Interview with Reenah Golden, writer, performer, and founder of the Avenue Blackbox Theatre

Reenah L. Golden, Founder/Artistic Director of the Avenue Blackbox Theatre is an award-winning artivist in Rochester, NY. For over 15 years Reenah has been using the power of performance and the Spoken Word publicly to affect social and political change and create new ways of thinking. She has received several local, national and international grants and awards for her work including an Edith Glick Shoolman Children’s Educational Foundation grant and Partners of the Americas Education and Culture travel grants. Reenah is a two-time New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Awardee, a Poets & Writers grant recipient and the 2006 Writers & Books Teacher of Young People Literary Awardee. Internationally, Reenah has delivered presentations, residencies, workshops and professional development in Antigua, Belize, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, Sicily, and Trinidad. Reenah is a founding member of International Critical Pedagogy & Transformative Leadership Congress and editorial board of the book series; Revolutionizing Urban Education: Hip-hop, Pedagogy, and Communities (BRILL | SENSE [2018]).

Reenah is a published writer; she is the author of two chapbooks; Revelations from the Single Mama Tribe and All Me. In 2011, she self published a collection of poems written with her own child, a poet since birth entitled Mother to Son. Her work has been published internationally in academic texts such as The Rhizome of Blackness: a critical ethnography of Hip-Hop culture, language, identity and the politics of becoming (New York: Peter Lang [2014]), Underprivileged School Children and the Assault on Dignity: Policy Challenges and Resistance (Routledge [2014]) and locally in Post, Rochester Magazine and several anthologies produced by Writers & Books, including A Woman’s Voice. She serves on the editorial board of the book series; Revolutionizing Urban Education: Hip-hop, Pedagogy, and Communities (BRILL | SENSE [2018]). Reenah is the author/producer of three plays; Office Politics and Black Coffee-The Poets CaféHip Shake (co-authored), two choreopoems and several short films, Girl Talk, Caught Up, Gang Related and Fam or Fame. As an accomplished producer, playwright and director, Reenah’s performing arts work includes multi-disciplinary collaborations; the most recent of which, BirthWrite, a collaborative literary work with her women’s writing collective We All Write received rave reviews and packed Geva Theatre’s Fielding stage house at Rochester Fringe Festival (2017, 2018). Her evolutionary production, Black
Coffee; the Poets’ café, incorporating a live studio audience workshop is a local favorite for it’s innovative marriage of art, history, improvisation and audience interaction.

Reenah resides in Rochester’s 19th ward where she writes and presents regularly with her black women’s writing collective, We All Write, on Thursday nights at 8pm is host of The Goddess Hour on 104.3 FM (live-streamed at and with the newly formed WOC Art Collaborative of which she is a founding member, all representing the strong, powerful and often omitted voices of black women! Follow Reenah online at REENAHGOLDEN.COM or on FACEBOOK, TWITTER & INSTAGRAM: @reenahgolden.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019