Climbing PoeTree is the combined force of two boundary-breaking soul-sisters who have sharpened their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal transformation. With roots in Haiti and Colombia, Alixa and Naima reside in Brooklyn and track footprints across the country and globe on a mission to overcome destruction with creativity. Climbing PoeTree offers workshops in schools, community institutions, and detention centers, speaks on panels and present at conferences, and performs in venues of all kinds (from festivals to classrooms, prison gymnasiums to concert halls). Alixa and Naima understand the work of story-telling as the work of movement building, and see themselves as justice-journalists, bridge-builders, and inspiration-ignitors in a self-made inner-attainment business! In five self-organized grassroots tours, Climbing PoeTree has rocked 500 mikes and counting from from Los Angeles to Johannesburg, led workshops at institutions from Cornell University to Riker’s Island, and have painted murals on walls from the Bronx to Santiago de Cuba. Using cultural work as a medium Alixa and Naima expose injustice, heal from violence, and make a better future visible, immediate, and irresistible.
Year(s) Awarded: 2009