(Boston, MA, December 16, 2022) – Boston Children's Chorus (BCC) announces artist-activist Zakiyyah as Season Partner for the 2022-2023 20th Anniversary Season. As part of the collaborative partnership, Zakiyyah will lead BCC singers in workshops and discussions, and compose an original work for BCC as part of the Opus Nuovo Initiative, which will premiere on May 21, 2023, at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester for BCC's final concert of the season. Zakiyyah will also perform as a guest artist on January 16, 2023, at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Becoming King” concert at Boston Symphony Hall. Her original spoken word and poetry will be woven throughout the performance, and the partnership will culminate in the production of a video with the BCC.
As an actress, classically trained singer, and social activist, Zakiyyah is uniquely suited to bring her versatile skill-set to the Boston Children’s Chorus. Through her work in Boston communities, she strives to bring music and education to all people, while acting as a catalyst for social change through her work as a racial equity consultant.
Andrés Holder, Executive Director of the Boston Children's Chorus, says, “The opportunity to collaborate with an artist of Zakiyyah's caliber is a privilege for our organization. We are grateful to have her artistic lens through many different threads of our work during our 20th Anniversary Season. I am particularly eager to watch Zakiyyah partner with BCC's singers in the creation of a new piece for youth chorus.”
Zakiyyah says, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to lend my artistic voice to the 20th season of BCC and to learn with and from the young voices who make this work possible. BCC has done so much incredible work already, and I’m excited to witness the fruit that this dynamic collaboration will bear.”
Zakiyyah is an artist-activist who utilizes music and visual media to explore themes that centralize marginalized communities via her production company, Black and Bold Productions. As an actress and classically-trained singer who is well-versed in Opera, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and R&B, she employs her extremely versatile skill-set to reach a broad range of audiences and craft a sound that is uniquely her own--including her most well-known, "Hip-Hopera". She’s had the pleasure of bringing these sounds to numerous audiences from the House of Blues to more recently, the United Nations. After graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in Political Science and Sociology, she worked in politics for City Councilor Tito Jackson and later Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins. During her time there she created D.A.S.H. (Defensive Aids in Situations of Help); a women’s self-defense program that travels throughout Boston and neighboring cities. She also serves as a trustee for the Free for All Concert Fund, an organization charged with providing the necessary funding to make classical music accessible to the masses. She shares this honor with former Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis, Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, and other dignitaries.
After departing from politics, Zakiyyah remained civically engaged, serving as an elected delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She then spent a year pursuing her artistic and scholastic ambitions in the Czech Republic, Thailand, South Africa, and Colombia, hosting Black Lives Matter events in the latter two countries and even recording with Grammy-nominated group Explosión Negra. She also has a commitment to education, having worked as an administrator at Conservatory Lab Charter School, offering private voice training via Harvard’s Holden Voice Program and the Hamilton Garrett Music and Arts Academy, and even creating an arts-activism program for teens in 2020 entitled “Creative Revolution”. In addition to her artistic practice, Zakiyyah currently works as a racial equity consultant with Arts Connect International, helping arts organizations reassess their practices through the lens of equity and creative justice. These experiences, coupled with her artistic versatility, make her uniquely qualified to use her art as a catalyst for social change. Her upcoming album, “African Import,” provides a window into both the beauty and complexity of the black diaspora, and the significance of its consumption by mainstream society.
Boston Children’s Chorus 20th Season Overview:
In this 20th Anniversary season, BCC is exploring our past, present, and future impact in the Greater Boston community. Founded by Boston civil rights icon Hubie Jones in 2003, BCC’s 2022-2023 20th anniversary season celebrates the city’s history of civil rights activism and draws attention to the work still to be done. While exploring an inequitable past and the generational impact of those injustices in the Boston of today, BCC singers celebrate the anniversary by recommitting to the chorus’ core mission of inspiring inquiry, cultivating empathy, and becoming future generations of Boston leaders. The organization serves over 300 youth through after school and summer programs.
This season includes collaborations with award-winning artists including White Snake Projects and hip-hop artist/activist Zakiyyah. BCC singers in various choruses will perform at Boston Symphony Hall, Old South Church, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Mass., and more.
Singers ages 7-18 are invited to participate in BCC’s 20th anniversary season. To learn more, visit: https://www.bostonchildrenschorus.org/.
About Boston Children’s Chorus
Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) was founded in 2003 by Hubie Jones, a civic leader who has worked for six decades to address the social problems facing Boston’s underserved children and communities. Named Boston’s “Ambassadors of Harmony” by The Boston Globe, BCC harnesses the power of music to connect Boston’s diverse communities, cultivate empathy, and inspire social inquiry. BCC choir programs include 11 choirs with singers from 110 different zip codes in and around Boston. BCC presents over 50 performances per season in a wide range of public and private events. They have performed in venues from Boston Symphony Hall, and Royal Albert Hall in London, to Sydney Opera House, and the White House.
BCC is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.
Stephanie Janes, email@example.com, 617-419-0445