Baraka de Soleil
Audience and Community Engagement Coordinator
Phone: (312) 369-8341
Presently the consultant in audience and community engagement for The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Baraka has been working within the live arts scene for the past two decades. Throughout his professional career, in addition to performing and creating original works, he has served as: a teaching artist for major organizations and institutions across the USA including The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Minnesotta Center for Arts Education, and Western Stage, CA; a consultant to independent artists, arts organizations and neighborhoods for the past 15 years; a curator of multidisciplined exhibits that honor various cultural communities and legacies such as Links Hall, Intermedia Arts (MN) and Brooklyn Arts Exchange for the past 12 years; and a facilitator of workshop processes that inspire creative flow and collaborative art-making nationally and internationally for the past 10 years in areas including Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, Austin, TX, and Panama.
Baraka is the founder of D UNDERBELLY, an interdisciplinary network of artists of color. His poetics, reflections as an official blogger for the 2012 Chicago Dancing Festival can be found at dunderbelly.wordpress.com. A newly named practitioner of the 'theatrical jazz aesthetic', he is the artist researcher/curator in dance for Chicago Artists Resource, curator for Audience Architects' upcoming humanities discussion series on diversity and, as artistic associate for Insight Arts, and curater of the A.I.R./R.I.A residency pilot project at Rumble Arts Center. As a creative practitioner, his choreography, directing, performing, and creative projects speak to the expanse of contemporary performance, utilizing techniques drawn from the African diaspora and post-modern tradition. This past fall, Baraka developed a collaboration with Anthony Romero ["i don't know why i can't dance"'] and presented a solo ["Step Into The Room"] through his curated evening, Dance of Decay: Compositions of Decomposition, for Dance Union. He was recently appointed to the Cultural Advisory Council for The City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.