Six-part series captures the essence of resilience through inspirational stories of overcoming extraordinary challenges.

Washington, DC –– February 25, 2021 –– The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) today launched Stories of Human Resilience – a groundbreaking video project with Emmy and Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright, actress, author, journalist, and educator Anna Deavere Smith. In 2019, Smith was named the Council’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence.

Smith is best known for her one-woman plays that closely examine social issues in connection with current events. Stories of Human Resilience is a six-part series that showcases her signature form of theater, based on interviews with individuals who have faced a range of challenges and disruptions in their lives.

WATCH: Trailer for Stories of Resilience

Stories of Human Resilience will premiere on March 4, 2021 on YouTube with a story about the escalating challenges facing frontline healthcare workers in New York City in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, Smith will present a story about the extraordinary life of Tony Award winning actress LaChanze. And in May, Smith will focus on the migration crisis through stories of migrants in Latin America.

Adrienne Arsht, Executive Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council and founder of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, said, “We learn so much through storytelling, and I believe that the Stories of Human Resilience presented by Anna will be a powerful and memorable way to frame your thoughts on resilience. Anna is a master storyteller and interviewer, and she asks these essential questions – What is resilience? Are you born with it? Can you acquire it? And how do you use it in the face of challenges?”

“Art really does creep into the crevices where facts miss the point,” said Anna Deavere Smith.
“I think art and artists have something to offer on the question of resilience and I look forward to presenting the stories of these remarkable individuals.”

The mission of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center is to reach One Billion People around the world with resilient solutions to climate, migration and human security by 2030.

“One of the ways we do that is with arts, culture, and storytelling, and we are delighted to partner with Anna to tell the stories of remarkable and truly resilient individuals,” said Kathy Baughman Mcleod, Director of the Arsht-Rock Center.

Stories of Human Resilience with Anna Deavere Smith is produced by Nouveau Productions.To view and receive updates for Stories of Human Resilience, subscribe to our YouTube channel. For Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center content, please visit our website and join the conversation on social media by using #ResilienceStories.

For more information on the Stories of Human Resilience: Paige Ennis,
For media inquiries: Alex Kisling,

About Anna Deveare Smith
Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright, teacher, and author.  Her mor recent play and film, Notes from the Field, looks at the vulnerability of youth, inequality, the criminal justice system, and contemporary activism.  The New York Times named the stage version of Notes from the Field among The Best Theater of 2016 and TIME magazine named it one of the Top 10 Plays of the year.  HBO premiered the film version in February 2018.

Looking at current events from multiple points of view, Smith’s theater combines the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance.  Plays include Fires in the Mirror, Twilight: Los Angeles, House Arrest, and Let me Down Easy.  Twilight: Los Angeles was nominated for two Tony Awards. Fires in the Mirror was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. 

In 2012, President Obama awarded her the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal. She was the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for achievement in the arts. In 2015, she was named the Jefferson Lecturer, the nation’s highest honor in the humanities.  She was the 2017 recipient of the George Polk Career Award in Journalism.

About the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) will reach One Billion People with resilience solutions to climate impacts, migration and human security challenges by 2030. We focus our efforts on people, communities, governments, and institutions to help them better prepare for, navigate and recover from the multiple shocks and stressors people all over the world face every day. 

The Atlantic Council promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in the world based on the central role of the Atlantic community, working with its allies and partners, to meet global challenges. Through the ideas we generate, the papers we write and the communities we build, the Council informs public debates, shapes policy choices and forges sustainable strategies to create a more secure, free and prosperous world.