Vanessa shares her powerful story on how she is fighting to stop shootings in her neighborhood through love and art.

(Warning: The audio is a little broken in the beginning, but promise—it gets better!)

One of the most powerful talks of our month around bravery, Vanessa German speaks at our Pittsburgh chapter on how love is the only way to stop violence and hate. Everything she knows about bravery, she says, she learned through love and love is what is helping her stop the shootings in her neighborhood.

About the speaker

Vanessa German is an award winning multidisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s historic Homewood neighborhood. Vanessa is an actress, playwright, sculptor, performer and educator. She has pioneered a performance style called Spoken Word Opera; a dynamic hybrid of spoken word poetry infused with the theatrical elements of Opera, Hip Hop, and African Storytelling.

She has written and performed several evening length Spoken Word Operas including,“root”, “testify”, “fire” and been featured performer at The Vineyard Playhouse, The August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Rochester University, TEDx Harvard, TEDx MIT, TED Women, and TED Education. German’s sculptural work has been shown and exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide and is in several public and private collections including, The Progressive Collection, The Weisman Foundation, The American Visionary Arts Museum and the David C. Driskell center.

German is also the founder of, “Love Front Porch” and Homewood’s Art House, and the “STOP SHOOTING, WE LOVE YOU” yard signs.

She debuts a new body of sculptural and performance work in October of 2013 at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery in NYC. This year the Huffington Post noted her, “One of 30 contemporary art makers under 40 that you should know about.” Her work is presently touring the nation in the Driskell Center’s African American Art 1950- present exhibition, and a solo exhibition of new sculptures opened in october 2013 at the pavel zoubok gallery in chelsea; the exhibition was called, HOMEWOOD.

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    Thank you Vanessa German for being you and for being me. I struggle with "Who does she think she is" everyday...but I will continue to show up to the places and spaces where I don't look like anyone else, I'll continue to make the connections I couldn't possibly have engineered and tell the stories this country NEEDS to hear...and I'll do it for LOVE.

    Sally Rumble • December 3, 2013