Saturday, January 31, 2009

Check Out Saturday Night LIVE

What? You are still home? Well, if you are in the DC area and looking for something to get into tonight, don't sleep...head to Almaz Restaurant and Lounge on U Street, like RIGHT's absolutely free before music, cool folks and a chill environment.

The promoter for the night is still looking for great bands to send him links of your music if you want to be one of the headlining bands on a Saturday Night Live us at for details.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hip-Hop Is Not Dead!

Diallo Sumbry of the Adinkra Group is making sure that we know that hip-hop is NOT DEAD! Sumbry-- who has to be the hardest working man in the Washington DC metro area-- is taking the helm at injecting some diversity in the nightlife club choices regular folk have during the week and on the weekends. Tonight is an Adinkra Group special at Almaz Restaurant & Lounge located literally two steps from the U Street metro-- Friday Night Hip Hop Cafe.

Spinning classic hip-hop on the 1 and 2 is the renowned DJ Earth 1NE and DJ Gekko. NO COVER!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We the People Project: CALL FOR ARTISTS

artwork above by Daniel Allen of One Love Arts, Inc. located in Washington DC. Contact him @ 202-783-2124 for information on his art and community workshops he facilitates. Photograph by Khadijah Ali-Coleman

This wonderful opportunity was shot to me in an email from Liberated Muse Member Shanta Monroe, a gifted photographer who was one of our featured visual artists last year. Check it out and understand that I just cut and pasted it, so please don't forward submissions to Liberated Muse. READ the info:-)


We the People Project:

The creative vision of hope and opportunity
by immigrant and American-born Artists

Deadline Application: Sunday, Feb 8
1. The Theme
In a time when the arts and cultural opportunities are more visible than ever before, and with a new administration and a President who see the arts as an engine for economic development, dialogue and cultural preservation, We the People in the arts matter again.

To celebrate the victory of bringing arts back into the public policy and discourse, and in conjunction with the National Women’s History Month, I ask you to join me in a special program and exhibition Feb 18 – April 3, 2009 at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia.

2. The Goal
We the People Project’s goal is to create a memorable art exhibition and performance event that highlights a unique vision of America today through the eyes of immigrant and American-born artists.

3. The Project’s Format and Eligible Artists
We the People Project includes a mixed media group show and a performing event on Sunday, March 29, 2009, 2-4 pm at Lorton Arts Center in Gallery W-16, that presents storytelling, poetry and music of the immigrant, refugee and American-born artists.
The exhibition is organized in partnership with Lorton Arts Foundation and is co-curated by Marga Fripp, President, Empowered Women International, Sharon Mason, Executive Director, The Lorton Arts Foundation and Marti Deppa Kirkpatrick, Exhibition Coordinator, Workhouse Arts Center.
Workhouse Arts Center is located 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA 22079. Directions and more at
Performing artists are invited to submit a short performing piece on a digital format to be considered for participation. The message of the piece must be linked with the theme of the project, and be no longer than 7 minutes. Authentic storytelling, music, and poetry reading are welcome! There are no artist fees that will be paid for performing.
Visual artists including painters, designers and other artists are invited to submit up to 5 artworks (paintings, mixed-media work, installations, sculptures, jewelry, fiber, and other fine art designs).
Invited artists are immigrant, refugee and American-born artists, current or new members of the EWI. EWI artist membership fee is $35/year and must be paid by check to EWI, 1801 N. Quaker Ln, Alexandria, VA 22302 at the time of submitting the application.
4. Application Deadline and Submission
For visual artists: apply by email by submitting no more than 5 photos of your artwork. Image submissions must be in digital format, JPEG only at 300 dpi. Please name each image with your last name followed by your first name and artwork title.
Fill out the entry form for all pieces submitted to this exhibition. Include Your Name, Title of Piece, Medium, Dimensions, and Retail Price. Email digital images to Marga at
For performing artists: send an email with a video file attached or a video link to Youtube or a website that hosts the art video. Artists may also send a CD or DVD by mail to: Empowered Women International, We the People Project 1801 N. Quaker Ln, Alexandria, VA 22302.
Deadline: All art submissions will be made no later than Sunday, Feb 8 to Marga Fripp at
Additional information to submit with your application:
Entry Form
EWI Artist Member Renewal and/or New Member Application FormA check for $35/annual member fee
5. Art Sales
The proceeds from all works sold will be split 50/50 with the artists
§ 50% will be paid to the artist
§ 25% will benefit EWI
§ 25% will benefit Lorton Arts Center
6. Calendar
- The exhibition will run Feb 18 – April 3, 2009
- Artists drop off art at Lorton Arts Foundation, Gallery W-16
Sunday Feb. 15th or Monday, Feb.16th -- 12-5 pm
- Pick up (unsold) art
Saturday, April 4th or Sunday, April 5th -- 12 to 5pm
- Art Event/Reception at Lorton Arts Foundation, Gallery W-16
Sunday, March 29, 2-4 pm
When you drop off your artwork, please ensure that all work is labeled on the back with artist’s name, title of work, medium and price. All 2D work must be ready to hang with screw eyes and wire.
7. Attachments
Entry FormEWI Membership Renewal and/or New Member Application Form
8. Insurance
Workhouse Arts Center at Lorton carries insurance on the works of art while on the property of Workhouse Arts Center at Lorton to prevent against catastrophic loss. Insurance policy is in the amount of $250.000.
Please share this with your fellow artists! For questions, please contact Marga Fripp at 301-693-1346, or email her at
Marga C. Fripp
Art Marketing Coach and PresidentEmpowered Women InternationalEntrepreneurship Academy for Artists
We are located atConvergence1801 N. Quaker LaneAlexandria, VA 22302Office: 571-366-7724Cell: 301-693-1346

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

R/EVOLUTION: Deconstrucing the Myth of the Booty



February 20th & 21st, 8pmCapitol Hill Arts Workshop 545 7th St. SE
Advance Tickets on sale 1/30!

The Saartjie Project has garnered national and international attention for its boundary-stretching stage presentation that addresses the complex issues facing black women in society. The collective is named after Saartjie Baartman, the South African woman who, in the 1800's, was paraded around Europe under the show name "Hottentot Venus".

She was eroticized and caged to show off her large buttocks to paying audiences. Upon her death her body was dissected and displayed in a museum... and almost 200 years later her remains were finally laid to rest in her homeland. This February Saartjie Baartman's tumultuous life is the catalyst for "R/evolution".

Join the collective as they celebrate her humanity and explore body politics through storytelling, drama, song and dance!

Actress and poet Farah Lawal said, "It's amazing to be part of not only this collective, but also a movement of its own. The work we are doing gives voice to the unheard and light to a darker part of history that is still vividly relevant today."

Performances will be held on Friday, February 20th and Saturday, February 21st at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (545 7th St. SE, Washington DC). The show begins at 8:00pm nightly, and doors open at 7pm with an Artisan's Market on site.

Tickets sold at the door and $10 advance tickets available at starting 1.30.09.

The Saartjie Project is preparing for its 2009 season, which will kick off with "R/evolution" at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. This spring the collective is slated to perform at the Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed International Conference and is currently casting for an Atlanta-based collective.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

International Photography Contest Celebrates Obama: SUBMIT UR WORK TODAY!

Got some good pics? Um, excuse me. For the artists who considers themselves a photographer (myself included), they are not pics, but PHOTOS.

Here's a great opp found on the cool new site started by DC-based photographer Kuroji Ntu (who is also a frequent Lib Muse member).

International Photography Contest and Exhibition Celebrates the Inauguration of Barack Obama

FotoWeek DC and The Newseum proudly announce fotobamaweek, an international photography contest celebrating the Presidential campaign and the Inauguration of Barack Obama.

Take that amazing image during Inauguration week, or find one you have already shot that captures the spirit of the Presidential Campaign, and the Election.

Amateur and professional photographers anywhere in the world are invited to enter the fotobamaweekcontest.

You may not have a front row seat to the Swearing-In Ceremony, but what about that impromptu moment captured at a campaign rally, or election night at your own private party?

Iconic impressions are yours for the taking, wherever you are, here in Washington or abroad.

Enter photos taken with digital, film or even cell phone cameras, but please submit them electronically.•

The top 100 winning images, selected by The Newseum's panel of judges, will be exhibited at The Newseum• All 100 winning images will be published in a limited edition book sponsored by FotoWeek DC• Grand prize winners will be announced at a reception at The Newseum.• Cash prizes totaling $5,000• All images submitted will be on display at FotoWeek DC's on-line gallery, along with People's Choice winnersThe fotobamaweek contest opens January 15, 2009 and closes March 15, 2009.

Enter for the contest here:

(graphic above created by MYST Studios for the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest)

Join Us @ Artmosphere Tonight

Hey folks, come join your Liberated Muse family @ the Artmosphere Cafe TONITE. Artmosphere is located in Mt. Ranier, MD. The jam session is from 8pm-to closing.

(Because of the snow going on right now, call before coming out to make sure it is still going on.)

Visit the site for directions

Get your sing on, bring your instruments, bring your canvas to do art, spit a rhyme, do a poem...just come on out!!!

The jam session is hosted by poetess Dehijia Maat....

$5 cover and food and beverages are sold

I've been to the joint several times since the new year and in December and I've had a ball.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Get Obama For Free

As Obama's image has helped the personal economy of folks plastering his likeness on any and everything from sticks of butter to thong underwear, it is nice to find that freebie you can get of our popular president. Here is our pick of the week:

These commemorative stickers mark Barack Obama's historic victory and were designed by groundbreaking artist Shepard Fairey—the same artist who designed the world-famous, iconic "Hope" poster for Obama. You can get one sticker for free. For a $3+ donation, will send you 5 stickers. For a $20+ donation,they'll send 50 stickers. Stickers are 4.5" x 6" (about the size of a postcard) and may take 5-7 weeks to arrive.

Click here for details.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Movie About Hip-Hop Legend Biggie is a NOTORIOUS Let-Down

Please be warned that this blog entry will mention some aspects of the movie "NOTORIOUS" which is based on the life of Biggie Smalls. So this is a ***SPOILER ALERT****

Ok, without mincing words, I will say that the movie stunk. Being an avid hip-hop fan, but, more specifically, a die-hard Bad Boy fan in the early days (I know, don't laugh)...I really feel that I could possibly have made a more dimensional movie then what is out now in the form of Notorious.

The movie weaves together the various patches of truth we know about Chris "Biggie Smalls" Wallace's life but adds absolutely nothing extra that may have lay beneath the public persona we knew and loved so well. We knew that Biggie was a very smart youngster who was bored in school and left to deal. We knew that Biggie and Lil Kim had a sexual relationship that prefaced his short-lived marriage to singer Faith Evans. We knew that Biggie was Puffy's golden-child of Bad Boy and chief player in Puffy's rise to become Diddy. We knew Biggie's mother was West Indian and really religious. We learned absolutely nothing more in this movie.

Each character was portrayed as superficially and two-dimensional as humanely possible. What was fun to watch, above anything else, was watching the actors mimic the celebrities showcased in this movie.

Derek Luke as Puffy was flat-out hilarious, (on-purpose I hope). He danced and gyrated in almost every scene that showed Biggie on stage. We watched him in his minks and glam metrosexual wardrobe and we got it-- he was doing Puffy. But that was it. There was absolutely no scene of Biggie and Puffy in dialogue kicking it or conversing as boys. Maybe that was intentional, showing us that Biggie and Puffy weren't as close as we were led to believe. But, there was absolutely no dimension to any of the relationships Biggie supposedley had-- whether it was with Lil Kim, his boy Lil Cease, his "manager" Mark or even his mother, played by Angela Bassett in her typical Angry Mama 101 manner.

What was especially lost in this movie was any type of illustration of why Biggie was important to us and significant as a hip-hop lyricist who, even after his death, is considered a legend. I'm not implying that it was necessary to deify him or create a false image of who he was in order to explain him. However, I do believe that it would have been easier and well-received if the movie's focus provided (and maybe focused more) on Biggie's lyrical style in context of the music game at the time. Biggie came during a time where thuggin and gangsta rap had taken a particular hold over the industry, despite hip-hop phenoms still on the scene (Tribe, Wu Tang, and the like) being pushed underground and passed over for acts that promoted product placement and sterotypical behavior that has grown to misrepresent the actual artform of MCing. Biggie, like TuPac, was an enigma in a sense because he represented both the start and the end of an era of a hip-hop form that many would say has truly grown stagnant over the years.

But, one of the film's producers, Wayne Barrow, made it clear that he could care less about those of who have problem's with the movie's depth and accuracy. He told CBS news: "Our job as producers ... was to deliver for three individuals. That's his mom and his two children. Everybody else: Stand in line, buy a ticket and enjoy the show."

So, if we didn't, do we get our money back?
Grade: D

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Open Society Institute Seeks Fellows

(In photo: Baltimore-based performer Bangladesh of the Bangladesh Project performing in the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest)

The Open Society Institute-Baltimore( ) is accepting applications for its 2009 class of Community Fellows.

The goals of these fellowships are to encourage individuals to pursue public and community service careers, expand the number of mentors and role models available to youth in inner-city neighbor-hoods, and promote entrepreneurial initiatives that will empowercommunities to increase opportunities and improve the quality oflife for their residents.

Since 1998, over one hundred CommunityFellows have applied their educational and professional experiencesin innovative projects serving marginalized communities in Balti-more. Past fellows have made exceptional accomplishments in a widevariety of areas, including media literacy, community art, andjuvenile justice.

Interested individuals may either apply for a fellowship to workunder the auspices of a nonprofit organization or to workindependently.OSI will award up to ten fellowships to individuals committed toimproving the circumstances of Baltimore's underserved communities.Fellows will receive $48,750 over eighteen months.Interested applicants must contact OSI to reserve a spot at anorientation session.

For information on attending an orientation session and/or receiving an application, visit the OSI Web site.RFP Link:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hip HOP CINEMA! Yea Boy-eee!

The people @ solSource who bring you the fabulous annual Can a Sista Rock a Mic festival are moving into the realm of film, bringin us the Hip Hop Cinema to Washington DC.
Saturday, January 31, 2008 2:00 PMFREE@ Historical Society of DC
801 K Street, NW
at Mount Vernon SquareWashington, DC 20001
with panelists:
Head-Roc (Godisheus)
Tyrone Norris (Rosetta Stoned)
Kobie Nichols (Hot Topic TV Show)
moderated by Konyka Dunson program host with DCTV and WPFW
Special appearance by The Package, & Mental Salvation Radio's Enoch 7th Prophet
Musical backdrop by DJ Jav

Explosively tracing the story of a group of underground hip hop MCs and DJs from the early 1980s to the present day, Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme is a work-in-progress documentary film that explores the world of improvisational rap—the rarely recorded art form of rhyming spontaneously, or "off the top of the head."

Made over the course of more than seven years—mostly with borrowed cameras from a non-profit co-operative of B-Boys, DJs, and MCs known as The Center for Hip Hop Education—Freestyle takes the viewer on a journey through the previously unexamined dimensions of hip hop as a spiritual and community-based art form.

Following some of the best MCs ever to bless the mic, Freestyle features legendary battles including those of the film's hero, Supernatural, pitted against his arch nemesis, Craig G. As these artists improvise poetry out of the mix of language, politics and culture that make up their lives, we discover revolutionary worlds where the English language is subverted and re-appropriated as a tool of economic and social empowerment.

Freestyle is experimental in its nature as improvisational cinema. No showing of the film is ever the same experience. By combining the best of independent documentary filmmaking with the hip hop mix tape format, director Kevin Fitzgerald offers us a context in which to view living art as a social critique through story and rhyme.

You are invited to participate in an audience discussion with some of the best in the area's Hip Hop Scene, a preview of Rest in Beats*, a first look into The DC Hip-Hop History Project**, and a screening of the D.C. music video The Warning (feat. Sunrock, The Package, Enoch, Grammy nominated Kokayi & more). *Rest In Beats is an original and independent documentary that pays homage to record producers of the past through intimate conversations with renowned record producers of today.
The documentary comes at a time where fear and uncertainty often deafens inspiration and creativity in the recording business. Rest In Beats allows viewers to explore the musical influences and historical sources of inspiration behind today's hit makers, though not without observing the milestones that served as catalysts in ushering in the music industry as we know it today. It is a timely, educational and entertaining work of art for students of music and general music-lovers.
**The DC Hip-Hop History Project is a movie currently in production, which takes a look at history of hip-hop in Washington, D.C. from 1985 to present.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

WANTED: An Artist with Talent-- Keeping Hope Alive When You Lose Your Full-Time Job

You are a singer with the occasional gig who works full-time during the day as a teacher.

You are a painter who waits tables to make ends meet.

You are a writer who supplements your income by a day job as an executive.

Then you get the pink slip. Your artist gig is now your main gig. What do you do?

According to the US Department of Labor, payroll employment fell by 524,000 over the month and by 1.9 million over the last 4 months of 2008. In December 2008, job losses were large and widespread across most major industry sectors. In December, the number of unemployed persons increased by 632,000 to 11.1 million and the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has grown by 3.6 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 2.3 percentage points. Black people are more likely to be unemployed with 11.9% listed as unemployed.

Times are tough. And, with previously strong industries as retail laying off employees, a plan of action is called for stay afloat. As an artist with a talent that extends outside of traditional industry, you may have a benefit over the rest of the flock, however. While it can be assumed that you will probably be less likely to find an abundance of regular gig opportunities, you can definitely put your artistic skills to work if you think outside of the box. On the blog Painter's Keys, I found this wonderful quote by artist Robert Genn: "Recessions are blessings. Historically, recessions and depressions have been times when 'important' work gets made."

Here is a list of some suggestions from Liberated Muse that some of our members report are working for them to stay creating while paying the bills:

-Offer discounted lessons in your craft to youth and adults. You sing professionally? Consider giving private vocal lessons. A painter? Consider starting a small class at your local library or individual lessons. You can advertise for free on sites such as Craig's List or the CityPaper in your area. You can also post flyers in grocery stores and on college campuses. Also spread the word among your friends and family to pass the word.

-Collaborate with other artists and put on a show. The poet .jade foster who hails from the DC area is part of a wonderful movement where local spoken word artists and musicians have a floating show where they charge a small entrance fee for patrons to enjoy entertainment, food and fellowship in a pretense-free environment. This idea is not new but as of late has not been the norm for most acts who search for gigs within already established venues and events. During this time, step out on a limb and invest in yourself and your talent while there is no middle-man to take their part.

-Get Out in the Street. Ok, it is cold outside, but you can take this bit of advice literally and not so literally. While street performers are more likely found in NYC or near the closest Metro (if you're in DC), the average performer tends to look down on the hard-working street performer as either a derelict or someone with nothing to lose (including ego). Well, change your thinking. Some very talented and established indie artists grew their audience with street performing. Acoustic soul artist Kuku grew his audience years back when he and his friends pitched up shop outside of a U Street club in DC and began impromptu jam sessions. Though Kuku was already an open mic favorite throughout the area, he was not shy in breaking out into song on the street to the joy of his fans. Aside from the potential coins and dollars that will most likely be thrown your way, you may also catch the eye or ear of someone who is planning their next big event and have you in mind as the featured act.

These are but a few suggestions. Got more? Share...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Will We Ever Get Sick of Looking At This?

They look at each other as if they are in the early stages of romance, not a decade plus long marriage. He opens her car door for her, even when flanked by secret service, chauffeurs and every other type of grunt-man on hand who could do it for him. He kisses her after each speech, gently, softly, not rushed and in chicken peck fashion or as if under duress. She looks at him soulfully each time he speaks, as if she is sending him telepathic energy and encouragement..."I love you baby, you are doing great."
Meet our First Lady and President of the United States.
Aside from the rock star delirium his presence seems to ensue wherever he goes nowadays, Obama has perfected the art of PDA--Public Displays of Affection-- taking it to a level that has hardly been seen before by a public so voyeuristically trained by our overdosing on tabloids and gossip blogs, that we can sniff out a fake more than a mile away.
Never skanky or condescending, the affection Barack and Michelle display towards each other in front of the masses is the ideal display every woman has at least longed for at one point of their life and what every man probably thinks they could do if they wanted, but would probably say they could only do with the right woman. Their PDA is intimate and gentle yet durable and playful at times.
Will we ever get sick of looking at that? I don't know about you, but my answer is an emphatic NO!

On another note, how about the new prez's dancing moves when he and Michelle went to-- not one, not two but TEN inaugural balls? (I'm tired just thinking of the travel involved). Check out the vid above for some comic relief.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dear History...

Saul Williams, the poetic tour-de-force we all know and love sent his email list his own thoughts on this historic Tardust Liberated:

"We have overcome.

Except those of us now in Gaza. Except those of us whom police kill. Except those of us who are suspects. Except those of us whom the church hate. Except those of us damned to taste good. Except those of us held by fate. We are meeting in the capitol. Word is, freedom will not wait.
All that once was never shall be. All they could do won’t be done. All we sang of is now happening.

[note to self:]Must writenew songs to become…

...And so it was. Through the collective imagination of the people, the force of will and human potential, and an unflinching ability to hold himself to task, Niggy Tardust was liberated. His ability to see beyond the boundaries and obstacles of 'genre', 'race', and suppression, allowed him to encompass a grace and sound that embodied the all. All that had stood against him, now stood with him. All that had claimed a lesser harmony, now craved voice and resonance. He stood with poets, painters, dancers, students, children of the night who had transformed themselves into a million bright ambassadors of morning, and proclaimed,

“We declare declaratives and deny the official. Based in the landmark of the G-spot, we have overtaken ourselves and overthrown our forefathers. Let there be light within the light and let it answer to the name of Darkness. We are forever risen from the deadly: the anti-virus and the All Stars. Granted power by forces unbeknownst to us. Made in the likeness of kindness. We offer anger to the angry and fear to the fearful. We dance at our own funerals to forsake the mourners…

…This is no time to cry! This is no time at all! Here is the moment of the overlooked and the unforeseeable. We are the elected officials of the people: poets and artists. We are the declarative statement of the inarticulate, the irreparably damaged goods of the bad meaning good. We are the government! We are the government! We are the government!”

Today, Obama is Sworn in as the 44th President of the United States

Liberated Muse Productions sends congratulations to the President-Elect Barack Obama who will be sworn in today as the 44th president of the United States.

I will be watching this historic event on television. At 8:45am, the news stated that no more people were being admitted in the area to view the swearing in ceremony. People had begun showing up before 4am this morning to get space on the Mall downtown.

Please don't forget to tune into Mental Salvation Radio on Blog Talk Radio @ @8pm tonight as this special occasion is discussed. Liberated Muse Productions is sponsoring tonight's show. Mental Salvation Radio has been voted the #1 Podcast on! Liberated Muse member Enoch is the host.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

W. Ellington Felton Directs New Raheem Devaughn Video , Verdict: We Like, We Like It!

Raheem Devaughn's new video "Four-Letter Word" is an artistic delight in its simplistic visual that shows us everything we really want to see-- Devaughn singing, seductively licking his lips and emoting as only he knows how. The sprinkle of four-letter words cascading down the screen are simple accents to a video that shows us just why we dig on Devaughn...he can sing, duh!

Directed by DC's own W. Ellington Felton,-- who in his own right is a talented triple threat as a singer, actor, and video director-- the video incorporates a sense of community as Felton cites names of his and Devaughn's fans underneath the chosen words that are showcased in the video. Yours truly was thrilled to see my name as one of the first featured as was, I'm sure, were other fans who were mentioned in the video after sharing through Facebook with Felton our favorite four-letter words.

With this video, Felton and Devaughn are choosing the route that many artists are choosing, whether they are indie artists or big label affiliated...and that is, include your fan base in whatever creative way you can fathom, it will reap rewards in the long run. This brings to mind such revolutionary acts such as Saul Williams and Radiohead.

Saul Williams' big deal promotion of his cult classic "Niggy Tardust" which included an initial free download may not have reaped in the big bucks first off, but the album has amassed such a following and familiarity with his work that I will guess the benefits will be far-reaching when it comes to his next project .

Liberated Muse says "kudos" to out-of-the-box" thinking artists who are bringing us their product all the way live, keeping their artistry intact, with integrity and with the public in mind and in the middle. We love you:-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

JimiJames is the Poster Child of New Music

Liberated Muse member Stevie's Soul who is celebrated photographer Stevie Robinson introduced the Liberated Muse social network to the image of JimiJames in late 2008 after she met the rising songstress at the I Got Soul Conference in TX last summer. Robinson, who is the official "Photographer to the Indie Stars" has photographed such indie luminaries such as Yazarah, Sy Smith, Deborah Bond, Navasha Daya of Fertile Ground, Eric Roberson, and more. On top of being someone with a great eye, Robinson also has a great ear for talent.

Enter JimiJames.

KCRW 89.9 FM Radio DJ Garth Trinidad tagged JimiJames as one of the top artists to look out for in 2008. Trinidad originally premiered JimiJames The Truth on his highly respected syndicated radio show Chocolate City in Southern California. By the end of 2007, the album had been featured on Sirius Satellite radio’s #1 rated Hip-Hop Nation music segment (DJ Jamad’s Afromentals), and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) had requested that JimiJames submit The Truth for GRAMMY consideration.

James is eclectic like the fabulous Janelle Monae but sexy punk as well with a soulful funk vibe that reminds you of what the product would be if Prince and Teena Marie had a baby. Her song "Everything" will be on rotation on so you can check her sound out for yourself.

You can also check her out at the American Music Urban Inaugural Ball. Visit HERE for details. You can also check out the blog The Black Gentleman Quarterly to find more listings of balls that will be taking place in the coming week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Still Time Left To Submit Work for Paris in Harlem Event: SUBMIT NOW!!!

Liberated Muse social network member, Gemini Visions and her company Authentic Contemporary Art and several co-sponsors will be partnering with Lil SoSo Productions and the Alliance Fran├žaise de Washington ( to celebrate the influence of African Americans in France with the multi-media arts event: When Harlem Came to Paris, Saturday, February 28, 2009 in Washington, DC.

This event celebrates the rich history and culture of Black American writers, artists and musicians who came to Paris from the 1920s and 1930s, the period often referred to as the Harlem Renaissance. The event will be held at the Alliance Fran├žaise de Washington and will feature food, music and performances by local musicians, actors, and actresses in character, depicting the sounds and personalities of the era. A Silent Charity Art Auction will be held simultaneously during the event. This will be the second year that LiL SoSo and the Alliance will be co-sponsoring this event.


Deadline for Entries - EXTENDED: 2/4/09

Submissions and accompanying information should be received by Authentic Contemporary Art by February 4, 2009. Click HERE for Submission Criteria

NOTE: You may now also email your form and jpegs of your work to

For more information, go to

Call for Acts for the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest in Washington DC

The 2008 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest kicked off its first year in Washington DC's Marvin Gaye Park. Featured by a think MTV blogger and featured in local media, the event introduced the wider public to the talent hailing from the DMV area. Below are some of the soul music acts featured.

We are currently calling DC, MD and VA acts to submit press kits to us at to be considered to participate in the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest which will take place on Saturday, July 25. This year, acts chosen to perform on July 25 will be chosen by the fans. Send us your press kit for more details.


Edith Sodolo

Tia Dae

Monday, January 12, 2009

Countdown to President Obama's Inauguration

The countdown to Barack Obama's Inauguration as the 44th president has begun. The inauguration will take place on Monday, January 20, 2009 and will potentially be the highest attended inauguration in history.

Electing Obama has been a historical milestone, not simply because of Obama's African heritage. Obama's election campagin has set new standards on outreaching to the public and engaging members of US society of all ages. Whereas politics in general before were the stomping grounds of the middle-aged and elderly where good ole-boy strategies were implemented, targeting a few-- Obama's campaign updated the political game to where technology played an ample role and people of all ages were engaged.

As we draw closer to Obama taking office and beginning his role as President of the United States, the hope is that Obama keeps along the path of engaging all people in the political process and authentially listening to the needs and wants of his constituency.

Visit the inauguration blog HERE

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Protest in Oakland Erupts After Oscar Grant's Funeral

The Oscar Grant shooting in Oakland by a BART Transit officer led to protesting, and rioting in some areas, after Grant's funeral on Wednesday. Word is that the officer who killed Grant resigned.

Here are various perspectives of what happened in protest:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Tuesdays @ JoJo's on U Street This Month Featured Mentoring Today

This month in recognition of National Mentoring Month, we featured the fantastic work of Mentoring Today.

Started several years ago by two American University law students, Penelope Spain and Hill resident Whitney Louchheim, Mentoring Today is the only organization focusing on reintegrated formerly incarcerated youth back into the community.

Located in Anacostia, Mentoring Today links DC youth incarcerated in Oak Hill Youth Center (read detention center or prison) with dedicated positive mentors. The mentors are matched with the youth when the youth have a few more months before being released. Mentors visit the young men at Oak Hill (just outside Laurel, MD) each Thursday for three months and then stay connected with them for a year in the community after their release.

Mentoring Today also works with the youth’s families. Chevy Chase Bank on the Hill and Realtors at Long & Foster Capitol Hill are developing financial education series. Guest speakers are always welcomed. Read more HERE

(All photos by Khadijah Ali-Coleman, blog copy by Maceo Thomas)

All rights reserved. To inquire about use of the photos, please email us at

On another note:

The recession is not just hitting every day joe's in the pocket, independent learning institutions are also feeling the crunch. Liberated Muse social network member Ras Kwame is extending a plea to the general public to help support the great work of his school Nubian Village Academy located in Richmond, VA.

An African-centered school setting, children are embraced and introduced to the rich aspects of their cultural lineage while building key learning skills necessary to compete in this technologically advancing society.

Consider donating-- whether $5, $50 or more-- and help this wonderful full entity stay afloat. Nothing has been more sad on the economic front then the closing of several independent businesses, particularly those that are a refuge from meglo-monopolies and promote artistic exploration. One local example has been the closing of the popular book chain Karibu Books. That closing definitely left a smarting in my mouth. Let's not let Nubian Village be next. Donate TODAY!

Artmosphere Cafe TV Taping of "The Obama Talks"

obama talks
If you can't read the jpeg above, here's the deal:
Artmosphere Cafe in Mt. Ranier, MD is hosting "The Obama Talks". Participants will discuss Obama and what one hopes he will do in his first term. Also, participants will enjoy free food samples as Artmosphere tests out its new menu options.
If it sounds fun, email an RSVP to
You also need to select a day you want to partipate. It's taking place on three Wednesdays of the month:
Jan. 7th (today)
Jan. 14
Jan. 21
Liberated Muse Productions will be there on the 14th!

Police Brutality @ It's Worst: When Do We Say Enough is Enough?

In the early 90's when I was a freshman college student at UMBC, I had to participate in training to become a Student Peer Advisor for the summer. SPAs were the students who facilitated summer orientation for new students. This year was a politically charged one, for it was the year of the riots in LA after the Rodney King beating court decision.

Even though I had never been to California yet at the time and the images of the beating and the subsequent riots were things I only witnessed on television, I was very connected to what was going on. I had cried a few times alone watching the madness on television, very confused as to how a court could find police officers innocent of a crime that was vividly showcased by video footage. It was a like a Jedi mind trick. Being told that you didn't see what you saw. Being told you aren't feeling what you are feeling.

In this one particular SPA training class, where we were discussing diversity issues, I had just had it. I broke down when the subject of race in our country came up and no one even so subtly referred to what was going on around us at the time. I remember one girl in the class, a Russian immigrant, remarking, she didn't understand why Black people were so angry all the time. At least we could vote, she said.

I think about that now when I read news stories about the young 22 year-old father of a young daughter who was gunned down for no reason in front of a crowd of folks sporting cell phones with video capability.

I think of the sheer audacity it takes to murder someone in front of a group of people and just intrinsically feel and believe that you are justified in what you are doing. I sadly anticipate an impending "investigation" and subsequent trial which will actually debate whether or not the police person was justified in his use of force and murdurous application of his weapon. To even think about this mockery of a trial to be makes my skin boil.

But, its that Jedi mind trick again. Its that societal attempt to goad us to believe that there has to be more to it. That, even though we saw, not one, but several camera angles of the shooting from various folks taping it on their cell phone, there has to be, there has to be some reason that police person shot an unarmed man who was lying prone on the ground. There has to be a reason, right? Right? Right.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Train Wreck in Action: K-Ci and Jojo

Ok, I saw this for the first time yesterday when I was reading a wonderful Top 10 list by one of the greatest music blogs on line, Soulbounce. After watching it repeatedley-- I just couldn't believe it was for real-- I really did some serious thinking that has, well, led to this blog post.

First of all, WTF.

I loved Jodeci. I love Jodeci. Jodeci from the early nineties, Forever-my-lady them. K-Ci & JoJo the act, not the biggest fan, but, they were the main singers of Jodeci, so they had some of my residue love as a Jodeci fan.

Then they fell off. We didn't hear from them in a while. Then they started touring in the last couple of years, performing, mainly stuff from their Jodeci days and few years as K-Ci & JoJo the act. Apparantly, in their absence, they developed (or grew) a substance dependency that spiraled as evidenced by this video. The sickening part of this video, though, for me, was not JoJo falling out, obviously high or drunk, but his brother's relunctance to run to his aid, instead, continuing to sing.

In that moment, I saw exemplified the level of pure shame we have reached as a society where attention and accolade has taken precedence over the mere concern and protection of family, privacy and relationship. In that moment where K-Ci glanced at his brother and continued to sing, I felt my skin crawl as I think of reality show after reality show developed (yeah VH1, I'm talkin bout you) where the most notorious, hateful and wicked person is rewarded for their behavior by a show of their own where they are encouraged and implored to show their most nastiest, wickedest and spiteful selves to the public. We are a bastion of glorified self-centered attention-seekers who do anything anywhere, whatever the cost.

As an artist and a supporter of the arts, I wondered what this moment had to say about the state of our art world. Particularly looking at the performing arts, I thought about what type of environment we create for our artists where they ultimately become "has-beens" despite their talent because of our shrinking attention spans and attraction to the art of image, rather than the artistic merit of musicianship.

With all that said, this video was like one of those train wrecks you just can't turn away from. Appalled as I am, I'm probably going to watch it again.

Monday, January 5, 2009

First Tuesdays This Week!

First Tuesdays is a unique event that brings DC area youth service providers, entrepreneurs and other socially conscious folks together to chill, network and build relationships across sectors and across town.
Invite a friend or colleague.
Formal attire is not required. Come as you are and leave any pretension at home.
Each month a different non-profit organization is featured and a representative shares the mission with the group.
The owners of Jojo's support the work of these groups and makes a financial contibution that can be used for discretionary funds.
Others are welcome to make donations.
This month, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009, celebrate National Mentoring Month with Mentoring Today and their board, staff and mentors who support young men released from Oak Hill.
First Tuesdays is brought to you by Liberated Muse Productions. Liberated Muse Productions (LMP) is an arts-based events planning group based in the Washington DC and Baltimore, MD area. For more info, visit the Facebook group @

Sunday, January 4, 2009

DC Hip-Hop @ It's Finest

Great vid. Gotta love Facebook. Features DMV greats including Enoch and Kokayi.

Some of Our 2008 Top Indie Music Picks

2008 was a HOT year for the Indie performer...Liberated Muse Productions was thrilled to be front seat, center stage to check out some of the hot acts of the year. Putting on the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest, being a part of the International Soul Music Summit and checking out such hot festivals as the Can a Sista Rock a Mic and the Black Luv Fest-- both in DC, we feel that 2008 was a GREAT year in particular for Indie Acts from the DC Metro area.

Though there are several music acts we call favorites, some of the acts we actually bought music from and are pumping as we speak include some of the people below...check them out! Support INDEPENDENT artists!!!!

Chaquis Maliq

This sista is a soul songstress with a sweet and sassy disposition that shines through in her music. Her voice is melodic and takes one back to the days of Stephanie Mills and Chaka Kahn & Rufus. She is a member of the Liberated Muse social network. Check out some of her sounds below.
This MC has mentioned numerous times on this blog. There are many reasons why. It's not because he has appeared on MTV and has a star that seems to only get brighter. It's not because he is fine (although, that would be ok).
Substantial is a dope MC. Substantial is also a genuinely nice guy. Substantial also works tirelessly with the kids (he is a program coordinator with a prominent Washington-based nonprofit working with kids in DC's Southeast area). Don't take our word for it, though, when it comes to his dopeness. Check it out yourself:


This sista is sophisticated soul on high notch. Her voice is bluesy jazzy over soul tracks and her songwriting is quality. She reminds me of Chante Moore in the 90's. Everyone and their mama will be able to relate to songs that talk about everything from the office politics that make the 9 to 5 a headache to the joy of finally finding someone who is good enough to share your life with. Check her out. This CD is constantly on spin in our car.


We love Kuku. His music, his energy, his lyrics. See for yourself:

In the video above, Kuku is with two other phenomenal talents, Sol Elder and Alexei Jendayi. Alexei and the poet MC Komplex started the group Fly Gypsy which made their debut in 2008. Check them out:

These are just a few of our faves...who are some of yours from 2008?


Click to learn about the Top Indie Music Sites of 2008

Saturday, January 3, 2009

TONITE: 1st Black Church Maraca of the New Year

black church maraca is an arts movement a sanctuary. minus the conditions of the church minus the stunna shades of the club. bcm dismisses those avenues raising the bar of fellowship. an open mic. a house party. a manifestation of power when we share each other's resources ideas heart.--

RAtheMC and Amber Mimz are featured guests

Email for more information

Friday, January 2, 2009

Liberated Muse Mourns the Loss of DC-based Photographer Harlee Little

A native of Concord, NC, Harlee Little was born the first child of six. He displayed an early interest in photography taking pictures of buildings around the campus of Livingstone College where his father worked.

The momentous year of 1954 changed everything for young Little, baseball, baseball all the time. All time was measured in relation to baseball, at home, at school, at church, even on granddaddy's farm. It was baseball that gave Little his first experience with what W. E. B. Dubois called the duality of black life in the United States. Would his number be 24 or 7, the markings of two New York center fielders of the day?

On into high school baseball ruled the clock until his parents pointed out that playing baseball was play. It was now serious time for education and work. So serious it was. Little enrolled in Howard University almost a century after the emancipation of African slaves with aspirations of a degree in law or physics.

Photographs for an independent student newspaper in 1968 began a life in photography and a commitment to exploring the power and impact of visual communication. Photography became central element in Little's subsequent work and professional experience, including teaching, social documentation, magazine production and management, and design of communication services for federal agency initiatives.

Little has produced outstanding photographic images for use in art, commerce, education, industry, journalism, public and corporate relations since 1974. He specialized in producing images that communicate and document the ideas and ideals of advocates and educators, associations and corporations, entrepreneurs and government agencies.

The unique imagery of Little's vision has been published and displayed worldwide. Among these venues are American Heritage, Black Excellence, Black Collegian, Columbia JournalismReview, Emerge, Espana, Essence, Harper Collins Books, Jet, People, Science Magazine, Sydney MorningHerald, The Washingtonian, Time, Washington Post, Washington Times, and ABC News 20/20. His photographs are also featured in the exhibit and publication Reflections in Black, a history of black photographers 1840 to the present. Harlee Little is a founding member of the Exposure Group: African-American Photographers Association and was an active member in the Black Artists of DC.

Harlee Little died on January 1, 2009.
(Bio above from the Exposure Group website)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Moving Into 2009 with Creative Faith

2009 is HERE!!!

On this last day of Kwanzaa, we celebrate the principle of FAITH-- Imani.

With creative faith in the ability of art to mobilize, inform, relate and document, Liberated Muse commemorates the artists in our community who display faith in their art and their every day! Liberated Muse Productions thanks the cyber community and the DC Metro area for supporting our efforts in the 2008 year and look forward to our collaborative efforts successfully manifesting for the year 2009.

Here are some Liberated Muse members we wish to acknowledge on this day of Faith:

Tichaona Chinyelu

Cheril Clarke
Playwright & Novelist

Diallo Sumbry
Drummer, founder of the Adinkra Group & member of Farafina Kahn

Find more videos like this on Liberated Muse

Farah Lawal
Actress & Writer

Find more videos like this on Liberated Muse

Keisha Carrol
Visual Artist

Find more photos like this on Liberated Muse

Mary Gaskins of Heartfelt Stitches
Fiber Artist

Find more photos like this on Liberated Muse

Jon Bibbs
Singer, Musician

Find more photos like this on JB Live