Toshi Reagon, photographed by Flora Hanitijo.
Image by Flora Hanitijo
CPA Series

Toshi Reagon

Meet You at the Crossroads IV
November 2–4, 2023
Various Times

Seating is general admission. Guests are invited to choose their price. See below for details.

Creative Futures Artist-in-Residence Toshi Reagon has made a career out of collaboration. In recent years, she’s been embedded in North Carolina, where she’s worked with countless local artists to build a space where creativity and community collide.

As CPA’s longest-running artist-in-residence, Reagon has been a steady, centering force. She’ll continue that work with Meet You at the Crossroads IV, a curated three-day gathering with artist practitioners and soulful creatives. Please see below for a full event schedule.


To ensure full community access, we’re inviting guests to choose their price. If you have questions about this pricing model, click here to contact our box office. To access tickets for each event, click the “Buy Tickets” button above.

NOTE: If you’d like to participate in Part One of the November 3 event, please purchase a ticket AND complete an additional sign-up form. Read more below.



Part 1
Quickening: Ceremonies from In The Name of the Mother Tree
By Ebony Noelle Golden, featuring Jupiter Performance Studio


The evening before the Water Days, the women prepare to depart their homeland and never return.

Part 2
Poetry in Conversation
Featuring Destiny Hemphill, Howard Craft, and Fred Joiner, with Sound Art by adé Oh


Destiny Hemphill, Howard Craft, and Fred Joiner share their poetry in dialogue with one another. They’ll be joined by sound artist adé Oh.


Part 1
A Ring Shout at the Crossroads: Holding Space and Journeying Forward
With Renée Alexander Craft

NOTE: If you’d like to participate in this portion of the evening, you must complete an additional sign-up form before the performance. Click here to complete the form and sign up.


Join us as we create micro-performances around the themes of maroonage, freedom, and forging new paths forward. Hosted by Renée Alexander Craft.

Part 2
A Sermonic Musical Performance with Ṣangodare Wallace


Transcend is a sermonic music performance created by Ṣangodare Wallace with support and direction from Toshi Reagon. It is performed by a network of local musicians and choir members. Transcend is a congregational journey that invites us to consider the imperatives Light, Pray, and Grow. It draws on Black Church traditions from the Carolinas, Soul/R&B music, Black feminist legacies, and sacred texts, as well as African diasporic wisdom traditions.


Alchemy of Change
Film Series


Join us for a viewing of seven short films by Durham-based filmmaker Katina Parker. The films will feature Sarah Long, Todd Bendor, Danielle Spurlock, Courtney Woods, Mashallah Salam, Danielle Purifoy, and Linda Beeber.


Part 1
EcoTone: A Memory Project
Work in Progress


Keywords (not limited to): home, transition, tension, ecosystem, biome, rupture, connection, memory, human, relation

Ecotones are the sinewy infrastructures of the planet, the borderlands containing some of the highest levels of biodiversity, and where some scientists believe new life forms emerge. They make possible the co-existence of all biomes, thereby making possible billions of lives, including our own. They are also among the most vulnerable places on Earth, often disrupted or destroyed by human settlement and other activities, such as resource extraction. 

Ecotone literally means both “home transition” and “home tension.” As humans inhabiting and concerned with many biomes undergoing transition (many precipitated by the loss of ecotones, which are most sensitive to climate change), we are living in increasing levels of tension between the home we can thrive in and one where human and other than human forms of life will be severely threatened. Our living futures require a different way to be human on the Earth, which requires us to remember our relationships to our ecosystems, our home. 

“Ecotone” is a memory project about transitioning back to the Earth by remembering who we are and to whom/where we belong. We remember our many varied connections by exploring the ruptures. Who we were before the swamps were drained, the prairies were made plantations, the rivers were dammed. How we lived when the fish and fauna were our kin. What we knew about our own bodies and the gift of our existence on Earth before we learned about dominance.

Part 2
Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely
Featuring Shirlette Ammons


We’ll cap Meet You at the Crossroads IV with a musical performance from Toshi and BIGLovely, featuring bassist Ganessa James, percussionist Shirazette Tinnin, and North Carolinian poet and musician Shirlette Ammons.


Toshi Reagon has been described as “a talented, versatile singer, songwriter and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana — from folk to funk, from blues to rock” by critic/blogger Eva Yaa Asantewaa (InfiniteBody). “She masters each of these genres with vocal strategies that easily spiral and swoop from the expressively sinuous to the hard-charging, a combination of warmth and mischief.”

While her expansive career has landed her comfortably in residence at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House and Madison Square Garden, you can just as easily find Toshi turning out a music festival, intimate venue or local club. Toshi finds home on any musical stage. Toshi has had the pleasure of working with Lenny Kravitz, Lizz Wright, Ani DiFranco, Carl Hancock Rux, Nona Hendryx, Pete Seeger, Chocolate Genius and many other amazing artists, including her favorite collaborator, her mom, Bernice Johnson Reagon.

Yaa Asantewaa writes, “Toshi knows the power of song to focus, unite and mobilize people. If you’ve been lucky enough to be in Toshi’s presence, you know you can’t walk away from her without feeling better about yourself as a human being. She aims for nothing less.”

Toshi has been the recipient of a NYFA award for Music Composition, The Black Lily Music and Film Festival Award for Outstanding Performance. She is a National Women’s History Month Honoree, and is the 2010 recipient of OutMusic’s Heritage Award.


  • Ebony Noelle Golden
    Image by Melisa Cardona

Ebony Noelle Golden

Ebony Noelle Golden is a theatrical ceremonialist, culture strategist, entrepreneur, and public scholar.

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In 2009, Ebony founded Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, a culture consultancy that devises systems, strategies, and social justice solutions nationally.  In 2020, she founded Jupiter Performance Studio, a space to study and practice Black diasporic performance traditions.   Winner of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Transformational Practice Award, Golden works to incite and ignite the creative capacity of everyday folks in service of liberation and collective wellbeing.  Her practice is rooted in community-design, ritual performance, and leadership development through a womanist and Black feminist praxis. Invoking messy, magical, and medicinal processes, Ebony and her collaborators, work to conjure a better world.

Jupiter Performance Studio

Ceremony. Spectacle. Flight. Established in 2020 by Ebony Noelle Golden, Jupiter Performance Studio (JPS) is a hub for the study of diasporic Black performance traditions.

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Current and recent projects include: The Art and Survival Fellowship + Festival, in collaboration with Double Edge Theatre; The Keeping, commissioned by Weeksville Heritage Center with major support from Creative Capital; and In The Name Of The Mother Tree, commissioned by Apollo Theater and National Black Theatre with major support from Double Edge Theatre and the National Theater Project. JPS supports climate justice and reparations through Watering (W)hole, the studio’s community-powered engagement platform.

Destiny Hemphill

Destiny Hemphill (she/they) is a chronically ill ritual worker and poet based in Durham, NC.

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A recipient of fellowships from Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program, Callaloo, Tin House, and Kenyon’s Writers Workshop, Destiny is the author of motherworld: a devotional for the alter-life (Action Books 2023) and co-editor of Poetry as Spellcasting (North Atlantic Books).

Howard Craft

Howard Craft is a father, husband, playwright, poet, essayist, and arts educator.

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He is the author of more than ten plays including Freight: The Five Incarnations of Able Green, which was chosen as a New York Times Critic Pick during its’ March 2015 Off-Broadway run; The House of George, Stealing Clouds, Calypso and the Midnight MaraudersOrange Light, a children’s musical entitled Indigo Blue, and The Jade City Chronicles Volume 1: The Super Spectacular Badass Herald M. F. Jones. Following the successful stage production of The Jade City Chronicles Volume 1, Craft and former WUNC “The State of Things” host Frank Stasio created the first African-American Super Hero Radio Serial entitled The Jade City Pharaoh, which aired on the station for three seasons.

Craft is a recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Playwriting Fellowship and a two-time winner of the NCCU New Play Project. He is the author of two books of poems, Across The Blue Chasm (Big Drum Press 2000), and Raising the Sky (Jacar Press 2016). His poetry also appears in Home is Where: An Anthology of African-American Poets from the Carolinas, edited by Kwame Dawes. His essays have appeared in The Paris Review and have been included in The Routledge Companion to African American Theatre (Routledge Press 2019). Craft is currently the Piller Professor of the Practice at North Carolina Chapel Hill.

adé Oh

adé Oh (aka dynamism) is in constant readiness for the marvelous.

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They are a Yorùbá afrosurrealist earth apprentice living towards healing all sorts of pain and trauma through friendship, Black sound and deep listening, poetry, local textile production, capoeira Angola, radical ecological education and spirited land-honoring practices. Visit to learn more and connect.

Renée Alexander Craft

Renée Alexander Craft is a performance studies trained Black feminist writer, scholar, and educator.

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A professor of Communication and Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill; her research, teaching, and creative projects focus on the ways Black Diaspora communities use creativity and imagination as tools for liberation.


Ṣangodare is a sweet space for transformation with roots in Carolina Black church traditions.

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Ṣangodare activates Black Feminist sermonics coming from a thick legacy of Black Baptist preachers, gospel musicians and congregational singing. As co-founder of Mobile Homecoming (national experiential archive project) and Black Feminist Film School with Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ṣangodare amplifies generations of Black LGBTQ brilliance by every generative means including multimedia, technology, entrepreneurship, and building an intergenerational family of choice. Sangodare is a Priest of Ṣango (Ifa-Orisha tradition), and is also the founder and CEO of a tech company called QUIRC, which connects QTBIPOC communities worldwide.

Katina Parker

Katina Parker is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer living in North Carolina, who creates films for Samsung, NBC Digital, and Al Jazeera.

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Parker is also a Rockwood JustFilms Fellow, nominated by the Ford Foundation, and a former Black Public Media 360o Incubator Fellow. Parker is a 2016–17 recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship and a former instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

In 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, Parker founded Feed Durham, a scrappy mutual aid collective that came together in response to mounting hunger in the Durham area. To date, Feed Durham has fed 155,000+ neighbors in need, through a series of sprawling no-contact cookouts where they cook tasty, nutrient-dense meals for 500 people per day and host grocery give-aways, through which they’ve moved hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh produce and poultry into Durham and surrounding cities.

Parker is featured in HBOMax’s upcoming release of Eyes on the Prize II, offering reflections on the Million Man and Million Woman Marches. She is currently collaborating with Ayinde Jean Baptiste, a gifted orator and culture worker who spoke at the Million Man March when he was just 12, to turn her archive documenting the Million Man and 7 subsequent marches into a coffee table book, a virtual reality experience, and a docuseries.

Parker co-produced and filmed FERGUSON: A REPORT FROM OCCUPIED TERRITORY (Fusion – ABC/Disney); directed and filmed Peace Process (The Documentary Channel), documenting a 17-year old poet who’s making life-altering decisions about joining a gang; and contributed to Whose Streets? (Showtime), documenting Ferguson activists during the year after Mike Brown Jr. was killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Parker received her MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California and her MA in Speech Communications from Wake Forest University. In her formative years, she was mentored by the Inaugural Poet Dr. Maya Angelou and the beloved Black Arts Movement Poet Sonia Sanchez.

Danielle Purifoy

Danielle Purifoy, JD, Ph.D, is an assistant professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also serves as a faculty project lead for the UNC Environmental Justice Action Research Clinic.

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She is currently a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics as part of the institution’s Social Life of Climate Change Initiative. Her research focuses on the racial politics and legal dimensions of development in Black towns and communities, as well as the intersections of Black Studies and Political Ecology. Danielle serves on the board of Inside Climate News, and she is the former Board Chair of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and the former Race and Place editor of Scalawag, a media organization devoted to Southern storytelling, journalism, and the arts. You can find her work in Society and Space, Inside Higher Ed, Environmental Sociology, Scalawag, Southeastern Geographer, Southern Cultures, and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, among other publications.

Danielle Spurlock

There are many types of stories. Danielle Spurlock tells stories about the quality and implementation of environmental and social justice policy and plans.

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She is an Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work investigates how technical expertise and local knowledge can be synthesized within local agenda-setting and policy-making to address gentrification, displacement, and health disparities. She is motivated to engage in this research because of the disincentives many stakeholders have to alter their behavior and decision-making processes to protect the health and well-being of marginalized populations.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is cherished by a wide range of communities as an oracle and a vessel of love. Drawing on over 25 years of experience as a writer and facilitator, her inclusive practice finds us and brings us into the ceremonies we have always needed.

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Her books include: Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals (AK Press 2020), Dub: Finding Ceremony (Duke Press, 2020), M Archive: After the End of the World (Duke Press 2018), Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity (Duke Press, 2016) and Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines (PM Press, 2016). Alexis is especially proud of the musical/poetic collaboration Long Water Song which combines meditations from Undrowned with original music by Toshi Reagon. SpiritHouse is Alexis’s political home and she is also a part of the worldwide parable path sparked by Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower the Opera. Alexis recently won the 2023 Windham-Campbell Prize in Poetry. In 2022 Alexis was honored with a Whiting Award in non-fiction and was lauded for creating “modern fables that offer new methods of feeling,” and was also a 2022 National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellow. In 2020-2021 Alexis was awarded a National Humanities Center Fellowship to work on her forthcoming biography Survival is a Promise: The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde. Alexis and her partner Sangodare have received many honors, including an Advocate 40 under 40 feature for their decade of work to create an intergenerational living library of Black LGBTQ brilliance called Mobile Homecoming. Alexis lives in Durham, North Carolina where she nurtures and is nurtured by a visionary creative community while scheming towards her dream of being your favorite cousin.

Ganessa James

Ganessa James is an electric bassist and singer/songwriter. She has 20 years experience playing bass in soul, funk, and rock music bands.

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Ganessa got her start on the independent music scene in Brooklyn NYC. She began working with Toshi Reagon in 2009 and continues to record and play in a selection of Toshi’s many incredible projects—and she’s honored to be a part of the BIGLovely family.

Websites: and

Shirazette Tinnin

Drummer, educator, clinician, author, and health coach Shirazette Tinnin was born and raised in North Carolina.

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As a child she would travel with her parents listening to them sing in large Southern Gospel groups up and down the east coast. Due to her musical family and surrounding peers, her initial gospel influences eventually grew and branched out into jazz, soul, and many other styles of music. From the time that she was 4 years old, she knew that she would play the drums.

Shirlette Ammons

Shirlette Ammons is a Black queer southern truth teller.

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She is a poet and musician who has also served as producer on Emmy and Peabody award-winning TV & film projects. She is also an identical twin who hails from a tiny, wonderfully-named pocket of eastern North Carolina earth called Beautancus.

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