WORKSHOP: Personal Narrative: Spoken Word with Dahlak

at 516 ARTS

516 ARTS and Outpost Performance Space presented a special workshop for teens and adults with NPN Resident Artist Dahlak from Los Angeles. He says, “Personal narrative is a key element in the writing of Hip Hop artists. The culture expects that emcees use lived experiences as a springboard for any topic they choose to tackle. The autobiographical, however, is usually only a foundation of the over-arching narrative.” Participants will write, share and be encouraged to re-imagine their personal narratives in order to speak to their society with relevance. The goal of the workshop was to free participants from being “bound” to the facts, and instead use their imaginations to highlight parts of their stories.

Dahlak is one of the fellows from the international residency program OneBeat (sponsored by the U.S. State Dept.), for which 516 ARTS presented a concert and exhibition at the Albuquerque Rail Yards in 2014. Dahlak will perform an excerpt from his one-man play titled Spiritrials about “what happens when too many Saturday nights are blended seamlessly into Sunday morning. It’s for that time of the night when sobriety sets back in but the promise of salvation is still so far…’a dark gospel blue’.” Dahlak is a Hip Hop artist, musician, actor, poet and educator who has performed on the Tavis Smiley Radio show and the past two seasons of Russell Simmons’ present Def Poetry Jam.


This project was made possible in part by support from the NPN Performance Residency Program. Major contributors included NPN are the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Endownment for the ARTS (a federal agency).

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