McKenya Dilworth has performed and produced shows that she has written throughout the Midwest and internationally: including Belgium (Kairos Jeunesse) , Poland (Mirsk Festival) and England. She founded the Theatre of Purpose (TOP), a performance ensemble theatre, where she has practiced regularly in local jails (Lake County Work Release in Indiana), using techniques learned from her participation in Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed Workshops. She currently has a web series on YouTube entitled Dating While… and curated her first TEDx Gary.
Fluent in German and conversational Arabic, Dilworth uses her fascination with languages to create ways to use the arts in the pursuit of language mastery and acquisition.
This woman is excellence on display! We got the opportunity to catch up with her and chat about a couple of things. Listen in…..
Please introduce yourself to our reading audience.
My name is McKenya Dilworth and I am an ideapreneur, entrepreneur, creative, programmer, scholar, community actor (activist) and education advocate. The common denominator to all of the categories of who I am would be the love of people and helping to facilitate people’s best versions of themselves. I provide platforms for and of expression, self-actualization through the arts, education and community building. I have studied and lived on 5 of the 7 continents and have been a world traveler since I was a teenager (when I was an exchange student to Germany). I am multilingual and have the ability to communicate across cultures and I teach German at Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso.
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
It is what I know how to do. While I have held traditional work assignments and jobs, I have always been able to meet the needs of potential customers by being innovative with services that fill the gap created by circumstance. I would even go as far as to say that it is somewhat cultural, as an African-American, to be an entrepreneur because in almost every professional arena, there are tremendous biases and obstacles stacked against you, so you begin to develop a disposition of innovator and victor, never the victim.
What would you tell your 21 year old self?
I will tell my 21 year old self that there is a time and place for everything under the sky and that my parents were correct when they insisted that I always put God first in any and everything that I set out to do and be. I would also make sure that I stress that health is a gift and a blessing, start to develop a health regimen now as a way of life, Period. Maintaining relationships is critical to personal and collective growth, and there is always room for pruning so that you, as a beautiful flower and fruit, can continue to grow.
What do you want to say to the woman who doesn’t feel like she’s good enough to make it in the marketplace? Define Influence.
I would say to the woman who is struggling with self-doubt is to challenge that doubt. Ask yourself this: what are you really afraid of and why? Trace the root of that doubt so that you can deal head on with that insecurity. Be honest with yourself so that you can become the best version of yourself, only competing with your last achievement/accomplishment. Be you because everyone else is taken.
What do you want people to know about you?
I would like people to know that kindness is a must in my life. In addition to that, community investment and engagement are a part of me. I am compelled to give and be an active part of my community. I also somehow believe that it is my superpower. I am also a filmmaker with a web series entitled Dating While…
How can people stay connected with you outside of this interview?
I am available via email at email@example.com and my company website for The Morning Bishop Theatre Playhouse, Inc. is www.theatreofpurpose.wixsite/mckenya-dilworth and I am active on Facebook under my name, as well as twitter under the name @thebestmckenya and instagram @mckenyadilworth