Beauty Rises: Four Lives in the Arts
Four artists. Four lives. Four struggles. One story.
BEAUTY RISES: FOUR LIVES IN THE ARTS is a moving documentary profile of four Illinois artists whose passionate commitment to their craft illustrates how the arts
change lives and strengthen communities. Commissioned to promote the public value of the arts in Illinois and celebrate the
40th anniversary of the
Illinois Arts Council, the documentary affirms the power of art to transform, give meaning to and sometimes even save an individual's life.
Over a period of four months, the producers follow theater director
Laura Wiley as she directs a dance-theatre piece about domestic abuse at Chicago's Albany Park Theatre Project, while undergoing treatment
for ovarian cancer; jazz musician
Orbert Davis, who composes and premieres music with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and mentors young musicians in his hometown in rural
Kankakee County; large scale sculptor
Dessa Kirk, who hangs Christmas lights on an installation at the entrance to Chicago's Grant Park, and moves into a new studio after
discovering that the backroom of the steel slitting plant where she's been working is bad for her health; and poet
Allison Joseph as she attends a writer's retreat near her Southern Illinois home, where she writes and reads new work – her poetry reflects on the challenges of growing up African-American with immigrant parents.
BEAUTY RISES: FOUR LIVES IN THE ARTS interweaves the stories of these artists into one coherent exploration of creativity. It is the emotional story of focused
and giving individuals who believe beauty rises to greet them each and every day.
Read about the documentary production team
Body of Work by Allison Joseph, a poem she wrote after watching
Beauty Rises for the first time.
Through exciting, original theater,
Laura Wiley and her husband David Feiner devote their lives to teenagers in a Chicago working-class immigrant neighborhood.
Meet composer, arranger, conductor and acclaimed trumpeter
Orbert Davis. He wears many hats, but his dedication to young people is at the core of everything he does.
Dessa Kirk, a large-scale metal sculptor known for her tall, graceful sculptures of the nymph Daphne and giant lilies created from old
Get to know poet
Allison Joseph. For her, attending a college basketball game isn't just recreation. Like many compelling images from everyday life, it
inspires her writing.