photo by Anicka Austin

photo by Anicka Austin

Melissa Word is an artist, performer, and facilitator researching presence and the politicized body. Melissa makes highly collaborative, often improvisational social events, part underground disco club, part psychic-medium group therapy, playing at the crossroads of power, identity, divination, and the quest for pleasure and healing inside systems of domination.

Her work has been presented by the High Museum of Art, Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences, Dashboard, The Lucky Penny, Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, Wonderroot, The University of North Carolina, Triptych Collective and KIN. She founded KIN in 2013 in Birmingham, Alabama to create an experimental art and performance platform for emerging artists living in less artistically saturated and resourced cities around the Southeast.

Melissa is a teaching artist at the High Museum, developing and leading in-gallery experiences for infants to adults, and is program facilitator for the High’s Summer Teen Team. Melissa creates and delivers in-school movement and theatre programs for the Alliance Theatre Institute, and teaches improvisation at Pebblebrook High School. She graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2011, where she returns frequently to guest lecture and choreograph for their Dance program.

She is meditating most mornings, working a side hustle as a landscaper, learning to box, drawing regularly as a sanity practice, and believes in the dance floor as a cathartic space for personal and collective healing.

She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.