I create; therefore, I am.
Ayodele Nzinga is a multi-talented West Coast based art visionary, who in the tradition of the Black Arts Continuum, uses performance as a method of inter-intra group communication. Nzinga, also known as “The WordSlanger” has worked with some of the most talented performers in the Bay Area in various capacities to bring life to a long list of creative endeavors.
She is the original Artistic Director of Recovery Theater, and it’s cult classic Marvin X’s “One Day in the Life,” billed as the longest running African American Theater Production in North America.
Nzinga is the creative driving force of The Lower Bottom Playaz and The Sister Thea Bowman Memorial Theater. The Sister Thea, which was built to facilitate Nzinga’s desire to use theater as a form of engagement for the community of West Oakland, has housed Nzinga’s troupe since the theater was founded in 2001. Nzinga’s artistic collaboration with The Prescott Joseph Center for Community Enhancement has provided a consistent venue and support for her artistic practice among underserved audiences in West Oakland CA.
A bright and consistent energy on the cutting edge of the East Bay cultual arts scene Nzinga’s Lower Bottom Playaz sustain themselves by holding annual auditions for new members. The troupe has been a launching pad for artistic careers and has encouraged members to pursue degrees in the arts.
Nzinga nurtures future performers as the founding Director of Sister Thea Summer Theater Day Camp a summer program that offers free artistic training and “first” performance opportunities to local youth from underserved areas. Nzinga also conducts a series of inter-active arts workshops that are popular on high school and college campuses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Multifaceted Nzinga, acts, directs, writes, lecturers, conducts workshops, teaches acting privately, and performs as a featured spoken word artist in Northern CA. She is a member of The Black Apes Project, a multi-media company, that specializes in Ed-u-tainment art. She is the CEO of We Inhale Production and Publishing an independent micropublishing and production company in West Oakland CA. She is the Literary Artist-in-Residence and Resident Dramaturge for the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement. She has consulted, served residencies, and created programming for various art concerns and schools including The University of California at Berkeley, Opera Piccola, Asa Academy, St. Martin De Porres School, The Beacon Outlet, The Leo Center, and A.L.I.C.E.
Awards, Recognition, Support
Serpent Source Grantee
California Playwrights Association
Theater Bay Area
City of Oakland Cultural Arts Department
Alameda County Cultural Arts
San Francisco Foundation
New College Writers
The East Bay Foundation
The Mayors Office of Oakland CA
National Endowment for the Arts
Prescott Joseph Center for Community Enhancement
Oakland Public Library; Photos & Text
For Brothers Only- Documentary, We Inhale
Call the Village-Docu-Drama, Black Apes Media
Down Here- Music Video, 360 Films
We dying down here- Music Video, Black Apes Media
Freedom- Music Video, Black Apes Media
- Don’t Call Me – J. Definitely
- Bigger Picture- Inspire
- Hood Affair- Playa Righteous
- Look n the Glass-Playa Righteous
- WordznBulletz-We Inhale
- Pocket Full of Cowries- Wolf Hawk Jaguar
- Lower Bottom Playaz Hood Mix- Compilation-We Inhale
- The SorrowLand Rebellion-Black Apes Music
Inglis House Anthology
Journal of African American Poetry
ChickenBones, A Journal
San Francisco Bay View
International Conference Of Arts & Humanities