The Kennedy Center

Be Steadwell


Be Steadwell is a composer and vocalist from Washington, DC. A blend of soul, acapella and folk -- Be calls her music QUEER POP. In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be's original music features earnest lyricism and affirming LGBTQ content. Be combines her love of music with narrative film--shooting and editing her own music videos. In her latest work - A Letter to My Ex, the musical, Be tells stories of love, loss and intimacy through a collage of music, movement and film -- narrating one character’s journey through the year following a breakup. |

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/29/2019: Sisterfire Showcase

Roadwork brings the social power of music to the Millennium Stage through the spirit of its Sisterfire Festival. Join us for an intergenerational, multiracial, post-genre hour of womensound.  With a special tribute to the late Dr. Shirley Childress Johnson, long-time sign language interpreter for Sweet Honey In The Rock. This year’s showcase features: Ysaye Barnwell -- singer, composer, arranger and Sweet Honey In The Rock alum; Ariel Horowitz -- violinist, composer, activist; Be Steadwell -- vocalist, composer and director; and Yasmin Williams — acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and composer.

This performance will be sign-interpreted.

Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Social Power of Music  with support from WPFW, Busboys and Poets and Levine Music.

Video 7/7/2018: Roadwork's 40th Anniversary: Three Voices

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates Roadwork’s 40th anniversary as a D.C.-based multiracial coalition that puts women artists on the road locally and globally, with a performance featuring D.C. artists Ysaÿe Maria Barnwell, Be Steadwell, and Carolyn Malachi. Founded in 1978 by women leaders from African American civil rights, women’s, global justice, and lesbian-feminist movements, Roadwork aims at transforming consciousness and creating new movements in global arts and social justice.  You can learn more about Roadwork here.

Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. For more information, please visit

Video 11/15/2016: Strathmore Artist in Residence: Be Steadwell

Be Steadwell is a singer-songwriter and filmmaker who uses her roots in jazz, a cappella and folk music to present a blend which she calls “queer pop.”

Be Steadwell