Alixa Garcia // artist
Naima Penniman // artist
Creativity is the antidote for violence and destruction. Art is our most human expression, our voice to communicate our stories, to challenge injustice and the misrepresentations of mainstream media, to expose harsh realities and engender even more powerful hope, a force to bring diverse peoples together, a tool to rebuild our communities, and a weapon to win this struggle for universal liberation.
– Alixa + Naima
Climbing PoeTree is the combined force of Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman. Over the last 11 years, Climbing PoeTree has been at the forefront of social and environmental justice movements by harnessing their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal transformation. Their award-winning performance is composed of dual-voice spoken word poetry, hip hop, and multimedia theatre that dissolves apathy with hope, exposes injustice, and helps heal our inner trauma so that we may begin to cope with the issues facing our communities.
Climbing PoeTree has independently organized 29 national and international tours bringing their performance to thousands of people across the U.S. and abroad from Mexico to the UK, South Africa to Cuba. Their soul-stirring performances have been featured alongside visionary leaders and artists such as Angela Davis, Cornel West, Alice Walker, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Saul Williams, Sonia Sanchez, Naomi Klein, Danny Glover, and The Last Poets, among others.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Alixa and Naima created the award winning multimedia theater production Hurricane Season:The Hidden Messages in Water and traveled over 11,000 miles across the U.S. on a bus converted to run on recycled vegetable oil, merging theater and activism by creating a national network that gave voice to local organizations addressing and healing the effects of unnatural disasters in their communities. Climbing PoeTree’s artistic and organizing work can be found on the walls of galleries and museums through projects such as S.T.I.T.C.H.E.D and Shadow Boxing, the latter created by Garcia, and in the streets of Haiti Ayiti Resurrect, Co-Founded by Penniman.
Innovative educators and performers, Climbing PoeTree’s work appears in high school and university curricula. In that last year alone, they were selected to present and keynote at the New Story Summit, Scotland; Bioneers National Conference, California; and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, MA to name a few. They have lead hundreds of workshops in institutions from Yale University to Rikers Island Prison. They are currently developing a multimedia curriculum derived from their celebrated production, Hurricane Season, that employs art and culture to help learners analyze systems of oppression and resistance, and builds critical consciousness and imagination essential for fundamental social change.
Support for Climbing PoeTree can be made by donating to its fiscal sponsor the National Performance Network. Click the button below and you will be directed to Network for Good’s Donate Now service. Next to “Program Designation,” click on the drop-down box and select “Climbing PoeTree.”
NPN is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions support the programming of NPN and the designated programs of the New Orleans Local Network and are fully tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. All donations are acknowledged by letter. We don’t engage in phone solicitation, nor will we sell or rent your contact information to any third party.