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MoBBallet’s Roll Call is a list of professional black ballet dancers that today features 301 names and is growing as black ballet artists submit their names. The site also houses an E–Zine that features insights on issues affecting both the ballet world and society such as diversity and inclusion –and a timeline that spans the history of black ballet from 1919 to present day.



Initiative Creates a Shift in Perspective on the Current Conversation around Diversity in Ballet through Stories of Current and Past Black Professional Ballet Dancers

Dancer Theresa Ruth Howard announces the launch of Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet), a groundbreaking legacy project documenting and transforming conversations around black ballet artists. The initiative will focus on bringing visibility to the lesser-known history of black ballet dancers around the world through video profiles, essays and archival data which capture the artistry and humanity of black ballet dancers. At launch, MoBBallet’s website houses a community sourced Roll Call which lists the names of black ballet dancers past and present, a digital timeline that places historical moments in black ballet history next to key events in world history, and an E-Zine that sheds light on issues affecting the ballet community and society at large.


The recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, MoBBallet’s first anchor project, the Philadelphia Project, will document the stories of four Philadelphia trained black ballerinas— including Joan Myers Brown, founder of The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO!), Delores Browne from the New York Negro Ballet Company and Judith Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Coinciding with the launch of MoBBallet, founder Theresa Ruth Howard will serve as keynote speaker at Dutch National Ballet’s Positioning Ballet conference on February 11th, where she will officially introduce MoBBallet’s mission to promote larger discussions within the international dance community around the stories of black ballet dancers. A select group of leading artistic directors from America, Europe, Asia and Russia have been invited to attend the conference.

“Diversity in Ballet in America is a very specific challenge given our racial history” remarks Howard. “The histories and demographics of each of the companies that will be represented during Positioning Ballet are just as specific. This is an unprecedented opportunity to see and hear what their issues are regarding diversity in the field.”

To date, MoBBallet has captured over 301 names to the Roll Call and calls for professional black ballet dancers not already on the list to add their names. MoBBallet’s archival information covers important moments in the history of black ballet from 1919 to present day.


ABOUT MOBBALLET Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet) is a non-profit organization that is building a digital archive where the history of blacks in professional ballet can be preserved. Founded by ballerina Theresa Ruth Howard, MoBBallet facilitates authentic dialogues on diversity, equality and aesthetics through workshops, panels and video profiles of both iconic and emerging black ballet dancers. The online archive provides timelines of important moments in the history of black ballet and juxtaposes them against key moments in world history. The Roll Call initiative is an ever-expanding list of black ballet dancers past and present –E-Zine brings visibility to issues that loom large in both the ballet world and society such as diversity and inclusion.
ABOUT THERESA RUTH HOWARD Founder of MoBBallet, Theresa Ruth Howard is an expert and advocate on the issue of diversity in Ballet. She has sat on panels for Dance/USA, Dance/NYC, Collegium for African Diaspora Dance at Duke University, and collaborated with International Association of Blacks in Dance in the planning and facilitation of the first Ballet Audition for female ballet dancers of color. A former member of the Dance Theater of Harlem, and Armitage Gone! Dance, Howard has worked extensively with choreographer Donald Byrd, and was a guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. As a contributor to Pointe, Expressions (Italy), Tanz (Germany) and dance media publications, Howard has emerged as a clear and defining voice on topics such as body image and race. She holds more than 17 years of experience as a dance educator including Ballet Faculty at the Ailey School.

February 21, 2017 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, TECHNOLOGY, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THEATER — The Lark — The New Black Fest at The Lark — March 14-19, 2016 *nyc

 new Black Fest at the Lark 2016
 The Larka 22-year-old play development lab dedicated to expanding the range of perspectives represented on stage in the United States, is proud to announce the continuation of its partnership with The New Black Fest, a theater organization celebrating provocative storytelling, film and discussion from the African Diaspora. The New Black Fest at The Larka week-long festival, will feature the following artists and their works: Actor and playwright Jocelyn Bioh (Schoolgirls; or The African Mean Girls Play) whose work has appeared on The Kilroy’s List; Co-founder of Team Play Eric Holmes (Pornplay; or Blessed Are the Meek); Poet, playwright and Ruby Prize Winner Lenelle Moïse (Merit); Actor, playwright and an alumnus of the Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater NSangou Njikam (When We Left); and actor and playwright Lisa Rosetta Strum, whose one-person play She Gon’ Learn won a Best Solo Show Award at the United Solo Festival at Theatre Row last fall.

The partnership between The New Black Fast and The Lark is both organic and essential.  Both organizations are committed to creating community and movement around new work that contributes to the representation of a contemporary national vision. The Lark’s mission centers on the belief that targeted support for historically underrepresented playwrights is crucial to a culture of equity, access and inclusion, and a theatrical field that represents the vibrancy of our collective voices.

“As our country and theater community continue their fight for complexity and equity, I am beyond thrilled to continue our relationship with The Lark that believes the creative well-being of the playwright is central to everything,” said Keith Josef Adkins, Artistic Director and Co-founder of The New Black Fest.

Through a diverse portfolio of fellowships, residencies, and workshops, The Lark has provided a platform for voices to enter the evolving national repertoire.  Recent plays substantially developed at The Lark include Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew, Mona Mansour’s The Way West, Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj, and Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop.

“The current trend in which funds are systematically redirected from smaller, culturally explicit theater companies to larger, predominately white-led institutions, ostensibly for the sake of ‘efficiency,’ hampers diverse leadership in the arts and dampens voices and perspectives that are critical to a free society” said John Clinton Eisner, The Lark’s Artistic Director.  “Working with The New Black Fest is core to our mission of championing the next wave of innovative theater artists and leaders by putting them in the driver’s seat to leverage public awareness and financial resources.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and The New Black Fest’s advisory board member Lynn Nottage, who was The Lark’s 2013-14 Writer-in-Residence, told The New York Times, “This [event] is not about separation, it’s about inclusion. It’s about inviting people who don’t get access.”

Public readings of these new works and a kick-off panel, “The White Gaze, the Truth Gaze and a New Revolution,” will take place March 14 – March 19 at The Lark’s BareBones® Studio, located at 311 West 43rd Street, 5th Floor, in New York City.

The New Black Fest is supported in part by a special grant from the Ford Foundation.

Additional support provided through grants to The Lark from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


Monday, March 14 @7pm
This event will be followed by a reception.  Moderator and panelists to be announced.

Tuesday, March 15 @7pm
by Lisa Rosetta Strum

With old school wisdom, her childhood, a string of bad dates, and a one night stand gone wrong with a smooth talking would be ex-boyfriend, Lisa navigates her personal mishaps with poetry, comedy and poignancy on her journey to discover self-love.

Wednesday, March 16 @7pm
by Lenelle Moïse 

Nestled in small-town Vermont, Merit follows Mona, the only student of color (and Southerner) in a prestigious MFA Fiction program. When she befriends distinguished professor Dr. Sive, they struggle to strike a balance between passion and professionalism, power and trust.

Thursday, March 17 @7pm
by Eric Holmes

Pornplay: or, Blessed Are the Meek is a dark, comedic plantation drama about how the legacy of slavery plays into our sexual desires and online-avatars. The story centers around the hiring of Austin, a Black veteran, by the mysterious porn mogul, Bob 3, to build a swimming pool for his renovated estate in Virginia. When Austin meets Bob 3’s pornstar wife, Sephie, and Jackie, her gender-fluid son, their lives, races and desires intersect to reveal the horrifying truths of sex, history, and power.

Friday, March 18 @7pm
by Jocelyn Bioh

Inspired from actual events, School Girls is set at the prestigious Aburi Girls Boarding School and tells the story of Paulina, the most popular (mean) girl in school, and Ericka, the new girl with a unique background. Stakes run high as Paulina and Ericka face off in a battle of wits and beauty as they compete to be named Miss Ghana 1985.

Saturday, March 19 @7pm
by NSangou Njikam

In the near-future, a secret organization puts out a call to Black Americans: leave America and return to Africa. This extraordinary call promises jobs, housing and a better way of life. But is it real? When We Left follows two members of Congress, two cousins in the inner city, a pair of Black advertising executives, and an interracial, lesbian Black Lives Matter couple as they tackle perhaps the most monumental issue they will ever face: is the American dream for Black people?

Talkbacks will follow each reading. A reception will follow the panel and the final reading on March 19.

All events are free and open to the public; reservations are required. Reservations can be made beginning Monday, February 22.

Visit for more information.


Jocelyn Bioh has her B.A. in English and Theater from The Ohio State University and MFA in Theater-Playwriting from Columbia University School of the Arts. As a playwright, Jocelyn has been produced in New York City, Columbus, OH, Baton Rouge, LA and Washington D.C. Plays include: African Americans (Produced at Howard University 2015; Southern Rep Ruby Prize Award Finalist 2011; O’Neill Center Semi-Finalist, 2012), Nollywood Dreams (Kilroy’s List 2015) and her new play School Girls. Her musical The Ladykiller’s Love Story, for which she conceived the story and wrote the book with music/lyrics by Cee Lo Green, is currently in development with Hi-Arts NYC. As an actress, Jocelyn’s credits include: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Broadway; Tony Award Winner for Best Play, 2015), An Octoroon (Soho Rep, Obie Award Winner for Best Play, 2014), Booty Candy (Wilma Theater), Seed (Classical Theater of Harlem, Audelco Award Nominee), and Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet (City Theatre). She also originated the role of “Topsy” in the World Premiere of Neighbors (The Public Theater, Audelco Award Nominee). TV: The Characters (Netflix) Louie (FX) One Life to Live (ABC). Former Cover Girl spokesmodel (National commercial/Print ads).

Eric Micha Holmes is a playwright whose work has been seen and developed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre (World Without Names), New York Theatre Workshop (Nimpsey Pink) and The Lark (Red All Over) among others. Former residencies and fellowships include Space on Ryder Farm (The Stick Up) and LaGuardia Performing Arts Playwriting Lab (Falls For Jodie). His mono-play, Walking Next To Michael Brown: Confessions Of A Light-Skinned Half-Breed, was commissioned by The New Black Fest and has toured with “Hands Up: 6 Playwrights / 6 Testaments” to theaters across the country including: The National Black Theatre (Harlem, NY), Museum Of The Moving Image (NYC), The Hansberry Project (Seattle, WA) and Flashpoint Theatre (Philadelphia, PA). His monologue, “W.F.C.,” is published by The Good Ear Review. Holmes co-founded Team Play, a theater-for-young-adults education program at Primary Stages Theatre Company. Holmes is currently a third-year MFA Playwriting student at University of Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop.

Lenelle Moïse is a poet, playwright, and performance artist. She won the 2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize for Merit, a black feminist comedy. She was a 2012-2014 Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow and the 2010-2011 Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts. She wrote, composed and co-starred in the critically acclaimed drama Expatriate. Her plays have been developed with the Culture Project, the Hansberry Project, Hedgebrook, the Jewish Plays Project, the Kitchen Theatre Company, Serious Play Theatre Ensemble, and New Rep, among others. She has also been an artist-in-residence at Clark University, Northwestern and UT Austin. Moïse is the author of Haiti Glass, a winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. She is currently working on Where There Are Voices, a solo performance, fusing music, movement, video and poetry.

Lisa Rosetta Strum‘s She Gon’ Learn  performed to sold out audiences during the United Solo Festival at Theatre Row last fall and garnered one of the festival’s Best Solo Show Awards in New York City. The play had its inaugural showing with the Emerging Artist Theatre Festival at TADA! Theatre and was performed at The Kraine Theatre for the Obie Award Winning Fire This Time Festival and just recently at the National Black Theatre. Lisa has also performed at Lincoln Center Theatre, Summer Stage, Signature Theatre, New Federal Theatre, Intiman Theatre, The Obie Award Winning 48 Hours in…Harlem, ACT Seattle, and The Fifth Avenue Theatre. She has had a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU and co-stared in the television pilot Citizen Baines with James Cromwell. As an educational consultant, she has worked in numerous public schools throughout New York, conducted theater workshops for Teachers College at Columbia University, and has acted as the Theatre Specialist for the Abrons Arts Center, Barbara L. Tate Arts Camp for the past nine seasons. Lisa is an MFA graduate of the University of Washington Professional Actor Training Program.

NSangou Njikam is an actor and playwright originally from Baltimore, MD.  He is the author of Syncing Ink, Re:Definition, I.D., When We Left, Search For The Crystal Stairs, and one of the authors of “Hands Up: 6 Plays, 6 Testimonials.”  His work has been developed by The Public Theater, Penn State University, The Flea Theater, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, UNIVERSES theatre company, The New Black Fest, and the Alley Theater.  Mr. Njikam’s play I.D. recently made its world premiere at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa before coming to the U.S. at Penn State Centre Stage.  His playwriting residencies and fellowships include 2015 Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater, 2013 New Black Fest fellow, and Penn State University commissioned playwright.  Currently, Mr. Njikam’s play, Syncing Ink, will go to the Alley Theater’s All New Festival, directed by Niegel Smith.   As an arts educator, Mr. Njikam has worked for Brooklyn Academy of Music, CUNY Creative Arts Team, Harlem School of the Arts, and is co-founder of The Continuum Project, Inc., an organization using African Ancestry DNA testing and the Arts to promote healing and empowerment for communities.  Mr. Njikam’s work focuses mainly on identity stories and the empowerment of the human spirit by recognizing and embracing one’s personal gifts, utilizing Hip Hop theater, poetry, and West African performance aesthetics.  He also aims to develop new, diverse and younger audiences by creating “theater of the now and for tomorrow.” He received his BFA in acting from Howard University.  After tracing his roots to the Tikar people in Cameroon, West Africa, he was named NSangou by Sultan Ibrahim MBombo Njoya, 19th king of the Bamoun kingdom in Cameroon.  He currently resides in New York.

The Lark is an international theater laboratory, based in New York City, dedicated to empowering playwrights by providing transformative support within a global community. Founded in 1994, The Lark provides writers with funding, space, collaborators, audiences, professional connections, and the freedom to design their own processes of exploration. The guiding principle of The Lark’s work is the belief that playwrights are society’s truth tellers, and their work strengthens our collective capacity to understand our world and imagine its future.

Last year, The Lark served 907 artists, including 138 playwrights, partnered with over three dozen theaters and universtieis, and welcomed 3,000 audience members to 40 public presentations.  in the past three years 169 Lark developed plays moved on to 289 productions in more than a dozen countries around the world.In order to provide economic flexibility to writers at different stages of their careers, The Lark has created a portfolio of major playwriting fellowships.  The Lark continues to offer a free and open submission process that allows any and all writers to submit to our Playwrights’ Week program and maintains free admission to the public for all readings & workshops.

Plays substantially developed at The Lark include The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph, brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee, and Detroit ’67 by Dominique Morisseau.

The New Black Fest is a theater organization committed to celebrating insurgent voices within the diverse African Diaspora through theater, film and discussion. The New Black Fest is a gathering of artists, thinkers, activists and audiences who are dedicated to stretching, interrogating and uplifting the Black aesthetic in the 21st century. The New Black Fest has developed many artists including Mfoniso Udofia, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Dennis Allen II, Eisa Davis and more. It has partnered with the National Black Theatre, 651 ARTS, the BRIC Arts/Media/Brooklyn, the Classical Theatre of Harlem and more. It also co-founded the American Slavery Project as well as commissioned Facing Our Truth: 10-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege, HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments, and the recent Un-Tamed: Hair Body Attitude – Short Plays by Black Women (in collaboration with Dominique Morisseau).

Keith Josef Adkins (Artistic Director) As a playwright, his plays include The People Before the Park (Premiere Stages), Pitbulls (Rattlestick),Safe House (Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)
among others. His play The Last Saint on Sugar Hill received its New York City premiere in 2013 at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theater in NYC under the direction of Seret Scott and earned six 2014 Audelco nominations. Other plays include The Migrant’s Fight, Sugar and Needles, The Final Daze, among others.  He is currently under commission by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

February 18, 2016 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Graphic Novels /Comics — Schomburg: 4th Annual Black Comic Book Festival – Jan 16, 2016 10am –

Education @ the Schomburg: 4th Annual Black Comic Book Festival

Saturday, January 16, 2016, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Program Locations:

Fully accessible to wheelchairs
For all ages

The Schomburg Center’s 4th Annual Black Comic Book Festival celebrates the rich tradition of black comix in a full day event featuring panel discussions, film screenings, hands-on workshops and exhibit tables with premiere black comic artists from across the country.  Join us and check out the mind-blowing afrofutrism art and design exhibition Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination curated by John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson.


Free Admission.  Fun for all ages! Register through Eventbrite.


The Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival is presented by Deirdre Hollman (Schomburg Education & Junior Scholars Program) in collaboration with Jerry Craft (Mama’s Boyz) and John Jennings (SUNY Buffalo/Black Kirby).


Exhibitors by invitation only. Please contact for more information.


January 4, 2016 Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, TECHNOLOGY, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Articulating an Ethos and Aesthetic of the Movement– One Day Conference -ART OF JUSTICE — 11/7/15 *nyc

Articulating an Ethos and Aesthetic of the Movement

A One-Day Conference


“We knew we heard Monk and Mongo differently; Trane’s tenor seized our spirit, shook our consciousness while Miles blue thru a cold trumpet that cooled the asphyxiating heat of our collective hell in America… Ours was the first American aesthetic revolution.”

Felipe Luciano


It is essential to understand how art has been utilized in the quest for social and political justice. Especially In the age of Ferguson, it is important to remember that the “Black Lives Matter” movement is part of an ongoing historical struggle. Currently cell phones/cameras have provided the evidence to stimulated a new political consciousness through their ability to document social and political conditions in real time. And, Hip-Hop culture, with its’ fusion of ‘the beat’ and social commentary, has provide the musical environment for the contemporary social activism. But this marriage of aesthetics and politics has a long history in the Americas, especially in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Black, Latino and Asian arts movements. Movements which were inspired and influenced by the Civil/Human Rights Movement in the United States, and by the freedom or anti-colonial movements in Africa, Asia and the Americas.


Performers/Visual Artists

  • Antonio David Lyons- Global ARTIVIST
  • Hiram Maristany- Photographer
  • Randy Weston- Renowned Pianist
  • Taiyo Na- Musician, Writer, Performer and Educator


Presenters and Moderators

  • Felipe Luciano-Poet, Chairperson Young Lords Party
  • C. Daniel Dawson- Visual Artist, Curator, and Arts Administrator; IRAAS, Columbia University and Gallatin School, NYU
  • Amun Ankhra- Photographer, and Artists Black Arts Movement
  • Robert O’Meally- Professor Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and founder and former director of the Center for Jazz Studies, both at Columbia University
  • Ademola Olugebefola- Visual Artist, Cofounder WEUSI Artists Gallery and Academy, Dwyer Cultural Center & NYNCA
  • Jack Tchen- Basement Workshop, Co-Founder Museum of Chinese in America, Associate Professor NYU
  • Valerie Maynard- Artist Activist
  • Diane Fraher- Founder and Director of Amerinda
  • Elizabeth Yeampierre- Executive Director of UPROSE
  • Woody King Jr.- Founder of New Federal Theatre/National Black Touring Circuit
  • Ed Spriggs- Former Director of Studio Museum, and Founder of Hammonds House Museum
  • Caron Atlas- NOCD for Appalshop
  • Dindga McCannon- Artist and Activist
  • Nester Otero- Artist
  • Monica Montgomery- Founder of the Museum of Impact
  • Monifa Bandele- Founding Member of the Malcom X Grassroots Movement
  • Robert Stam- Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU
  • Shola Lynch- Filmmaker, Producer of “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners”, and Curator at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
  • Charles Rice Gonzales- Executive Director of BAAD
  • Lumumba Bandele- Senior Organizer of the Criminal Justice Project at NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Marta Moreno Vega- President and Founder of Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
  • Kathy Engel – Chairperson Department of Art and Public Policy, New York University
  • Jaïra Placide- Associate Director Institute of African American Affairs New York University


With a particular focus on the Black and Nuyorican Arts Movements, The Art of Justice: Articulating an Ethos and Aesthetic of the Movement conference is dedicated to presenting the ideas, and aesthetics of those earlier movements using the first hand voices of those involved. There will be an emphasis on group discussion and audience participation. Some of the essential themes to be discussed are: the universality of the struggle for justice and the art that served it; the continuity of the struggle with others like the Negritude Movement, the Harlem Renaissance, Marcus Garvey’s and the UNIA, and the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam; the celebration of historic activist, including Marcus Garvey, Carlos Cooks, Elombe Brath, Amiri Baraka, Mario Bauzá, Frank ‘Machito’ Grillo, Tito Puente, Asadata Dafora, Pearl Primus, Katherine Dunham, Diego Rivera, Baba Osergiman, Nana Yao Opare Dinizulu, Babatunje Olatunji, Syvilla Fort, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Sun Ra, Nina Simone and others; the reassessment of current movements like Nuyorican Poets Cafe, La Raza, American Indian Movement, the Asian Arts Movement and the Guerrilla Girls.


The conference is being produced by the Caribbean Cultural Center-African Diaspora Institute, the Institute of African American Affairs and the Department of Arts and Public Policy, both of New York University and by the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. The conference will consist of a series of three gatherings. The first will take place at NYU on Saturday, November 7, 2015. It will be composed of a full day gathering with three daily panels and a keynote address. There will be a focus on the art that was created by artists involved the in the movements. The panels are constructed to stress open discussions as opposed to a lecture format, and to display a selection of the visual arts produced by the participants. Those who were personally active in the political arts movements will facilitate the discussions. The events of the day will conclude with an evening concert.

The Art of Justice-1


THE ART OF JUSTICE – November 7, 2015


Program: Part 1 of 3 part series artist roundtables


Registration: 8:30 AM to 9: 15 AM – Light Breakfast


Program Subject to Change Without Notice


Time                           Activity                                                                      End


9:15 AM                     Homage – Amiri Baraka                                        9:30 AM


9: 30 AM                    Welcome : Kathy Engel, Chairperson,                 9:40 AM

Department of Arts and Public Policy

Jaïra Placide, Associate Director
Institute of African American Affairs
New York University; Robert O’Meally,

Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University


9:40 AM                                                                                                         9:50 AM

Slide Show: Kwame Braithwaite, Patrice

Lumumba Coalition, African Jazz Art Society & Studios-AJASS



9:55 AM                     Introduction/Context – Felipe Luciano,               10:10 AM

Poet, Chairperson Young Lords Party


10:15 AM                   Antonio David Lyon – Performance                     10:20 AM


10:25 AM                   Roundtable 1 – Unifying Visions of Justice     11:25 AM

Ademola Olugebefola, Visual Artist, cofounder WEUSI Artists Gallery and Academy, Dwyer Cultural Center & NYNCA; Jack Tchen, Basement Workshop, Co-Founder Chinese in America Museum, Associate Professor NYU; Valery Maynard, Artist Activist; Diane Fraher, Amerinda; Elizabeth Yeampierre, Uprose


Moderator: C. Daniel Dawson. IRAAS, Columbia University, Gallatin School, NYU


11: 30 AM                  Q & A                                                                         12:00 noon



12:00                          Lunch                                                                         1:30 PM



1:35 AM                     Slide Show: Hiram Maristany, photographer, Young Lords Party


1: 45 PM                     Roundtable 2 –The Need for Institutions in Our Image


Woody King Jr., Founder, New Federal Theatre/National Black Touring Circuit; Ed Spriggs, Former Director, Studio Museum, Founder Hammonds House Museum;

Caron Atlas, NOCD for Appalshop; Dindga McCannon, Where We at Black Women, Artist, Activist; Nester Otero, Artist; Monica Montgomery, Museum of Impact;


Moderator Amun



2:40 PM                                  Q & A


2: 45 PM                    Art and Public Policy Student Presentation


3:25 PM                      Roundtable 3 – “Stancing” for Justice:              

                                    The Right To Our Humanity!

Monifa Bandele, Malcom X Grassroots Movement; Robert Stam, Cinema Studies, NYU; Shola Lynch, Filmmaker and Curator, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Charles Rice Gonzales, BAAD , Taiyo Na, Poet


Moderator: Lumumba Bandele, NAACP Legal Defense Fund


4:30 PM                      Q & A



5: 00 PM                     Taiyo Na, Presentation


5:05 PM                      Summary : Robert O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English, Columbia University


Black Box Theater    Gallatin Theater


6:00 PM                      Performance  Randy Weston                                  6:45 PM


7:00 PM                      Closing Reception                                                   8:00 PM



November 6, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, Music, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jessica Williams! — Film — Festivals /Lecture Series — Reel Sisters of the Diaspora 10/24-25/15 #LIU *bklyn

The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series will celebrate its 18th Anniversary with 30 films by women of color from across the globe and honor actresses Jessica Williams (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart) and Ebony Jo-Ann (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom). The festival will be held at LIU Brooklyn from October 24-25, 2015. For information visit or call 212-865-2982.

Film lovers can enjoy great films and meet indie filmmakers. Festival highlights include screenings of JIMMY GOES TO NOLLYWOOD, MARY LOU WILLIAMS: THE LADY WHO SWINGS THE BAND, THE ART OF AMA ATA AIDOO AND FORGIVING CHRIS BROWN.

The closing night gala on Oct. 25 will feature performances by comedy troupe American Candy and other talents.

Kumble Theater,
LIU Brooklyn on Flatbush Ave. between DeKalb Ave.
and Willoughby St.

Tickets at

Jimmy Goes to Nollywood

The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo

Mary Lou Williams

Forgiving Chris Brown



Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series Welcomes Centric as Key Sponsor & Partner

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series is proud to announce a partnership with Centric, a BET Network, to support scholarships for our award-winning filmmakers and help the festival present 30 films produced, directed and written by women of color across the globe.  Reel Sisters will be held from Oct. 25 to 26 at LIU Brooklyn with an awards ceremony on Sunday evening where cash awards will be given to six women for outstanding films that celebrate family bonds and challenge stereotypes. For information Reel Sisters visit


As a key sponsor for Reel Sisters’ 17th Annual Film Festival, Centric will offer exclusive coverage of the festival on its website,, including filmmaker interviews.  Reel Sisters will screen such inspirational films as Hands to Sky, Catch Them & They’re Yours, a film about a man with autism fighting to raise his younger brother after his mom’s death to The Summer of Gods, a short film on a young girl embracing her spiritual heritage when she is visited by the Orishas (African Gods) in a Brazilian village.

“We are honored to partner with Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series and provide scholarships for women of color in film,” said Depelsha McGruder, Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Centric. “As the network for Black women, we look forward to building and growing relationships with organizations that cater to and reflect our audience.”

Founded in 1997 by African Voices magazine and LIU Brooklyn, Reel Sisters is the first Brooklyn-based festival devoted to women of color filmmakers. The festival has enriched the city with more than 500 films by women of African, Caribbean, Latino, Asian, Indian, and Native American descent and awarded over $7,000 in scholarships to women filmmakers. The groundbreaking festival has influenced other media organizations to launch initiatives that help Black women gain access to directing jobs in Hollywood and bring independent film projects to life.

“Reel Sisters is honored to have Centric, The First Network Designed for Black Women, provide a platform for us to share and celebrate our stories,” said Carolyn A. Butts, founder of Reel Sisters. “We’re thrilled to live in a time where our daughters can turn on the TV each night and enjoy images that affirm their beauty and brilliance. Our goal is aligned with Centric’s trailblazing efforts to ensure that doors for Black women in film and television continue to open.”

The Reel Sisters Film Festival is supported, in part, by Councilmember Jumaane Williams, 45 C.D., Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, 35 C.D., the National Endowment for the Arts (Art Works), the New York State Council on the Arts, Centric, Brooklyn Arts Council, LIU Brooklyn and New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Media sponsors include Akila Worksongs, Imagination Cinema Foundation, CINEMATIQ Magazine, SYM-Magazine and The Network Journal.

On Sunday, October 26 at 6 pm, Centric will join Reel Sisters in presenting awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Documentary, Best Cinematography Best Short, Best Experimental and the Reel Sisters Spirit Award. The awards ceremony will be held at LIU’s Kumble Theater in Brooklyn, NY. For schedule visit


Below is a short description of the Reel Sisters award-winning films.




The Summer of Gods

Length: 20:28 min Category: Narrative   Director/Producer: Eliciana Nascimento

A troubled young girl named Lili unites with her Afro-Brazilian religious ancestry on a summer visit with family to their ancestral village in rural Northeast Brazil. Soon after her arrival, she encounters Orishas (African Gods) who join with her grandmother to help her find peace with a gift that has previously vexed her.



Hands to the Sky, Catch Them & They’re Yours

Length: 17:45 min   Category: Narrative

Director: Kimberly Townes   Producer: Theodore Perkins

An autistic man fights to prove, to himself and to the court, his ability to provide for his younger brother after the sudden passing of their mother.




Length: 4:30 min. Category: Animated, Experimental   Director/Producer: Neelu Bhuman

Basic dignity of queer people in India is under attack, yet again. The Section 377 law is re-enacted to criminalize “gay sex” in India. While the law and the Supreme Court date themselves back a few hundred years, an Indian mother has her knowledge of “gay sex” in mint condition, wheeling out a tidbit or two for her heartbroken queer daughter.



You’re Dead to Me

Length: 12:45 min. Category: Narrative

Director: Wu Tsang   Producer: Melissa Haizlip

A grieving Chicana mother confronts an uninvited family member before her Dia de los Muertos celebration.


Hero Mars

Length: 24:24 min. Category: Narrative

Director: Skyler Cooper Producer: Maria Breaux

A down-and-out actor gets the chance of a lifetime to audition for a world-class theater company, but she struggles with misconceptions, ignorance and hostility in her quest to gain acceptance.



At a Distance

Length: 7:03 min. Category: Documentary Director/Producer: Baqir Rezaie

Abiha is 7. She lives on the outskirts of Quetta in Pakistan. Her father has fled to Australia and she misses him terribly. Her home has been bombed and her mother is trying to reunite the family while supporting her children as a schoolteacher. Abiha’s life in this dangerous Hazara community is tumultuous, but she continues to dream of becoming an artist one day.

African Voices Reel Sisters 10/20

October 23, 2015 Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, LIFESTYLES, Music, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Theatre – Short Plays by Black Women – THE NEW BLACK FEST UN-TAMED: HAIR BODY ATTITUDE 10/19/15 at 6:30pm Martin Segal Theatre at CUNY Graduate Center

FREE. First Come, First Served.



Monday, October 19, 2015 at 6:30pm

Martin Segal Theatre at CUNY Graduate Center

Obie Winner Director Liesl Tommy Directs!



Short Plays by Black Women


Martin Segal Theatre at CUNY Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street, NYC

First come, first seated. NO Rsvps!

Click HERE for details and info!



 Nikkole Salter    Chisa Hutchinson       Cori Thomas



                    Lanelle Moise                    Jocelyn Bioh


The aim of UN-TAMED is to dig deeper into the national conversation around black womanhood and social perceptions of black femininity.


Please DONATE to the New Black Fest TODAY so we can 

continue to support important storytellers and storytelling and THIS event (smile).


Keith Josef Adkins

Artistic Director and Co-Founder


DONATE to The New Black Fest.  

Your Support Keeps Us Moving!

Please visit our new website.

The New Black Fest is partially-supported by TimeWarner.

The New Black Fest is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

Contributions for the purposes of The New Black Fest must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

The New Black Fest: Un-Tamed: Hair Body Attitude – Short Plays by Black Women

Oct 19, 2015
Oct 19, 2015
Segal Theatre
, ,

Event Image

Monday, October 19
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Reading

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

In the tradition of Facing Our Truth: Short Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege and HANDS UP: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments, The New Black Fest (with guest curator, playwright Dominique Morisseau) commissioned five Black women playwrights to participate and dig deeper into the national conversation around Black womanhood and social perceptions of Black femininity, providing Black women a creative platform to personalize these issues. The playwrights include Jocelyn Bioh, Chisa Hutchinson, Lenelle Moise, Nikkole Salter, and Cori Thomas. Directed by Liesl Tommy.

Readings will be followed by a discussion with the playwrights, The New Black Fest’s dynamic Artistic Director Keith Josef Adkins.


keith headshotKeith Josef Adkins (Artistic Director) is the artistic director of The New Black Fest, an organization dedicated to new and provocative playwriting, films and discussion from the African Diaspora. The New Black Fest recently commissioned Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege, HANDS UP: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments, and the newly-curated UN-TAMED: Hair Body Attitude—Short Plays by Black Women. Samuel French recently published Facing Our Truth in Spring 2015. As a playwright, his plays include The People Before The Park which will premiere at Premiere Stages in September 2015. His play Pitbulls received its world premiere Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Theater, NYC in November 2014. His play Safe House received its world premiere October 2014 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park with a subsequent production at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (Winter 2015). His play The Last Saint on Sugar Hill received its New York City premiere in 2013 at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theater in NYC. Other plays include The Final Daze, The Dangerous and Sugar and Needles. Keith is a recent recipient of a 2015 Helen Merrill Mid-Career Playwright Award.


Jocelyn BiohJocelyn Bioh (Playwright) JOCELYN BIOH is a proud native New Yorker. As a playwright: African Americans (Southern Rep Ruby Prize Finalist 2011) Nollywood Dreams, FOUR, and the libretto for The Ladykiller’s Love Story currently in development with Hi-Arts NYC. B.A in English/Theatre from The Ohio State University, M.F.A in Theatre – Playwriting from Columbia University. Acting credits: Broadway: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Off Broadway: An Octoroon (Soho Rep) SEED (Classical Theater of Harlem) NEIGHBORS (The Public Theater) Regional: BootyCandy, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. TV: “Louie” (FX,) “One Life to Live” (ABC,) CoverGirl Spokesmodel (National Commerical/Print Ads.)


Chisa HutchinsonChisa Hutchinson (Playwright) B.A. Vassar College; M.F.A NYU – Tisch School of the Arts) has happily presented her plays Dirt Rich, She Like Girls, This Is Not the Play, Sex on Sunday, Tunde’s Trumpet, The Subject, Mama’s Gonna Buy You, Somebody’s Daughter, Alondra Was Here and Dead & Breathing at such venues as the Lark Play Development Center, SummerStage, Atlantic Theater Company, Working Man’s Clothes Productions, the BE Company, Partial Comfort Productions, Mad Dog Theater Company, the Wild Project, Rattlestick Theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the South Orange Performing Arts Center, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, and the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey. She has been a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Lark Fellow, a Resident at the William Inge Center for the Arts, a New York NeoFuturist and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group, and is currently a second-year member of New Dramatists. Chisa has won a GLAAD Award, the John Golden Award for Excellence in Playwriting, a Lilly Award, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, the Paul Green Award, a Helen Merrill Award, the Lanford Wilson Award, and has been a finalist for the highly coveted PoNY Fellowship. A recent foray into screenwriting won her Best Narrative Short at the Sonoma International Film Festival. By day, Chisa writes copy for a retail company. To learn more, visit


DominiqueMorisseau HeadshotDominique Morisseau (Guest Curator) Playwright/Actress/Poet/Activist, is an alumni of the Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop. Credits include: Skeleton Crew (Sundance; Lark Barebones); Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem/NBT); Sunset Baby (Gate Theater; LAByrinth Theatre); Follow Me To Nellie’s (O’Neill; Premiere Stages). She has produced other original works with the Hip Hop Theater Festival, Penn State University, American Theatre of Harlem and The New Group. Her 3-play cycle, entitled “The Detroit Projects” include Detroit ’67, Paradise Blue (developed with Voice and Vision, Hansberry Project, NYTW, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the Public Theater), and Skeleton Crew. Awards: Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, two-time NAACP Image Award, Primus Prize commendation, Stavis Playwriting Award, Spirit of Detroit Award, U of M Emerging Leader Award, Weissberger Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper New American Play Prize, The Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Award, and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama.


Lenelle MoisesLenelle Moïse (Playwright) Lenelle Moïse is the author of Haiti Glass (City Lights/ Sister Spit), an internationally-touring performer and a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow. Her two-act comedy Merit won the 2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize. She also wrote, composed, and co-starred in the critically acclaimed drama Expatriate, which launched Off Broadway at the Culture Project. Lenelle was the fifth Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. For more info, visit:


Nikkole SalterNikkole Salter (Playwright) OBIE Award-winning actress and writer for the Pulitzer Prize nominated play, IN THE CONTINUUM. Other plays include LINES IN THE DUST which received its world premiere at Luna Stage, CARNAVAL which received its NYC premiere at Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre in Harlem, REPAIRING A NATION which received a NJ premiere production at Crossroads Theatre Company and the co-authored FREEDOM RIDER received its world premiere at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Ms. Salter is a 2014 MAP Fund Grant recipient, a Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist, a two time Playwright’s of New York (PoNY) Fellowship nominee, is currently working on commissions from Woolly Mammoth, the University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill, and was selected to write the screen adaptation of Claude Brown’s New York Times Bestselling novel, Manchild in the Promised Land.  She also serves as Executive Director of THE CONTINUUM PROJECT, INC., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that creates innovative artistic programming for community empowerment and enrichment. Their first bi-annual endeavor, The Legacy Program: Residency – an arts education, youth development initiative – launched in 2009 at the William Alexander Middle School in Brooklyn, NY.


Cori ThomasCori Thomas (Playwright) Her plays include: When January Feels Like Summer (World Premiere City Theatre Co., Pittsburgh); Pa’ s Hat (Pillsbury House Theatre, MN); Flight 109, My Secret Language of Wishes (Various theaters and University productions including Mixed Blood, MN); The Princess, The Breast, and, The Lizard; The Unusual Love Life of Bedbugs and Other Creatures. Cori’s plays have been developed and produced at Sundance Theatre Lab, Goodman Theatre, City Theatre Co. (Pittsburgh), Page 73, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Playwrights Horizons, Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Going To The River, Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, National Black Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Passage Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, New Federal Theatre, New Georges, The Black Rep (St. Louis), The New Black Fest, and Queens Theatre in the Park.  Awards and Honors: Edgerton New Play Award, Sundance Theatre Lab, and 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award for Best New Play (When January Feels Like Summer). Cori is a co- founder of The Pa’s Hat Foundation, Inc. an organization focused on helping the former child soldiers of Liberia heal after the long standing civil war through focus on arts education and literacy.


nbf logo

– See more at:

October 6, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photography Talk — Hank Willis Thomas — Public Art Fund Talks at The New School *nyc October 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School: Hank Willis Thomas

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm

The Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011


The public realm offers unique possibilities to consider how personal experiences with artworks intersect with their broader social and cultural contexts. The Fall 2015 Public Art Fund Talks at The New School series brings together three artists who address this relationship in different ways. Jeppe Hein’s interactive and experiential public sculptures invite audiences to actively engage with the work. Intimate bench sculptures become private spaces where a pair of friends might perch, while large labyrinths of mirrors and water sculptures encourage the public to participate as a group. Hank Willis Thomas mines popular culture to expose dominant power structures and reveal the subjective nature of how we see and understand the world around us. His investigation of the nature of truth across cultures connects the personal with our broader public experience. Fiona Banner’s works often present a dual experience, using recognizable forms as representations of a more private narrative based on a particular subject of research. While the nature of looking at all art is inherently subjective, public space provides a unique context for examining the personal experience of art in connection with the broader cultural landscape.


Brooklyn-based artist Hank Willis Thomas’s conceptually-based practice addresses the relationships between identity, media, and popular culture through sculpture, installation, photography, and performance. Often appropriating and recontextualizing common symbols, objects, and brands, Thomas’ work points to the assumptions and biases that frame our experience of public space, others, and ourselves. Coinciding with both the inclusion of Thomas’ sculpture Liberty in Public Art Fund’s group exhibition Image Objects in City Hall Park and his solo show, The Truth is I See You in Downtown Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center, the artist will speak about his repeated engagement with the public and outdoor space. For The Truth is I See You, speech bubbles of various shapes feature texts in different languages and reveal lines of a poem written by Thomas and collaborator Ryan Alexiev. Accompanying this installation will be a pop-up presentation of In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth), a collaboration between the artist, Alexiev, and Jim Ricks of the Cause Collective. This mobile interactive video recording booth has previously been installed in locales such as South Africa, Afghanistan, and Chicago. Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976, Plainfield, New Jersey) lives and works in New York City. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Ford Lauderdale (2015), the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa (2014), the International Center for Photography, New York (2013), and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2011). His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Art and Design, and MoMA PS1, all in New York. In 2011, he participated in the Venice Biennale and the Istanbul Biennial. His work is held in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Brooklyn Museum. He received a BFA in Photography and Africana Studies from New York University in 1998, and in 2004 an MA in Visual Criticism as well as an MFA in Photography, from the California College of the Arts. Thomas is represented by Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris, Galerie Henrik Springmann in Düsseldorf, Germany, the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.

The Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School. This program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth)

Courtesy of the Cause Collective

October 5, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, HOLIDAY GUIDES, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MUSIC – BAMcafé Live ! Eco-Music Big Band: Sun Ra Opera and Celebration 9/26/15 *Bklyn, #Free


BAMcafé Live

Eco-Music Big Band: Sun Ra Opera and CelebrationPeter Jay Sharp Building

Sep 26, 2015

Concept by Fred Ho
Music by Fred Ho, with Marie Incontrera
Libretto by Quincy Troupe
Directed by Virginia Grise
Conducted by Marie Incontrera

The dynamic ensemble Eco-Music Big Band presents the world premiere of scenes from the free-jazz opera Mr. Mystery: The Return of Sun Ra to Save Planet Earth! by late composer Fred Ho.


September 19, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FOOD AND WINE, LIFESTYLES, Music, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DANCE MEMORIAL – Celebrating the Life and Work of Blondell Cummings 10/4/15 *NYLiveArts

Blondell Cummings
A beloved Action Hero!

Photo by Lois Greenfield

Celebrating the Life and Work of 
Blondell Cummings
Please join us on

 Sunday, October 4, 2015

New York Live Arts
5pm – 7pm
219 west 19th St. between 7th & 8th Ave
New York,  NY 10011

September 19, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, Music, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MUSIC- HENDRIX – BLACK ROCK COALITION — BRC30: BRC Orchestra Celebrates Band of Gypsys 9/18-19/15 BAMcafe Live *Bklyn


BAMcafé Live

BRC30: BRC Orchestra Celebrates Band of GypsysPeter Jay Sharp Building

Sep 18—Sep 19, 2015

The Black Rock Coalition Orchestra presents a special tribute to Jimi Hendrix and his seminal 1970 album Band of Gypsys, breathing new life into this era-defining music.

Performances today: 9pm
BRC Celebrates 30 Years in 30 Days (all of September)

brc 30a rack card 2015 color2-1


For the 30th Anniversary, we’re spending 30 days straight in praise of the BLACK ROCK COALITION and our members. Check it out (everything is subject to change):

Every Monday: On Membership Mondays, we will feature members through our social networks. If you’re a member, keep an eye out for your profile questionnaire.

Every Tuesday: Free rehearsal space and spontaneous rock commune for BRC members and our friends, Funkadelic Studios, 12-6p. RSVP to by noon on the Monday before to guarantee space, otherwise it’s first come, first served. Rock commune (jam sessions) are open to everyone and available during unreserved time.

Every Wednesday: We’ll look back on the 30 years since the BRC was founded and share some milestones in the culture, in the music, in the organization, and in our lives. Look for it on social networks.

Other highlights: Th3     BRC Happy Hour (at Duff’s Brooklyn, 168 Marcy Ave btw S5th and Broadway, Brooklyn), 5-9p

30 anniversary happy hour 9.3

F4     Launch of Campaign for Limited Edition BRC 30th Anniversary T-Shirts

Su6      BRC 30th Anniversary Kick-Off Party, The Bell House (149 7th St, Brooklyn), w/ Corey Glover & Vernon Reid, our youngest member-band Unlocking The Truth, Betty Black, and DJ SugarFreeBK. Concert from 7-10p, $15. Free after-party with performances by BRC family band Burnt Sugar, The Veldt and DJ CX KiDTRONiK. FREE (with food, while it lasts) from 10p-1a.

30 anniversary kick-off party 9.6.15

Th10    30 Years of BRC, Part 2 on Musical Chairs, WBAI-NY 99.5fm, 10p-12a

F11       National Support Black Rock Night (all members in Chicago go to Riot Fest to see Living Colour, Fishbone and Death; all members in NYC go to see 24/7 Spyz with Dope Sagittarius at The Living Room; other shows to be announced)

Sa12     BRC Team (The Riotous Guttersnipes) at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls‘ Bowl-A-Thon to raise money for our Original Rocker Scholarships BRC Team for Willie Mae Rock Camp Bowl-A-Thon by WMRC

Su13     BRC Open Ears Listening and Archiving Party, The Black Rose (117 Avenue A, NYC), 7-10p

30 anniversary promo template 9.13

Th17    Black Rock & Reel: BRC Performance Highlights (1985-2015), Imagenation‘s RAW Space (2031 Adam Clayton Powell btw 121st and 122nd), 6-11p

30 anniversary promo template 9.17

F18      BRC Orchestra plays Band Of Gypsys @ BAMcafe (30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn), featuring special guests Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Ronny Drayton, Stew, Sophia Ramos, Kelsey Warren, Andre Lassalle, and more, FREE, 9p

30 anniversary BRCO 9.18-19

Sa19    BRC Orchestra plays Band Of Gypsys @ BAMcafe (30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn), featuring special guests Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Stew, Andre Lassalle, Maritri Garrett, Kelsey Warren, Marcus Machado and more, FREE, 9p

Su20    BRC Vocal Clinic @ Willie Mae Music Lab, 1-4p with Corey Glover of Living Colour and others, Free for members of BRC and WMRC communities, $10 for everyone else.

Th24   Great Day In Black Rock Photo Session (location TBD)

F25      Open submissions for Rock ‘n’ Roll Reparations, V. 3: The Million Man Mosh Edition

Sa26    BRC Friends & Family Day (w/ partner organizations & associates) TBD

Su27    Million Man Mosh 3 @ The Wind Up Space, Baltimore, 2-7p with Tamar-kali, Thaylo Bleu, Throwdown Syndicate and community activist leaders (TBD)

30 anniversary promo template 9.27

Will you join us?

Historic: The Reunion of Sophia’s Toy


We all know the story…Once upon a time there was a band of immensely talented musicians fronted by Sophia Ramos and Mike Ciro. That band screamed their way through NYC, got noticed, got signed, got a record made, and then got the shaft from their label for being ‘unsellable’ (apparently in their eyes, black and brown people in a rock band presented a marketing challenge they weren’t ready to accept). Fast-forward 20 years, and they’re back—shelved album in hand—to remind everyone of why they turned so many heads in the first place. If you weren’t there and weren’t able to get your hands on “SHOT IN THE HEAD,” at the one-and-only reunion of SOPHIA’S TOY, let us know and we’ll see if we can direct you to the right people. Needless to say, they killed it. And justified their reputation as bad-asses as did BRC stalwarts MilitiA. Vox and pILLOW tHEORY. JULY 9, 2015.

Historic: BRC Orchestra Tour of France


‘Sisters, Songwriters & Sirens’ celebrates the important and often under-appreciated contributions Black women make to culture through music, expression, perspective, and visibility. Heading overseas for a 6-show, 12-day tour of France, this was the third time our host Chateauvallon had called upon the talents of our all-female lineup to bring audiences to their feet in the name of Nina, Tina, Betty, Rosetta, Abbey, Big Mama, Maybelle, Aretha, Memphis Minnie, Miriam, Maxayn, Joan, Grace, Chaka, Jayne, Nona and Sugar Pie…not to mention originals by members of the killer Orchestra led by powerhouse Tamar-kali.   The 2 performances at Chateauvallon sold out, Paris had a respectable crowd for a three-night residence, but we killed in Lyon—selling out the 1200 seat venue and having the people on their feet screaming for more by the 7th song. We hope to be welcomed back soon…

Historic: Million Man Mosh III @ Highline NYC

Million Man Mosh III - NYC

With Man Mosh I and II, (which we could not have done without generous performances from Living Colour, 24-7 Spyz, Ronny Drayton and Reverend Kim Leslie, Nona HendryxBurnt Sugar, DJ Afrika Bambaataa, The Sugarhill Gang, and others), we were able to bring folks together, call attention to the issue of unjust incarceration, and help raise money for Donovan Drayton’s Legal Defense Fund (glad he’s finally home!).

With Million Man Mosh III, we continued the spirit of community-building and action-taking with performances from the very-vocal Tamar-kali, Garland Jeffreys, andDragons of Zynth with Saul Williams. This time, the focus was on policing and the need for loud and progressive voices for change.

Action Leaders: Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Make Me Wanna Holler: Voices for Action

Make Me Wanna Holler: Progressive Voices for Progressive Action (<click for the PDF)


“That the BRC is still here, and still needed,

was pressed home every time [Corey] Glover sang

‘Enough is never enough.’ Because the work is never done.

But the rock is worth the battle.”

—David Fricke,, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank You. Your support and contributions over the years have helped us achieve many community-building things on behalf of progressive Black artists and, as a volunteer-run, member-driven, nonprofit, we honestly cannot do it without you. We don’t pat ourselves on the back too often, but we have done a lot to be proud of over these past few years:

    • Our BRC ORCHESTRA, bridge-building collaborations between rotating groups of world-class musicians, performed Deep Roots of Rock and Roll (Lincoln Center Out of Doors), a Salute to Richie Havens (BAMcafe), our Tribute to Black Women Songwriters (BIGSAS Festival, Germany), a 3-show residence celebrating Carlos Santana, Grace Jones, and Motown (Joe’s Pub), and the self-produced Gathering for Gil Scott-Heron (Symphony Space) in collaboration with Heron’s Estate.
    • Our BRC SHOWCASES gave musicians space to perform their own material at events such as Blunt Force Trauma, a presentation of proto-punk band DEATH, and Million Man Mosh 1&2 (featuring Living Colour, 24-7 Spyz, Ronny Drayton, and Nona Hendryx, among others).
    • BRC COMMUNITY, BRC UNIVERSITY, and BRC RECORDS saw us partner with several like-minded groups and artists like Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls(we’ve provided several “Original Rocker” scholarships for campers), MAPP International and Lincoln Center Institute for our Blink Your Eyes: Poets To Music show in honor of late BRC pioneer Sekou Sundiata, Laina Dawes (author of What Are You Doing Here?)with whom we produced a compilation featuring women in heavy metal, punk and hard rock, Jeremy Xido (whose documentaryDeath Metal Angola we supported with after-parties featuring Unlocking The Truth, FunkFace, The Dust Rays, Year Of The Dragon, MilitiA Vox and DJ SugarfreeBK), and Rock ‘n’ Roll Reparations, v2, our 25th Anniversary collection featuring music from 25 down-for-the-cause artists.All-in-all, we’ve employed almost 300 musicians and reached over 10,000 people on two continents in the last 4 years alone.

But as Nina Simone lamented, we’ve still got so terribly far to go. As we enter our30th Anniversary, it’s painfully obvious why we need to keep going. Too many Black voices are still not being heard. As a grassroots, arts-support organization, it is our Mission to serve an artistic community of outsiders, fighters, warriors, griots, contrarians, pioneers, and culture mongers of color, so they can serve the world.

To do that, we need your help.

This year, we want to overhaul our website. We want to take a panel and some bands to SXSW. We want to send our BRC Orchestra on an international tour. We want to release our most ambitious compilation album to date. We want to create a series of showcases for local and domestic bands. We want to resurrect our internet radio channels. We want to give grants to bands. We want to continue our scholarship program with Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. We want to have a knock-down, drag-out Damn-Has-It-Really-Been-30-Years? party. We want to publish a book. We want to bring our community together for more networking and face time. We want to take our Million Man Mosh platform to any state that needs to mobilize artists to fight injustice.

We want a lot. And every little bit you can give will help immensely.

So please, consider becoming a member. Or renewing your membership and getting more involved. Even a one-time donation of $30, in your name or someone else’s, would be greatly appreciated. And if you’re really feeling the long-term love, we even have a lifetime BRC membership for $250. That’s less than $10 a year for the next 30 years.
Thank you. Together we can make all kinds of things happen, just like we have since 1985.

LaRonda Davis

President, Black Rock Coalition
P.S. If you’ve already given last year, please consider giving an additional donation for the Black History Month. All monetary gifts are tax-deductible and will be put toward our ambitious calendar.

P.P.S. Look for us at SXSW in March 2015.

“What started out as a bitching session,

really became more about a proactive and developmental approach to the issue,

which was, instead of talking about how we’re locked out of the Master’s house,

why don’t we just build our own? And that was when it fundamentally came together as an organization.”

—excerpt from an interview w/ Greg Tate, BRC Newsletter, 2000

Black Rock Coalition is a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt 501(c)3 status.

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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