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JCTC’S TALK SERIES “BLACK SPACE” WITH ASHLEY NICOLE BAPTISTE CONTINUES WITH WRITER, EDUCATOR AND CREATOR OF THE BLACK JOY PROJECT NEXT ON JUNE 23

TALK SERIES HIGHLIGHTING THE EXPERIENCES, CHALLENGES AND IDEAS OF BLACK ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD BEGAN MARCH 31

Baptiste, an actor and a veteran youth theatre educator with the JCTC Youth Theatre and the Stories of Greenville initiative, was born in San Francisco. “I want to create an intentional safe space where black artists from around the world can come together and have a human-to-human exchange about art, race and life,” she says. “This series is about expansion, and pushing past preconceived notions of blackness.”

Baptiste's next guest is KLEAVER CRUZ. Kleaver is from Uptown, NYC is a Black queer Dominican-American creative, writer and educator. Kleaver’s work has been featured in various publications in print and online. Cruz has been in community with and created work across the African Diaspora in Brazil, the US, The Netherlands as well as in South Africa and beyond. Cruz is the creator of The Black Joy Project, a digital and real-world affirmation that Black joy is resistance. Kleaver is also a member of We Are All Dominican--A U.S.-based grassroots collective that works in solidarity with movements led by Dominicans of Haitian descent fighting for inclusion and citizenship rights in the Dominican Republic.

“As our city gentrifies while retaining its diversity, and indeed as the world is changing in fundamental ways, being right in the middle of these conversations is essential,” says JCTC’s artistic director, Olga Levina. “For us as a theatre company dedicated to sparking conversations that lead to deeper respect and understanding, we know we need to create a safe place to listen and learn and collaborate.”

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