About Us

Anna Deavere Smith Works, Inc. (ADS Works) founded by actress, playwright, and educator Anna Deavere Smith, cultivates artistic excellence that embraces the social issues of the day. It is a place for artistic excellence and social change. We host conferences and events that bring together artists, thinkers and activists across disciplines.

We find common ground among dancers and musicians, painters and sculptors, playwrights and actors representing many distinct styles and genres. Part of a global initiative, we are stretching across the boundaries of class, nation, and culture to fashion community among the creators and consumers of art. We are connecting artists to the intellectuals, activists and policy makers who illuminate some of the world’s most pressing problems.

ADS Works is increasingly viewed as a global leader in linking art and civic stewardship as a potent force for change. Over the past 15 years, we have convened renowned artists and interacted with audiences in novel ways to examine such compelling issues as Arab Spring, the Haitian earthquake, ethnic cleansing, culturally bound ideas about beauty, how to invigorate artist communities in environments where they are not traditionally cultivated, and many more.