Asia Rainey is a veteran artist with a resume spanning spoken word poetry, music, theatre, television, visual arts, and film; she is just as comfortable working behind the scenes as an activist, community advocate, mentor to young writers, playwright, and in music production, artist development, marketing and publishing. The list grows through her genuine passion for the arts and a grass roots attitude toward creativity.
As a spoken word artist and vocalist, she has been welcomed as a featured and guest performer at numerous events, festivals, benefits, and educational institutions around the country, including as a poet and speaker at the Amnesty International Annual General Meeting, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Seattle BiLocal Fest, and many others. She was a member of the New Orleans National Poetry Slam Team in 2005. As a performance artist, she has shared stages with artists such as Sonia Sanchez, Saul Williams, the Last Poets, Common, and Mos Def. In August 2014, she added international travels to Turkey to her adventures as an artist, planting seeds for spoken word in Beyoglu, Istanbul.
Her credits in acting include: theatre (Purlie; The Vagina Monologues; Origins of Life on Earth; The Unacquainted; A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant & A Prayer), in television as a writer and performer (writer, actress of the award-winning LPHI commercial “Treat You Right,” special co-host of Between the Lines), and in a feature film as “Georgia” in the award–winning independent movie Flood Streets. She also premiered her one woman play, Shut Up and Fly, to rave reviews in 2010. She is author of the book Soul Chant (2005). As a recording artist she has released her own project, No Rainbows for the Colored (2007) and has been featured on the Jena Six Project, Her Name is New Orleans, and Poet’s Collabo . Two upcoming CD projects, Wonder Woman and Good Morning, are the culmination of years of song writing, an eternal love for hip hop, and spoken word best served over beautiful music.
Asia is presently working on several writing projects, including her first novel with Chin Music Press (Seattle/Japan). In 2015 she will re-stage her original theater work, Shut U & Fly, with a full orchestra and dance ensemble.
She is also executive director of WordPlay New Orleans, an organization dedicated to the preservation, education and community support of spoken word poetry. After spending a year as a Master Teaching Artist with Young Audiences Charter School (2013/2014) to expand the WordPlay curriculum to kindergarten through 4th grade, Asia moves the organization into current work of new school residencies, offering support in arts integration, and adding new layers of summer programming and specialized workshops. WordPlay became service providers for the 2014 NORDC (New Orleans Recreation Department Commission) summer program roster, and looks forward to expanding their partnership into a full summer camp for teens in 2015.