Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Director of Performing Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Marc Bamuthi Joseph is one of America's vital voices in performance, arts education, and artistic curation. He is passionately dedicated to arts and social justice, and an international leader in youth arts. His innovative approaches to using performance as pedagogy and to engaging youth as agents of personal, social and cultural change have had a profound impact on our field and continue to shape the future of arts and culture in the 21st Century. After appearing on Broadway as a young actor, Joseph has developed several poetically based works for the stage that have toured across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa including Word Becomes Flesh, which uses poetry, dance and live music to document nine months of pregnancy from a young single father's perspective and the break/s, a multimedia hip-hop performance incorporating a drummer and beat-box artist. He mentored 13- to 19-year-old writers and curated the Living Word Festival and Left Coast Leaning as founding program director and artistic director emeritus of the San Francisco nonprofit Youth Speaks. He also is the co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one day festivals designed to activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life through hip hop arts and focused environmental action. He currently serves as director of performing arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In the fall of 2007, Joseph graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine after being named one of America's Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences. He is the artistic director of the seven-part HBO documentary, Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices, and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country's "greatest living artists."