CV

ARTIST STATEMENT & BIO

Sean Avery is a rapper, poet & educator from Avondale, Arizona. Their work opens a dialogue about Black masculinity by sharing their personal narrative. Sean is an alum of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in English Creative Writing. They received the nation’s only full-tuition Hip-Hop Theatre scholarship, First Wave. Sean has been on stage with Saul Williams, Lemon Anderson & J. Ivy. They have been published by Illumination Magazine & Art Hoe Collective. Their music & performance poetry has been featured on both Afropunk & Blavity. Currently, Sean is finishing an autobiographical solo show titled “skinnyblk.”

 

EDUCATION

University of Madison-Wisconsin May 2016

  • Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing
    • Certificate in African-American Studies

 

FACILITATION, TEACHING ARTIST, AND LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE

South Pointe High School July 2017-May 2018

Creative Writing Teachers

  • Plan weekly lesson plans based on creative writing standards
  • Instruct two creative writing classes Mon-Fri
  • Grade & assess student writing
  • Coordinate on and off campus student performances

 

Childsplay: Theatre for Kids & Families May 2017-July 2017

Summer Academy Teaching Artist

  • Planned weekly lesson plans for youth based on performance objectives
  • Directed youth theatre presentations
  • Provided childcare for youth at the beginning and end of each day
  • Co-taught theatre activities with other Teaching Artists and summer interns

 

Phonetic Spit: Literary Arts, Youth Development & Social Justice Programming September 2016- April 2018

Lead Teaching Artist, Workshop Facilitator

  • Instructing creative writing and performance workshops for high school and junior high school students
  • Hosting a monthly youth open mic for Phonetic Spit students
  • Facilitating Poetry Out Loud workshops for students interested in poetry recitation
  • Artistically directing and/or performing in a yearly Hip-Hop theater festival
  • Devising arts programming aimed to interest and retain youth poets

 

P.E.O.P.L.E. Program Middle School Spoken Word Instructor June-July 2016

Teaching Artist, Workshop Facilitator

  • Wrote three-week curriculum with published poems, Spoken Word, and Hip-Hop music/lyrics
  • Facilitated and encouraged a safe space for youth to explore their personal narratives and workshop student’s writing five days a week
  • Collaborated with other three-week P.E.O.P.L.E. Teaching Artists on multidisciplinary workshops
  • Developed a culminating performance to showcase student’s creative work on July 8th

 

Whoopensocker Arts Outreach and Education Company January-March 2016

Teaching Artist

  • Taught theater and writing to a 3rd-grade Spanish immersion class at Sandburg Elementary
  • Collaborated on weekly lesson plans with a cohort of teaching artists
  • Facilitated individual writing, group writing, and performance activities
  • Developed student’s skits and short stories over a three month period

 

Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI)/ First Wave October 2012-May 2016   

Student Liaison, Just Bust! Open Mic & Workshop Coordinating Producer  

  • Coordinated and hosted monthly Open Mic and Writing Workshop series
  • Organized artists and performers for 2016 Linebreaks Hip-Hop Theater Festival
  • Organized, hosted, and coordinated 2016 Passing the Mic Pre-College Recruitment Youth Poetry Festival
  • Prepared and coached performers for OMAI/First Wave presentations, showcases, and events
  • Managed OMAI/ Firsts Wave’s social media and office needs

 

Phonetic Spit: Literary Arts, Youth Development & Social Justice Programming August 2015

Intern & Youth Poet August 2011-February 2012

  • Organized and hosted Open Mics at the Phoenix Burton Barr Public Library
  • Updated and maintained Phonetic Spit’s social media
  • Facilitated workshops for youth in high schools, juvenile detention centers, after-school programs, and charter schools.
  • Chaperoned the 2015 Phoenix Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival Slam Team

 

Willis L. Jones Leadership Center August 2014-August 2015
Engage Leadership Series Coordinator

  • Developed speaker series on leadership and entrepreneurship
  • Maintained and balanced budget for speakers
  • Facilitated workshops on leadership and community building

 

Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) April-August 2014

First Wave New Student Leader April-August 2013

  • Wrote, performed, and facilitated a Hip-Hop theater show with accompanying workshops on identity and intersectionality for incoming freshmen
  • Led tours on UW Madison Campus focusing on Native American, POC, and LGBTQ history
  • Guided incoming freshmen through orientation, advising, registration, campus resources, culture, and social climate.

 

ARTISTIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Completed Projects

  • “Requiem: A Personal Narrative of Black Masculinity & Rap Music,” Multimedia Manuscript, English Creative Senior Thesis Project, 66 pages, April 2016
  • “808’s & Otherworlds,” Blog, The Black Voice Senior Thesis Project, 12 Posts (Personal Essays, Hip-Hop Reviews, Lists, Videos), January-April 2016
  • “Nigga: A Monologue,” Performance Art Video, Short Film, 4 mins., December 2015
  • “EMOFUNK,” Rap Mixtape, Music Project, 10 songs: 28 mins, June 2014

 

Poetry Publications

  • “Dear Masculinity,” Maskuline x Dear Masculinity Chapbook, Print, Pg. 4
  • “skinny-black jeans,” Art Hoe Collective, August 2016, Electronic, N/A
  • “Otherworld,” Illumination: Undergraduate Journal of Humanities, December 2015, Pg. 22
  • “In My Dreams,” Illumination: Undergraduate Journal of Humanities, December 2015, Pg. 23
    • Wisconsin People & Ideas Magazine, May 2015, Pg. 69
  • “Prayer (Song) For Magic,” Wisconsin People & Ideas Magazine, May 2015, Pg. 68
  • “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” Toothtaker, February 2014
  • “Toast,” The Blue Guitar Magazine, Fall 2010, Pg. 19

 

Devised Theater Productions

  • Soul Justice Project Presents Pendulum (Writer, Performer)
    • Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ, 18 & 19 May 2017
  • The Election Monologues
    • Empty Space Theatre, Tempe, AZ, January 2017
  • We the 350: Stories of Racism, Poverty, and Incarceration in Wisconsin (Actor)
    • First Unitarian Society, Madison, WI, April 2016
    • Edgewood College, Madison, WI, January 2016
    • Fredric March Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union, Madison, WI, January 2016
    • Overture Center for the Arts, Promenade Hall, Madison, WI, November 2015

 

Hip-Hop Theater Productions

  • Sub-Everything (Writer, Director, Actor, Performer)
    • “Faculty College,” Coppertop Theatre, University of Wisconsin-Richland, Richland, WI, May 2016
  • Own It (Writer, Actor, Performer)
    • “Boys & Girls Club Keystone Conference,” Ballroom Stage, Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld, Orlando, FL, April 2015
  • First Wave Touring Ensemble at Louder Than A Bomb (Writer, Performer)
    • Illinois Black Legislators’ Theater, The DuSable Museum of African-American History, Chicago, IL, March 2015
  • Diversity in the School of Education (Writer, Performer)
    • Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, February 2015
    • Rackham Amphitheatre, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, January 2015
  • First Wave at Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival Opening Ceremonies (Performer, Writer)
    • “Brave New Voices 2016,” Emory University Glynn Memorial Church, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, July 2015
  • Walls (Actor, Writer, Performer)
    • “Multicultural Homecoming,” (w/ SOAR Ensemble & First Wave Touring Ensemble) H.F. DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Madison, WI, October 2014
    • Marquee Theater, Union South, Madison, WI, June-August 2014
    • “Teaching Academy Summer Institute,” Classroom, University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, Madison, WI, May 2014
  • Intersectionality (Actor, Writer, Performer)
    • “2013 Diversity Forum,” (w/ SOAR Ensemble) Varsity Hall, Union South, University of Madison-Wisconsin, Madison, WI, October 2013
    • “Teaching Academy Summer Institute,” Classroom, University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, Madison, WI, May 2013
    • Marquee Theater, Union South, Madison, WI, June-August 2013
  • The #1 County to Lie in (Actor, Writer, Performer)
    • Young Auditorium, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Madison, WI, January 2015
    • 100state, Madison, WI, November 2014
    • Promenade Hall, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI, November 2014
  • Welcome Mat at Capacity (Actor, Writer, Performer)
    • Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall, Madison, WI, March 2012
  • Ethics (Performer, Writer)
    • “Rotary Ethics Symposium,” (w/ 6th Cohort Ensemble) Lakeside Commons, Monona Terrace, Madison, WI, February 2012
  • First Wave 6th Cohort Showcase (Performer, Writer)
    • Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall, Madison, WI, November 2011

 

Spoken Word & Hip-Hop Performances

  • “Come As You Are Ball: The Escape”, A.E. England Building ASU, Phoenix, Arizona, 14 October 2017
  • “Wordplay Cafe Open Mic,” Volstead Public House, Mesa, Arizona, 10 August 2017
  • “Pen Cap Collective 2017 Poetry + Art Showcase,” 51 West, Tempe, Arizona, 29 July 2017
  • “HXCORE//HIPHOP,” Ppc Crakhaus, 602 W. Fillmore St., Phoenix, Arizona, 28 July 2017
  • “Jazz June (Gwendolyn Brooks Tribute)” 7 June 2018
  • “Hands & Feet Open Mic Night,” Jeremiah’s Coffee, Tempe, Arizona, 28 April 2017.
  • “Old Story Music Video Release Party,” Last Exit Live, Phoenix, Arizona, April 1st, 2017
  • “Make Noise: An Open Mic in Barrio Campito,” Santa Rita Center, Phoenix, Arizona, March 11th, 2017
  • “Arizona Spoken Word & Rap Showcase,” The Underground, Nile Theater, Mesa, Arizona, March 3, 2017
  • “African Americans and Mental Health: Moving Forward,” Halle Heart Children’s Museum, Tempe, Arizona, 24 February 2017
  • “Tucson Youth Poetry Slam Poet Feature,” Bentley’s Cafe, Tucson Arizona, 18 February 2017
  • “Wordplay Cafe,” Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona, 16 February 2017.
  • “AZ/NM Connection Group Art Show,” Thirdspace Art Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona, 3 February 2017.
  • Phonetic Spit Poetry Out Loud RUSH Days,” Auditorium & classroom, Willow Canyon High School, Surprise, Arizona, Herberger Young Scholars Academy, Glendale, Arizona, January 2017.
  • “Classic-ISH Slam Series Championship (4 of 4),” Dobson Lecture Hall, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona, December 2016.
  • “Expressions @ Gammage,” Arizona State University Gammage Theater, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, November 2016
  • “Phonetic Spit RUSH Days,” Auditoriums & English classrooms, Kino Junior High School, Mesa High School, Westwood High School, Mesa, Arizona, September & November 2016
  • “Welcome Black Poetry Explosion,” Ventana Ballroom, Memorial Union, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, August 2016
  • “2016 Madison Hip-Hop Festival,” Terrace, Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin, Madison, August 2016.
  • “Hip-Hop in the Heartland Open Mic,” Auditorium, Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, July 2016
  • “The Spoken Truth,” P.E.O.P.L.E. Program, Witte Residence Hall, University of Wisconsin, Madison, July 2016
  • “Sorry Not Sorry,” 100state, 30 W. Mifflin St., Madison, WI, June 2016
  • “Madison Poetry Day,” Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, WI, May 2016
  • “Intersextionality,” Masley Media Room, Madison, WI, April 2016
  • “Truth.Tongue.SPIT,” Cinematheque, Vilas Hall, Madison, WI, April 2016
  • “BONK! Performance Series #89,” Racine Arts Council, Racine, WI, February 2016
  • “The Color of Sex,” Multicultural Student Center, Madison, WI, November 2015
  • “EMOFUNK Anniversary Concert,” House Show, Tempe, AZ, August 2015
  • “Young, Gifted and Black Youth Showcase,” Promenade Hall, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI, June 2015
  • “Dear God,” “The Soul Justice Project,” Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ, May 2015.
  • “Nigga: A Monologue Performance and Workshop,” 10th Grade English Class, Shabazz City High School, Madison, WI, May 2015
  • “First by First Wave Music Showcase,” Promenade Hall, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI, March 2015
  • “Marc Lamont Hill UW-Madison Black History Month Keynote,” (Opening Act) Gordon Commons, Madison, WI, February 2015
  • “Boys & Girls Club of Dane County Leadership Awards Ceremony” Conference Room, Madison Concourse Hotel, Madison, WI, February 2015
  • “Alpha Sig Slam,” Segredos, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, April 2015
    • University of Wisconsin-Madison Hillel Foundation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, October 2013
  • “The Studio Showcase,” Sellery Hall Black Box Theater, Sellery Hall, Madison, WI, November 2014
  • “Delta Sigma Theta,” Rotunda Studio, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI, December 2013
  • “One Madison Community Festival,” Villager Mall, Madison, WI, September 2013
  • “Sasha Go Hard w/ Members of First Wave,” Der Rathskeller, Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, May 2013
  • “The Leak: First Wave Music Workshop Showcase,” Der Rathskeller, Memorial Union, Madison, WI, December 2012
  • “Phonetic Spit Festival,” Civic Space Park, Phoenix, AZ, May 2012
  • “Estrella Mountain Community College Open Mic,” Plaza Gallery, Estrella Mountain Community College, Avondale, AZ, May 2012
  • “Phoenix Youth Hip-Hop Showcase,” Civic Space Park, Phoenix, AZ, April 2012
  • “Tucson Festival of Books,” University of Arizona Bookstore, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, March 2012
  • “Conspire Open Mic,” Conspire Coffee Shop, Phoenix, AZ, March 2012
  • “Saul Williams,” (Opening Act) Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ, March 2012
  • “RAW Artists Showcase,” Foundry on First, Phoenix, AZ, September 2011
  • “Infuse Open Mic,” The Artisan, Phoenix, AZ, August 2011
  • “Agua Fria High School  Baccalaureate Ceremony,” Agua Fria High School Auditorium, Agua Fria High School, Avondale, AZ, May 2011
  • “Adelante Empowermentation,” L.S. Neeb Hall, Arizona State University-Tempe, April 2011
  • “Civil Disobedience Park Jam,” Fine Arts Plaza, Arizona State University-Tempe, Tempe, AZ, March 2011
  • “Glendale Community College Free Association Poetry,” Student Union, Glendale Community College, Glendale, AZ, February 2011
  • “Tucson Youth Poetry Slam,” Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea, Tucson, Az, February 2011
  • “Speak on, Speak on it,” Lyceum Theatre, Arizona State University-Tempe, Tempe, AZ, February 2011
  • “Sun Devil Poetry Slam,” MADCAP Theatre, Tempe, AZ, January 2010
  • “Blue Guitar Festival of the Arts,” Delph Courtyard, Arizona State University-West, Glendale, AZ, April 2010
    • University Center, Arizona State University-West, Glendale, AZ, April 2009

 

Residencies

  • Free Arts Hip-Hop Camp, Children First Leadership Academy, Phoenix, Arizona, 10 July – 14 July 2017
  • Childsplay Summer Academy Classes, Childsplay Campus, Tempe, Arizona, 30 May – 28 July 2017
  • Free Arts Arizona Girls Group Home Slam Workshop, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona, March 2017-April 2017
  • Mountain View High School, Phonetic Spit, Mesa, Arizona, February 2017-April 2017
  • Kino Junior High School, Phonetic Spit: Literary Arts, Youth Development & Social Justice Programming, Mesa, Arizona, September 2016-April 2017
  • Westwood High School, Phonetic Spit: Literary Arts, Youth Development & Social Justice Programming, Mesa, Arizona, September 2016-April 2017

 

Spoken Word & Writing Workshops

  • “Desert Marigold High School Poetry Project,” Phoenix, AZ, 16 March 2017
  • “Tucson Youth Poetry Slam Writing Workshop,” Bentley’s Cafe, Tucson Arizona, 18 February 2017
  • “Classic-ish Slam Series 2 of 4,” Dobson Lecture Hall, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona, November 2016.
  • “Classic-ish Slam Series 1 of 4,” Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus, Arizona State University, Mesa, Arizona, November 2016.
  • “Love Poem to Myself: Writing Workshop,” Kuumba Lynx Hip-Hop Arts Program, Clarendon Park Community Center, Chicago, Illinois, October 2016.
  • “Persona, Personal Narrative, & Intro to Spoken Word Workshop,” STEAM Camp, Dane Arts, Capitol Theater, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI, July 2016
  • “College Access Program Hip-Hop Education Class,” (Poetry & Hip-Hop workshop) Educational Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, July 2016
  • “Speakerboxxx: Into Spoken Word,” (3-week Spoken Word Workshop & Culminating Performance) P.E.O.P.L.E Program, Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin, Madison, June-July 2016
  • “Diversity in the School of Education,” (Workshops & Performances) Rackham Amphitheatre, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, January 2015
  • “Nigga: A Monologue Performance and Workshop,” 10th Grade English Class, Shabazz City High School, Madison, WI, May 2015
  • “Young Women’s Christian Association Minneapolis Writing Workshop,” On Wisconsin Room, Red Gym, Madison, WI, July 2015
  • “Free Arts Arizona Writing Workshop,” Free Arts of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ, August 2011
  • “Boys and Girls Club Performance Workshop,” Boys & Girls Club of Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ, June 2011
  • “High School Spoken Word Workshop,” Peoria Transitional High School, Peoria, AZ, April-May 2011

 

Screenings

  • Maskuline x Dear Masculinity (Performer, Musician)
    • Chazen Museum of Art, Linebreaks Festival 2017, Madison, WI, April 11th, 2017
  • Nigga: A Monologue (Actor, Writer, Co-Director)
    • Chazen Museum of Art, Unhood Yourself: The Real UW One Day Exhibition, Madison WI, April 2016
    • Barrymore Theater, Wisconsin Film Festival, Madison, WI, April 2016
    • Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall, Moonshine, Madison, WI, February 2016
    • Sellery Hall Black Box Theater, Sellery Hall, The Studio Showcase, Madison, WI, November 2015
    • Promenade Hall, Overture Center for the Arts, Passing the Mic Festival, Madison, WI, October 2015

 

Lectures/ Panels/ Speeches

  • “Real Boy Documentary Screening (Panelist)” Project Humanities (ASU), Changing Hands Bookstore, Phoenix, AZ, 23 May 2017
  • “2016 First Wave Graduation Ceremony Speech”
    • Varsity Hall, Union South, Madison, WI, May 2016
  • “Skinny Jeans & Blouses: Homophobia & Hypersexuality in Modern Hip-Hop Culture (Lecture)”
    • “Wisconsin Festival of Ideas”. H.F. DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Madison, WI, April 2016
    • “Cultural Re-education Lecture Series”. Gordon Commons, Madison, WI, March 2016

 

Published Essays:

  • “Rap Music is Becoming Unsafe for Black People,” Msc.wisc.edu, April 2016

 

AWARDS/HONORS

  • Black Male Excellence Award, Delta Sigma Theta February 2016
  • Mentorship Award, OMAI/First Wave February 2016, January 2015
  • 2nd Place Poetry Contest, Wisconsin Academy May 2015
  • Marion McCammond Award, Wisconsin Union Directorate March 2015
  • 1st Place “The Baddest” Award, The Black Designers & Artists Association February 2011

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