Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 Liberated Muse Highlights of 2009

This year for Liberated Muse Productions was one of many highs which I would like to take the time to share today on New Year's Eve. If you participated in any of the highlights mentioned, would love to read your feedback and comments. Thanks for being part of the community!

Moon of

(In Photos: The first live reading from the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul, at the Potter's House in Washington DC, featuring various artists from the community, including Margaux Delotte-Bennett, Stone/Wright, James Terrell, Quineice Clarkson, Gary Young and Anonamas)

Highlights of 2009-

10. Liberated Muse Joins the World of Facebook and Twitter!
In 2009, the expanded its realm of communication when Liberated Muse started a fan page and profile page on Facebook and began an online Twitter feed. The world of Facebook and Twitter has enabled members to interact more readily and determine more easily the level of connection they wish to have their community. Facebook has allowed more real time updates to reach members and is a great platform for members to tag photos of themselves and add photos from Liberated Muse events from their own Facebook photo albums. The Facebook fan page has already exceeded 800 members and continues to exceed the number of active members on the Ning network.
9. Liberated Muse members Dee Stone and Head-Roc are nominated for Washington Area Music Association (WAMMIE) Awards
We always love to broadcast good news about our members and this news was well-deserved. We wrote about it HERE in an earlier blog.

8. Liberated Muse Continues to Be Home to Some of the DC Area's Hottest Artist All-Stars
The caliber of talented folk on continue to be impressive. Award-winning doll artist Sherry Burton of Sankofa Doll Artistry, the talented LOVEthepoet, songstress Teisha Marie and hip-hop dynamo Substantial are just a glimpse into how rich the flavor of the membership is on Contributing to forums, interacting with each other off and online, the Liberated Muse community continues to thrive and is one of the highlights we are most grateful for this year.

7. Liberated Muse (LM) Partners with the 2009 International Soul Music Summit (ISMS)
While in 2008 Liberated Muse co-founder Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman was a panelist in the International Soul Music Summit in Atlanta, GA, nothing could be more pleasing than seeing a partnership form between LM and the ISMS which entailed members receiving a discount to participate in the summit and members from the network actually performing at the event. Big ups to those Liberated Muse members who performed and participated, including Chaquis Maliq, Al Chestnut, and Colie Williams. Co-founder of LM, Maceo Thomas got to see first-hand some of the members doing their thang in Atlanta, an arts mecca for performers of color.
6. Liberated Muse's 2nd Annual Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest a Summer Hit Again
Featuring phenomenal performances by numerous acts from the nation's capital and beyond, the CHHSF was a hit, despite park renovations at the festival site and a scorching heat index. The event headliners included Bomani Armah, Head-Roc & GODISHEUS, Teisha Marie, Marcell & the Truth and other faves that were captured in photos you can check out on The fest led to our next highlight which was...
5. Liberated Muse's Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest featured in the Press
Appearing on FOX 5 with Gwen Tolbart to promote the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest was definitely one of the livest press moments of the festival in 2009. Coverage was much appreciated this year, helping to garner the sponsorship by some of the 2009 sponsors of the fest including the US Census Bureau and State Farm Insurance. Festival director Maceo Thomas made rounds sharing the news of the fest, being featured in several print and online publications including National, The Afro, and We can't begin to thank our media partners enough for their support, with special thanks to Capital Community News for their continued media sponsorship. Click HERE to read LM press coverage for 2009.
Liberated Muse members new and old contributed to this book anthology which features prose, poetry, visual art and essays that interpret the concept of the soul and this thing we call freedom. The book became the featured book in the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest and sold over 100 copies in the first month and a half in print. The release of the first literary anthology produced and edited by Liberated Muse's Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman was a 2009 highlight that led to the following top three highlights...
3. A Musical Book Tour to Promote Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul
Putting a spin on the tradition book tour which features readings and author Q and A, the Liberated Muse book tour featured writers from the book and musical performances from performing artists who are members of the Liberated Muse network. The kick-off started at the Potter's House and included stops at the Artomatic and the art store ArtSpring in Silver Spring, MD. Special thanks to all those who were featured during the shows: Quineice Clarkson, Gary Young, Farah Lawal, Stone/Wright, James Terrell, Anonamas, Margaux Delotte-Bennett, Alan King, Ananda Leeke, Jade Andwele, Maureen Mulima, Ozara Ode, Colie Williams and to all of those who attended. All of our book tour shows at the Potter's House allowed us to raise money and have our next highlight...
2. Raising Money for Area Groups Serving Our Community
Our first book tour stop in June at the Potter's House allowed us to raise over $400 to assist students in the DC College Success Foundation's Acheivers Program. While the program assists students in paying for college tuition upon successful completion of high school requirements, the program did not assist with fees associated with room and board application fees, student activities fees, etc. The money raised helped four low-income students pay for these fees and begin school this past Fall 2009. Our show on September 11, 2009 raised funds for the arts collective The Saartjie Project and our last show on November 20, 2009 at the Potter's House raised funds for arts programming at Southeast Ministry, a nonprofit that helps adults earn their GED and fine-tune employment skills.

1. Transforming Places Into Art Spaces: Our First Art Exhibit
The Potter's House became the official brick and mortar home of Liberated Muse in 2009 when the wonderful bookstore, performance venue, restaurant, etc. became the art gallery home of our first art exhibit-- Celebration of Freedom, curated by Liberated Muse member Sharon Burton. The exhibit, inspired by the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul featured artists from the book and other artists from the Liberated Muse network, including Prudence Bonds, Stephan Cox, Keisha Cox, and other artists. Read our past blogs about this wonderful exhibit which ran from Sept. 11 to Dec. 1.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Goapele Show is a Night of Hits and Many Misses

(In photo: Songstress Goapele performs at Liv Nightclub in Washington DC where a packed house enjoyed her classics and tunes from her upcoming CD "Milk & Honey". Photo by Khadijah Ali-Coleman.)

The line was long. The line was wayyyy long. On Dec. 27-- a Sunday, no doubt-- at about 6pm, folks with advanced tickets to Goapele's 7pm performance stood in line at Liv Nightclub on top of Bohemian Caverns to get in early to grab seats to watch the songstress perform her classics "Butterfly Kisses" and "Closer" with new tunes from her upcoming release "Milk and Honey".

Unfortunately, in this case of waiting in line early, the early bird DID NOT get the worm.

Those of us in line early, arriving at 6:30pm or earlier for the show waited for at least 45 minutes in the bitter cold as the Liv Nightclub staff kept us outside for what they said first was "technical difficulties" then, when one of our group went to inquire 20 minutes later, we were told they were moving tables and chairs. When we saw Goapele actually leave the building at about 6:55pm and jump in a red truck, we weren't feeling too encouraged that the show was going to take place. "She's just going to get something to eat," said one of her entourage members as the door closed, but, of course, we were not thrilled to hear this. It was cold.

(In photo: Goapele's opening act, DC native VRich. Photo by Khadijah Ali-Coleman)

After waiting in line for a good hour or so and enduring the neighborhood line heckler who had imaginary conversations with folks in line and loudly proclaimed victory over football teams while shouting praise to his religious deity while the infamous DC rats scurried to and fro, we were let in-- we being those with tickets purchased online. Those who had endured the cold in line with us and had expected to buy tickets were told they would not be let in any earlier than 8:30pm and only if space was allowed.

(In photo: Goapele warmed her audience up with some of her favorites, including a cover of Diana Ross' "Love Hangover" Photo by Khadijah Ali-Coleman)

So those of us with our tickets thawing in our hands walked upstairs to find that when they said earlier that they had moved the chairs and tables, they weren't kidding. They had moved them completely out of the room. There was only standing room. (There were three couches in a roped off area). So, those of us who had waited in line for over an hour to merely get inside had to then stand for the entire show which, at this point, was going to probably extend past 11pm and not start until 8pm. When going to the bar to get warm on liquor, to make matters worse, we were dismayed to find that there were limited selections of alcohol, with some choices just absent-- including Remy and Hennessey--which continued the tone of the evening.

The room quickly filled with folks and before long, we were standing shoulder to shoulder in the small area that contained the small stage, the bar and a roped off area for VIPs who were allowed to sit on a choice of two or three couches. We weren't VIPs on this night, so we continued to stand.

The energy slowly begin to thaw and circulate some positivity when the DJ began to play some music in the interim. He was fantastic. The growing crowd grooved to old school hip-hop and some classic R & B before Goapele's opening act VRich came on stage to perform, with local superstar Alison Carney on backing vocals.

(In photo: Liberated Muse member Hook of MYST studios and Liberated Muse co-founder Maceo Thomas. Photo by Khadijah Ali-Coleman)

The evening did get gradually better with the line-waiting fading into distant memory as VRich entertained, showcasing exceptional piano skills and Goapele finally emerging and coming onstage, garbed in a black dress and green stillettos.

"I love your shoes," yelled a gaggle of young women on the side of the stage and Goapele smiled as she warmly greeted her fans.

Her performance began in good humor despite terrible sound which buried her soft vocals underneath the pitchy strike of each note the keyboardist hit. The keyboards were up so high that there had to be dogs down the street that could communicate with each note played. This is not a diss on the keyboardist's skills-- on the contrary. Goapele's entire band of musicians were extremely gifted with her lead guitarist and drummer insanely dope. However, the sound settings were so erratic, and you heard so little of Goapele's voice, that the musical prowess of her musicians could not disrupt the growing frustration over not being able to hear the lyrics long enough to begin singing along with them. The spontaneous screech of the feedback in the speakers that pierced the eardrums of those of us standing closer to the front did not make well the night either.

All in all, some of us left early when photographers and others began to push their bodies forward to get to the front in the crowd that now had spilled out into the hallway and was now becoming a bit claustrophobic. As we left, we couldn't help but be a little disappointed that we forgot to purchase VRich's CD on our way out-- it was on sale that evening for only $5! As we paused on the steps, considering to get the CD now or order later online, the thought of wading through the crowed room flashed in our heads and we decided that heading home at that moment was in our best interest. At last check, we had been standing for over two hours straight and never in our lives had we longed for a chair so bad.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 Member Nominated for WAMMIE Award!

As a member of the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA), was excited to get the ballot to vote for the upcoming WAMMIE awards which will take place in February. The WAMMIES are big time here in the DC metro area and it would be wise for DC area artists to consider joining WAMA to be eligible to be nominated. As an indie artist, it is all about networks you build and broadening your audience. Joining organizations, social networks and associations is helpful because you are putting yourself in a postion to get info on opportunities to perform, market your music, etc. that you wouldn't be privy to as a lone wolf. This is especially true for those indies who don't have the funds to hire an agent or manager to do that on their behalf.

Liberated Muse WAMMIE nominee: Dee Stone of Stone/Wright

We are so happy to learn that Liberated Muse member Dee Stone is a nominee for this year's WAMMIE awards, sponsored by the WAMA and BMI. Dee, and her husband/band member Charlie Wright's first duo collab as Stone/Wright-- out for less than a year was nominated. We are thrilled for them and brag to everyone that we had them a part of our summer book tour shows. Here is their latest video. Enjoy!

Liberated Muse Attends 7th Anniversary of the Potter's House Sounds of Hope series

(In photo: Kristen Arant , Michael Kweku Owusu, Khadijah Ali-Coleman, & George Perry. Kristen, Kweku and George drummed during the celebration )

The Potter's House has been a valuable supporter of Liberated Muse programming this year-- from the book release celebration to hosting the first art exhibit produced by Liberated Muse productions-- Celebration of Freedom. We have raised funds for two three nonprofits-- DC College Success Foundation, The Saartjie Project & Southeast Ministry thanks to the support of the Potter's House.

To honor the wonderful space that is the Potter's House, Liberated Muse's co-founder Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman accepted the invitation from Sounds of Hope producer Mary Shapiro to perform and help promote the event.

(In photo: Kristen and Kweku created glorious rhythmic sounds)

The event was wonderful and a great celebration of the holiday season. Check out some of our past events Liberated Muse has produced at the Potter's House:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Liberated Muse Production: Call for Actresses

Liberated Muse Production is currently seeking actresses for the production Running: Amok which is currently being considered to appear in the 2010 Capital Fringe Fest.

Here is the Call for Actresses:

We are seeking six women between the ages of 25-45 years-old for the production who are performing artists and mothers able to identify with this piece.

All those interested must have a performing arts talent such as singing, dance, spoken word or playing instrument and all must have acting ability.

If you are interested in being considered for this show, please submit your bio, a recent photo and link to your website (if applicable) to Please have your information in by Friday, January 8, 2009

In your email, please explain why you are interested in participating in this show.

Please click HERE to read more about what the production is about.

Auditions will begin in early 2010

Visit for more information.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Congrats to Grammy Nominee Christylez & Seeking Partners for the 2010 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest

Southeast DC native Christon "Christylez" Bacon is a progressive hip-hop artist who is a modern-day Bobby McFerrin with his mission towards cultural acceptance and unification through music and multiple musical abilities ranging from rapping, singing, beat-boxing, to playing numerous instruments, including the ukelele. His recent collaboration with Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer on a children's CD garnered him, Fink and Marxer a GRAMMY nomination, announced last night.

Christylez has had a phenomenal 2009, performing nationally and becoming the first hip-hop artist to be featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Christylez was one of the first featured acts in the debut of the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest in Washington DC in 2008.

Christylez is already poised to launch a new project in the early months of 2010. In partnership with stage director, Patrick Crowley, Christylez will produce an interdisciplinary concert which will use drama and dance to complement Christylez' musical work. During this production, the Christylez Bacon Orchestra and all new content will also be introduced. The production will result in a concert entitled; Christylez Bacon Theatricalized that will premier at Atlas Theater’s Intersections Festival late February of 2010 and will be comprised of two shows. The production will run until early March of 2010.

Visit Chrisylez' website at for more information on his work.

Liberated Muse Productions Seeks Partners for 2010 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest

Are you an arts organization or business in the Washington DC metro area seeking an opportunity to be part of one of the largest events that takes place east of the river in Washington DC? If so, we would love for you to become a partner of the 2010 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. For more information, please email us expressing your interest and to receive an invite to our upcoming Partners Meeting to take place in January 2010. Visit for more information on the festival.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Last Week of the Liberated Muse Exhibit "Celebration of Freedom"

(In photo: l to r-- Prudence Bonds, Sherry Burton-Ways, James Terrell, Sharon Burton)

So, all good things must come to an end, and such is the case with the debut exhibit of Liberated Muse-- "A Celebration of Freedom". The exhibit ends next week on Dec. 1.

(In photo: Poet/singer/actress Dehejia Maat at the Liberated Muse event Capital Rhythm & Soul last week at the Potter's House. The exhibit "Celebration of Freedom" is a backdrop for the event)

(In photo: Visual artist Marshetta Davis discusses her painting with those who came out for the Nov. 14 artist reception for the artists included in the Celebration of Freedom exhibit.)

(In photo: Sharon Burton and a guest attend the artist reception held on Nov. 14. Her piece "Believe" is in the background)

(In photo: Singer/visual artist James Terrell stands by his piece "Coltrane" (up top) which was inspired by jazz legend John Coltrane. James is a gifted performer and performed in last week's Liberated Muse event Capital Rhythm & Soul)
(In photo: Liberated Muse's co-founder Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman (left) with artist Stephan Cox and artist Shanta Monroe (right) with her daughter Zoe. All four pose in front of the "Celebration of Freedom" exhibit during the Nov. 14 artist reception for the exhibit)

(In photo: The artist Choke stands by her work in the exhibit)

Special thanks to Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art who curated the exhibit and who also contributed her own art to the show. Her piece "Believe" is also the cover art of our book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul. You can visit her art spaces HERE and HERE.

Kudos to all of the exhibiting artists:

Stephan Cox
Shan'ta Monroe
James Terrell
Prudence Bonds
Marshetta Davis
Keisha Carroll
Sherry Burton Ways
Jade Andwele

(In photo: One of the works from artist Shan'ta Monroe)

Please make sure you check out the exhibit before it comes down on Dec. 1. Several of the pieces were sold and all of the artists are involved in upcoming shows, so it is encouraged you stay connected with them by joining the network if you haven't joined already.

(In photo: Work by artist Jade Andwele. The piece sold during the second month of the exhibit)

The Celebration of Freedom is currently up at:
The Potter's House
1658 Columbia Road, NW
Washington DC

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Amazing Evening Last Night

If you missed our event last night, then you missed an extremely exhilirating experience. Check out the videos below:

The event Capital Rhythm & Soul was a fundraising event for the nonprofit Southeast Ministry that benefits adults and youth in GED prep and literacy education. The event was part of the Potter's House Sounds of House benefit concert series.

Featured artists included: Anonamas, Farah Lawal, C. Love, James Terrell and Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman, featuring Gary Young. The Walidane Drummers performed the finale.

What an evening of thankfulness; a perfect pre-cursor to Thanksgiving.

If you couldn't make it but would like to donate to Southeast Ministry, email us at LiberatedMuseProductions for more information.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Capital Rhythm & Soul this Friday

We are continuing our efforts to take part in the wonderful programming that takes place in the DC metro area throughout the year as a supplement to our annual festival, the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. What better way to do that than through an intimate concert venue and in a way that benefits an area nonprofit?

This Friday, join us for Capital Rhythm & Soul at the Potter's House in Adams Morgan in DC. Featured performers include acoustic soul singer C. Love, hip-hop soul singer Anonamas, R & B diva Mahoganee and Liberated Muse's co-founder Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman, accompanied by Gary Young on guitar. The fantastic Dehejia Maat will host. Check her out below.

The event is $10 and will benefit Southeast Ministry, a local nonprofit in southeast DC that helps adults earn their GED and provides programming to young people throughout the year in the literary arts.

Thanks for attending Liberated Muse events

Thanks for coming out to our events and being part of the community. Click HERE to view photos from yesterday's artist reception opening.
(In photo: Artists featured in the Liberated Muse exhibit "Celebration of Freedom" at the Potter's House at the Meet the Artists event on Nov. 14. Above are Liberated Muse artists/members, Prudence Bonds, Sherry Burton-Ways, James Terrell, and Sharon Burton, who also curated the exhibit.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

H Street Main Street: From Vision to Reality

H Street Main Street From Vision to Reality Public History Project

H Street Northeast is one of the fastest developing commercialcorridors in the District of Columbia. An affiliate of the NationalTrust for Historic Preservation and a certified member of the NationalMain Street Program. We are built around the power of organizationsand volunteers working together.

A shopping hot spot for many of America’s working class for yearsbefore and after the 1968 riots. H Street Main Street seeks toacknowledge the legacy and heritage of a community undergoing urbanrenewal and capture the stories behind the cultural and historicalassets of the one-and-a-half mile commercial corridor, giving thestreet many of it’s unique character and traditions from the 1900’sand beyond.

Input from individuals in the communityis being sought to develop a time line and tapestry of influential people, places, businesses andevents in and around H Street Northeast. They are also in need ofvolunteers- writers, researchers, interviewers, photographers, and you!

Come out on Saturday, November 7 from 11:00 AM -12:30 PM at the MartinLuther King Jr. Library, 901 G Street NW, (Gallery Place Metro) RoomA-5 for an informational session about the project and how you can getinvolved.

For additional information about sponsorship and other details, please
contact T. Isler, Project Director at (202) 250-0466

This project is sponsored in part by H Street Main Street, the DC Humanities Council and the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Liberated Muse This Month

(In photo: Maceo Thomas, co-founder of Liberated Muse Productions hosts Freesoul @ ArtSprng this past Halloween)

Liberated Muse is transforming places into art spaces. Here are some upcoming events, some notable highlights and general news to share about Liberated Muse and its members:

-Liberated Muse will be releasing, in time for Christmas, the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest CD compilation. The CD features artists who performed in the annual event ( and proceeds will help fund next year's FREE festival. Music from the CD was featured in this recent news series on a needle program in DC.

-Tomorrow is the first tuesday in the month of November. Join Liberated Muse co-founder Maceo Thomas for First Tuesdays at Jojo's in DC on historic U Street. First Tuesdays is a happy hour where social activists, educators and others share community news to rally, mobilize and inform. Come on out for First Tuesdays! Maceo started First Tuesdays more than five years ago and it is still a monthly hot spot. RSVP on Facebook.

-Meet the Artists on Saturday, Nov. 14 for the current exhibit Celebration of Freedom up at the Potter's House in Adams Morgan, DC. Artists featured include Prudence Bonds, Choke, Shanta Monroe, James Terrell, Jade Andwele, Sherry Burton-Ways, Stephan Cox, and others. View details HERE.

-View photos from our past event this past Saturday. Small, small, turn-out. Why was that? Let us know what kind of events you would like to see. Thanks to all who performed and volunteered-- Quineice Clarkson, Gary Young, Sadie Flick, Lyle Link, Ne'a Posey, Karen Holt-Williams, Gary Young, Mischay Mabray, Ben Dawson and Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kethia's Corner: "That Which Destroys Me Nourishes Me"

Kethia's Corner is a special to the official Liberated Muse blog where guest writer Kethia Clairvoyant shares her personal insights with readers on stories that speak about the arts, human struggles and progressive movement. Here is her first installment.

That Which Destroys Me Nourshes Me

Sometimes a writer's pen serves a greater purpose than to inform. Sometimes a painter's brush serves a greater purpose than to create an image. And sometimes a dancer's body serves a greater purpose than movement. The pen, brush, and body also nourish the writer, painter, and dancer.

As patrons of the arts, most of us realize that an artist often suffers for his art. But what about the many who have been brought to art because of their sufferings?

I had recently read a story about Mary Murphy, an accomplished dancer and choreographer on the world-wide stage. However, she did not start dancing until she was in college and already a young bride. At age 19 she married a Jordanian man from a prominent family, and soon after she found herself being regularly raped and beaten by her new husband. From then on until their subsequent divorce, he also belittled and manipulated her at his will. He would only show her a sliver of goodwill at his whim and fancy, almost starving her for affirmation about her self-worth.

But one day she sees a posting requesting a dance teacher who the studio itself would be willing to train. This was the turning point in her life. Being away for an hour or so at the studio was a welcome respite for her from her husband who sexually, verbally, emotionally, physically, and financially abused her for almost a decade.

She began to feel again. Through dance, she felt safe from his oppression; through the art of movement, she felt free to fully express herself and to feel joy; through the grace of her body (the body that her abuser so reviled), she felt beautiful within herself knowing that she could create something that was so beautiful.

The level of fear and anxiety that particularly exists in domestic abuse very quickly actualizes itself into a pain that becomes so innate within the heart of the abused that we journey to a place where we can’t separate ourselves from our abusers. We subsequently can’t separate ourselves from the pain inflicted by the abuser. Like the saying, “Become one with the music,” we become to identify and become entwined solely with that level of suffering. That pain becomes innate, as though it was always there and could never leave.

But for those of us who can find healing through the arts, we no longer need to hold onto that pain and conversely it no longer needs to hold onto us.

The Silent and Deadly Killer
For me and so many countless others, this form of victimization rears its ugly head in many forms, all of which threaten to create a permanent emotional crippling of its intended target. Domestic and child abuse take the form of a silent and deadly killer: it's almost always hidden, the abuser denies it, the abused is engulfed with shame and confusion, and loved ones who witness or are made aware of the abuse can be filled with shame and guilt.

When everyone feels that they have to tip-toe around this “secret”, the abused individual then continues to tote around that burden and left to continue feeling victimized and violated. And then you can either choose to live or to die. After coming full circle with my painful past, an aunt of mine had told me that you can’t do either one half-way. If I chose to live, then I must conduct my life as I see fit and not continue to be beaten down and made to feel helpless by my abusers. At that time, I had once again lost a sense of myself and once again I needed to find the inspiration to return to myself.

Fortunate to have found my original inspiration as a child through writing, I was inspired through an intricate network of caring teachers (writers and artists) to find refuge and perhaps even solidarity through the written word. I gained exposure to another world through other artists' living works. I was encouraged to write in order to discover an innate, latent talent that was percolating just below the surface of the hurt and anguish.

I was inspired to ravage my school's library throughout the academic year, my city library during the holiday breaks, and the daily newspaper delivered to my home. I was inspired to detail the world around me and to catalogue it through my point of view. I was inspired to apply a reason, a just cause, to my existence and forced subjection to a violent life at home. And I was inspired to realize and always remember that something better was waiting for me on the other side of this torment; in turn, to remain centered: to not lose my core sense of independence, determination, and self-worth.

Art Heals
Art inspires healing. It continues to inspire me to be connected with my emotions, uncovering them for the first, second, and umpteenth time. I have come to understand that is OK to acknowledge, feel, and express them – perhaps many all at once, perhaps the same emotions every day, however I was moved in that moment.

When Mary had found dance and was exposed to its healing effects on her emotional and mental state, it gave her a quiet strength, strangely enabling her to better endure the pain of the abuse. She regained control over her being, slowly relinquishing domestic abuse’s power over her. She now had her art that no one could touch or take away from her. It drowned and washed away that destructive force. And then she was free.

I myself know that I have always been at my happiest when I'm active in the arts. It could just be seeking out new literature or admiring and finding inspiration through a photograph or artwork. I was moved to be better, to feel better, to do better; and to believe that I could be liberated from this present place and time to one of my making.

We can sometimes romanticize artists' lives, their fiery temperament, and even their past and present sufferings. However, for some of us that suffering is so palpable and so ingrained in us that it threatens to destroy us if we don't have an outlet through which to channel it.

There is a timely saying that observes “That what destroys me nourishes me.” I believe that sometimes we as human beings are made to endure both the worst depravity of human nature and the most unfortunate life experiences in order to retain our resilience and to be fastidious in our life-long quest to find the inspiration to lift up our hearts and enlighten our minds towards personal and community (or societal) growth. We have to always look for that inspiration that art gives us to think, to feel, and to be better within ourselves.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

FreeSoul@ ArtSpring in Silver Spring, MD-- October 31

Make sure you join Liberated Muse on Sat., Oct. 31 from 4pm-7pm for an afternoon of music for grown-folk and arts & crafts activities for the kiddies before they go trick or treating. Performers Quineice Clarkson, Sadie Flick, Ne'a Posey and Gary Young will entertain while young folks can make masks and other fun things for the fun season. The event takes place at ArtSpring, an art store in Silver Spring, MD which sells the Liberated Muse publication Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul (Outskirts Press, 2009) and artwork by Liberated Muse member Sharon Burton. Copies of the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul will be signed by editor Khadijah Ali-Coleman and Sharon Burton who created the artwork on the cover of the book.

Email us at for questions about the event.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Prudence Bonds: Paintings of Life in Color

(In photo: "Sun is shining" by Prudence Bonds, currently in the Liberated Muse exhibit @ the Potter's House in DC)

Born in Florida and raised in Washington, DC since infancy, Prudence inherited the “creative
gene” and started to draw at age four. Throughout childhood and adolescence, Prudence
expressed several methods of creativity including sewing dolls’ clothes and writing poems and
short stories to relate to her drawings. As a teenager, she attended the Corcoran School of Art
for figure drawing and photography & film development. She began painting consistently in
2001 and in April 2003 participated in the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center’s 10th Annual
Scholarship Fund benefit auction. Prudence donated “Girl Tantalus”, an original work of acrylic
on canvas portraying the fabled origins of the word tantalize.

(In photo: "Femininity" by Prudence Bonds which is currently in the Potter's House exhibit curated by Sharon Burton and presented by Liberated Muse. The piece sold at the start of the exhibit yet is still displayed)
Artist Statement
I depict people living throughout the African Diaspora, and beyond, by using color, texture, and
introspection. Since acceptable images of human concepts such as love and beauty are
perpetuated through art, literature, music, and the media, my pieces echo the attempt made by
people of color to redefine and re-present those concepts in their terms.
Visit her work in the current Liberated Muse art exhibit at the Potter's House in Washington, DC @The Potter's House, 1658 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC.

The art exhibit is curated by Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art. The artwork is from artists from the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and the network

The exhibit runs from Sept. 11-Dec. 1

Friday, October 16, 2009

James Terrell--- Musician & Painter--- Exhibits Work in Potter's House Exhibit

James Terrell is a renaissance man-- singer, musician, and painter who is currently featured in the Liberated Muse exhibit at the Potter's House in DC. James is a strong performer who's vocal stylings are unique and poignantly emotional and his artwork is from the same element.

Born and Raised in DC, James Terrell is a singer songwriter guitarist and figurative painter.He graduated from Howard University with a BFA in painting. He graduated from Parsons School of Design in NYC with a MFA in painting. He received his M. Div from Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary in NYC with a focus on Theology and the Arts (painting and music). He has exhibited his paintings in Galleries from DC to NYC. He has performed his music on stages between DC and NYC. The music and art of James Stephen Terrell crosses cultural lines.

James' music incorporates the basic principles of urban folk, country, gospel and blues. The music is a breath of fresh air. The music is not based on fades, seduction, degradation, decadence and materialism. The music and art of James Terrell is a reflection of everyday working people. It represents and speaks to people who live, die and struggle to make their dreams a reality. The music and art of James Terrell is said to be a commentary on the world in which we live.

Visit his page on HERE

Visit his work in the current Liberated Muse art exhibit at the Potter's House in Washington, DC @The Potter's House, 1658 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC.

The art exhibit is curated by Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art. The artwork is from artists from the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and the network

The exhibit runs from Sept. 11-Dec. 1

Monday, October 12, 2009

This Weekend's Green Fest Featured Liberated Muse members

Did you miss this weekend's Green Fest in Washington DC? If so, you can read more HERE about what happened, checking out photos and performances. Liberated Muse members Deedee Kirby, Labtekwon, Mahoganee, Dee Stone and founder Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman were among the featured acts. If you went, what were some of the highlights of the event for you?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Actress, Poet & Visual Artist Jade Andwele

Jade Andwele (writer/performer) is a visual artist, actress, creator and writer who focuses on healing and connecting through the arts and creativity. Jade is an advocate for women, the Black community, and youth focusing on social justice, and sexual and mental health. She is currently a founding mother/member of the Saartjie Project and is working on several projects including a play on depression in the Black community, her memoir, visual art, and completing her poetry chapbook When the Music is too Loud: A Book of Love Poems. The piece above is currently in the Liberated Muse exhibit Celebration of Freedom @ the Potter's House. It was recently purchased but will remain part of the exhibit which runs from Sept. 11 to Dec. 1. Jade is a member of the community. You can visit her page HERE.

She can be reached at and you can read her blog at

Visit her work in the current Liberated Muse art exhibit at the Potter's House in Washington, DC @

The Potter's House

1658 Columbia Rd NWWashington, DC

The art exhibit is curated by Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art. The artwork is from artists from the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and the network

Join Jade and all of the artists on Sat., November 14 for an Artist Reception at the Potter's House.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eyewurks Photography's Shan'ta Monroe is featured in Liberated Muse book and art exhibit

(in photo: "I am Art" by Shan'ta Monroe. This piece is featured in the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul)

Shanta Monroe is a photographer, painter and sculptor who likes to transform the everyday…the obvious, into images that border on the surreal. She is owner of Eyewurks Photography. Her play on rich earthy tones and composition heighten the overall mystery of her often abstract images, and give her work a unique esthetic effect and individual style.

Ms. Monroe’s artwork has been exhibited in galleries and periodicals throughout the United States. She is also a poet featured in print and online publications. Currently she freelances for several different publications and is preparing to showcase her paintings and digital photography in galleries and art shows along the east coast. She is based in Prince George’s County, MD.
Visit Shan'ta on to view more photos and read more about her by clicking HERE.
Visit her work in the current Liberated Muse art exhibit at the Potter's House in Washington, DC @
The Potter's House
1658 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC
The art exhibit is curated by Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art. The artwork is from artists from the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and the network

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sankofa Doll Artistry's Sherry Burton-Ways in Liberated Muse Art Exhibit in DC

(in photo: Sherry Burton-Ways piece "Cherished", featured in the Liberated Muse art exhibit at the Potter's House)

Sherry Burton-Ways, a Washington, DC-based art doll and mixed media artist creates straight from the soul. Ways is a self-taught emerging artist, born in the “City of Brotherly Love”, Philadelphia, PA and raised in rural upstate New York, her imagination and artwork began to evolve slowly. She began working with cloth dolls four years ago after participating in a doll making workshop with notable Washington, DC textile artist Francine Haskins.

Her mixed media work consists of creating meaningful images by bringing together the figurative form of One of a Kind (OOAK) mixed media dolls into a two dimensional textural form on canvas, watercolor paper or other surface as part of a collage. In her work, Ways intricately sews her mixed media art dolls using advanced techniques; others are fused collage with top-stitching, painting, beading or other embellishments. Burton-Ways uses various fabrics, particularly, batiks and African fabric, as her base medium in all her mixed media work. Adding other media such as paper, yarn, Popsicle sticks, canvas pieces, wire, pipe cleaners, photography, watercolor, acrylic paint, beads, metals, crowie shells and most recently spray paint to this base.
Burton-Ways artistic style is influenced by her personal spiritual journey, racism, the feminist movement, and urban life. African and African American folk art movements are also evident in her work.

Her work have recently been published in “Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting and Experiencing the Passion” by Debbie Behan Garrett, Doll Castle News Magazine and Soft Dolls and Animals Magazine. Recently, Burton-Ways has been asked to contribute to another book by another nationally known doll artist. Burton-Ways is a former Board member of the Ward 7 Arts Collaborative, in Washington, DC; a member of the Advisory Committee of the Honfluer Gallery in Washington, DC and also serves as a Patron member of the National Institute of American Doll Artists (NIADA).

Visit Sherry on to view more photos and read more about her by clicking HERE

Visit her work in the current Liberated Muse art exhibit at the Potter's House in Washington, DC @
The Potter's House
1658 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC
The art exhibit is curated by Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art. The artwork is from artists from the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and the network The exhibit runs from Sept. 11-Dec. 1

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Artist CHOKE is featured in Liberated Muse exhibit

(in photo: a painting by the artist CHOKE which was recently sold. This painting and more of CHOKE's work is featured in the Liberated Muse exhibit at the Potter's House in DC)

Marina “Choke” Munoz, 22, is the epitome of the artist on the grind, often seen in a flurry with her canvases under her arm or toting around artistic gems she’s created, whether it’s the butterfly adorned journals or the mirrors meticulously adorned with Choke’s signature use of the color palette. Her use of color always reveres her Puerto Rican heritage with the flagrant use of bright greens, perky orange and deep red hues.

While she likes to work on her art with her nose and mouth covered, when you are in conversation, her face is uncovered and her youthful and pleasant face is often broken out into grin. Whether she is doing live art—painting on display while some form of entertainment is taking place—or setting up shop at a local festival to sell her artistic creations, Choke is most likely taking care of business. She has been in the east of the river area a lot this past summer—seen doing live art at the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest and selling her wares and engaged in numerous outdoors activities in the area all summer.

“I have a serious obsession for the sun,” Choke gushes. “When I am out in the sun I just want to paint. I love how the sun can take me back to the better times in childhood, fun summers and living in Miami. Colorful memories like those are always inspiration for my creations.”
In the Works
Visit Choke’s blog online at Her work is currently exhibited in the exhibit “Celebration of Freedom” at the Potter’s House on Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC. For inquiries, contact her at (571) 278-8932 . The art exhibit is curated by Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art. The artwork is from artists from the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and the network

Rising Star Chaquis Maliq Shares Fave Moments from the International Soul Music Summit

Liberated Muse: What were highlights for you from the International Soul Music Summit in Atlanta, GA?

CM: The first day of the Summit was great because, the panel was all women! I loved the War stories from Chinah Blac, Keshia Jackson, and Lady Alma. These women really opened up allowed me to not feel alone with my struggle being an indie artist without a team. Also, with their stories I still find that Women have to work harder in this industry and often have to act like we have something to prove to get noticed. Learning that a lot of them having been struggling since teenagers in this industry and they are still here grinding, lets me know that I'm doing the right thing and gives me more motivation.

Liberated Muse: What was something you learned that you didn't know already?

CM: I did not know the full details about the Performance Rights Act Bill. Sean Glover of, really broke it down to us artist, and in no way does passing this bill to become a law interfere with radio stations losing money or being shut down. Passing the Performance Rights Act Bill will help recording artist to make a living to keep providing "The People" and the Radio with music. Dionne Farris made it plain by stating that "The radio and recording artist need one another to make the marraige work. The Radio needs music or else it will be Talk Radio."

Liberated Muse: Who were some folks you enjoyed meeting and why?

CM: I enjoyed Meeting Darrly of Moods Music. Great Brother that supports great music from great artists! I also enjoyed meeting Promoters from Japan and the UK, and other artists that hustle and stay motivated.

Liberated Muse: Was performing in ATL any different than perfoming in DC?

CM: Performing in ATL was a lil different then the performances that I have done in DC and surrounding cities. I plead the "Fifth" on giving details :)

Liberated Muse: What did you learn and pick up on that you will probably incorporate into your artist life? What can we expect from you in the next year?

CM: I am now taking "Brand Your Self" more seriously after hearing the great Eric Roberson, whom I think is the #1 indie hustler in the industry. So look forward to My album, "Veracity" in December 2006 @ and some merchandise in 2010!

Thanks Liberated Muse, where would Chaquis Maliq, be without you!?


Chaquis Maliq is a singer, songwriting and producer originally from California and now based in Baltimore, Md. Visit her Liberated Muse page HERE to hear some of her music.

Seen But Not Heard, the documentary by Cyrille Phipps

On Sunday, October 4 at Jojo's on U Street, 'Ol Soul Project presents a benefit concert to fund the upcoming documentary "Seen But Not Heard" by New York-based director Cyrille Phipps. The documentary addresses the illness' ravaging effect on Black women across the country. Liberated Muse members Colie Williams, LOVE the poet and Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman are among the performers.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, blacks have accounted for 397,548 (42%) of the estimated 952,629 AIDS cases diagnosed in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The DC area has the highest rate in the country of AIDS cases proportionate to its size and population. Of all black women living with HIV/AIDS, the primary transmission category was high-risk heterosexual contact, followed by injection drug use

Click here to read more and see a clip from the film

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Colie Williams Dishes on her experience at the International Soul Music Summit

Liberated Muse was happy to be a sponsor of the 2009 International Soul Music Summit which was in September. Four of our members registered to participate and wound up being asked to perform. We asked them a few questions regarding their experience there.

Here is a Q & A with songstress Colie Williams.

Liberated Muse: What were highlights for you from the International Soul Music Summit in Atlanta, GA?

Colie Williams: My highlights were listening to the artists speak on the panels, meeting and interviewing with radio folks, meeting a brother who will most likely assist me with management, and listening to performances by artists and meeting other artists.

Liberated Muse: What was something you learned that you didn't know already?

Colie Williams: There was a lot of confirmation on things. I learned about a lot of sites that I can use for assistance, and just a reminder about the mind/body connection while singing-sometimes I allow my mind to affect my singing, and it doesn't have to. Had to psych myself in last night-I was exhausted, and I just focused on the task at hand- and my singing was fine. Believe me I'm pretty critical of myself, so if I say I pulled it off-I DID! Most folks were friendly, open, and ready to offer assistance. You just had to make yourself accessible.

Liberated Muse: Was performing in ATL any different than perfoming in DC?

Colie Williams: It was only different, because I am use to performing in venues where people know me. It's good to get a critique from folks who have no idea who you are. It's humbling, and it keeps you on top of your game.

Liberated Muse: What did you learn and pick up on that you will probably incorporate into your artist life? What can we expect from you in the next year?

Colie Williams: So many things-right now making sure I have the right folks around me which I was already working on. You have to have folks around you who share your vision-that was confirmation for me. Next year-My CD release and touring! I Believe! Ashe!

Colie performs on Wednesdays at Jojo's on U Street in Washington DC and is a singer and songwriter.

Teisha Marie on the International Soul Music Summit

Liberated Muse was happy to be a sponsor of the 2009 International Soul Music Summit which was in September. Four of our members registered to participate and wound up being asked to perform. We asked them 5 questions regarding their experience there. Here is a Q & A with songstress Teisha Marie.

Liberated Muse:What were highlights for you from the International Soul Music Summit in Atlanta, GA?

Teisha Marie: The variety of people that were at the conference. Also, those addressing the current state of the music/radio industry.

Liberated Muse: What was something you learned that you didn't know already?

Teisha Marie: I learned of a free resource online called Generation Y Rocker.

Liberated Muse: Who were some folks you enjoyed meeting and why?

Teisha Marie: Subliminal - a "soul-hop" artist from Toronto. His approach to music and performing was refreshing.

Liberated Muse: Was performing in ATL any different than perfoming in DC?

Teisha Marie: I would say it's about the same. You really have to work to get (and keep) an audience's attention. It appears that occasionally people take live performance for granted because it's done often in DC and Atlanta.

Liberated Muse: What did you learn and pick up on that you will probably incorporate into your artist life? What can we expect from you in the next year?

Teisha Marie: I am just going to be more aggressive in terms of my marketing and already unorthodox ways. So, I'll be increasing everything that I already do with just a little more force. I am in the process of gearing up for the next album. So maybe in the next year, that's what you'll see.
Visit Teisha Marie's page on to hear her music. Her CD "Addicted to Life" is on sale now.
Visit the website for the International Soul Music Summit HERE

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Keisha Carroll, Artist Extraordinaire Featured in Liberated Muse Art Exhibit @ the Potter's House

Art imitates life imitates art”.
This is the philosophy that inspires me as I conceptualize my next painting.
I am inspired by my community, my culture, and people that I admire.
While life experiences serve as inspiration, my style, technique, and skill are a result of natural talent, university-level training, and spiritual revelations.
A former professor would comment that I have the ability to capture the spirit of a posing subject. I attribute this to a willingness to go beneath the surface level to learn about my subject. Focusing on the “why” instead of the “what” is, in my opinion, the shortcut to harmony, understanding, and brotherhood. It was around middle school when I discovered a passion for creating art.
After graduating from high school, I went on to study Art Management and Art History at Howard University. My style flows from abstract, through surrealism, and into realism. I do not believe in limiting nor categorizing who I am and what I do as an artist. My influences are the variety of communities I have lived in -New York, Michigan, D.C. My work is a melting pot of Midwestern, Southern and East Coast experiences. Growing up as a daughter of a seamstress, I am often inclined to mimic the appearance of fabric in my work through patterning, folding and dimension. I also incorporate symbolism in most of my work.
I often use West African Adinkra symbols, but sometimes I will develop my own symbols.
-Keisha Carroll
Visit Keisha on to view more photos and read more about her by clicking HERE
Visit her work in the current Liberated Muse art exhibit at the Potter's House in Washington, DC @
The Potter's House
1658 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC
The art exhibit is curated by Sharon Burton of Authentic Contemporary Art. The artwork is from artists from the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and the network

Friday, September 25, 2009

Liberated Muse Walks for Lupus in Baltimore

Liberated Muse member Ben Dawson is team leader for our Liberated Muse team ForOurMoms which will walk in tomorrow's Walk for Lupus in Baltimore. Please donate or come out to support. You can click here for details.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Are You a Creative Writer or Aspiring to Be One?

Aspiring Artist Playcation Series (AAPS) Overview:

Everyone is creative. However, many of us are at different stages of our creatve journey. AAPS is an engaging series for creative adults beginning their creative journey. If you are interested in participating in intense fun-work to help you get in touch with your creative muse, learn how to integrate your creativity in your 9-5 and begin the first steps toward becoming a full-time creative being, this playcation series is for you!

The AAP series is facilitated by Khadijah Ali-Coleman, a performer, professional writer and editor of the literary anthology Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul (June 2009). Ali-Coleman is co-founder of Liberated Muse Productions which produces the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest and owns the online social network for artists,

APPS for Creative Writers
6:30pm-8pm Oct 13-Dec. 8
Cost: $15 per class
$80 for 8 week session
(payment for 8 week session includes copy of Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul, a writer's kit which includes a journal, pen & journaling packet and free membership to $15 for first class due by Oct. 1.

Payments accepted via PayPal.
Registration for APPS for Visual Artists & APPS for Performing Artists in 2010 begins Dec. 2009.

Email for additional information and to receive a registration form.

Playcations will take place at the Riverside Community Center in northeast DC.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD to those in the DC, MD, VA area you think would be interested!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Liberated Muse Performing Artists Represented in the 2009 International Soul Music Summit

This year, Liberated Muse is so proud to learn that several members of the network will be featured as performers at this year's Interntional Soul Music Summit.

The International Soul Music Summit (ISMS) returns to Atlanta, Georgia, September 24th – 27th, 2009 with a new theme, more artists, networking and nightlife activities.

With the theme: A Change Has Come: The Resurrection of The Real Thing the International Soul Music Summit is continuing its mission of educating and exposing soul music in all its forms. The largest music conference in the world dedicated to the soul genre; the International Soul Music Summit provides mainstream, emerging and independent soul artists, retailers, consumers and executives with information, networking opportunities, and technology on how to build noteworthy careers while continuing to make passionate, timeless music.

Terry Bello, Executive Producer/Creator of The International Soul Music Summit and Billboard’s 2006 Music Director of the Year, says this year’s summit will be the event of the soul music world. The first, second and third conferences attracted attendees from across the US and as far away as London and Germany. By calling attention to the importance of networking and education to fulfill the soul scene’s needs, we have invited people from other music scenes to honest, open and frank conversations about music. We have opened the door for artists to speak directly to the decision makers who are placing music, generating spins and we have provided the opportunity to gain the knowledge and contacts to augment their careers.

Components of the 2009 International Soul Music Summit, September 24th – 27th, include:

Continuous Daytime Panels and Workshops
Live Performances & Concerts/Acoustic Jam Sessions
Themed Networking Sessions/ISMS Network
Unsigned Artists Showcases
DJ Spins and Showcases
Exclusive VIP Parties with Headlining Artists
Fashion Show
The Recognition Awards and Kick-Off Party
The Homage Awards

Liberated Muse members performing at the ISMS are:

Colie Williams
Teisha Marie
Chaquis Maliq
Al Chestnutt
Afi Soul

Check out Colie and Teisha below:

Teisha Marie

Colie Williams