Vanessa Roberts is a self-titled “artivist” currently based in Boulder, Colorado. The term “artivist” refers to an intentional combination of the arts, activism, and academic practice. In Roberts’ work all three are equally valued and important, as each informs and influences the other. She believes in the power of performance to open new spaces for learning and connection, therefore her presentations are interwoven with humor, personal stories and a love of social justice, inspiring us all to go beyond our constructed limitations.
Ms. Roberts received her Bachelors of Arts from Colorado College in 2008 where she designed her own Liberal Arts and Science major entitled Critical Race Theory: Emphasis Performance Comedy, and minored in American Cultural Studies. She went on to receive her Masters of Arts in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of Art at New York University in 2009, where her focus was on racial and ethnic performativity in the wake of the African diaspora.
Currently she speaks, trains, and performs nationally, traveling to a multitude of educational institutions, conferences, businesses, and also provides services as a Diversity and Inclusion consultant for private clients in Colorado. In addition, the majority of her time is absorbed with her PhD pursuit and teaching duties in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder where her concentrations are cultural sociology and qualitative methodology. The crux of her work as a whole is held together by a steady belief in the power of theatre as a tool for transformative social change.
Vanessa Roberts in action during an event, Spring 2016
Vanessa Roberts and workshop attendees in LaCrosse, WI, Spring 2015