Tara Betts appeared on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" and in the SouthWest VDay production of Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues" at Chicago's DuSable Museum. She also appeared in the Black Family Channel series "SPOKEN" with jessica Care moore. Tara is a Cave Canem alum After winning the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award, Tara represented Chicago in the National Poetry Slam twice.
She has performed her work in Cuba, New York, the West Coast and throughout the Midwest at venues such as Arie Crown Theater, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Studio Museum of Harlem, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Bar 13, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, Yerba Buena Cultural Center, The Metro, Ladyfest Midwest, the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago Cultural Center, poetry slams, conferences, colleges, universities and numerous public, private and alternative schools. She has shared the stage with Patricia Smith,
Rosellen Brown, Afaa Michael Weaver, Kwame Dawes, Luis Rodriguez, MC Lyte and Grammy-winner Jill Scott. Tara also co-hosted and organized the defunct women's performance space/open mic series Women OutLoud.
Tara is anthologized in Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, Poetry Slam, Spoken Word Revolution, That Takes Ovaries! and Power Lines. Her writing will also be in the upcoming anthologies: Wompology (Red Hen Press), Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism, Hurricane Blues: How Katrina and Rita Ravaged a Nation (Southeast Missouri University Press) and Black Chicago Writing: In the World Not of It? (Southern Illinois University Press).
In addition to her experiences with page and the stage, Tara Betts teaches writing and encourages literacy by working with arts programs such as Urban Word NYC and the Bronx Writers' Center. In Chicago, she was an influential educator through Young Chicago Authors and the internationally-acclaimed Gallery 37. Tara co-founded GirlSpeak, a weekly writing/leadership workshop for young women. She has also conducted short-term workshops in schools, community centers, Ms. Foundation, City Girls (a substance abuse rehabilitation center for teen girls), Cook County Jail and Cook County Juvenile Detention Center.
Tara, an MFA candidate at New England College, has received residencies from Ragdale Foundation, Centrum and Caldera and an Illinois Arts Council Artist fellowship in New Performance Forms.