Project Description

Climbing Poetree

New York City

Climbing PoeTree is the combined force of two boundary-breaking soul sisters whohave sharpened their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, andpersonal transformation. Alixa and Naima interweave spoken word, hip hop, and awardwinning multimedia theater to expose injustice, channel hope into vision, and make abetter future visible, immediate, and irresistible. With flawless cadence and impeccable lyricism, Alixa and Naima weave together their voices to tell powerful stories of love and liberation, state and personal violence, social, environmental, racial, and sexual justice, woman’s empowerment, and human transcendence. In 30 self-organized tours over the past 14 years, Climbing PoeTree has blazed stages in more than 80 cities across the U.S., and abroad from the UK to South Africa, Mexico to Cuba. At concert halls and conferences, classrooms and festivals, prisons and universities, Alixa and Naima’s words inspire thousands of people to activate the transformation they wish to cultivate within themselves and their communities. Their soul-stirring performances have been featured alongside legendary thinkers such as Cornel West, Angela Davis, Vandana Shiva, Danny Glover, Naomi Klein, Van Jones, Janet Mock, and Gloria Steinem, and visionary artists such as Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Maxwell, Little Dragon, Talib Kweli, Madonna, Goapele, Rising Appalachia, Angelique Kidjou, T.I. and Dead Prez.

Amid their busy touring schedules, Alixa and Naima are committed organizers and educators. They lead workshops in state institutions from Rikers Island Prison to Clark County Juvenile Detention Center, and prestigious academies such as Harvard and Columbia Universities. One Common Unity recognized Climbing PoeTree with an award in 2010 for creating peace and lasting sustainable change in their communities; and in 2016 Climbing PoeTree received the Bioneers Award for their work connecting communities, building bridges, and using arts at the service of their vision for a better world.

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