How we tell our stories maps the vast terrain of expression in our quest for sustainable art practices. My commitment is to create tools that improve the lives of artists and art practices in partnership with our collective moral responsibility to the planet. Through the interdisciplinary testimonials that inform my practice, I document, contend with and affirm, the sustainable future of BIPOC communities. With so many increasingly under attack—collective demands are more precise with the understanding that solutions must be inclusive and just, creatively developed, and applied with the wholistic intention to repair wounds. My relationships with area eco-influencers and the robust coalition of growers and art makers encourage me to consider what it means to bridge sovereignty and empowerment with the sustainable needs of the practicing artist as social entrepreneur.
MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY
Highlights from my class "Writing Literary Activism" (SP20), which offers "scenes" of engagement with students, following our transition to remote learning. (Download CV end of page).
My works live as creative partnerships and divergent storytelling styles. Like many artists, I have been seduced and liberated by an explosive list of issues that compete for my attention. With assistance from the Creative Catalyst Fund last year, I launched Where'sYourTree.com—an artist-initiated eco-art project that produced "Radical Rejuvenation/Gather in the Company of Trees"—a three-part documentary-podcast series that fused “testimonials” from a range of Newark’s eclectic food growers/farmers/abolitionists, and the residents who support and love them.
An author of a range of works for performance/stage, my writing also extends to TV pilots and audio serials. My play "Seens" is featured in the critically acclaimed anthology Blacktino Queer Performance (Duke Univ. Press) and part of a collection recently acquired by the Amistad Research Center, Tulane Univ., New Orleans, LA.
My play "Dust" reimagines the plight of Marcy Borders, known as "Dust Lady"— the iconic figure who gained international attention during 9-11. Recent publications: 'Eco-Mediations & Memories of Dirt (About Place Journal) (fall 2020) and American Road Magazine Review of “The Negro Motorist Green-Book” (2021); Other recent publications include a tribute essay that celebrates the life of Ntozake Shange in African Voices, speculative fiction and spiritual/philosophy writings in Akashic Books, Anthropology of Consciousness, among others.
PUBLIC ART EVENTS / KEYNOTES
"Read My Palm" (produced by Saint Flashlight / Poets & Writers; was featured in the WBGO_FM interview, "Connecting Urban Ecosystems and Media"to discuss revisioning our relationship to urban-ag ecosystems. Keynote Speaker with artist resistance organizations in Oregon and Minnesota—two troubled parts of the country in the “ongoing” era of violence toward black bodies. My work as an “artivist” is to help organizations and community partners create tools committed to equity and justice while supporting the intersectional lives of artists, art practices, entrepreneurship, and the social eco-habitats in which we dwell.
Other Performance-based, public or museum projects include: "Marquee Poems" - produced by SAINT FLASHLIGHT, For Whom It Stands, The Flag and the American People, group show cited as “A Top Ten Must-See Exhibit,” at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, and LIVE ART Queens Museum, NY. Recipient of several Writer Fellowships/Residencies: VCCA/Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, MA.
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
Engaging with Performance Studies class hosted by Prof. E. Patrick Johnson and students, (pictured), visiting from Northwestern University, and a lively discussion of my play "SEENS," featured in publication of "Blacktino Queer Performance. " (see below)
Where's Your Tree? - Goddard College Commencement Address
by Pamela Booker, UGP Faculty
20 September 2015
When the graduating students of the fall Undergraduate Program (residency option 2) asked Faculty member Pamela Booker to be their commencement speaker, everyone knew it would be a special address. But we didn’t know it was going to be THIS profound.
I was excited when Ah-Keisha McCants invited me on behalf of her graduating class to share this special occasion with you and then to learn that Wellness and Justice would be the residency’s driving themes. Yet I was also reticent about whether I’d be able to be here with your class today and certainly never planned to return to the faculty. Why? Because my life is unpredictable anymore for the ways that my body, my mind, my entire sense of being, knowing, doing—Goddard precepts—have conspired against me. It was a punishing summer for me, as many of you know, surviving an inexplicable car accident that subsequently took my buddy’s life, my dad, and now continuing to heal along with my mom from indelible physical and emotional wounds and loss. My life is also magical and absurd and fills me with profound gratitude. I am honored then, to be here among proud families, friends, my dear colleagues, and, of course, YOU, our amazing graduates. By being here, I am reminded that wellness, justice, love, remain integral designs of my life...
Be transported by our three-part documentary series of conversations with #NewarkStrong urban farmers/growers and social entrepreneurs and the communities that love and support them.
During these challenging times:
BE STILL. STAND IN LOVE. PAY ATTENTION.
In light, Pam Booker, Founder