Laura Schleifer created the word 'artivist' to describe her vocation as an artist-activist. A graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts and pro-intersectional vegan writer, theater artist and educator, her work has spanned the globe, from the Middle East, where she performed for Palestinian and Iraqi children on a theater/circus tour, to China, where she taught literature, cinema, writing and drama to Chinese high school students, to Nicaragua, where she taught English/drama, to arts mentoring NYC homeless and at-risk youth with the Actor's Theater Workshop. Her original feature screenplay, "The Feral Child," was a Sundance Screenwriters Lab finalist, and her short play, "Toys in the Hood," lead to a $2000 NYC Arts grant for the First City Theater Co. Additionally, she wrote the commissioned libretto for a new musical based on the Joseph Conrad novel "The Secret Agent," and wrote a one-person-show, "A Little Champ Takes on The World," that was staged in a workshop production at the People's Improv Theater. She has performed her poetry, songs and monologues at various off-Broadway theaters throughout New York (Cherry Lane Theater, HERE, Flea Theater, Theater for the New City, etc.) with the Theaters Against War network, and was invited to perform her poem "A Voice in the Wilderness" on WBAI FM. She has also given talks and chaired and organized panels on various social justice issues at a number of university conferences, including American University, Hunter College, Pace University, and NYU. Most recently, she has taught courses on Israel and Palestine and on Utopianism at Wesleyan University's Green Street Arts Center, and is currently working on a book involving animal rights psychology and philosophy for Vegan Publishers. She is truly thrilled to find a home for her fiction and other creative work in The New Engagement, and to work towards elevating and amplifying other creative voices that have not yet had the opportunity to be heard.
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"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive."
~ James Baldwin
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Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.
The James Baldwin Literature Prize
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of The James Baldwin Literature Prize of $1,000 to Hafsa Musa. Read more.