Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Celebration of the Kwanzaa Principle of Creativity, Sign the Petition Today: Make the Life of Artists a Priority

Many artists and writers live without health insurance and struggle with issues of housing and security.

Deep cuts in federal funding for the arts and education have exacerbated difficulties. In the less than a month, Congress will pass a $600 billion stimulus package in order to stimulate the economy and help create jobs.

A group on Facebook-- One Percent for the Arts Campaign! A Stimulus Plan for the Arts-- asks that the arts be included in this package.

Join artists and activists in calling on Congress to make the arts a priority.

Today is the 6th Kwanzaa Principle-- Kuumba, which means Creativity. Support your artist community today by signing the petition. If you are on Facebook, visit to learn other ways to make a difference.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kwanzaa Celebration @ the Artmosphere Cafe in MD Celebrates w/Music

Who knew that DC singing soultress Afi Soul was a talented event MC host as well as a dope singer? Well, I didn't and was pleasantly pleased when she hit the stage at last night's Kwanzaa celebration held at the sublime artist cafe Artmosphere located in Mt. Rainier, Maryland. With her artistic partner Obi of the House of Ra, Afi hosted a phenomenal Kwanzaa experience that engaged and delighted audience members as the festivities included live performances by several local performers young and old.

(All photos by Khadijah Ali-Coleman & Ben Dawson for MYST Media Solutions, LLC)

The Kwanzaa principle for today is Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), and in the spirit of economic buildng and support, take the time out today to support businesses in your community by donating to allow the business to continue to thrive and enjoy your patronage. You can donate to a website or business of your choice (like, an independent artist (like Afi Soul and many of the artists on by purchasing their CD, book or piece of visual art or a brick and mortar business like Artmosphere ( whose existence depends on your support.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kwanzaa Time Is Here!

Kwanzaa Time is Here!

Kwanzaa is a spiritual, festive and joyous celebration of the oneness and goodness of life, which claims no ties with any religion. The focus of Kwanzaa is centered around the seven principles (Nguzo Saba) with particular emphasis on the unity of our Black families. It is a time for gathering of our families, and for a rededication to manifesting the principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba) as a way of life for Black Americans.


UMOJA (UNITY) (oo-MOE-jah)
IMANI (FAITH) (ee-MAH-nee)

(Visit HERE for more information on the Nguzo Saba)

KWANZAA, the African-American cultural holiday conceived and developed by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga, was first celebrated on December 26, 1966. Kwanzaa is traditionally celebrated from December 26 through January 1, with each day focused on Nguzo Saba, or the seven principles. Derived from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits", Kwanzaa is rooted in the first harvest celebrations practiced in various cultures in Africa.

Liberated Muse member--DC-based soul singer, Afi Soul --will be having a Kwanzaa celebration during this holiday. The event is FREE and will take place at the Artmosphere Cafe this Sunday, December 28th. The Artmosphere is located at 3311 Rhode Island Avenue, Mt. Ranier, MD. Doors open at 7. Performers include Sol Elder, Farafina Khan and, of course, Afi Soul! For more information, contact Afi thru the Liberated Muse network or email her @

You can get a complimentary version of the song "Kwanzaa Time" by emailing You can hear the song in its entiriety on the main page of the Liberated Muse network.


Click Here to get a FREE CRAFT ACTIVITY to do with the family. Make an UMOJA WREATH!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Top 10 Funniest YouTube Videos of 2008-- What's Yours?

Number 10-- Bush and THE HANDSHAKE

Number 9-- Sarah Palin and THE BUSH DOCTRINE

Number 8--Solange Knowles & THE STAGE DANCER

Really good sport, Solange is.

Number 7-- All the Mutations of of THE SONG

With all of the many videos parodying this song, this is one of the funnier ones.

Number 6-- Joe Scarborough Drops THE F-Word

Hilarious when news anchors who are so judgemental in their critiques make blunders and aren't even aware they are making a blunder while LIVE on air.

Number 5-- Sarah Palin and THE TURKEY

What on earth is going on with that guy in the background? This is on the list because it is ludicrous beyond ludicrous-iosity!

Number 4-- Charlie and THE FINGER

This was posted in 2007 but grew metoric acclaim this year, even appearing in a commercial recently. Precious.

Number 3--David Gregory on THE TODAY SHOW Feeling "Just Fine"

Ok, this was shot in 2007, but I didn't see it until 2008, so, it makes the list! David Gregory is the star of this video hands down. Sorry, Mary.

Number 2-- Scarlet Taking THE TUMBLE

Man, there are no words. What is great about this is how great a sport she is. Glad she's ok.

Number 1-- George Bush and THE SHOE

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Call for Submissions EXTENDED!

Liberated Muse Productions is still accepting submissions for its anthology Liberated Muse, Volume I: How I Freed My Soul


The NEW deadline for submissions is January 5, 2009.
All submissions should be emailed to
Visit HERE for details

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poet .jade foster Hosts Poetry Open Mic in Washington DC

Received this in an email:
" the deal: open mic, featured artist. cash bar. traveling salon. and in a valiant effort to erase ego and encourage unity: always always a house party. and this month's host is ... ME!"
Who is "ME"? Me is the fantastic poet .jade foster, an enigmatic 20-something who is a DC-born creative phenom. Her work has been featured in various poetry anthologies
Check out her poem/photo collage poem@twenty below and click HERE for her MySpace page.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Poet Bridget Gray and Others Featured in Award-Winning Documentary

(In video: Bridget Gray and her popular "Letter to Hip Hop")

Los Angeles filmmaker Bob Bryan has unveils his seventh powerful installment in his multi award-winning Documentary Series entitled GV7 RANDOM URBAN STATIC: The Iridescent Equations of SPOKEN WORD.

He is releasing two (2) versions: An Unofficially Rated G Version for General Audiences, Schools and Libraries and the Original Unedited Version for those who do not mind some “raw street vernacular.” Both versions will have a Running time of 2 hours.

Bob Bryans’ last documentary GV6 THE ODYSSEY explored the point of views of 31 contemporary Literary Page Poets. GV6 THE ODYSSEY deals with those Poets who write words for the page, while GV7 RANDOM URBAN STATIC probes the reality of those Poets that write for the stage.

Not all the poets shared a deep abiding love for hip-hop in its current incarnation. Many of the Poets feel that Hip-hop has within its grasp the potential to be a positive catalyst for massive personal & social change. They feel unfortunately that its potential has been severely underdeveloped and in some cases perversely denigrated by some of its commercial practitioners.

But at the same time other poets in GV7 openly discuss issues of date-rape, the courage to be an artist, the psychological repression of women, How Hip-hop can help or Hurt, HIV-AIDS & homosexuality, image vs. reality, obsessions, race-consciousness, anorexia, self-love, the high-jacking of black men’s masculinity & vunerability, disappointment with God, insanity, self-loathing, inspiration and salvation.

"Noone can say these poets tread lightly or try to avoid issues that we all, in some way or another grapple with. It's what makes this expression so relative, ” says Filmmaker Bob Bryan.

Visit for more information.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bassey Ikpi Hosts Spoken Word Event Featuring Some of DC's Hottest Talent

Yesterday, Dec. 12, Wil Christian of State Farm insurance presented an early evening private function whose featured host was the incomprable Bassey Ikpi-- a renowned poet and television personality. Christian, with Liberated Muse Production co-founder Maceo Thomas, held the event at Mike Craig--The Proper Name in Men's Grooming which is an upscale spa for men located in Washington D.C.

The event attracted phenomenal artists including producer Alexei Jendayi of Fly Gypsy and poets LOVE and New Haiku.

Check out Fly Gypsy's "The Ruler"

Check out Bassey on Def Jam Poetry

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Revolution Begins With Tee

Tee Party @ Tiffany's:

"Revolution Begins With Tee [shirts]"

Friday, December 12

6 - 11 pm@ Arlington Arts Center

3550 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA (Metro: Virginia Square)

Music: DJ Anish

Buy all your holiday presents!

6 - 10 pm

Live t-shirt stenciling by DC51

6:30 pm and 8:30 pm

Tee Party Fashion Show

Featuring designs by:Kristina Bilonick, Billy Colbert, DC51, DECOY, Cory Oberndorfer, Lisa Marie Thalhammer

7:00 pm

Panel Discussion: The intersection between art and fashion

Moderator: Kristina Bilonick

Billy Colbert - Artist

Rachel Cothran - Project Beltway

Tom Pipkin - DC Source

Josh Tiktin - Dekka

(The t-shirt in the photo above is designed by MYST Media Solutions, LLC and can be found at

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exhibit Showcases African-American Celebration

Christian Mayr, Kitchen Ball at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, 1838Courtesy North Carolina Museum of Art

The Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum in Washington DC presents the exhibit "Jubilee", curated by Portia James. The exhibit's open house was Tuesday, December 9 for the press to view the exhibit and ask James questions.

"Jubilee" examines historical and contemporary African American holidays and celebrations from around the country. More than 50 holidays, celebratory traditions and occasions are presented in a season-based journey through a calendar year. Observances profiled include those no longer existing, ones created in response to significant events (such as Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation), regional favorites and black traditions associated with mainstream holidays. Also covered are leisure-time activities, college and church homecomings, black Greek organizations' events, family reunions and recent holidays like Kwanzaa and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

James discussed the history of these celebrations highlighting little-known facts and folklore presented in the exhibition through photographs, artifacts, costumes, documents, music, video and interviews. Among the exhibition features are the 1800s' wedding dress of an enslaved African woman, an interview with Congressman John Conyers on the King Holiday and the 1897 bronze studies for sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens' tribute to Robert Gould Shaw and the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army.

Peter Robinson, Jr loaned military artifacts from his father, a World War I veteran and the son of enslaved Africans. He discussed the special significance of Veterans Day to African Americans.

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE

Monday, December 8, 2008

Liberated Muse Productions Partners with Y&P for Obama for the 2009 Inaugaration Festivities

Liberated Muse Productions partnered with Young & Powerful for Obama during the 2008 election campaign that won Obama the presidential election. During the week of inaugural activities, Young & Powerful will be presenting a series of activities that you can purchase tickets from through your Liberated Muse network. Tickets will sell-out pretty fast, so please get yours TODAY!
Check out some of the activities:
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Young & Powerful Launch and Networking Social
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Young & Powerful Presidential Brunch
Monday, January 19, 2009
Young & Powerful Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast &
Young & Powerful Roundtable Political Forum &
Young & Powerful Black Tie Gala & Awards Ceremony
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Young & Powerful Inaugural Semi-Formal Affair
You will be able to purchase tickets for these events on the main page of our Liberated Muse social network. Click HERE to access that page and get prices.
Liberated Muse Helps You Rent Your Home for the Inaugual Festivities
Maceo Thomas, co-founder of Liberated Muse Productions, is a licensed real estate agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. He has been commissioned by various homeowners to find renters for inaugaration week. Please contact us at so Maceo can you help you find comfortable housing during the inaugural festivities or help you safely rent your home for the 2009 inaugural festivities.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Toni Morrison Tonight in Washington DC

"Those millions of readers familiar with Toni Morrison’s work, in particular her novel Beloved, won’t be surprised at the numerous instances of brutality and deprivation in her new book, A Mercy, the Nobel Prize winner’s ninth novel and her first since Beloved to depict American slavery—albeit in a very early, seventeenth-century form. What may well throw them for a loop is the redemptive tone: a pristine landscape, a compassionate white Northern farmer, and a notable absence of racial animosity—felt even more keenly in an election year with a full deck of race cards. In A Mercy, Jacob Vaark’s collection of laborer-charges (a Native American, a black child, an orphan, and two indentured servants) are united by and against a spreading culture of servitude that has little to do with skin color." New York Times

Morrison will be in Washington DC tonight to discuss this new book and all of the themes addressed.

“I really wanted to get to a place before slavery was equated with race,” Morrison told New York Times reporter Boris Kachka. “Whether they were black or white was less important than what they owned and what their power was.”

Today's Event:

Title: Toni Morrison: A Mercy

Date: Thursday December 4, 2008

Time: 7:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: Politics & ProseStreet: 5015 Connecticut Ave Nw

City State Zip: Washington, District of Columbia 20008

Thanks to poet Dehija Maat for the heads-up!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Filmmaker Patrick O'Brien Documents His Life with Terminal Illness

It's October. On the occasion of his 34th birthday, Maryland resident Patrick O'Brien is not only happy to be alive, he is beaming over the near completion of his first major film.

Only a few years ago, Patrick, then known as the wildly outrageous "Transfatty" to the New York City creative underground, could not have imagined a more perfect or compelling story line. Always fascinated with the disabled (his short film "Deep in the Heart of Nexus" chronicles a young disabled woman getting dressed), he had long searched for a story like his own. At age 34, he never thought he would be on the opposite side of the camera, much less that he would be enjoying it.

Patrick began to chronicle his terminal illness in the fall of 2006, just months after receiving his ALS diagnosis. Leaving the high paying world of commercial directing wasn't easy, but necessary to focus on his life's work: a feature length documentary about the disease. ALS, commonly referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease", aggressively kills motor neuron cells in the body causing paralysis and eventual death, with the average lifespan being three to five years. Knowing time was in short supply, Patrick gathered his friends and other creatives to start documenting the disease as it unleashed itself upon Patrick's body, the film's moving canvas.

Currently in post production, the film will highlight all aspects of the disease with humor and grim honesty, something Patrick is well known for as a director. Controversies aside, Patrick hopes the film will get the attention of the media to spread the word about a disease which has little research funding. From protesting naked outside the White House in his wheelchair to having a true "love child", every step of his journey has been filmed, much of it captured on breathtaking 35mm film.

True to form, Patrick titled the upcoming film "Everything Will Be Okay…or How I Learned to Transcend Form, Live in the Now, and Make Love in My Electric Wheelchair." His ever loyal fans are looking forward to the new film, which will not fall far from the Transfatty tree. The man who gave them "Three breasted paraplegic DJ" and "Supermodel Meat Sports" would give them nothing less.

"Everything Will Be Okay" is a fiscally sponsored program through the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

About Patrick O'Brien:
Patrick O'Brien is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts film program in New York City. He currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with his family while he completes his documentary.

Double Vision: Twin Artists Hold Exhibit Reception in Maryland this Weekend

(In photo: Emancipation of Rachel by Sherry Burton-Ways)
Twin sisters, Sharon J. Burton and Sherry Burton-Ways, will hold an art exhibit of collages and mixed media, entitled “Double Visions,” from November 18, 2008, through January 3, 2009, at the Space 7:10 of Kefa Cafe,in Silver Spring, MD.
Sharon and Sherry are members of the Liberated Muse social network and prolific artists who have appeared in various exhibits throughout the United States. Their work incorporates a fusion of materials that they use in their respective art of collage and doll-making. Both artists speak to the culture and traditions of the African diaspora through their work.

There will be a special reception on Friday, December 5, from 6:30p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at which the artists will talk about their work.

The exhibit will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 am – 5 pm, Fridays from 7 am until 9 pm and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.The sisters’ artwork is a series of mixed media, including dolls and collages that provide a snapshot of inner thoughts and celebrates women of all cultures and backgrounds.
Burton describes her artwork as: “a series of images and words which invites the viewer to take time to escape the everyday to visualize inner hopes and dreams.” Ways says that her artwork concentrates on “the artistic and stylish side of women and the everyday quirky yet fashionable sides of life.”

Sherry Ways' studio Sankofa Doll Artistry is featured in the December issue of East of the River.

"Double Visions" special reception on Dec. 5 will feature poetry by Def Jam poet Bassey Ikpi. Ikpi will be a reviewer of the Liberated Muse Productions anthology "How I Freed My Soul" which will debut in Spring 2009. (shameless plug:-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Embracing Our Differences Call for Submissions

(Photo "Unlikely Attraction" by Khadijah Ali-Coleman)

Embracing Our Differences invites artists, photographers, professionals, amateurs, teachers and students to participate in its 5th annual visual art exhibit celebrating diversity. National and international submissions are encouraged. 39 artists will be selected for the exhibit. The Embracing Our Differences exhibit will be displayed throughout the month of April 2009 at Island Park along Sarasota’s beautiful bayfront.

The exhibit will also be displayed throughout the month of May 2009 in North Port, Florida. Since 2004, the exhibit has been viewed by more than 400,000 visitors. The exhibit will contain 39 billboard-sized (16 feet wide by 12 1/2 feet high) images of the selected artworks.Final selections will be chosen based on artistic excellence in reflection of the theme “Embracing Our Differences”.

The art-work will also be evaluated on how effectively it will read outdoors when enlarged to billboard size – 16 feet wide by 12 1/2 feet high. Artists are encouraged to use bold saturated colors and strong lines. Final selections will be made by a 3-judge panel of professional artists, curators and art professionals. A total of $2,500.00 in awards will be presented.

Deadline for submission is January 8, 2009. There is no submission fee.

The mission of Embracing Our Differences is to use art as a catalyst for creating awareness and promoting the value of diversity, the benefits of inclusion and the significance of the active rejection of hatred and prejudice.

Submission forms and more information concerning past winning submissions are available online.

Found this info on a great site called The Art List, a wonderful resource for visual artists.

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Roster

Performing Artist Roster ProgramApplication deadline: Friday, December 19 at 7:00 pm The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is currently accepting applications from individuals and non-profit organizations for the Performing Artist Roster Program (PAR). The roster showcases some of the District’s most talented artists in dance, music, and theater. Performing artists featured in the roster have demonstrated their artistic excellence and have been reviewed by an independent peer review panel of area arts professionals.

The purpose of the program is to promote artistic exchanges between Washington, D.C. and Maryland. The goals of the program are to promote the artistic excellence and development of District of Columbia performing artists by enhancing their marketability and touring capacity through successful touring engagements beyond their home state, professional development workshops, and roster campaign promotions.

A link to the program guidelines and a fill-in PDF application form are currently available on the home page of our website under “Agency News” at

For more information please contact:Charles Barzon, Arts Program AssistantDC Commission on the Arts and HumanitiesPhone: 202-724-5613Email:
Thanks to Margaux of Sol y Sol & the Saartjie Project for passing this on.