Will Richey is an award winning spoken word artist, teacher and creative director who has left an imprint across North Texas and around the globe mixing and melding original poetry performances in workshops, speaking engagements and the production of interactive events. From school districts to art districts, drug and alcohol prevention and recovery organizations to churches, cultural centers and conversations alike, Will enjoys cultivating experiences of strength, healing and hope. The heart of his work is found engaging people of all ages, cultures, creeds and backgrounds, while empowering each unique voice to connect ones identity with personal and collective acknowledgment, self-expression and growth.
The University of Dallas recognized Richey in Tower magazine as one of “11 Alumni Who Have Found Success in Unchartered Territory.” Their piece, “How to Guide a Community towards Emotional Literacy,” highlights his work as founder of Journeyman Ink and father of DaVerse Lounge, an under-21 spoken word, live music and visual art event that has been a beacon of intergenerational inspiration since 2005. Co-produced with Big Thought, Will has shepherded the event into a movement with a mentoring program and a “DaVerse Works: Power of Voice” curriculum for schools and youth organizations.
Richey’s delivery is dynamically enhanced with creative partner and multi-disciplinary arts educator, Alejandro Perez, Jr. Friends and collaborators since the early 2000’s, their walk and work together is driven by the core tenet of Emotional Literacy – the bridge between “degrees and the streets,” much less their own personal inherent similarities and overt differences. Together they engage audiences with their infectious, kinesthetic, call and response approach to the Art of Spoken Word as expressed through original stories, poetry and song. Their mastery of the Melody Memory Method – a low risk / high success, “See it. Say it. Do it.” interactive – invites both crowds and classrooms to become an instrument themselves through various rhythms and vocalized mantras.
For over a decade, Will and AP have been lead teaching artists in Big Thought’s Creative Solutions, summer theater and visual arts program for youth on probation in Dallas County. They have also partnered with Irving ISD since 2005 with their Write to be Heard and ESL Enrichment Programs, Karen Blessen’s 29 Pieces / MasterPEACE / Dallas Love Project, the Dallas Children’s Theater’s, “Baker Idea Institute,” and as content producers for the Embrey Family Foundation and Dallas Faces Race’s “Implicit Bias” year-long social media campaign.
In addition, their words are often brought to life by nationally renowned, live interpretive painter and scribe David Rodriguez of Dr Gorilla Studio. The three of them not only share in their Puerto Rican heritage, but as story tellers who have showcased their collaborative performances at TEDxSMU: “DaVerse Lounge – The Power of Voice,” the Embrey Human Rights Program’s inaugural “Triumph of the Spirit” awards, The National Race Forward Conference, The National Performance Network’s 25th Anniversary Meeting, and the first ever Extra Yard for Teachers Summit, an initiative of the College Football Playoff Foundation.
Will has been a Dallas MasterMind finalist for cultural innovation in North Texas and a two-time Irving Celebration of Excellence (ICE) award nominee. He has shared the performance stage with such luminaries as the late Maya Angelou, Dallas’s own Erykah Badu, and with some of the DaVerse Lounge youth alongside former US Poet Laureate, Robert Haas, as a part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s acclaimed Arts and Letters Live series.
Will loves his family, basketball, seafood and travelling, and lives in Irving, Texas, with his beautiful wife, Delilah, and their two precious children, Siena and Santiago.