Paula is firmly committed to cultural arts activism. Sponsored by American Centers, she has done collaborations, workshops and performances in India, Morocco and Indonesia. Arts residencies have also been an important part of her practice. Highlights include Jazz India Vocal Institute (India), Jatiwangi Arts Factory (Indonesia), Culture Vultures (Morocco), Arteles Creative Center (Finland) and La Maison Verte (France). She has also been artist in residence at Brooklyn’s Plymouth Church since 2020.
“Paula Jeanine Bennett’s residency was based on building sub-communities around a collective creative process that nurtured cross-cultural dialogue and exchange. Paula succeeded by pulling together cast, fusing marks, sounds, storylines and stage set that by touring enabled a wide impact ratio. A challenging project with big benefits for all involved.” - Jess Stephens, Director, Culture Vultures Morocco
KLOUB NSSA (Heart Of Women)
Reaching beyond borders and cultures, KLOUB NSSA is an artistic collaboration of music and faith between Paula and the Haddarattes Souiriyattes (based in Essaoauira, Morocco).
The Haddarattes continue an ancient tradition from Sufi and Gnawa sources, using sound as a vehicle for divination and healing. Aside from traditional material, Paula has composed new songs for the project, inspired by the writings of Thomas Merton, who saw his own heart illuminated in a Sufi mirror. The common ground of KlOUB NSSA is rooted in the female spirit, which is explored and celebrated with generosity and gusto.
with the Javanese musicians of Merapi