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Urban Word's JOURNAL TO JOURNEY to Return to New York Live Arts Next Week

Currently in its twelfth year, Journal to Journey is a pre-professional, creative youth development program of Urban Word and Hi-ARTS, designed by Creative Legacy Projects and co-presented at New York Live Arts.

Led by Artistic Director, Monica L Williams, youth poets Trace DePass, Khadjiah Johnson, Frankie Li, Juliana Poroye, and Ashley Wells participate in a nine month process in residency and workshop with creative professionals including a director, writing mentor, choreographer, and various workshops with special guests.

Journal to Journey links youth poets with tiered mentorship to increase opportunities for achieving life goals, learning new skills, and collaborating creatively with other artists. Culminating in an ensemble that showcases twice a year, the Journal to Journey program pushes young people to imagine the possibilities for their writing beyond traditional forms, styles and genres, and provides a platform to develop their artistic voices in a professional setting.

Have you ever tried to ignite a flame and realized there was no fuse?
5 brown bodies breakout in search of life's illumination.
What will brighten your day?


Urban Word and Hi-ARTS in association with Creative Legacy Projects

Journal to Journey: How Bodies Reclaim Light

$7.00 (Adult) & $5.00 (Youth)

New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011

December 16 & 17, 2015 at 7:30 PM

New York Live Arts is an internationally recognized destination for innovative movement-based artistry offering audiences access to art and artists notable for their conceptual rigor, formal experimentation and active engagement with the social, political and cultural currents of our times. At the center of this identity is Bill T. Jones, Artistic Director, a world-renowned choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer. We commission, produce and present performances in our 20,000 square foot home, which includes a 184-seat theater and two 1,200 square foot studios that can be combined into one large studio. New York Live Arts serves as home base for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, provides an extensive range of participatory programs for adults and young people and supports the continuing professional development of artists. For more information, please visit

Hi-ARTS (formally known as the Hip-Hop Theater Festival) is a leading organization within the urban arts movement who's mission is to develop and produce new works of performance and visual arts; to provide a platform for artists; and to create educational and community programs that connect to and expand the audience for urban arts. For over a decade, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival has presented hundreds of artists and performances around the country by, for, and about the Hip-Hop generation. More often than not this art is imbued with a sense of urgency for social justice. The Festival has also served as an early home for emerging artists, many of whom are now surfacing as household names. With the advent of HI-ARTS as its new home, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival is poised to grow beyond a festival, into new realms of artistic creation, advocacy and service to artists and the communities they serve. For more information, visit

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 programs 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. For more information, visit

Monica L Williams is often called the "Poets Director." She has created three-dimensional presentations from the page to the stage at historical institutions such as The World Famous Apollo to International powerhouses such as Brooklyn Academy of Music to the mothership, Nuyorican Poets Cafe. As Artistic Director for BAM Poetry for eight years, Ms. Williams staged work by many poet/performers including Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Suheir Hammad, and Lemon Anderson. Other Directing credits include Wisdom of the Cypher by Toni Blackman (National Black Arts Festival), Game On by Felice Belle (John F Kennedy Center for the Arts), and History of the Word by Ben Snyder (National Tour). She is also Founder/CEO of Creative Legacy Projects, a partner in IDEA design, cultivation and sustainability.

Lauren Whitehead is a writer, performer and Master of Fine Arts recipient in Dramaturgy from Columbia University. She has performed work in venues around the country including: The Sundance Film Festival, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and The Nuyorican Poets Café. She was featured on HBO's documentary, Brave New Voices. Her play, "stunning, still" was read at Naked Angels and was in residence at Vineyard Arts Project. Her one woman musical, "A Tribe Called Blessed" debuted at the Women Center Stage Festival. She is co-curator of The Conscious Language Festival and is currently teaching at The New School.

Carvens Lissaint is a Haitian-American International award winning poet, actor, singer and playwright, gracing stages across the United States, United Kingdom and The Caribbean. Featured on TEDYouth, Sundance Film Festival, on Broadway at The New Amsterdam Theater and the Off Broadway Hip-Hop Theater Festival, debuting his one man show "Walk" at the Ohio Theater. A Graduate of The American Academy For Dramatic Arts and St. John's University with degrees in Acting and Dramatic Arts For Film & Television. He is currently a MFA candidate at NYU-Tisch School Of The Arts Graduate Acting Program. He gives all his glory to God.

Leslie Lissaint is from Minneapolis, MN and for the past two years has called Brooklyn home. Leslie is a world traveler and international performance artist, actress, dancer, and writer. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison where she was a First Wave Scholar. She also studied at the Eugene O'Neil National Theater Institute and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. Recently she toured "Redbone: A Biomythography" written by Mahogany L. Browne. Leslie serves as the Project Manager for Hi-ARTS. This is her second year choreographing for the Journal to Journey Program and she thanks God for the opportunity.

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