The Artist and the boxer started as a vision. I wanted the boxing gym to be a space where creativity could be expressed and witnessed outside of the traditional boxing context. I wanted boxers and the outside world to interact and for the boxing gym to be the gathering place for this interaction. Laura Wright Landrum brought this concept to life and The Artist and the Boxer was born.
At the gym there are many walks of life. We all come together to train in a space where we are heard round after round. We sweat, cry, smile and laugh with each passing challenge. We fist bump, we roll our eyes and audibly groan with each drill presented. We create stories and masterpieces 3 minutes at a time, only to have the slate wiped clean for the next go around.
The Artist and the Boxer honors this creation over and over again. The event invites, poets, musicians and dancers to enter the ring and paint their art within the confines of the ropes so that each movement and syllable can spill out into the space being held by the audience. Just like a boxing match, the artist and the crowd are transformed through the experience.
We all have important stories to tell and we all have important stories to hear. This past Saturday, thanks to the intentional planning of Nikkita Oliver and Laura Wright Landrum, we all participated in speaking and listening in a present, open and healing way, just the way The GOAT would have wanted.