Joan Osato has played a pivotal role in local and national theater for over two decades and has been a core member of Youth Speaks since 2001. At Youth Speaks she produces live performance events for the organization, including Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival as well as Life is Living in cities around the country. She has brought a multiplicity of production and design talents to Living Word Project Repertory works such as The Break/s, Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, Tree City Legends, Spiritrials and Chasing Mehserle, and has created work as an ensemble member of critically acclaimed theater group Campo Santo. She was the inaugural recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission Artist and Communities Partnership Grant (2007), Theater Bay Area Award for Excellence in Video Design (Tribes by Nina Raine, directed by Jonathan Moscone at Berkeley Repertory Theater) and the Surdna Foundation’s Artists Engaged in Social Change Award in 2015 for NOGALES with Richard Montoya and Sean San Jose. She is an awardee of prestigious grants from the MAP Fund, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, SFAC’s Individual Artist Commission, and the Columbia Foundation. She has been recognized for her work as a photographer from Artslant, Prix de Photographie and has exhibited throughout the San Francisco Bay Area since 2009.