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Red Summer is a Jane of Many Trades. She is a performance artist, activist, motivational speaker and published writer. She has a BA in Speech, Theatre and Communications Education from Grambling State University in Louisiana, an MA in Interdisciplinary Art from Columbia College in Chicago and is pursuing a second MA in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Her work has taken her all over the country, where she has been able to speak on a variety of issues covering gender equality, race, sexual identity, relationships, religion, social history and education.
In the Fall of 2008, Red Summer left a career as a High School and College educator to pursue her dream as a full-time performance artist, writer and filmmaker. At that time, she was traveling across the country promoting her first collection of poetry, First Person, and growing her international audience with performances in Cuba, Spain, France, England and various countries in Africa. While on tour, she has made the time to interact with the local communities by conducting workshops and performances at high schools, colleges and other venues.
As an independent artist, Red Summer worked on her first documentary film project entitled, Chasing Summer. It is a virtual shotgun ride on a personal journey that was as elaborate as Red Summer herself. Her love for poetry and music intertwined to make this experience an artistic journey, while her passion for history, travel and culture drove a spiritual mission to overcome the past and redefine the future. With each city she visited, Chicago Documentarian, Carlos Saqiid, captured the essence of the people and their perspectives on their city’s unique history revolving around music, education, politics, sports and culture. Through the director’s lens, a collaboration of artistic works are beautifully quilted together, to tell just a fraction of the story of the Red Summer Experience.
Additionally, Chasing Summer features students who participated in an interactive outreach program, created by Red Summer, that engages high school and college students in writing, public speaking and performance art. She has partnered with Young Chicago Authors and Poets and Writers to promote “Verbal Remedies” through writing workshops for youth in urban areas. She also provides self-esteem workshops and programs around topics such as; college readiness, life-skills, entrepreneurship, social history/activism and career education. Red Summer and her team truly believe in giving back to young people by “watering their dreams” and empowering them with the tools they need to be successful. Her second documentary project, Al Nisa – Muslim Women in Atlanta’s Gay Mecca, will begin touring in the Spring of 2013.
Red Summer as a poet, was born from Red Summer the actress. In Atlanta, Red has reconnected with her first love through her connection to M.Power and Diva Blue Productions and other production companies and agencies in the city. She has worked on 4 plays, 2 short films, 2 music videos, 2 public festivals, 1 documentary, 2 episodes of major network television shows, 3 web series, a travel blog, a national book tour and a major motion picture in the 2011-2012 season. This kind of work ethic is what makes The Red Summer Experience such an amazing one to witness.