Artist statement

I am a folk artist. An artist of the people! A storyteller. It is my responsibility as a folk artist to affirm our contemporary stories, emotions and ideas through art and carry these stories onward.

Art is my tool to build just and joyful communities that are as free as possible from systemic oppression. My art comforts the struggling and challenges political complacency. As a writer and performing artist, I combine my literature, music and theatre background with my political activism to create art that engages through its truth, comedy, lyricism and power. Genres and artistic disciplines do not limit me when creating songs, poems, scenes and stories. On stage, it is important for me to demonstrate power in embodied performances, unrelenting honesty, rhythm and humility.

I am constantly learning and thinking critically about my position and cultural context within systems of oppression. I aim to decolonize myself and my art practice from oppressive ideas and practices. My art is subject to criticism and conversation. As an artist and role model, I listen to and am accountable to my community.

My Art Projects

I am constantly working on composing new music, poetry and theatre. I also travel for performances, workshops, and public speaking. This year, I have three big projects coming out in Fall 2017!

Ancestor Song
My third full length studio music album is in the works. Expect to hear me playing jangu, a type of Korean drum for the first time. This album is inspired by the new songs I feel are coming out of my blood memory, melodies that have been saved up in my family for me to share with the world.

Janice Lee and the White Supremacy Smackdown
This is a one-woman musical comedy play I have been working on for over a year. Green Light Arts, a theatre company in Kitchener-Waterloo will be producing its world premiere in October. This show searches for friendship and love, in a world of loneliness, where it is very difficult to be friends with white people who hurt you.

The Legend of Sing Hey: Documusical
This is a full-length documentary-musical directed by Becca Redden. The bulk of it was filmed during my August 2016 East Coast Canada Tour. See the Documusical tab above for more info.

Community Projects

The Kitchener-Waterloo Poetry Slam: I am the founding artistic director of our spoken word poetry series here in KW. We produce monthly poetry slams, the first Saturday of every month at Cafe Pyrus, as well as a Poetry Circle, and workshops. Join our facebook group to stay updated here

Espress Yourself at Berlin Bicycle Cafe: I curate, produce and host an independent series of open mics and shows at this community bike-shop cafe in Belmont Village, with my good friend and fellow grassroots folk artist Richard Garvey. See our upcoming events here

Rainbow Reels Queer and Trans Film Festival: In 2015 I was the Festival Director for Rainbow Reels. In 2017 I am on the Volunteer Flotilla, organizing our 17th annual festival of queer/trans film, art, zines and community. RainbowReels.org

The MT Space Young Company: The Multicultural Theatre Space is an international professional theatre company in Kitchener specializing in avant-garde physically devised theatre. MT Space is interested in life and death theatre, stories you are dying to tell. I am honoured and excited to have been training with the MT Space as a junior theatre artist. In the summer of 2017 I will be co-directing the Young Company with Ahmad Mire’e, to create a site-specific theatre piece at the historic Joseph Schneider Haus, for our IMPACT International Theatre Festival in September.

The Family Centre Players: Every Wednesday I teach a beginner theatre class as part of the Family Centre’s Resiliency Project in Kitchener.

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