Darion McCloud




by Darion McCloud

Gentrification on its face should be a sweet harmony. Sharing food and discussions with some of the North Main community (our FEASTS). Using the words and energy generated as the source material to create a performance that includes music, theatre, dance and hip-hop. I ask why gentrification doesn’t work for everyone? Why the DISSONANCE?


Artist Bio


Darion McCloud is an actor, director, storyteller, educator, arts activist, and children’s literature advocate from Columbia, SC. He founded and serves as Creative Director of both the NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad. He is a company member of Trustus Theatre and the SC Shakespeare Company and a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow. McCloud is a formally trained visual artist with a BA in Studio Art from the University of South Carolina who found his way to the stage through telling stories. McCloud has committed his life to the transforming power of art and enjoys crafting theatre experiences for the old, young, the initiated, and the un-initiated.

“As an artist, I’m a storyteller. I do that in my visual art, in my theater, and as a performer. I’m interested in stories, so I’m having dinners and I’m inviting different people from throughout the neighborhood to come in and we’re going to sit down, break bread, and tell stories — tell stories about our time and experiences in the neighborhood.”



Participants and residents were be invited to attend two dinners with the purpose of creating and sharing
conversation and a good meal.



These conversations provided content and context for an original ethnotheatre piece in collaboration with Eau Claire High School Theatre Instructor Indira Cureton Cummings, dance instructor Barbara House Diemers, and rapper Mowa Oladamu.



We created community storytelling and ethnotheatre, performed during the Indie Grits Festival. The purpose of the performance is to spark dialogue, engage in an entertaining fashion and also provide and supply the community with tangible resources to address concerns of and about gentrification.