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Joan Marie Hurwit

Joan is a creative professional in the Arts and education. She has worked professionally as a director, choreographer, performer, set designer, instructor, and dramaturg specializing in new and adapted works. She recently left her position as a student leadership faculty advisor at a large community college in southern California in order to pursue her passion project, loosely based on her graduate work, Art as therapy. The New Works Research Project is an ambitious, nationwide, year-long research project that will take her to many Arts communities across the country. The goal is to discover ways in which we, as a society, can better use the Arts to serve communities in distress. She is cataloging her travels this year, in and out of the theatre, at, on facebook, and instagram. On the road, Joan’s met interesting characters with refreshing perspectives on the issues she’s exploring in her research project, so she started a new podcast, Brunch with Strangers.

Joan earned a Master of Arts in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University where she received a Presidential Award at the 2008 Student Research Symposium. She is a proud member of LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) and Scholars Without Borders. She occasionally hosts leadership workshops in both professional and educational settings. In 2014, Joan founded an organization ( to promote creative acts of kindness and works closely with homeless centers, domestic violence women's shelters, children's hospitals, animal shelters, environmental awareness groups, and other in-need groups. The website has thousands of viewers monthly on four continents. 

Where Thou Art

Where Thou Art


19 February 2016

In the first installment of her new series, Joan Marie Hurwit writes about spending time in Portland, Oregon, and how art is playing a role in a city in transition.