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Greenway Arts Alliance Presents The 5th Annual LA Get Down Festival

LA Get Down Festival Playwrights Group will be introduced, including playwrights Tahirih Moeller, Arianna Basco, Jasmine Williams, Alex Alpharaoh and Franky Gonzalez.

Greenway Arts Alliance Presents The 5th Annual LA Get Down Festival

Greenway Arts Alliance in association with Da Poetry Lounge (DPL), presents THE 5th ANNUAL LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL, celebrating hip-hop and spoken word. DPL Co-Founder Shihan Van Clief returns as Festival Director.

The festival, which takes place during National Poetry Month, begins April 6, 2021 with the closing ceremony on April 25. Festival performances stream online for free at Twitch.tv/GreenwayCourtTheatre and workshops and film screening are held online via Zoom. The festival will also feature its first-ever Drive-in Poetry Showcase on April 11 at the Melrose Trading Post (7850 Melrose Avenue on the campus of Fairfax High School) with a $10.00 admission fee per car. For Festival information, schedule, updates, registration or drive-in passes visit GreenwayCourtTheatre.org./LAGetDown2021.

"After a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, social injustice protests and a tumultuous election, poetry has been a powerful art form for healing and transformation. U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo recently said in a USA Today interview that a 'poetry surge' isn't new, but a 'renaissance' could be coming," said Whitney Weston, Greenway Arts Alliance Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director.

"Greenway is thrilled to be presenting the 5th Annual LA Get Down Festival in celebration of National Poetry Month and to once again have acclaimed and National Poetry Slam Champion Shihan Van Clief serve as Festival Director," said Pierson Blaetz, Greenway Arts Alliance Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director. "Shihan continues to bring the festival electrifying performances by many of the nation's best spoken word and hip hop theatre artists along with inspiring and motivating writing workshops for free."

Festival Director Shihan Van Clief said, "This year's festival is dedicated to the stories and experience of this past year which was one of mass adjustment. I believe the stories of the poets we'll hear are ones of hope and confusion and ultimately understanding. I think we've seen over the last year or so an open mindedness to the necessity of poetry. Poets are the voice of the people. Poets have the ability to transcribe the time with an emotion to create an impactful experience for us all. There's a lot of people looking to reconnect and the LA Get Down gives them that opportunity."

This year, the LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL will introduce the inaugural LA Get Down Festival Playwrights Group including playwrights Tahirih Moeller, Arianna Basco, Jasmine Williams, Alex Alpharaoh and Franky Gonzalez on April 16. The inaugural group will work on new full-length plays over the next year, with readings to be presented during the 2022 LA Get Down Festival. The group is focused on advancing spoken word and hip hop theatre through the long-term cultivation of new work. Greenway Court Theatre Producing Director Tiffany Moon will serve as facilitator of the LA Get Down Festival Playwrights Group. The inaugural event will be streamed on Twitch.tv.

"Greenway has lived at the intersection of spoken word and theatre since its founding in 2000. We have been wanting to create a formalized way to support the next generation of hip hop theatre artists for some time now and have used the pause of the pandemic to conceive and launch a writers group dedicated to creating new plays utilizing hip hop and spoken word in their conception, their extrapolation, and their experimentation. These five artists have been working at these intersections for some time, and we are thrilled to be able to offer them a home where they can create new full-length plays in a cohort of like-minded creators. Our April 16th event will introduce our audience to their past work and get some insight into what hip hop theatre is and where they see its future," said Tiffany Moon, Greenway Court Theatre Producing Director and LAGD Playwrights Group Facilitator.


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