Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node 1415

  • Two speech bubbles containing a photo of Michael Mwenso and Samantha Speis.

Meeting the Moment
with Michael Mwenso

and guest Samantha Speis

7:30 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Welcome to episode four of Meeting the Moment with Michael Mwenso

Tonight’s installment features Samantha Speis, co-artistic director of the dance-theatre company Urban Bush Women. She will explore the company’s work and organizational legacy, and how it amplifies under-heard voices and catalyzes for social change. 

Mwenso, a Harlem-based cross-genre artist and leader of jazz-funk band The Shakes, is partnering with the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State to provide opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and community members to engage in thought-provoking conversations that speak to the topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Speis, who joined Urban Bush Women in 2008, has had her work featured at the Kennedy Center, Long Island University, Joyce SoHo, Hollins University, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, Dance Place, and The Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Recent projects include Walking with ’Trane, co-choreographed with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Hair & Other Stories, a collaboration with Chanon Judson-Johnson and Raelle Myrick-Hodges.

The free live series will be broadcast via the Zoom video app, and questions will be taken in real time from audience members through the chat function.


Meeting the Moment is part of the Center for the Performing Arts Fierce Urgency Festival.

2020–2021 Up Close and Virtual season sponsors


Contributions from the members of the Center for the Performing Arts and a grant from the University Park Student Fee Board help make this program free of charge.

Meghan R. Mason Program Endowment and Richard Robert Brown Program Endowment provide support for Meeting the Moment.

Help us continue to provide free streaming programs with a donation of $5 or more. Or join as a member starting at $60 and receive benefits.