What Has Debra Leigh Been Up To?

....an “artivist and edu-preneur”, a professional writer, playwright, singer, film-maker, educator, dramaturg, editor, arts administrator, public speaker and activist, often all at the same time. 

In addition to her own creative work, Debra Leigh is passionate about working with other artists.  She founded Hidden River Arts over two decades ago, and has grown the organization so that it now includes gallery events, an independent small press, yearly writing competitions, outreach and educational activities.  Wanting to be a "creative catalyst" for other artists, Debra is dedicated to helping other creative people to grow and develop. In addition to Hidden River's activities, Debra also works individually with fellow writers, with manuscript consultation, all levels of editing, and developmental support at all stages, from concept through to publication and on to promotion.  It's all about creative growth and discovery.  

One of her recent projects is a documentary film and companion book, both called 'Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America, which addresses the corporate colonization of academic culture in the U.S. - and now increasingly happening around the world.  She continues with her fiction and dramatic writing; there are always many projects in development at the same time. 

As if that isn't enough, Debra Leigh also provides an expansive list of communication, writing and editing services for a select group of clients in various business sectors, with her company, DLS Communications

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Photo by Deborah Boardman

Debra Leigh Scott is the author of a highly-praised collection of short stories, Other Likely Stories, (Sowilo Press), a work of inter-related stories set in the tumultuous 1960s.  She is currently at work on a new collection of stories, Crossing the Line, as well as several novels and a non-fiction project.  Her first documentary film, 'Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America about the corporate colonization of America's universities, is heading into post-production soon.  

 Debra Leigh's work in theatre includes plays which have been performed at The Philadelphia Fringe Festival, The Shubin AprilFest, The New Light Festival, and The PlayShops Festival of Philadelphia Theatre Workshop.  

 As Founding Director of Hidden River Arts,  Debra has grown this inter-disciplinary arts organization for over 20 years.  It now includes a thriving internship program,  an independent small press, yearly fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama competitions; many of the programs are currently being redsigned, including outreach events, live arts events, literary readings,  workshops and classes.  Hidden River is also launching an online arts journal, scheduled for late 2018/early 2019, called Hidden River Review of Arts & Letters.  

Another current passion is Debra's activist work in education. In addition to her two decades as a university professor, she is the founder of 'Junct Rebellion, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the demise of the American university system, through its corporatization, its rampant practice of adjunct faculty labor abuse and its steadily eroding concern about the quality of education provided to students. Our goal is to reclaim higher education through building a coalition of educators, parents,  and students. This includes the aforementioned ocumentary/book project, 'Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America.   A sister project, Guerilla U, focuses on helping students navigate the issues and complexities of K-, higher education, intellectual and life preparation, through coaching and strategic consultation, workshops and group presentations.  Debra blogs on issues of higher education as The Homeless Adjunct as well as writing for the Guerilla U blog.  A former homeschool parent herself, Debra is always interested in helping homeschool parents and others looking for alternative forms of education.  

Debra's most recent adventure is a return to singing professionally.  She and her singing partner, Jean Brooks, have formed Cabaret Divas.  They have been producing, writing and performing cabaret acts now since 2016.  

 Whenever possible, Debra also writes on culture, art, politics and social issues as Debra Leigh Says, Hidden River Arts and The Good Times Manifesto.