About damali ayo damali ayo is an emerging, fresh and poignant voice on dismantling oppression and catalyzing social change. damali engages these issues by creating accessible, interactive "Now Art" that involves viewers and participants in the process of creating art and generating dialogue. Her award-winning work has been shown at galleries across the world. She has spoken to Colleges, High Schools, Non-profits and communities in 20 U.S.
damali ayo is an emerging, fresh and poignant voice on dismantling oppression and catalyzing social change. damali engages these issues by creating accessible, interactive "Now Art" that involves viewers and participants in the process of creating art and generating dialogue. Her award-winning work has been shown at galleries across the world. She has spoken to Colleges, High Schools, Non-profits and communities in 20 U.S. states and Canada about race, diversity, art and eco-living. damali and her work have been featured in over 100 publications world-wide including Harpers, the Village Voice, Salon.com, the Washington Post, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, CSPAN2's Book TV.
damali has worked as a professional diversity trainer, team leader, program developer and camp director, but chose to become an artist as an effective means of achieving progress. In 2003 damali created the internationally acclaimed web-art-performance rent-a-negro.com, which explores the commodification of race and the interactions between blacks and whites in society. damali's book, How to Rent a Negro was acclaimed as "one of the most trenchant and amusing commentaries on contemporary race relations." Her book was granted a 2005 Honorable Mention in the Outstanding Book Awards from the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. Her radio work "Living Flag: Panhandling for Reparations" won a Silver Reel Award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. In 2007 damali created Now Art Grants, a program that combines small donations of a large number of individuals then grants that money to artists engaged in social change.
damali's acclaimed book, How to Rent a Negro is in currently development to be made into a film by Coalition Films (NY) in Partnership with Saturn Films (LA). Saturn Films is headed by Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage.
damali's work communicates a relentless desire to engage the world and generate authentic experiences for society. She strives to create a shift in viewers' perspectives on our world and their position within it. She says, "I believe art should make people think and feel. when we are handed a mirror, we see ourselves and the culture that surrounds us. we can look away or we can look deeply, realizing we have been given an opportunity to change anything in our view. It is the responsibility of art to be that mirror."
damali has a Bachelors in Art from Brown University in a dual concentration of Public Policy and American Civilization. She also holds a Masters in Fine Art from Portland State University in Studio Art. damali is an avid gardener and strives to live a life in harmony with principles of sustainability. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her adopted dog, Stevie.
University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee ? Lemoyne College ? Emory University ? Syracuse University ? University of Washington at Pullman ? Clark College ? Reed College ? University of Maryland ? Baton Rouge Community College ? Washington University in St. Louis ? Babson College ? Northfield Mount Herman School ? University of Colorado, Boulder ? Portland Community Collge ? Texas Women's University ? The Paideia School ? Colby College ? St. Michael's College ? John Caroll University ? Lemoyne College ? Shippensberg University ? Catlin Gabel School ? Spellman College ? Boston Color of Film Collaborative ? Multnomah County Diversity Conference ? Black Feminisms Conference ? NW Community Land Trust ? Oregon Peacemakers Conference
Your School or Company!
damali ayo brings easy-to-do solutions to your company, school or conference. Her ten solutions to racism were developed by the 2000 people who comprise damali's world-wide network. Her steps to living an eco-life come from her own habits and commitments. damali walks her talk.
A revived positive outlook is critical to establishing effective relationships within communities, educational environments, customers and teams. damali's fresh, interactive approach moves far beyond typical lectures that can leave participants frustrated or bored. damali helps people feel inspired.
damali has worked as a professional diversity trainer, team leader, program developer and camp director, but chose to become an artist as an effective means of generating dialogue and progress. damali understands the practical needs of our society. She helps groups craft plans to move forward in a concrete way.
damali has a special gift for working with people, rooted in a deep understanding of human relationships. Her straightforward and engaging style opens minds and generates dialogue. Each member of an audience is given a window into their own skills and strengths and emerges ready to engage challenging issues in a positive way.
?damali ayo is an extraordinary speaker
who brings a creative force that is exhilarating,
fresh and dynamic. There is never a dull moment during her presentations. You are in for a treat.?
- Lemoyne College Syracuse NY
"damali brought insight and art to stimulate
thought, emotionally move, and leave us with
our breath taken away."
"damali ayo was phenomenal and
- Boston Color of Film Collaborative
"It is wonderful to meet such a strong voice.
Some of us spend a lifetime whispering."
- University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee