Elizabeth Streb is a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 'Genius' Award (1997) and a member of the New York City Mayor's Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission. Streb is also a member of the board of the Jerome Foundation and a member of the Atlantic Center for the Arts National Council. She holds a Master of Arts in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University, a B.S. in Modern Dance from SUNY Brockport and two honorary doctorates (SUNY Brockport and Rhode Island College). She is the recipient of numerous other awards and fellowships including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987; a Brandeis Creative Arts Award in 1991; two New York Dance and Performance Awards (Bessie Awards), in 1988 and 1999 for her "sustained investigation of movement"; a Doris Duke Artist Award in 2013; and over 30 years of on-going support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In 2010, Feminist Press published her book, STREB: How to Become an Extreme Action Hero.
Once called the Evel Knievel of dance, Elizabeth Streb's choreography, which she calls "POPACTION," intertwines the disciplines of dance, athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt-work. The result is a bristling, muscle-and-motion vocabulary that combines daring with strict precision in pursuit of public acts of "pure movement."
Streb has been a featured speaker presenting her keynote lectures at such places as TEDxMet, the Institute for Technology and Education (ISTE), POPTECH, the Institute of Contemporary Art in conversation with Brian Greene, The Brooklyn Museum of Art in conversation with A.M. Homes, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the National Performing Arts Convention, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), as a keynote speaker at Chorus America, The University of Utah, as a Caroline Werner Gannett Project speaker and on NPR's Science Friday with Lisa Randall and Ira Flatow.
In 2003, Streb established SLAM (STREB Lab for Action Mechanics) in Brooklyn, NY. SLAM's garage doors are always open for the community to come in and watch rehearsals, take classes, and learn to fly.
Streb is the subject of the 2014 documentary Born to Fly directed by Catherine Gund (Aubin Pictures). It premiered at SXSW and the theatrical premiere will be at Film Forum September 2014. She has also been featured in PopAction by Michael Blackwood, PBS In The Life as one of three stories of gay individuals, PBS's Great Performances for her piece, Wild Blue Yonder, a commission from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts honoring the invention of the airplane in 1903 by the Wright Brothers. Streb's work has been seen on The David Letterman Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN's Showbiz Today, ABC Nightly News with Peter Jennings, Nickelodeon, NBC's Weekend Today, MTV, Channel 11's News-hour, NY 1, and on Larry King Live when she debated with Dick Armey.
In 2011, the STREB company performed sold-out shows at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, the Whitney Museum of American Art's downtown groundbreaking, and at the River to River Festival. Over the course of two decades, STREB has performed in theaters large and small and served as artists-in-residence at the world's top art museums, including Los Angeles MOCA, the Wexner Center in Columbus, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. STREB was commissioned by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Mayor of London to participate in the London 2012 Festival. On One Extraordinary Day (July 15, 2012), from dawn to midnight, STREB dancers performed 7 action events across major London landmarks including the Millennium Bridge, Trafalgar Square and ending with HUMAN EYE, where 32 daring STREB Action Heroes performed a spoke-dance on the towering, iconic landmark of The London Eye.
Currently, STREB is working to build out SLAM as an even more rigorous model of "An International Extreme Action Factory"; construction begins in 2015.