Taking Comedy Seriously for Social Good
Originally broadcast at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Caty Borum Chattoo is co-founder and co-director, in partnership with cultural strategy group Moore + Associates, of the Yes, And Laughter Lab, a creative incubator of comedy for social justice, establishing robust partnerships across the entertainment industry. It is the work of the Laughter Lab, and how it serves to uplift voices from historically marginalized communities, along with her research and production in comedy and social change, that she will share and celebrate as part of Chautauqua’s week, in partnership with the National Comedy Center, on “The Authentic Comedic Voice.”
Borum Chattoo is an award-winning media producer, executive, and scholar working at the intersection of entertainment, democracy, and social justice. She is executive director of the Center for Media & Social Impact, a nonprofit innovation lab and research center housed at American University that creates, showcases and studies media designed for social change, and professor at the American University School of Communication. In 2020, CMSI launched the Comedy ThinkTanks program, which brings together professional comedians and social justice organizations to co-create comedy for public engagement in social challenges. Previously, she served as senior vice president in the social marketing practice group at FleishmanHillard International Communications in Washington, D.C., and in Los Angeles, she was a longtime collaborator with legendary TV producer Norman Lear as a philanthropy director and producer.
She is the co-author, with Lauren Feldman, of the award-winning book A Comedian and An Activist Walk Into a Bar: The Serious Role of Comedy in Social Justice. She is also the author of the forthcoming book The Revolution Will Be Hilarious: Comedy for Social Change and Civic Power.
This program is made possible by the Arnold and Jill Bellowe Lectureship and the Robert Jacobs Memorial Lectureship Fund.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.