Parable Path Boston is Toshi Reagon's year long artist residency at Emerson College.

Anchored by the creative process and presentation of her opera, Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, renowned musician, composer, producer, and activist Toshi Reagon has created a framework for community organizing through artistic engagement. Based on the tenets of Octavia E. Butler’s novel The Parable of the Sower, Parable Path Boston will include community led activities surrounding the belief systems and interrelated social issues that impact climate justice and survival in Boston.

Toshi with Community Members Boston artists (left to right) Latifa Ziyad, Nahdra Ra, Ngoc-Tran Vu, Letta Neely, Melissa Alexis and Kendra Hicks meet with Toshi Reagon (second from left) at Dorchester’s Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor to discuss the Parable Path Boston. (Photo: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo)


During her time at ArtsEmerson she will work with a team of artists, cross-sector activists, and non-profit and municipal administrators to engage communities in efforts to bring greater visibility to the impending sociological outcomes of climate change and the need to increase our methods of survival.


“My idea was that this work would gather folks interested in not having a diabolical existence on earth.”

She continues, “It would serve as a belly button where a multitude of collaborations and events would circulate before and after. Because Octavia Butler lays out so clearly our contemporary issues anyone could participate. I see theaters as potential holders of mass meeting in the position of churches during the Southern freedom movement of the 60’s. I see theaters that are on college campuses as additional classroom spaces. ArtsEmerson has met me here in this vision with this residency.”

Toshi with StudentsToshi Reagon makes a special appearance as a guest lecturer with Emerson College students studying Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler.

Toshi Reagon is Emerson College’s current artist-in-residence through June 2021, funded by the Fresh Sound Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation.