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Bryonn Bain

About this Artist

Bryonn Bain is an artist and prison activist, actor and author, hip hop theater innovator and spoken word poetry champion. Wrongfully incarcerated in his second year at Harvard Law School, Bain shared his story on “60 Minutes” with over 20 million households worldwide. 


His award winning hip hop theater and spoken word production "Lyrics From Lockdown" is based on his experience of unjust incarceration. Executive produced by Harry Belafonte, his multimedia shows have sold-out on three continents, featured at Rikers Island, Sing Sing, The Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, with the LA Philharmonic, and won “Best Solo Performance” for the LA Weekly and the NAACP. 


A Tony nominated theater maker, Bain is currently producing the Broadway revival of Ntozake Shange's classic "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf.” His films include “Pig Hunt” directed by Academy award winner Jim Isaac, "Windows on the World" starring Edward James Olmos, and “Chapter & Verse” executive produced by Antoine Fuqua. His television credits include the award winning BET talk show “My Two Cents, the Emmy nominated “BaaadDDD Sonia Sanchez,” and the Emmy award winning feature of his prison and performing arts work on “LA Stories.” 


Bain has lectured, performed and led workshops in over 300 prisons and universities around the world, including Folsom, Sing Sing, Rikers Island, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford. Bain is the author of four books including REBEL SPEAK: A Justice Movement Mixtape — featuring interviews with Chuck D, Dolores Huerta, Harry Belafonte, and a foreword by Angela Y. Davis (University of California Press, 2022).


Co-Director of the Center for Justice at UCLA, Bain teaches on the faculty of African American Studies, the School of the Arts, and the School of Law at UCLA. 

Founder of prison education, arts and abolition initiatives at Columbia, NYU, the New School and UCLA, Bain has brought art, advocacy and education behind bars for more than three decades, reaching 25 states nationwide, and prisons in Africa, Asia and Europe.