Kevin Bott is a scholar and practitioner of grassroots community-based performance, with a specific interest in performance as liberatory space and practice. In addition to consulting nationally with IA member institutions and partners on engaged art and scholarship, Kevin is IA’s Director of Cultural Organizing and leads IA’s annual organizing institutes and national conferences. He is the founding artistic director of IA’s local community performance project,The D.R.E.A.M. Freedom Revival. His dissertation, entitled “A Ritual for Return: Investigating the Process of Creating an Original Rite of Passage with Formerly Incarcerated Men,” examines the ethical challenges he confronted while creating theater with five men transitioning between incarceration and freedom. Kevin continues to develop A Ritual for Return with formerly incarcerated men in Syracuse, NY.
Bott is the former director of education for the New York State prison-arts non-profit, Rehabilitation for the Arts, and has been facilitating theater workshops and original productions in various New York State prisons since 2006. In addition to his work in U.S. prisons and with formerly incarcerated men, Kevin has implemented applied theater initiatives in public schools, drug rehabilitation clinics, and at a minimum-security prison in northern Uganda. He is currently working closely with Wagner College and the Staten Island neighborhood of Port Richmond as they develop a community-based theater community to address issues of shared concern.
He holds a BA from Rutgers University and received both his master’s and doctoral degrees from New York University’s Steinhardt School. Kevin lives in Syracuse, with his wife, Aimée Brill, and their two sons.