RESIDENT SOLO PERFORMANCE ARTIST
Liza Jessie Peterson is a renowned actress, poet, playwright, educator, and youth advocate who has been steadfast in her commitment to incarcerated populations both professionally and artistically, but specifically with adolescent boys and girls detained at Rikers Island for over eighteen years. She was recently featured in Ava DuVernay’s Emmy award winning documentary 13th (Netflix) and was a consultant on Bill Moyers documentary Rikers (PBS). She has written several plays, including, The Peculiar Patriot, where she performed excerpts of it in over 32 penitentiaries across the country and opened for Angela Davis at Columbia University’s conference on mass incarceration. Also known for her exceptional poetic skills, Liza began her poetry career at the Nuyorican Poets Café and was a vital member of the enclave of notable poets who were part of the “underground slam poetry” movement. It was this electric group of artists that inspired Russell Simmons to bring “spoken word” to HBO where Liza appeared on two episodes of Def Poetry. As an actress Liza appeared in several feature films: Love the Hard Way (costarring with Pam Grier and Adrien Brody), Spike Lee’s, Bamboozled, K. Shalini’s, A Drop of Life, and Jamie Catto’s, What About Me. Liza’s book, ALL DAY; A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island, is available on-line and in bookstores now.
& Darvin Varon
|David & Deirdre Stam|
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