Performance and collaborative research for health, justice, and community-building.

Marie Garlock is a researcher, performing artist, and educator getting a PhD in Communication at UNC, and is based in Durham, NC. Marie's experiences leading and partnering on performance, health, and community-based research initiatives span the U.S. South, East Africa, and South Asia.

 Marie Garlock dedicates her speech inside the NC state capitol rotunda to her mom, Barbara Marie Bosma Garlock, who passed away from cancer after losing her health care coverage. -  Josh Rushing, Al Jazeera America " The Coverage Gap "

Marie Garlock dedicates her speech inside the NC state capitol rotunda to her mom, Barbara Marie Bosma Garlock, who passed away from cancer after losing her health care coverage. - Josh Rushing, Al Jazeera America "The Coverage Gap"

It is In You is sponsored by 501c3 Heartspace Spiritual Resources to receive grants and donations. It is In You projects led by Marie often unfold collaboratively through partnership with other researchers, artists, teachers, and advocacy leaders in community-based, institutional, and organizational settings. 



For more than 10 years, It is In You's Marie Garlock has been creating performances based on innovative, community-embedded research, and facilitating workshops, organizing festivals, and offering educational programming in residencies across the U.S. and internationally. Marie is happiest when performing and facilitating in story/theater and dance modalities. Through performance-centered programming, her hope is to connect all people to their own physical and social assets, spiritual capacities, and unique visions for a more just, well world. Through oral history--and what's called critical ethnographic research and performance ethnography--Marie comes alive while listening for the wisdom and poetry in our everyday and extraordinary experiences. 


Teaching and Learning

As a PhD candidate in Communication at UNC Chapel Hill, Marie focuses on Performance Studies and Communication for Social Change, with a certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication. At UNC-CH, Marie teaches courses she has designed in Cultural Difference (Cultural Diversity), Performance Ethnography (Performance and Culture), Performance and Social Change, Introduction to Performance, and special topics service-learning in Communication and African, African-American and Diaspora Studies. Through her PhD research--which is both informed by and informs "It is In You" projects like Flipping Cancer and I'm Not Done--she offers health communication and performance workshops for research partners who are patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and policy-focused advocates for health justice.


Art and Advocacy

Marie is a certified InterPlay leader, with programmatic experience in Arts + Social Change and workshops for persons and communities facing cancer, and health-related inequities. With gratitude, Marie currently trains with the African American Dance Ensemble (apprentice dancer), and is an actor with Theater Delta (touring periodically for research-based forum theater on health and social change issues). She's honored to collaborate in ongoing live performance and organizing/advocacy work for the Forward Together Movement (NAACP NC), WomenNC and International Women’s Day, Triangle Interfaith Alliance; and is co-founder of the Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS with Dr. “Baba” Chuck Davis. As led by loving investments from teachers, mentors, fellow artists and collaborators, her projects “It is In You: Health Justice Performance in Tanzania” (2008-2011) and “Flipping Cancer.” (2013-) have toured nationally and internationally to conferences, clinics, and classrooms, as keynotes and in residencies.


Guiding Principles

In the U.S., in East Africa, and in South Asia, Marie's collaborations in classrooms, performance productions, and arts-based cross-cultural exchanges have focused on topics such as: social support and cultures of response to advanced cancers; HIV/AIDS and politics of community development at the local level and international level; environmental racism, migration, and land displacement; performance-oriented movements for women’s and LGBTQ rights; and interrogating histories of inner-city violence and poverty through the lens of conflict transformation.

Paying attention to heroes of hers, Marie orients her research and teaching toward a two-fold way of understanding any issue: First, to generate more nuanced understandings of social inequities and economic dysfunctions that shape our local communities and their global contexts. Second, to identify and support community-generated insights and resources for intervention from among affected groups. These resources may be devoted to claiming individuals' lived dignity, restoring institutional rights, and revealing and seeking to transform oppressive systems.

Specific to each circumstance, It is In You projects are committed to hosting space for participants and audiences to formulate their priorities through lenses appropriate to their pursuits--e.g., health justice for coal ash-affected communities, or patient advocacy through deepened clinical and community partnerships, or site-specific conflict transformation education for undergraduate and K-12 students partnering with community non-profits. Priorities for communication during events, workshops, or longterm-projects are tri-part: (A) to produce knowledge and culture collaboratively, (B) to understand and potentially change behavior contextually, (C) to share tactics for reforming institutions collectively.


Patient Advocacy Profile - National Center for Health Research, Professional Bio - Department of Communication, 

Advocacy Bio - Breast Cancer Action,  Personal Bio,  IHC - Interdisciplinary Health Communication