From Artistic Joy to Collective Wellness

March 5, 2024 6:30 pm

Town Hall Seattle, Livestream (Hybrid)

Headshot of Marc Bamuthi Joseph, a black and white photo of a black man with a beard in three quarter profile looking into the distance with a slight smile, wearing metal glasses and a beaded necklace, white tee and dark lapeled jacket


Marc Bamuthi Joseph is an artist. His job is social impact. He doesn’t have time to *not* be hopeful…he is an artist…culture is rare air in the lungs of the body politic…he works to remember those who can’t breathe…

Collectively, we are exploring the deployment of artistic intelligence as an agent of public healing. We are co-concerned with the final frontier of culture and the foundational plane of public health. We are well aware of the American trend of cultural erasure and thus, we aspire towards an American democracy that embodies the ideal of inspiration for all.

Bamuthi’s residency with Meany Center for the Performing Arts will also include the premiere of his newest piece, Carnival of the Animals, at Meany Center on Saturday, April 6, 2024. Marc Bamuthi Joseph and team received an 2024 NEA GRANT for Carnival of the Animals and his residency. Additionally, the Meany Center and Marc Bamuthi Joseph received 2024 Imaginative Project Award grant from The University of Washington’s College of Arts and Sciences.

About the speaker

Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Spoken Word Artist, Cultural Strategist

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 to 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. A proud alumnus of Morehouse College, Bamuthi received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the California College of Arts in the Spring of 2022. 


Event Accessibility

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