The 11th annual Line Breaks Festival is one of those unique Madison treasures showcasing the talents in contemporary performance art. All week long, from April 11-16 at the Overture Center for the Arts, Line Breaks will feature performances, lectures, and discussions by First Wave students and invited professional artists engaging with the local campus community.

Presented by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement and produced by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), this will be the 11th year that the annual Line Breaks Festival brings a renowned touring ensemble, films, poetry and music by some of the city’s most passionate young artists.

Rain Wilson will present "Love Has No Season" on Sunday, April 16, at this year's Line Breaks.
Rain Wilson will present “Love Has No Season” on Sunday, April 16, at this year’s Line Breaks.

Inaugurated through OMAI’s sponsored Marc Bamuthi Joseph Arts Institute Residency in the spring of 2007, the Line Breaks project culminated in a final performance of student work called “Just Bust!” – an event, which has evolved into a monthly open mic, now running for 11 years. Line Breaks has since evolved into a week-long festival that cultivates performance art and brings the top new aesthetics in contemporary performance art to the UW-Madison campus and surrounding community.

The annual festival gives students an opportunity to showcase their work in front of live audiences and the week-long events are focused on important social issues of our time. Line Breaks has evolved into a space for the investigation of contemporary American culture through the lens of hip-hop performance.

Line Breaks showcases new theatrical works that highlight the various talents and mission work of students, including First Wave Scholars, along with guest artists. This year, performers will tackle various subjects from love and relationships to political activism, personal narratives and self-care.

Gretchen Carvajal (above) and  Violet Jinqi Wan will present the film "Baraha" on Tuesday, April 11 at this year's Line Breaks Festival.
Gretchen Carvajal (above) and
Violet Jinqi Wan will present the film “Baraha” on Tuesday, April 11 at this year’s Line Breaks Festival.

The varied talents displayed from the scholars include music, poetry, dance and film and connects their academic background with their gifts to reach people and help create unity, empowerment, deeper thought and provides an idea of how they, the younger generation, are actively involved in the shaping of life.

The First Wave touring group will be performing excerpts of some of the most powerful activist work around, on the subject of solitary confinement, revolution, identity, activism and the power of voice. Some of these works have been done in collaboration throughout the year with the YWCA, Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA), MOSES group and others to make a change in the world today.

Events are free and open to the public. Talkbacks will take place after the performances. For more details, click here.