Barbara Adler is an interdisciplinary artist whose work brings together literary performance, composition, live event production and arts education to explore the intersections between text, music, sound and theatre. Her work has been presented through multiple solo and band albums, publication in spoken word anthologies and performances at major music and literary festivals, including The Vancouver Folk Festival, The Vancouver Writers Festival, The Winnipeg Folk Festival, and the Vienna Literature Festival. Recent collaborators include choreographer Lesley Telford, Mascall Dance, documentary filmmaker Jan Foukal and composer Ron Samworth.
Barbara is a veteran of Canada’s spoken word community, recognized for her solo work, her interdisciplinary collaborations and for her role as a founding member of the acclaimed folk-poetry band The Fugitives. She continues to explore the musicality of language under the banner of Ten Thousand Wolves, an intimately collaborating ensemble whose projects gather together songwriting, storytelling and poetry to create performances for thinking, laughing and dancing.
In over a decade of work as an arts educator, Barbara has taught writing workshops to elementary school students, high school students and adult learners across British Columbia and Canada, working with organizations including Literacy B.C. and the Vancouver Poetry House. She has been an artist-mentor in the Vancouver East Cultural Centre’s Ignite! program, an artist-in-residence in the Vancouver Biennale’s Big Ideas program, and frequently collaborates with other artists to deliver interdisciplinary workshops to adults and youth.
As a curator and producer, Barbara’s recent work explores the potential for live performance and artistic labour to create an ethos of critique and care in the public sphere. She recently helped launch Sawdust Collector, a weekly performance series presenting new, experimental and improvised works by established and emerging artists in an interdisciplinary context. Other projects to which Barbara has contributed include an interactive audio installation called Signals from the Mountain, the annual Accordion Noir Festival, and Extravagant Signals, a 7-day performance series that brought together live music, spoken word, social dance and visual art at the former Gallery 1965 in Vancouver.
Barbara holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies and a BA in Art and Cultural Studies, both from Simon Fraser University.