Porsha Olayiwola

Featured Artist

Porsha Olayiwola. Photo by Linda Mindaye. Courtesy National Park Service-National Parks of Boston.

Porsha Olayiwola is a native of Chicago who writes, lives and loves in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the founder of the Roxbury Poetry Festival. Olayiwola is the 2021 Artist-in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as well as a 2020 poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American Poets. Porsha Olayiwola is currently teaching in her role as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University. She is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too. Olayiwola is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston. Her work can be found in or forthcoming from TriQuarterly Magazine, Black Warrior Review, The Boston Globe, Essence Magazine, Redivider, The Academy of American Poets, Netflix, Wildness Press, The Museum of Fine Arts and elsewhere. 

Photo by Linda Mindaye. Courtesy National Park Service-National Parks of Boston. copy

BLACK in the cradle of liberty

Sunday, September 24, 3:00 PM-4:30 PM

Great Hall at Faneuil Hall

"BLACK in the cradle of liberty" is a declaration featuring: DJ WhySham, Nnenna Loveth, Ryan-Rei Fielder, Crystal Valentine, Tim Hall, Ifé Franklin, Danny Rivera, Porsha Olayiwola, Anastasia Wade, Cakeswagg, Javonna Corbin, and Kenard Williams. The performance explores agency, voice, and the power of place.

The program is curated by and features a newly commissioned poem by Boston's Poet Laureate, Porsha Olayiwola.

For more than 250 years, Faneuil Hall has opened its doors to dialogue and debate centered on the founding questions of this country—What does liberty mean? Who is included—or excluded—in our visions of liberty?

This event is made possible through a partnership among the National Parks of Boston, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, and the Museum of African American History, with generous funding from the Mayor's Office and the National Park Service Civil Rights Interpretation & Education Fund.

The performance is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to register for tickets online.

Photo by Linda Mindaye. Courtesy National Park Service-National Parks of Boston.

Raising Voices Festival

Saturday, September 23, 2023
11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday, September 24, 2023
11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Downtown Boston
Admission is free. Registration is highly encouraged.

Meet the Featured Artists


Register below for the free events on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24 and we'll keep you up-to-date with the latest information about performers and scheduling.

You will also be entered to win a VIP Pass for the Festival, including access to ticketed events, priority seating, parking, and much more!