The Media is Buzzing about Art as Action

Reconnect with Your Body 2015

“Art has a way of accessing inner resources that a person may not otherwise be aware of. And those inner resources are the kinds of characteristics, qualities, strengths that can help a person be more resilient.”

“What struck me most when I first started dancing, was how it focused on what I could do -- or doing things I never thought of doing -- as opposed to all the things I've lost, can't do or am losing. . . When I'm dancing, when I'm making a poem, when I'm acting in a play, I can forget that I have Parkinson's for a little while." -Wayne A. Gilbert being interviewed by Ryan Warner

"This is far from a typical easy-moving class you might see at the senior center. The music was diverse and cool (The Black Keys, Florence and the Machine) and the choreography was exciting and very well done. But best of all, I loved seeing the change in energy and excitement. At first, many of the participants moved slowly. By the end, one woman said she was feeling so good she skipped out of class. And you know what? Parkinson's or not, I felt like skipping out, too. I have no doubt if I returned to this class, the participants would overwhelmingly and probably literally embrace me." by Aimee Heckel

Sarah Leversee, dancer and creative director of Art as Action, and poet performer Wayne A. Gilbert for an inspiring conversation about artistry, creativity, and dancing with Parkinson’s disease. Interview by Susan Chandler.


TENSION October 2015

"Sarah Leversee takes a collaborative approach to creativity. The founder and artistic director of the Boulder-based Art as Action ensemble sees a power in the kind of partnership that brings together actors, dancers, musicians and performance artists on a single stage. It is a vision that sparked the creation of the company in 2002 and one that will drive the structure and aesthetic of the troupe's Oct. 9-10 performances at the Broomfield Auditorium."

"We like to think of the stage as our creative playground," said Leversee, adding that the upcoming show, "Tension," will feature dance, live music, visual arts and a host of other elements. "We have spoken-word performers, storytellers and poets. We have an actor who wrote a piece this year. We have musicians, filmmakers and visual artists; we have pieces that are just one genre and pieces that are multidisciplinary."

"Operating a non-profit business in the arts is rewarding in its own right, but production and promotional costs have caused many organizations to shut their doors. For Sarah Leversee, artistic director of Art as Action, the arts are a way of life. The organization allows creative artists and performers of many varieties to collaborate and share their gifts in a cohesive show. Art as Action also offers classes and workshops to spread art through the community and ignite the next generation of “artivists.” To produce these shows, the organization relies heavily on crowdsource funding campaigns.

"While Art as Action has been in business for over a decade, its first crowdsourcing campaign was in 2011. Leversee said, “Crowdsourcing is the best resource to give artists a tool in which to support the show. We are successful because artists disseminate information through their own personal channels, such as social media. It provides the opportunity for fellow artists to give their support.”

BREAK OPEN November 2013

"An 'artivist,' according to local multimedia performance art troupe Art as Action, stands in the place where social relevance and the arts meet. Celebrating this intersection, the group of creative minds will be sharing their latest performance piece, Break Open.

"Combining aerial and ground dancers, musicians, poets and visual artists on stage to inspire discussion around the vulnerability and beauty that comes with breaking oneself open, this show is the culminating work of 25 different contributors who have spent the past year, as Artistic Director Sarah Leversee says, 'becoming more than the sum of our parts … breaking open together through the art process and through our work.' The result is a truly collaborative work, as the performers not only designed their performances together, but built this particular show around an already existing creative piece — a poem titled 'Break Open' written by longtime group member Wayne A. Gilbert.

"These 'artivists' are taking their latest piece to a place of complete openness, attempting to demonstrate the benefits of deep collaboration." by Lexi Schwartz


"The drop-in program also provides a chance for enrichment, with groups such as Art as Action visiting the shelter the past three weeks and engaging the youth though various arts opportunities. Sarah Leversee, Art as Action's artistic director, said her organization had donated tickets to its live performances to Attentions Homes clients for years, but the expansion has finally provided a chance for some on-site interaction.

"Among the young people taking part in an Art as Action creative writing/poetry workshop at the Source on Thursday was 19-year-old Ty Ridenour. Ridenour first came to the Source seven months ago when he aged out of the foster care system and had nowhere to go. 'Art is what you make of it, just like life is what you make of it,' Ridenour said." Click here to read the whole article


Listen to Artistic Director Sarah Leversee talking about beautiful mistake and the evolution of Art as Action
Click here to listen


"Imagination is good...Imagination is what the Art as Action troupe embodies with a passion. But, what they do...what they share...what happens at one of their performances, is something you don't hear about much...It's the experience of being in the art, part of the art, with the art. It's allowing the art to be you; the whisper becomes a song, a shout, a full-blown body connection, invading your heart, your mind, your soul with a sense of being that's hard to put in words.

In the dark, I crept down to the stage and became a performer; silent and invisible, but part of the joy that was happening there. I felt the energy and the sweat, as it touched my skin and tingled in my muscles. I moved slowly around the performers to see them from all sides - to experience the message they wanted me to hear. Understand that the message is not 'their message'... it's my message, gleaned from how the performance spoke to me as an individual." - What is this thing called "Art"? by Yvonne DiVita, The Lipsticking Blog Read more...


"Here’s the reality: when it comes to innovation, there is no more powerful group than those who perform their art live...Art as Action exists because one amazing woman, Sarah Leversee, the Artistic Director, saw the opportunity to create art and embrace action. She says on the website, “Art can change the world.” She calls her work an “artivist movement.” The people who support her know what it means. They know that the human condition requires the act of producing change; the kind of change that gets people thinking, talking, moving. Change that is innovative.

The experience of watching those amazing performers bend reality, stir memories, defy gravity, and actually bring the audience into each experience as no movie or TV show ever could, changed me. I was me, but not me. I was part of them. And happy for it." - Innovation on a Sunday Afternoon by Yvonne DiVita, Open Forum Read more...

"Last week, I experienced an awakening of innovation in my soul...The dancers, muscians, poets, and narrators were everyday people, like you and me. And, they were not everyday people, like you and me. They were beings from another dimension - crafted to look human, but endowed with such talent, energy, and originality in movement, that I was in awe throughout the afternoon performance...I was so moved, during those performances, I felt as if I stood outside of my body and entered a new place of existence...It was a world where arms and legs were props, where the only reality was in being alive...

It was, to me, an awakening. I couldn't help but wonder, if this is true innovation [and it is]... what is happening in boardrooms around the country? The world? Not this! This kind of creativity, this ability to bend reality, is what innovation is really about. It's not about the next 'new' thing, or the next 'big' thing... it's about letting go of the ordinary, embracing the extraordinary. It's stepping out of yourself into the unknown... with eagerness and anticipation. It's the suspense of not knowing, of being happy not to know. It' as action." - Think YOU Know Innovation? Think Again by Yvonne DiVita, The Lipsticking Blog Read more...

"Preview: Boulder-based artist troupe, Art as Action, challenges audience members to analyze themselves"
"Review: The more you know, the less you understand"

Interview with Artistic Director Sarah Leversee
Click here to listen


"You can choose your friends, but as the saying goes, you can't choose your family. On a Sunday evening just five days prior to opening night, Art as Action (the brainchild of dancer/choreographer Sarah Leversee) proves that by choosing friends who share your passions, you can in fact have both......The contributors feed off of one another and nothing is out of bounds for the artists of Art as Action, except the failure to recognize art as a vehicle for social change." - Company's Variety Show Explores Idea of Family by Cari Cunningham, The Daily Camera Read more...


"Art as Action is a local version of Cirque du Soleil that focuses less on circus theatrics and more on traditional performance genres such as dance, music, film, poetry and visual art. Local and national artists bend the rules reaching toward one collective goal: widespread compassion, hope and peace for humanity. Witness the breaking down of social boundaries and the understanding and unity that ensues." -Vince Darcangelo, Boulder Weekly

"'In this show, we wanted to express the idea that too often we seperate ourselves into categories...but we are all human beings', explains founder and executive director Sarah Leversee, 'This show symbolizes our wish for the world - that people cross boundaries to come together and challenge each other to try something new.'" - Art Reach: Citizen of the Earth Seeks to Bridge Cultures by Julie Dunn, Westword Read more...


"In keeping with its mission of combining art and activism, Art as Action will present Art is why I get up in the Morning, a series of works inspired by folk musician and activist Ani DiFranco, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The evening of poetry, music and movement (including several dance premieres from executive director Sarah Leversee) takes place in the intimate East Theatre at the Dairy Center for the Arts." -Inspired by Ani Cari Cunningham, Daily Camera

ARTICLE December 2002
Lights, Camera, Art as Action: Local Artists Dedicated to Social Change Within the Community in the Colorado Daily

"Active Art Addresses Sexual Assault" in the Colorado Daily

©2014 Art as Action