29: “Creativity is the antidote to destruction.”

29: “Creativity is the antidote to destruction.”


Join guests Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman of Climbing PoeTree for a discussion about making love by BEing love, justice, and liberation. Climbing PoeTree combines impassioned lyricism, political theater, and boundary-breaking music to activate the transformation the world is thirsty for.

In this episode, you’ll bear witness to two extraordinary humans and artists who have dedicated their lives, art, work, bodies, and hearts to liberation.

Welcome to a conversation about making love. Period.

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Recognizing creativity as the antidote to destruction, Climbing PoeTree combines impassioned lyricism, political theater, and boundary-breaking music to activate the transformation the world is thirsty for. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman have independently organized 36 national and international tours, taking their visionary work from South Africa to Cuba, including 11,000 miles across the U.S. on a bus fueled by recycled vegetable oil.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Climbing PoeTree assembled an all-women crew to deliver the award-winning Hurricane Season, a multimedia performance addressing unnatural disasters that featured local change-makers along 50 tour stops. Since then, Alixa and Naima have gathered over 10,000 handwritten stories from more than 10,000 people they’ve encountered on their journeys, and sewn them together into a massive colorful tapestry to dispel the myths that are created to keep us divided.

Beyond performers, these love-led luminaries are community organizers, compelling speakers, workshop facilitators, filmmakers, earth stewards, medicine-makers, muralists and mentors.

Climbing PoeTree has stirred crowds at diverse venues from the United Nations to Rikers Island Prison, Harlem Stage to Harvard University with their rebel-rousing anthems, bilingual ballads, and unconventional love songs. They have been featured alongside powerhouses such as Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, Alice Walker, Erykah Badu, Cornel West, and Angela Davis, who writes:

“Each time I have the pleasure of attending a performance by Climbing PoeTree, I feel enriched, renewed, and inspired. Alixa and Naima insist that poetry can change the world—and it is true that the urgency, power and beauty of their words impel us to keep striving for the radical futures toward which they gesture.”


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Climbing PoeTree



Climbing PoeTree

Visit Climbing PoeTree’s website and join their newsletter to get updates on performances.

Watch Climbing PoeTree’s most recent music video releases!: We Rising UpWe Survived, and Love Will Triumph.

Listen to IntrinsicClimbing PoeTree’s most recent music album on Spotify or iTunes.

Follow along with Naima and Alixa on instagram: @climbingpoetree

Watch Climbing PoeTree’s amazing live TED performance.

Communities and Organizations

Learn more about Harriet’s Apothecary, an intergenerational, healing village in NYC.

Learn more about Soulfire Farm, working to end racism in the food system.

Learn more about WILDSEED, a Community Farm & Healing Village.

Learn more about Truthworker Theater Company, a social justice based, hip-hop theatre company for high school and college-aged youth in Brooklyn, NY

Art & Inspiration

Sign up for inspiration and hope in your inbox with Solution Spotlight, shining a light on resilient, innovative, solution-oriented actions people are taking around the world.


Check out Alixa’s amazing artwork.

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