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Juneteenth celebrations, Rock Rest to be honored: Community news update 

Rock Rest to be honored

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.

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 susan@portsmouthnh400.org

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 info@gathernh.org for visit our website at GatherNH.org more information.

Retirement community residents raise thousands for Ukraine

Finished RiverWoods Durham quilt

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.

Blue and Yellow Day was held on April 8, offering lapel pins for sale, encouraging all staff and residents to wear blue and yellow in a show of support.

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

‘I Cannot Take the Job Unless You Commit to Diversifying This Festival’: Meet the Woman Helping Create the Do Lab’s Most Diverse Lineups to Date

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.

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“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.”

Tadia Taylor & Jesse Flemming

Tadia Taylor & Jesse Flemming Get Tiny

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

Local artists, performers and entrepreneurs shine brightly at ‘The Colour of Culture: A Celebration of the African Diaspora’ event

ABOVE PHOTO: Artist Gail Lloyd of Germantown, displays a trilogy of African busts at The Colour of Culture Art Show on Saturday. (Photos: H. Michael Hammie)

By Sue Ann Rybak

This past weekend, FunTimes Magazine, in collaboration with The Philadelphia Sunday SUN, Elebration, Sol Fed and ZBE Productions, hosted “The Colour of Culture: A Celebration of the African Diaspora” — a free community African art gallery featuring local visual artists, musicians, singers and spoken-word artists at newly renovated Fun Times building, located at 1226 N. 52nd St. in West Philadelphia. 

The festivities were part of a multicultural mission to showcase the arts, culture, music, education and small business while celebrating the importance of investing in the local cultural economy. The event also opened up the building as a space for the community.

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The goal of the event was to bring African American, African and Caribbean communities together in Philadelphia through diversity and grassroots community engagement. 

TOP LEFT: WEST PHILLY WOOD SCULPTOR IKRU (pronounced Eye Crew), a Jamaican-born artist and musician, displays several pieces of his artwork at The Colour of Culture Art Show Saturday. Ikre, who got his start selling his work at public subway entrances, says his art is “authentic, relaxing and is just nice.”

Rupert E. Salmon, Terrence L. Gore, Gail Lloyd, Nile Livingston, Niambi Brown and Rashied Amon were just a few of the artists whose works were on display.

Jamaican native Salmon, known as Ikuru, with his wide smile and bubbly face, was the first person you saw when you entered the first floor of the building. His expressive eyes lit up like a pinball machine when he talked to curious onlookers about his artwork including two framed pieces entitled “Life.” He stood in front of the image of a women carved from pine. The piece was framed on a red background next to a companion piece of a man whittled in a mahogany-frame on a yellow background. 

In addition to wood carving, the versatile Ikuru sketches, paints, writes poetry, makes pottery and works with marble. 

He currently has an exhibit, entitled “Moon at Night,” at the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, located at 1901 Vine Street . He describes his art as “authentic, relaxing … and just nice.” 

ARTIST AND EXHIBITOR GAIL LLOYD explains the intricate artistic technique applied to create part of the neck portion of her sculpture.

Gail Lloyd of Germantown also had her artwork on display. Before becoming a professional sculptor three years ago, she worked in the independent film industry. 

“I always loved working with clay,” she said. “I just didn’t envision it in my future [as a career].”  

Lloyd, originally from Washington, said working with clay is very organic compared to film, which has become more digital and less tangible.  She believes ultimately there is life to her art, producing sort of “a spirit in the clay that comes alive after the clay hardens.” 

Lloyd added that her artwork is “memory-inspired,” and that she doesn’t use models. Besides doing pottery, Lloyd enjoys painting with acrylics. If you missed her artwork, don’t worry. She currently has a piece on exhibit at The Colored Girls Museum in Germantown.  

Nearby, Masie Blu, a singer and entrepreneur from Roots Generate, was showcasing a different kind of art. She was promoting authentic homemade jewelry and fashion accessories made by tribes in Kenya, Ghana and other places a continent away. 

PUBLISHER ERIC NZERIBE AND JEFF BROWN, OWNER OF SHOPRITE — an event sponsor — enjoy the art gallery and music celebrating the African diaspora at The Colour of Culture Art Show this past weekend in West Philadelphia. Hosted by FunTimes Magazine, the goal was to highlight the authentic and diverse contributions of local artists, creatives and businesses in communities of color representing the African, African-American and Caribbean cultures.

Upstairs in the two-story building, Jeff Brown, the founder, president and CEO of Brown’s Superstore, LLC, co-sponsored the event. He has supported many causes in underserved communities. The two-day celebration featured live performances by singers, musicians and spoken-word artists presented by Milena of Sol Fed Open Mic and the all-female band Black Canvas and the Sounds of Diaspora with DJ Reezey showcasing cultural indigenous Afro and Caribbean music. Brown even took behind the controls of the turntables to learn a few riffs with DJ Reezey.

The event also featured a panel discussion on Black Arts and Liberation that included Tiffany Bacon, an actor, radio personality and fashion designer; Arabia Richardson, a self-proclaimed “dancivist,” Terrence L. Gore, a multimedia artist, and several others. Gore is an inspiration and shared his journey of living with a rare progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), caused by HIV. The expression of his artistry is part of his healing therapy.

Zane Booker of West Philadelphia participated in the panel discussion. Before injuring his ankle, he performed nationally and internationally with several dance companies such as The White Oak Dance Project, Fosse International Tour and The Philadelphia Dance Company. 

Booker, who was the deli manager at the ShopRite on Island Avenue at one point, said he took the job to start rebuilding himself. Thanks to Brown and his unique business incubation program, which partners with local entrepreneurs providing retail space to sell their products, Booker will open “Brown Street Café” inside the supermarket in the fall.

“We closed the hoagie bar in our store, and in the back of my mind, I thought it would make a beautiful coffee bar,” Booker said. “So when ShopRite’s business incubation program presented itself, I made a pitch.”

Booker added the store is named after the street where he was born. 

In addition, while working at ShopRite, Booker started the Kitchen Table Dance Collective with Meredith Rainey, Chandra Moss-Thorne and Danielle Curricato to help educate and support Black dancers. 

Booker’s boss Brown, who owns 10 ShopRites and two Fresh Grocer stores in the Philadelphia region, said he champions community endeavors like The Colour of Culture event and entrepreneurial programs that give back to neighborhoods.

“It’s all about the community, connections and relationships, building each other up and being curious about culture, religion, art, customs and anthropology, and looking at that in a positive way to learn about other people’s culture,” Brown said. “Once we know and trust each other and have a love for each other’s cultures, we can make magical things happen.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Black artists have always led AIDS activism. This tribute wants to give them credit

In his 2010 short documentary Last Address, filmmaker Ira Sachs streamed images of the exteriors of the houses, apartments, and lofts where New York City artists had lived at the time of their deaths from AIDS-related complications. When Alex Fialho saw the elegiac film as a young curator in his mid-20s, it struck him as a powerful meditation on loss, and a statement about the ongoing presence of these artists in memory and history.

Having just moved to New York, Fialho says he was inspired to visit these sites himself. “Keith Haring’s address at 542 LaGuardia Place, Felix Gonzales-Torres’s address at London Terrace on W. 23rd Street,” Fialho recalls, “That personal ritual of remembrance really gave me a sense of the lived experience of these artists who I greatly admired.”

As Programs Director of the non-profit arts organization Visual AIDS (a position now held by Kyle Croft), Fiahlo wanted to make that experience public, so he started approaching cinemas and museum partners to hold “Last Address” tribute walks in neighborhoods across the city, events to collectively memorialize key AIDS-related sites and recognize the ongoing presence, contributions, and impact of queer artists.

Beginning in 2014, tribute walks took place in the East Village, then Chelsea (2015), the Lower East Side (2016), the West Village (2017), the Meatpacking District (2018), and Times Square (2019). Before the pandemic forced a pause, Fialho says the walks grew from year to year. “At our last event, in Times Square, we had over a hundred people.”

"Last Address" Tribute Walk in Times Square, at 328 W. 44th St, the last address of Reinaldo Arenas.

/ Alex Fialho

/

Alex Fialho

“Last Address” Tribute Walk in Times Square, at 328 W. 44th St, the last address of Reinaldo Arenas.

When Last Address resumes this year, on Saturday, May 28, the approach will be a little different. The location, Harlem, was suggested by the poet and activist Pamela Sneed, who points out that Black artists have always led AIDS activism, but their losses and contributions have often been overlooked or erased from AIDS narratives. At the same time, Sneed notes that Harlem’s queer legacy hasn’t been fully recognized, “You would go to Lenox Lounge, and even though you knew it was a Black queer spot, you wouldn’t think of it as such.”

Blake Paskal, who’s affiliated with Visual AIDS and the Studio Museum in Harlem, says both organizations have been planning the 2022 tribute walk for a year. In addition to conventional archival research, they sought input from Black LGBTQ+ elders such as Antionettea “Dreadie” Etienne, Luna Luis Ortiz, and Lee Soulja Simmons, and used oral histories, conversations, personal correspondence, and photographs to document people and places of creativity, community, and care.

As in past years, Harlem’s Last Address tribute walk will kick off with a screening of Sachs’ film, which will be followed by opening remarks from Sneed. Doorstep tributes will commence along an established route, led by those who have a close relationship with the site or artist.

Ballroom icons Tracey “Africa” Norman and David Ultima will speak at the former site of the Elks Lodge, one of the central locations in the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning, paying tribute to a venue that fostered identity, community, and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. Historian Michael Henry Adams will speak at the former address of Lenox Lounge, where greats such as Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane once performed, spotlighting how the iconic jazz club also became a significant LGBTQ+ social spot in the early 2000s.

Artist submission: "Lenox Lounge" (Before) 2010 Harlem, NYC.

/ Ruben Natal-San Miguel

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Ruben Natal-San Miguel

Artist submission: “Lenox Lounge” (Before) 2010 Harlem, NYC.

The writer Robert E. Penn will also honor their late friend B.Michael Hunter outside the home in Malcolm Shabazz Gardens where he died in 2001 with his husband Johnny and other loved ones at his side. Penn and Hunter became friends as members of Other Countries, a close-knit collective of Black gay writers founded by Daniel Garrett in 1986. Also known as Bert, B.Michael Hunter edited the group’s work for publication, including the 1993 Lamda Literary award-winning anthology “Sojourner: Black Gay Voices In the Age of AIDS.”

Penn says they were particularly impressed by B.Michael Hunter’s 1991 poem “Bridgetown.” “He was basically talking about intersectionality 20 years before it became a term that lots of people recognize and can discuss,” Penn says. Speaking of his nom de plume, they explain, “It makes sense that B.Michael is ‘Be Michael’: Be Michael to the fullest you can be, be Michael authentically, be Michael without needing to explain yourself.”

Saturday’s route will stretch for more than a mile, yet Sneed says it only represents a fraction of the history that Visual AIDS and the Studio Museum have mapped. She describes the tribute walk as a starting point for mourning loss and recovering legacy.

Daonne Huff, Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement explains, “For a lot of people, when we think of Harlem we think of art, when we perhaps think of queer art histories it stops in the Harlem Renaissance. I think this project was an opportunity to really spotlight the fact that queer creatives never left.”

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Tulsa Opera to Broadcast 2021 Performance of ‘Greenwood Overcomes’

On June 4, 2022, the Tulsa Opera will broadcast its 2021 performance “Greenwood Overcomes” which commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre.

The showcase, which will be presented via public media stations on June 4 and then will stream on-demand on CRB Classical starting on June 5, featured works by 23 living Black composers, performed by Black artists.

Performers included mezzo-sopranos Denyce Graves and Krysty Swann; sopranos Leah Hawkins and Leona Mitchell; tenors Issachah Savage and Noah Stewart; bass Kevin Thompson and bass-baritone Davone Tines. The concert featured works by Anthony Davis, Stewart Goodyear, James Lee III, Nkeiru Okoyo, David Bontemps, H. Leslie Adams, Peter Ashbourne, Jasmine Barnes, Kathryn Bostic, B.E. Boykin, Valerie Capers, Roland Carter, Melanie DeMore, Marques L. A. Garrett, Adolphus Hailstork, Tania León, Quinn Mason, Andre Myers, Rosephanye Powell, Carlos Simon, Damien Sneed, Tyshawn Sorey, and Nolan Williams, Jr..

The event was curated by Tulsa Opera Artistic Director and Composer Tobias Picker and Metropolitan Opera Pianist and Assistant Conductor Howard Watkins. The broadcast will feature interviews and conversations with many of the collaborators of the event.

“To be part of such a significant event was a truly remarkable experience and, as the collaborating pianist, I can say that these performances were charged with emotion, both on the stage and off,” said Watkins, co-curator of the event, in an official press statement. “This was an important concert recognizing and acknowledging the horrific events of 1921 with music as a conduit for grief, anger, healing, and love.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Creativity shines at BMoA’s Art After Dark

With four exhibitions to explore, as well as live music and drinks, the Bakersfield Museum of Art hosted its latest after-hours art experience, exploring race, identity and humanity while highlighting community voices. Thursday evening’s event ran from 7-9 p.m. and featured a live DJ set from 4KJ, with Tiki Ko supplying cocktails and mocktails.

In addition to the BMoA’s three spring exhibitions, “Personal to Political: Celebrating the African American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press,” “Under the Kern County Sky: Prapat Sirinavarat” and “Exploring the Figure: Selections from BMoA’s Permanent Collection,” attendees could also view two new shows — one including senior thesis projects from students in the Department of Art and Art History at Cal State Bakersfield and the other exhibiting works from the BMoA’s ArtWorks program.

Visitors were encouraged to not only enjoy the art visually, but to interact and respond in creative ways by making their own art inspired by the exhibitions.

In the museum’s outdoor event space, willing participants were instructed to create their own cartoon characters using provided paper and drawing utensils.

  • Positive Cases Among Kern Residents: 246,310

  • Deaths: 2,444

  • Recovered and Presumed Recovered Residents: 241,004

  • Percentage of all cases that are unvaccinated: 76.39

  • Percentage of all hospitalizations that are unvaccinated: 83.38

  • Source: Kern County Public Health Services Department

Updated: 5/24/22

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Honorary degrees to be awarded at Commencement

Five individuals will recognized by the University of Delaware with the awarding of honorary degrees at the University’s Commencement ceremony on May 28.

The honorary degree, the University’s highest accolade, is reserved for individuals who reflect, in their personal and professional achievements, the University’s mission and who serve as exemplars for UD’s students, alumni, the University community and the world.

This year’s class, approved by the Board of Trustees at its spring meeting, are Arup K. Chakraborty, alumnus and director of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and Robert T. Haslam Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Theresa J. Rebeck, award-winning playwright; Gerret Van S. Copeland, philanthropist and UD instructor; Tatiana B. Copeland, philanthropist; and the late James E. Newton, professor emeritus of Africana studies. Dr. Newton, who died May 24, 2022, will be recognized in a ceremony later.

About the honorees

Arup K. Chakraborty

Chakraborty is receiving an Honorary Doctor of Science. An esteemed multidisciplinary scholar, he earned his doctorate in chemical engineering at UD. After teaching at the University of California at Berkeley, he joined the faculty at MIT, where he is one of just 12 Institute Professors, the highest rank awarded to an MIT faculty member. He is also one of only 25 individuals who are members of all three branches of the U.S. National Academies — the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.

A pioneering researcher, Chakraborty supervises and collaborates with researchers in the Chakraborty Group, which brings together approaches from immunology, physics and engineering. His research focuses on understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the adaptive immune response to pathogens and harnessing this knowledge to help design better vaccines and therapies, with a focus on HIV and influenza. A hallmark of his research is the close synergy and collaboration between his lab’s theoretical and computational studies and investigations led by experimental and clinical biologists.

Honored as a professor and mentor, he teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has given lectures throughout the world. Chakraborty has received several teaching awards, including most recently the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award from the MIT Chemical Engineering Department in 2020 and 2021.

Theresa Rebeck

Rebeck, who is receiving an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, is a prolific playwright whose works have been produced on and off-Broadway, throughout the United States and abroad. When her play Bernhardt/Hamlet premiered on Broadway in 2018, it marked her fourth Broadway production and made her the most Broadway-produced female playwright of our time. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Omnium Gathering, she has won a National Theater Conference Award and several other playwriting honors.

Four of Rebeck’s works have had their world premieres on campus, presented by UD’s professional theatre training program, the Resident Ensemble Players. Her archives are housed in Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library.

A lauded writer for television and film, Rebeck created and executive produced the television musical series Smash and has written for many series, including Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Third Watch, L.A. Law, Brooklyn Bridge and others. Her writing for NYPD Blue earned her numerous awards, including a Peabody, the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award and the Hispanic Images Imagen Award. Her films credits include Harriet the Spy, Gossip, Catwoman and the recent thriller The 355. She is also the author of three novels and the nonfiction book, Free Fire Zone: A Playwright’s Adventures on the Creative Battlefield of Film, TV and Theater.

Gerret Copeland

Copeland, an accomplished business executive and owner and president of Rokeby Realty Company, is receiving an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

A wine lover, he and his wife, Tatiana, founded the Napa Valley winery Bouchaine Vineyards, for which he serves as chairman. For 14 years, he has been a guest lecturer in the field of wine at the University.

As a passionate conservationist, he and his cousin, the late George “Frolic” Weymouth, formed the Brandywine Conservancy, which has protected nearly 65,000 acres in Delaware and Pennsylvania from development. The Conservancy is a leading local and national advocate for responsible land use, open space preservation and water protection.

Copeland grew up on the property now known as the Mount Cuba Center, and he has long worked with this noted horticultural center. He is also active with Longwood Gardens and serves on its Board of Trustees.

A noted philanthropist, he is a dedicated supporter of the Delaware Art Museum and currently chairs its Board of Trustees. He and his wife are also champions of the performing arts in Delaware.

The Copelands have been honored with the Order of the First State, Delaware’s highest honor, the Delaware History Makers Award from the Delaware Historical Society and the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s Josiah Marvel Cup.

Tatiana Copeland

A cosmopolitan businesswoman who speaks five languages, Copeland is receiving an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

She had a successful career in international business and tax at the multinational firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers and later at DuPont and is now owner and president of Tebec Associates Limited and co-owner and president of Bouchaine Vineyards.

As patrons of the arts, she and her husband, Gerret, have supported live musical and theatrical performances. A member of the board of the Grand Opera House, she is a past chairman and president of the Delaware Symphony Association and a past national trustee of the National Symphony Orchestra. She also helped finance the renovation of the Playhouse at Rodney Square.

A champion of the Delaware community, she and her husband have shared their time, money and expertise with dozens of local and regional nonprofits, including the University of Delaware. The Copelands are also great dog lovers and created a fund to help pet owners afford veterinary care.

Her support was key to the state getting its own tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel, a replica of the ship that brought the original European settlers to Wilmington in 1638. Her likeness graces the prow of that ship, and she was knighted by the king of Sweden with the Royal Order of the Polar Star.

James E. Newton

An award-winning artist and a long-time member of the University of Delaware faculty, Dr. Newton will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters posthumously. Dr. Newton retired from the University in 2005 after a 33-year career that included directing the Department of Black American Studies, now the Department of Africana Studies, and chairing the Commission to Promote Racial and Cultural Diversity. At the University, he was recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Award, the Black Student Union Faculty Award, an award for teaching excellence from the Mortar Board honor society and the Louis L. Redding Diversity Award.

He served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Delaware State Advisory Committee and on the National Board of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. An active member the community, he served on the board of many organizations, including the Walnut Street YMCA, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Delaware Art Museum, Tatnall School, YMCA of Delaware and Public Allies.

He is the author of The Principles of Diversity: Handbook for a Diversity-Friendly America and A Curriculum Evaluation on Student Knowledge of Afro-American Life and History, as well as several articles on multicultural education, African American art and diversity. He also wrote more than 30 articles on Black Delawareans. In addition, he co-edited The Other Slaves: Mechanics, Artisans and Craftsmen, and he won first-prize awards in sculpture and graphics in the National African American Art Exhibition in Atlanta.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment