

This work is a culmination of DBR and BAMUTHI’s collaborations with Atlanta Ballet, Boston Children’s Chorus, the University of Houston, SF Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Opera Philadelphia. In each of these communities, they have created and premiered new works offering myriad experiential arts education opportunities. Introspective yet uplifting, BLACKBIRD, FLY heightens our collective consciousness and sheds new light on the arts as a powerful tool for social and civic engagement.

Artist Info:

BAMUTHI (Marc Bamuthi Joseph) 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. Bamuthi’s opera libretto, We Shall Not Be Moved, was named one of 2017’s “Best Classical Music Performances” by The New York Times. His evening-length work created in collaboration with composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, “The Just and The Blind,” was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and premiered in a sold-out house at Carnegie in March 2019. His upcoming opera “Watch Night” is inspired by the forgiveness exhibited by the congregation of Emanuel AME church in Charleston, and will premiere at The Perelman Center in New York in 2023.

While engaging in a deeply fulfilling and successful artistic career, Bamuthi also proudly serves as Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He is in high demand for his creative approach to organizational design, brand development, and community mediation, and has been enlisted as a strategic partner or consultant for companies ranging from Coca-Cola to Carnegie Hall. His TED talk on linking sport to freedom design among immigrant youth has been viewed more than 1 million times and is a testament to his capacity to distill complex systems into accessible and poetic presentations. Bamuthi’s community development philosophy, called “The Creative Ecosystem”, has been implemented in dozens of cities across the United States and is the subject of several critical writings, including one of the seminal essays in “Cultural Transformations: Youth and Pedagogies of Possibility”, published by Harvard Education Press.

Bamuthi is the founding Program Director of the exemplary non-profit Youth Speaks and is a co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one-day festivals which activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life.  His essays have been published in Harvard Education Press; he has lectured at more than 200 colleges and has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford and Lehigh, among others.

DBR (Daniel Bernard Roumain) is a prolific and endlessly collaborative composer, performer, educator, and social entrepreneur. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR has worked with artists from Philip Glass to Bill T. Jones to Lady Gaga; appeared on NPR, American Idol, and ESPN; and has collaborated with the Sydney Opera House and the City of Burlington, Vermont. Acclaimed as a violinist and activist, DBR’s career spans more than two decades, earning commissions by venerable artists and institutions worldwide.