Rooted in Black oral tradition and centering Black experience, Black is the Light is an ongoing series of classes, workshops, festivals, and networking opportunities intentionally designed to cultivate local talent and create bridges for young Black and POC artists between academic learning and the professional world. 

Black is the Light is open exclusively to students who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), with the goal to engage and inspire BIPOC youth in our community to explore their identity and tell their own story, using artistic mediums including storytelling, poetry, and movement as a source of healing and to harness joy.

Questions? Contact Alex Lee Reed, Associate Director of Arts Engagement, Youth & Learning

There are no current sessions running. Please check back for added classes! 

Past Workshops


    Harnessing your inner power through physical and mental wellness

    Dates: January 11, 13 & 15, 2021 from 4-5:30 p.m. PT

    Ages/Grades: Ages 11-19

    Teaching Artists: Melany Bell, Alex Lee Reed

    To say that 2020 was a “difficult year” would be an understatement at best. In this workshop, thank the year we’re leaving behind for its lessons, harness your strength, and launch into 2021 with fresh new energy and collective healing. In this three-day workshop, students will explore the many facets of wellness through story, song, movement, meditation, and self-analysis, and heighten the inner power that makes us everyday superheroes.


    DatesSaturday December 5 & Sunday, December, 2020 6 from 2-4 p.m. PT

    Ages/Grades: Grade 6 through age 19

    Teaching Artists: Dedra Woods, Allyson Lee Brown, Alex Lee Reed 

    Utilizing aspects of performance poetry and storytelling, students will work together with teaching artists to create and perform an original work.


    DatesWednesday, November 18 & Thursday, November 19, 2020 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. PT

    Ages/Grades: Grade 6 through age 19

    Teaching Artist: Dedra Woods 

    Students will engage with their own history (present and future) through exercises in writing, performing, engaging an audience, and preserving their stories.


    DatesMonday, November 16 & Tuesday, November 17, 2020 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. PT

    Ages/Grades: Grade 6 through age 19

    Teaching Artist: Allyson Lee Brown

    Exploring rhythm, body language, and the power of their own voice, students will create, practice, and perform original pieces of performance poetry.

Meet the Teaching Artists

Allyson Lee Brown

Teaching Artist: Sister, Speak! Solo Show Creation

Melany Bell

Teaching Artist: So You Wanna Be a Superhero

Dedra Woods

Teaching Artist: The Art of Storytelling

Alex Lee Reed

Associate Director of Arts Engagement, Youth & Learning

Zuzu Kandilige and Asmian Obanion-White competing in the 2020 August Wilson Monologue Competition. Photo by Angela Nickerson.