Asia Rainey is a veteran artist with a resume spanning 20 years in creative arts: 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 across continents, including as a poet and speaker at the Amnesty International Annual General Meeting, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Seattle BiLocal Fest, and as an artist delegate to Istanbul, Turkey. 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.
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. 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 a publication with international publishing company Chin Music Press (Seattle/Japan). She is working to re-stage her original theater work, Shut Up & Fly. She is author of the book Soul Chant (2005), Picked Locs (2016), and The Book of Mirrors: A Journal Workbook (2019). To purchase books, click here.
She is also executive director of WordPlay, 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 her current work of new school residencies, offering support in arts integration, and adding new layers of summer programming and specialized workshops in communities. Her current work includes serving as a field advisor for schools through the Mississippi Arts Commission, as well as visiting institutions across the state as a teaching artist and arts integration specialist. She currently resides in Georgia.