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New York Live Arts Presets Urban Word's JOURNAL TO JOURNEY, 12/14-15

New York Live Arts will present Urban Word's Journal to Journey: Ascension - Asylum called Life Personified, a four-month program that culminates in a showcase performance of new solo works created by young poets, December 14 & 15 at 1:00pm.

These works by young poets navigate a path through hurt and hope on a journey towards self. Equipped with pen as compass and journal as road map, they discover that life is full of moments that will carry them as far and deep as they are willing to go. Poets work with Writing Mentor Carvens Lissaint, Director Monica L. Williams and Choreographer Nicco Annan. Ascension - Asylum called Life Personified features performers Ashley August, Kearah Armonie, Beau Caesar, Maurisa Fraser, Briannah Hagger and Kwame Sparkes.

Performances will take place in New York Live Arts' Theater. Admittance is free of charge. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 212-924-0077 and in person at the box office. Box office hours are Monday to Friday from 1 to 9pm, andSaturday and Sunday from 12 to 8pm.

About Urban Word

Founded in 1999, Urban Word (UW) is at the forefront of the youth spoken word, poetry and hip-hip movements in New York City. Urban Word NYC offers a comprehensive roster of programs during the school day and afterschool hours and conducts diverse programmatic offerings in the areas of creative writing, journalism, college prep, literature and hip-hop. UW presents local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, readings, open mics and more. In 2001-12 Urban Word worked with over 15,000 New York City teens and its partner programs across the United States.

Believing that free self-expression-matured in an enhanced critical literacy environment-Urban Word looks to improve self-confidence and strengthen educational achievement for NYC's youth. By design, and through the promotion of active literacy, critical thought, and positive social dialogue across boundaries (of age, race, class, gender, culture, and sexuality), their programs enhance critical thinking skills and leadership and ignite youth to commit to personal growth and learning, ultimately leading to heightened school performance and greater interest in pursuing higher education.

About the Artists

Nicco Annan is no stranger to the Regional, Broadway, or Off-Broadway stages. An award winning choreographer, director and actor, Annan's work spans from the theatrical world to the concert stage(s) of the dance and music worlds. With his training in theatre and dance it only seems apropos that Annan continues to blaze trails where the two worlds coexist and impact the audience in a visceral way. He has worked globally on productions including 5 Guys Named Moe, the Respect Project with Tony Award winner George Faison, Jelly's Last Jam , several productions of Dreamgirls(national), Lynn Notage's Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Brecht's Man is Man and countless other productions. His work also includes training for professionals in the industry. Annan considers it an honor "to be able to work with artists with integrity, who continue to tell the truth to change a life."

Carvens Lissaint is a Haitian American award winning performance artist/teaching artist who has been gracing stages and classrooms around the United States, United Kingdom and The Caribbean. The 2011 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion (Ranked Second in the nation at the Adult National Poetry Competition) The 2007 Knicks Grand Slam Champion, 2008 Newark New Jersey Youth team, 2009 New Jersey (Slam Global) Grand Slam Champion, 2009 Robert Redford Speak Green Grand Slam Champion, 2009 Urban Word NYC team, was the coach of the 2010 NYU Poetry Slam team and Co-coach of the 2010 Urban Word slam team that won the Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam.

Lissaint has also been named one of The Root's Top 30 performance poets. He has performed at TEDYouth, on Broadway at The New Amsterdam Theater, Off Broadway Hip Hop Theater Festival at the Ohio Theater, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, The United States Green Build Council in Arizona and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Most recently, he was featured on the second and third seasons of the hit television series "Verses and Flow" on TV1. He is a part of the touring cast of Words Become Flesh, a play written and directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and has opened for the likes of John Leguzizamo, Elle Varner, Luke James and Jill Scott.

Monica L. Williams is a multi-disciplinary theater artist, founder and lead cultivator of Creative Legacy Projects. Her previous off-Broadway theater credits include project producer with Foundry Theatre's FUREE in Pins and Needles and creater of Together/Far Apart a poetic installation,workshopped at Women Center Stage, Culture Project 2013. Her work has been presented at the Apollo Theater, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival, and various regional theater companies. As the national artistic director for Kentucky Foundation for Women's Special Project, she leads a collective of fierce artists who work to strengthen family ties within the criminal justice system. She is a 2012 Arts and Culture Fellow at the Rockwood Leadership Institute and is an adjunct lecturer in the African-American Studies Department at New York City College of Technology.

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