Community Keynote: Daniel Banks

Join us for an interactive community keynote discussion on the power of the "encounter" and theatre's ability to create change on a cellular level, facilitated by Daniel Banks, the co-director of DNAWORKS and the founder of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative. A Michael and Andrea Stone Visiting Artist Series.

April 25th, 7:00 pm
Carrollton Center for the Arts

Event Preview with Daniel Banks:

Daniel Banks, an acclaimed theatre director, choreographer, and dialogue facilitator, has worked across the globe leading arts-based social justice programs with artists, educators, and activists of all ages. He answers some questions from Professor Shelly Elman, Chair of Theatre, about his upcoming appearance:

Elman: The event is called “Community Keynote: Breathing, Listening, Creative Change.” Can you give us a preview of what you might cover?

Banks: I’m fascinated by the phenomenon of modern mechanical science "proving" what ancient civilizations have known for millennia—especially how this relates to the work of artists. The field of neurobiology is now making discoveries that reveal the science behind the very real community building and healing work that artists have always known to be the attributes of art-making and sharing. In the talk, I will share some of these principles and connect them to the imperative for artists to continue to catalyze creativity widely and persistently.

Elman: Can you give us a brief overview of how you came to work in the arts and community engagement? How did those two things come together for you?

Banks: I believe that the origin of the arts is community engagement and community well-being. From ancient African and other indigenous ritual performances to Greek tragedy, and all the way up to the present-day work of so many wonderful and change-making companies, the arts have been fundamental to the reassertion of one’s cultural identity, community dialogue and values, and an imaginative and participatory society. I personally am fascinated by the question of when arts and community engagement became two separate practices!

Elman: Can you take us through the process of partnership and creating a piece?

Banks: As with all partnerships, it takes time, a willingness to move slowly and mindfully, an ability to challenges one’s own assumptions and biases—and to generously challenge one another’s—a stillness and breathing, constant intuitive brainstorming and re-mixing of ideas, and listening, listening, listening.

About the Michael and Andrea Stone series:

The School of the Arts at UWG hosts this series as part of its ongoing efforts to build and sustain a more creative community. Through the generous support of the Stones, the series typically features one nationally recognized artist each semester in art, music, theatre, creative writing, and film.