Profile: Anthony Julius Williams

Anthony Julius Williams, a performance artist and civic shaman, is the Artistic Director for The Iruke Project (TIP), a non-profit multimedia production company based in San Francisco devoted to seeking social justice and creating sustainable communities. TIP’s first production was Blood Is Mere Decoration: A Ritual for Liberation in 2011. It was a solo performance that brought together butoh dance, electronic music, video projections, and interactive ritual, and instigated provocative conversations about the reemergence of slavery in the form of mass incarceration. Video from the production was exhibited at SomArts Cultural Center’s Night Light Multimedia Garden Party in 2015. In 2013, TIP created SHAFTED: The Blaqxsploitation Project, an interactive variety show, deconstructed 1970’s Blaxploitation films through a queer lens. Mr. Williams directed and performed in the show, which featured fifteen predominantly Black artists working in theater, music, dance, film, and spoken word. In 2014, TIP created a multi-voiced spoken word piece to celebrate the 50th Anniversary screening of Take His Hammer, a PBS documentary about legendary writer James Baldwin’s visit to San Francisco in 1963. In 2015, TIP collaborated with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Luggage Store Gallery to conduct writing workshops and present the stories of Black gay men impacted by the HIV epidemic. Mr. Williams has appeared in over thirty theatrical productions across the country including Angels in America, The Tempest, and Death of a Salesman, while his local projects have drawn attention from SF Weekly, ABC 7 news, and KPOO-FM. His projects have been funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission and The Zellerbach Family Foundation, among others. Visit Iruke.org.

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