Black Joy Symposium

Curated by Yolanda Wisher

Woman in red

The Black Joy Symposium is an international gathering presented by the Museum of Black Joy, “a borderless refuge for the observation, cultivation, celebration and preservation of Black joy” curated by Philadelphia-based multidisciplinary artist Andrea Walls. 

This virtual convening and intergenerational gathering will consider topics related to Black joy as a revolutionary process and practice. The symposium asks, “How do we joyscape a vibrant Black future in a way that transcends (without ignoring) histories rooted in oppression?” 

Black feminist performance artist, poet, and writer, Gabrielle Civil will present a visual reading/lecture for the keynote address titled "Experiments in Joy: A Black Feminist Life Practice.” Civil will engage attendees with prompts for shifting joy from a feeling to a practice.

Philadelphia Contemporary is partnering with Harriett’s Bookshop and their Youth Conductors (young authors, artists, and activists aged 15-25) to gift copies of Civil’s books to the first 50 people who register for and attend the keynote address. 

Following the event, the lucky attendees will receive a bundle of two books, including Civil’s Experiments in Joy (a record of her collaborations and solos in essays, letters, performance texts, scores, images, and more) and Experiments in Joy: A Workbook (a collection of prompts, reflections, and resources for personal and creative transformation). The books will arrive in time for the holiday season.​

All attendees will receive some cool digital gifts: A curated playlist AND a bilingual sample page from the Workbook (the book was recently translated into Spanish by Jumko Ogata Aguilar). 

Live captioning and ASL interpretation will be provided. Please contact Nicole Pollard, Associate Curator, at with any questions.​


Photo by Sayge Carroll.