Project 2050: Umoja (2000)

Project 2050: Umoja (2000) HIDVL

One of New WORLD Theater’s artistic legacies is Project 2050, a multi-year youth arts initiative built on the demographic projection that people of color would become the majority in the United States by 2050. The program brought together professional artists, youth communities from Massachusetts, scholars, and community activists to engage civic dialogue and create original performances based on themes that addressed young performers’ dreams and concerns. Performances were created from workshops that included playwriting, poetry, breakdancing, drumming, beat boxing, lyricism, singing, songwriting, stepping, and visual art. In ‘Umoja,’ young members from Project 2050 perform monologues exploring social issues ranging from immigration to women’s liberation. The use of different languages bring together their roots and their future, placing them in-between tradition and futurity. Diverse stories travel from individualities to the history of entire communities: One young performer reflects on her experience as a Vietnamese immigrant pursuing the ‘American Dream.’ Another young performer discusses his inter-racial identity from a Colombian perspective. Another young performer states her views about feminism from a ‘dark girl’s perspective.’ Among all these different struggles and dreams, there are points of contact and similarities that set the ground for a better future. Thus, the performance ends with the performers collectively dancing and chanting harmoniously in their diversity.


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Additional Info

  • Title: Project 2050: Umoja
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 00:04:57
  • Language: English
  • Date: 2000
  • Location: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Type-Format: performance
  • Cast: Keith Bailey, Tiffany Cambell, Cristina Delgado, Damaris Delgado, MJ Donoghue, Jamille Hazard, Aisha Jordan, Hao Pham, Andre McPherson, Nuk Thann, Mikiko Thelwell, performers.
  • Credits: Millicent Johnnie and Metta Dael, creators; Yiannis Astor; David Ortiz; Hao Pham; Jessica Robles, collaborators; Steven Sapp; Mildred Ruiz; Roberta Uno, collaborators.