Kwesi Johnson

Creative Director | Choreographer | Entrepreneur

At the intersection of performance, place and technology

Kwesi Johnson is the Creative Director of The Cultural Assembly. He designs immersive experiences at the intersection of live performance and creative technology. 

His creativity has thrilled audiences worldwide, helped re-invigorate empty high street properties and inspire learners for over 25 years. 

His current project and podcast called Future Creatives is about a future of funding and distribution of the arts, entertainment and culture that helps artists thrive, venues become sustainable and audiences get rewarded.  


The rebelliousness of punk and the philosophy, engagement and independence of early Hip Hop culture, creative technology and narratives have always inspired Kwesi’s work.

In addition, his ability to turn empty commercial spaces into sustainable innovation, performance, and community spaces gives him a unique set of skills. This enables his work to transcend the commercial and artistic worlds because he is impact- and purpose-driven. He makes work for a cause, not just because.

He is the founder and former Artistic Director of NPO Kompany Malakhi, where he grew it to a six figure company. He is also a graduate of The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and a progenitor of the now-worldwide performance genre, Hip Hop Theater.

Kwesi says, ‘It’s an amazing time to be an artist. Our principles are the essence of the global niche community each creator has to develop.

We are no longer compromised by gatekeepers, restricted by our location or forced to compromise our integrity to build our audience, supporters or attract funding/investment.

Our niche can be tens of thousands of global businesses, fans and audiences that align with our principles. Technology and decentralisation allow us to connect to the 5.3 billion people with internet access, where we find our aligned audience and collaborators. This empowers us to make work we love that is purpose-driven and impactful.

When you work with me as a collaborator, client or learner, I will take you on an unconventional and enriching journey. You will explore and unleash your creative genius and appetite for change and innovation, ensuring your approach to work will never be the same’.

Book Kwesi To:

Create

Ideation | Development | Delivery

Kwesi has a vast skillset in live performance including:

  • Creative Direction
  • Choreography 
  • Direction 
  • Immersive Experience Design 
  • Trade shows and product launches  
  • Revive empty commericial spaces

Mentor

Mentoring & Consultancy

Helping artists, venues and arts organisations to thrive by: 

Designing transformative income-generating plans 

Using the new creator economy

Thinking outside the current system

Developing an online community

Speak

Online & Live Events

Kwesi speaks about: 

The new creator share economy

Sustainable and equitable funding and distribution models for the arts, culture and entertainment

Reinvigorating the High Street with fractional ownership of innovation and creative spaces

DeFi and Blockchain technology and how that frees the subsidised creative  industries to thrive, be agile and sustainable  

Create

Ideation | Development | Delivery

Mentor

Mentoring & Consultancy

Helping artists, venues and arts organisations to thrive by: 

Designing transformative income-generating plans 

Using the new creator economy

Thinking outside the current system

Developing an online community

Speak

Online & Live Events

Kwesi speaks about: 

The new creator share economy

Sustainable and equitable funding and distribution models for the arts, culture and entertainment

Reinvigorating the High Street with fractional ownership of innovation and creative spaces

DeFi and Blockchain technology and how that frees the subsidised creative  industries to thrive, be agile and sustainable  

Projects

( function( $ ) { $( document ).ready( function(){ $('.panel-collapse').removeClass('in'); $('.panel-title > a').addClass('collapsed'); }); })( jQuery );

Using the theme of migration. The Cultural Assembly was commissioned by Without Walls and the Brighton Festival to create one of the world’s first Mixed Reality (MR) art and performance trails. Using dance, spoken word, visual art and music to take users on an immersive and interactive journey of curated locations.  

What you see on the video is what the user sees through their phone screen.

( function( $ ) { $( document ).ready( function(){ $('.panel-collapse').removeClass('in'); $('.panel-title > a').addClass('collapsed'); }); })( jQuery );

Decolonising Memory was commissioned by The UK Research Institute (UKRI) and a collaboration with Bristol University, FENYCE, and former Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cleo Lake, resulting in the creation of a mixed reality heritage app and a new memorial dance. 

The app takes users on a city tour, unveiling its infamous and dark past, while the memorial dance has been performed live in several locations it can also and can be learnt from anywhere in the world via YouTube. 

Additionally, the project included a citizen science research component, conducting creative and historical online/offline workshops within the community. These workshops explored the legacy of Bristol’s past residents involved in the transatlantic slave trade and how this legacy shapes the city today. The culmination of the project was the creation of both the memorial dance and The Decolonising Memory app. 

( function( $ ) { $( document ).ready( function(){ $('.panel-collapse').removeClass('in'); $('.panel-title > a').addClass('collapsed'); }); })( jQuery );

An augmented reality placemaking app in Fortworth, Texas that gave  local artists the opportunity to digitise their work and collaborate with business to increase footfall to the area.

After Amphibian Theatre saw Up My Street we helped them ideate, select artists and develop Neighborhood Leap.

 They wanted to increase footfall to the area post COVID.  Here is a link explaining how we worked with  clients who have no previous experience of Augmented Reality. 

Video courtesy of Amphibian Stage Theatre

Link 

( function( $ ) { $( document ).ready( function(){ $('.panel-collapse').removeClass('in'); $('.panel-title > a').addClass('collapsed'); }); })( jQuery );

Commissioned by DanceEast who wanted to keep their audience and residents of Ipswich engaged during COVID.  

In collaboration with Creative Technologist FENYCE, and Graffiti Artist Mohammed Ali I developed an interactive window display where the movements of the observer contols the movements on screen.  

The theme explored festivals such as Saturnalia, Yule and the Winter Solstice that have now become collectively known as Christmas.  

( function( $ ) { $( document ).ready( function(){ $('.panel-collapse').removeClass('in'); $('.panel-title > a').addClass('collapsed'); }); })( jQuery );

I delivered a series of online/offline workshops for local residents exploring creative responses to heritage by teaching them how to create their personal heritage  trails using augmented reality filters and the arts.  

( function( $ ) { $( document ).ready( function(){ $('.panel-collapse').removeClass('in'); $('.panel-title > a').addClass('collapsed'); }); })( jQuery );

Delivering a series of workshops in Dar es Salaam, funded by The British Council. We bought artists and creative technologist together to develop an  Augmented Reality city tour. 

Live Showreel

Current Projects 

Future Creatives <- Link

Developing an alternative funding and distribution ecosystem for the arts, culture and entertainment industries that helps artists thrive, venues profit and audiences get rewarded.  

Click here to join. 

The Cultural Assembly <– Link

Kwesi is the co-founder and Creative Director.  

This is the place for collaboration and commissions. Where we help you ideate, develop and launch your ideas by using Live performance, Technology, Place, and Expansion.