Innovators in Rural Community Economic Development

Blood, Muscle, Bone: A Story of Wealth and Poverty

Tags: Wealth Creation

Client Name: Urban Bush Women, Ford Foundation

Client Type: Non-profit, Foundation

Year: 2013

Location: New York

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Liz Lerman invited Shanna Ratner to join them as a special guest for a conversation about wealth and poverty in America at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. The conversation took place as part of "Blood, Muscle, Bone: A Story of Wealth and Poverty," a performance and residency project conceived of and developed by choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Liz Lerman whose work is informed by an intense research process involving communities of faith, healthcare, and brain science. Multi-disciplinary in its processes as well as its outcomes, the project examined how wealth and poverty impact the body while asking new questions about how these conditions are defined and imagined. The enduring question of why economic inequality continues with such persistence is an underlying engine of the piece. Seeking to move beyond “compassion fatigue,” the work animated the seemingly intractable crisis of poverty. With a development arc of several years through residencies where creative research, community engagement, and rehearsal hours accumulate for public sharing and performance, the public offerings of Blood, Muscle, Bone include stage performance, prayer breakfasts, lecture tours, workshops, teacher training, panels, and cabarets. These community-engaged performance events are part of the creative process as well as the creative product of this work.

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