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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
Rock Rest to be honored
PORTSMOUTH — The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire announced the unveiling of two new historical markers honoring Rock Rest., a historic home in Kittery Point, Maine, that, from the late 1940s through the 1970s, welcomed African-American travelers at a time when many accommodations were closed to them. The Seacoast NAACP Youth Council and the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will be hosting two unveiling ceremonies on Saturday, June 4. The first will be held at the Second Congregational Church in Wallingford Square, Kittery, Maine, beginning at 1 p.m. Participants will be invited to take a special bus to Rock Rest for the second unveiling immediately after the conclusion of the first event. The celebrations are free and open to the public.
Clayton and Hazel Sinclair formally opened their home as a guest house called “Rock Rest” in 1946. While in operation, the house served as a summertime refuge for Black vacationers in the Seacoast region. Although Maine and New Hampshire did not have “Jim Crow” laws at the time, Rock Rest operated in an era when it was common practice to prohibit Black travelers from staying in hotels, being served in restaurants, or otherwise accessing public accommodations in the Seacoast area.
The commemoration will begin at the Second Congregational Church with openings remarks at 1 p.m. by Rev. Dr. Lillian Buckley, a lifelong Kittery resident and musical artist. Gretchen Sorin, author of Driving While Black: African-American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights will be present via Zoom as a featured guest speaker. Following a program of poetry, speakers, and song provided by local residents, and Seacoast NAACP Youth Council members, the participants will take a short walk to Wallingford Square for the unveiling of the first marker by JerriAnne Boggis, Executive Director of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire.
At the conclusion of the first unveiling, participants will be invited to take a bus to Rock Rest in Kittery Point. There New Hampshire author and historian Valerie Cunningham, Seacoast musician Sharon Partricia Jones, and community leader Kelvin Edwards will give participants the rare opportunity to hear stories about Rock Rest from those who remember it well. JerriAnne Boggis will join with the speakers to unveil the on-site marker at Rock Rest before closing remarks by Rev. Buckley. Bus transportation will be provided.
With this ceremony, we invite the public to come together to honor Rock Rest and the legacy of the Sinclair family in our local and national history. In placing these markers, we memorialize a part of the Seacoast’s shared racial history and help educate future residents and visitors to our region.
Celebrate Juneteenth 2022 with The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire
PORTSMOUTH — The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is hosting a series of programs to honor Juneteenth 2022 from June 10 to June 20. Collectively titled The Gift: Celebrating African American Public Arts, these programs will celebrate Black artists and the power of public art to tell stories, shape history, and help to heal past injustices.
To begin this year’s Juneteenth celebrations, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire in partnership with the Prescott Park Arts Festival, will present the Disney-Pixar film Soul. Starring the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and Graham Norton, the film will be shown on Friday, June 10 at 8:30 p.m. in Prescott Park. The movie is free and will be open to the public.
On Saturday, June 11, the public is invited to explore African American history, art and poetry with a bus tour to Saint-Gaudens Historic National Park in Cornish, N.H. The tour will take visitors to the home, studio and gardens of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the artist behind the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment Memorial. The memorial, crafted to honor Robert Gould Shaw and the soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, many of whom died during the initial attack on a fort that protected Charleston’s harbor.
Doctoral candidate Dana Green, Public History and Art Fellow for Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park will be in attendance as a featured speaker, along with Newton Rose, the lead interpretive ranger at the park. The tour bus will pick up participants at the Portsmouth Park and Ride at 8:30 a.m., and the Concord Park and Ride at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $40 with bus pick up and $30 without bus pick up. Lunch is included. Please register by June 2.
For more information on our week of Juneteenth programming blackheritagetrailnh.org/juneteenth-celebration-2022.
Portsmouth NH 400th, Inc. announces donation and sponsorship tiers
PORTSMOUTH – Deep into planning mode, the Portsmouth NH 400th Management Team members are paving the way to a vibrant community celebration next year and have started identifying Signature Events including a 400th Anniversary parade, a community dinner and a fall air show, along with Legacy Projects meant to make a statement about Portsmouth’s past, present and future.
As the PNH400 Managing Director Valerie Rochon and Community Engagement Officer Susan Labrie explained recently to the Portsmouth City Council, “We are planning and promoting a year-long series of fun and educational events for all ages and interests, designed for the entire community to feel engaged in the celebration. We are creating ways for everyone to participate and feel connected to the community.”
Donations and sponsorships are starting to come in, via the online portal on the City website (click on the PNH400 logo at the top of the homepage, CityofPortsmouth.com) and at the PNH400 website,
PortsmouthNH400.org. Portsmouth NH 400th Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization, so all donations are tax deductible to the extent the law allows. Check donations, made out to Portsmouth NH 400th, Inc. should be mailed to PNH400 at One Junkins Avenue, Box PNH400, Portsmouth NH 03801.
Donors are invited to contribute to this historic celebration by joining the Portsmouth NH 400 Shoalers Club by making a donation of $400, or the 1623 Revolutionaries Club with a donation amount tied to the year of settlement: $1,623. Special recognition and benefits accompany each tier.
There are also five tiers of sponsorship:
The PNH400 Lightkeeper ($50,000 level) symbolizes the power to overcome challenges and adversity, to guide a path forward. Lightkeepers support all PNH400 marketing and merchandising, allowing PNH400 to tell the stories that shed light on the city’s past, present and future. This is the most comprehensive option.
PNH400 Luminaries ($25,000 level) ignite community support through leadership. Luminaries support all programs, marketing and merchandising, influencing others to contribute to the successful year-long celebration.
PNH400 Beacons ($10,000 level) motivate community members to become ambassadors to build programs, events and projects that will ensure the City’s legacy and ignite its potential.
PNH400’s Program Captains ($5000 level) show their dedication to bringing the City’s stories to life, as the leaders who ensure each program’s success.
PNH400 Program Champions ($2,500 level) provide stewardship and inspiration as ardent supporters of, and advocates for, their selected programs.
For more information on sponsorships, donations and other funding opportunities, please contact PNH400 Community Engagement Officer Susan Labrie at email@example.com
Humana named NH Gives Matching Funds Sponsor supporting Gather’s food insecurity prevention programs
PORTSMOUTH – Gather is participating in the Annual NH Gives online fundraising event taking place June 7 to June 8. Health insurance company Humana, who partners with Gather regularly, is providing a $5,000 matching funds sponsorship during the 24-hour period of the NH Gives program, which is an initiative of the NH Center for Nonprofits.
“We would like to partner with Gather to continue to support our local community. Our Bold Goal initiative is a population health strategy focused on addressing social determinants of heath such as food insecurity, loneliness, social isolation, transportation and housing, to improve clinical and social health outcomes for our members. We value Gather’s commitment and efforts as they align closely with ours, and we are eager for the opportunity to provide these services,” states Nichole Karahalios, Northeast Sales and Marketing Support Executive at Humana.
The public can visit NHGives.org and search “Gather” to make donations during NH Gives. The link will become active on June 7, at 5 p.m., and be open for 24 hours.
For 200 years, Gather has been serving Seacoast residents facing hunger. Gather’s mission is to make the Greater Seacoast a hunger-free community. Some of Gather’s programs include our Pantry Market, Mobile Markets, Meals 4 Kids, Cooking 4 Community, Farm Shares 4 Families and Grow 4 Gather.
All donations to NH Gives or directly through the Gather website are tax-deductible. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for visit our website at GatherNH.org more information.
Retirement community residents raise thousands for Ukraine
DURHAM — RiverWoods Durham staff and residents have raised almost $9,000 in support of the people in Ukraine, and the number continues to grow.
It started with a staff member, Tetiana. She began offering wooden plaques of the Ukrainian flag, made by her daughter Kate, to raise money for family still living in Ukraine. Another resident coordinated a Blue and Yellow Day on April 8, offering lapel pins for sale, encouraging all staff and residents to wear blue and yellow in a show of support.
To date, $5,600 that has been raised through the sales of lapel-pin ribbons and wooden plaques.
In March, a large group of residents began working together to create the Hearts of Hope Quilt with the intention of offering it up for a raffle.
The design for the quilt is from a pattern created by international quilt designer Bonnie Hunter for the world-wide quilting community as a raffle prize to raise money for the Ukraine. Bonnie began releasing instructions weekly starting March 25.
RiverWoods Durham resident Robyn Shiely donated the fabric, coordinated the construction, and provided instruction when necessary. “When I first saw the design, I realized this was something I could teach my friends at RiverWoods Durham,” Shiely said.
The RiverWoods Durham quilting volunteers met every Friday to review the instructions and start building units. The quilt was finished in approximately six weeks.
Shiely continued, “My personal hope for the quilt is for it to start its own legacy. I hope the winner of the raffle will then take the quilt to another community (church, town hall, library, Lions Club, etc.) and start another raffle. Sort of like a ‘traveling quilt’ fundraiser for Ukraine.”
The raffle has already raised $3,250. The quilters are hoping to see that number climb over $4,000 by the time of the drawing.
Funds are being received by the organization Razom for Ukraine.
RiverWoods Durham Executive Director Kim Gaskell said, “I’m proud of the many ways our residents raise awareness of social justice issues and bring that to our community. They are truly committed to making a difference. It’s wonderful to see how their energy and efforts can have a significant impact globally.”
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
A new voice is coming to the Delta. A group of Pine Bluff community activists, led by local entrepreneur Michael McCray, launched the online news site Arkansas Delta Informer May 14. The Delta Informer is Pine Bluff’s first Black-owned, independent news source and was conceived with the goal to diversify the reporting and storytelling representing Southeast Arkansas.
“In the Delta, there’s a lot of history. There’s a lot of heritage, there’s a lot of culture, and we just weren’t seeing all of that reflected in the local, and sometimes regional news sources, and so what we want to do is be a celebration of all things Arkansas Delta, so that we can balance the scales when people look at our area, our community,” McCray said.
McCray and the founders of the Delta Informer noticed what they called a glut of bad news about their community, and decided to bring more comprehensive reporting to the area. McCray says he hopes providing nuanced, solutions-based perspectives can shift the mindset of the community and shape more positive perceptions of the Delta region.
The Delta Informer’s bread and butter is history and heritage stories, told from a perspective not often heard. From blues artists to civil rights history, McCray aims to play up the wealth of Arkansas Delta culture, which he believes has thus far been under-covered.
“There are a number of heroes in our community, living and deceased, that people don’t really recognize, they don’t get the accolades and attention that they really deserve. And so we’re going to talk about all of that. Talk about all these people and all these wonderful things and the impact that people from Southeast Arkansas have,” McCray said.
McCray also noted the Delta Informer fits the tradition of other African-American newspapers. Founders saw a need for content pertinent to the Black community, and wanted to give voice to a more diverse set of issues than currently exists in local print media. The Delta Informer intends to honor the legacy of advocacy journalism from publications like the Chicago Defender and the Arkansas State Press published by L.C. and Daisy Bates.
McCray, who is CEO of the Delta Informer, partnered with Arkansas news veteran Wesley Brown, the Informer’s publisher and executive editor.
“I love news, and I love the energy that Michael and his team are bringing to this venture,” Brown said in a press release. “They came to me with a real problem of not seeing themselves and other minorities in the local newspaper in a good light or favorably. And that is the issue we hope to address with our news coverage in the Pine Bluff area and the Arkansas Delta.”
McCray and Brown will be recruiting a full-time editor, a reporter and freelancers. They hope to be a true community paper for Southeast Arkansas.
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Tadia Taylor didn’t even want to go to Lightning in a Bottle.
When some friends invited her to the 2015 iteration of the festival, Taylor was reticent. It was a camping event, and she didn’t really camp. People would be partying, and she was abstaining from drugs and alcohol. With its yoga, meditation and ecstatic dance sessions, LiB represented an apex of vibe-y West Coast spirituality, and as someone who’d spent 15 years in New York City, Taylor says, “I kind of had that jaded edge.”
But despite these reservations, Taylor packed her stuff, got in the car and drove north to the festival, then held in central California. As fate would have it, the weekend changed her entire life.
“It definitely just cracked me wide open,” Taylor says. At the fest she met interesting people, listened to talks that resonated, heard music that made her move and had the kind of peak moments that have made believers out of so many LiB attendees over the years.
“I had this visceral experience where the Ferris wheel was in the background, the Thunder stage was on the right and this guy was standing on top of a van playing the trumpet as the sun was setting,” she says. “I remember having this moment where I was like, ‘I want to be a part of creating something that makes other people feel the way this is making me feel right now.’”
Seven years later, Taylor is doing exactly that as the Assistant Music Director for the Do Lab, the Los Angeles-based company that’s produced Lightning in a Bottle since the early 2000s. Stepping into the role last year, Taylor now works with Do Lab Cofounder, Owner and Music Director Jesse Flemming to curate lineups like the one for Lightning in a Bottle 2022, which begins today (May 27) at Buena Vista Lake near Bakersfield, Calif. (It’s the first LiB since 2019, with the past two years cancelled due to the pandemic.)
In her role, Taylor has helped evolve Do Lab lineups to reflect a more diverse collection of artists than are typically seen at many festivals during this post-pandemic moment of social reckoning when events that aren’t diversifying simply look lazy and out of touch.
“[When Jesse offered me the job],” Taylor says, “every part of my body wanted me to say, ‘Yes, I’ll take it.’ Then I had a moment where I said ‘Jesse, you know I’ve wanted this job ever since I started working with you, but I cannot take it unless you commit to diversifying this festival.’”
Flemming said yes, Taylor did too, and the pair began a work partnership that has delivered the Do Lab’s most diverse lineups in the company’s more than two decade history. “Diversification has definitely been a goal of ours for awhile,” Flemming says, “and having Tadia help focus on it is super helpful… She’s also really good at keeping her ear to the ground and figuring out what’s hot before anybody knows what’s hot.”
Taylor’s path to her current position required hustle. In 2015, she was working as a singer and dancer and managing restaurants in Los Angeles while also doing production work on film and television projects. But fresh off the natural high of her first LiB, she knew she had to get into the festival world. Her first break came when she was offered a volunteer gig at the October 2015 Dirtybird Campout, which was co-produced by the Do Lab.
“I was like, ‘I’m 34 years old, am I going to go volunteer at a music festival?’” Taylor recalls. “But I was like, ‘If I really want to do this I’ve got to get humble.’ So I got humble.” While her dream was to work in artist relations, she was offered a paid gig doing food hospitality at Lightning in a Bottle 2016. That led to a gig at Coachella, and soon the woman who’d been on the fence about attending LiB at all was working at 10-12 festivals a year while also bartending at venues like the Hollywood Palladium to further immerse herself in music culture.
The years passed, Taylor’s contact list grew, and when the Do Lab’s then Assistant Music Director was leaving for maternity leave, she asked Taylor to step into the role while she was gone. “She gave me an hour long crash course and was like ‘I know you can handle this, I’m going offline’,” Taylor recalls. “So I basically taught myself how to do the job.” When this previous Director announced she wasn’t coming back, Taylor permanently took over the position.
When Billboard catches up with Taylor backstage at the Do Lab area during the first weekend of Coachella 2022, she’s demonstrating her efficacy, buzzing around like a rave mom/hostess, making sure everyone is happy, hydrated and welcomed. “She’s out and about every weekend at shows, checking out all the artists and meeting all the agents and the managers, networking in a way that like, everybody loves her,” says Flemming. “Having that kind of skillset and bringing it to the table is amazing for me, because she’s like, ‘Oh I know so and so; I can call them.” You can do more backdoor deals and get stuff done when you have personal relationships with people.”
When Big Freedia arrives to perform in the late afternoon, Taylor greets her like an old friend, offering a hug and a cocktail to one of the artists helping forge the Do Lab’s most diverse Coachella lineups since the group started hosting a stage at the festival in 2004.
“I think we have 17 brown and black artists on the lineup between both weekends,” Taylor says as a set by twin production duo Coco & Breezy thumps from the speakers. “That’s unheard of at a dance music festival. You don’t see it. You see two or three, five at the most. This is a massive win for me.” As South African amapiano duo Major League DJz take over the decks, Black Coffee — who’s been hanging out backstage nodding his head to the beat — pulls Taylor aside to tell her that the diversity she’s been working to achieve, it’s happening, right here.
“I’ve never seen this many Black folks hanging out here,” Taylor says, tears streaming down her face as she surveys the scene. “Coco and Breezy are up there dancing. Phil from Life On Planets is here, Black Coffee. It’s really just inspiring, and I tend to pretty humble, so taking compliments for me is weird, but I just had a moment of, I f–king helped create this, and it just felt really good.”
Taylor may have such a moment again this weekend, as she and Flemming launch a Lightning in a Bottle lineup featuring a barrage of artists of color, female acts and LGBTQA+ artists — including headliners Kaytranada, CloZee, Big Freedia, Black Coffee, British rapper Little Simz, Maya Jane Coles and a loaded undercard that spans “diversity not just in color but genre,” Taylor says, with reggae, hip-hop and more featured amidst LiB’s standard electronic fare.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, such diversified lineups are drawing a more diversified crowd, with Taylor hearing anecdotes about Black and brown people who’ve never been to LiB before buying tickets for the weekend, because of all the Black and brown people playing the show. Taylor — who with a Ghanian father and a mother who worked for USAID, lived in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Camaroon and Tanzania while growing up — also recently started a group called BUFU (“By Us, F–k You”) for Black and brown creators in dance music. “A lot of us were the tokens,” she says, “and now we’ve all found each other.”
For the historically very white West Coast transformational festival circuit, it’s crucial step in embodying the values of diversity and inclusion the scene so often touts. And for Taylor, who seven years ago watched the sun set at LiB and dreamed of creating life moments just like that for others, it’s a goal fulfilled.
“What I do know is that for most people, music is a safe space, a place of comfort, a place of joy, a place of release,” Taylor says. “Being in a position to expand all of those emotions and expand the palette and the expand the people and share it all, I could never dream of anything more.”
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
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