Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Computer Virus Set to Hit on April Fool's Day

You should be aware of a new computer virus called Conficker C. An international group of computer security experts have come together to try and stop this program, but have not had any luck so far. As the managers of a social network, we here at http://www.liberatedmuse.com/ want to get the word out to our members that there is an impending threat to computers worldwide.

The virus, which has already infected millions of computers running Microsoft Windows, is apparently set to launch on April 1st, but it is not clear yet what it will do. Previous versions of the virus took control of user PCs to sell bad software programs.

What happens with a virus like this is:

  • The program could delete all of the files on a person's computer, use zombie PCs -- those controlled by a master -- to overwhelm and shut down Web sites or monitor a person's keyboard strokes to collect private information like passwords or bank account information, experts said.

  • More likely, though, says experts, the virus may try to get computer users to buy fake software or spend money on other phony products.

  • Experts said computer hackers largely have moved away from showboating and causing random trouble. They now usually try to make money off their viral programs.
    Experts say Conficker C imbeds itself deep in the computer where it is difficult to track. The program, for instance, stops Windows from conducting automatic updates that could prevent the malware from causing damage.

  • The program's code is also written to evolve over time and its author appears to be making updates to thwart some of the Conficker Cabal's attempts to neuter the worm.

Microsoft has posted a $250,000 reward for the capture of the virus author, but the best security experts in the world have so far failed to catch the person or persons.

Experts warn this virus could do significant damage when it is launched on April 1st.

If you own a PC, you should:

  1. Find out if you received an automatic software update from Microsoft in March. If you have, you are probably fine. If not, your machine may be infected.
  2. If you are concerned your PC may be infected, visit Windows Live to get a PC scan and a security update if needed. The site The Beehive, has a great section on keeping your computer safe.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mos Def on Bill Maher

What an eclectic panel Maher had on his show last week-- a panel that included famed writer Rushdie and hip hop thespian Mos Def. As they engaged in discussion about the president's first days in office, the legalization of weed and the melting economic markets, Maher is, for once, the seeming conservative on his own show.

Interesting show. Check it out in the vids above. Though I heard about the show from author Ray Winbush via Facebook, shout out to PurpleZoe for bringing the vids our way on her Ultraviolet Underground.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Learned Talent Vs. Natural Talent

They say Michael Jackson had it as a child, which is why he became such a major star. Shakespeare supposedley had it back in his day because there wasn't anyone else like him before. Biggie Smalls, the notorious hip hop mega-star apparantly was born with it as well; its arguable that his rhymes were filled with lyrical skill rarely heard before.

What is it, then, you ask? It is natural talent-- the ability to create within the artistic realm in an innovative manner that is neither learned nor honed in any large way prior to demonstration.

Some believe that most artistic people are born with an artistic ability that is neither learned nor duplicated. However, if that is so, what role does learning play in building artistic skills and at what point do you recognize whether you got it or don't got it?

Talent as Intuition

According to blogger Nick Pagan, natural talent is largely intuitive, which means that you don’t have an understanding of what causes the effects that you create. As you seek to do bigger,or better, things, he writes, there comes a point when your natural ability proves insufficient.

Perhaps this is why dance phenom Michael Jackson relies on choreographers like Vincent Paterson to build his dance performances through teaching him technique, timing and routine. This may be the reason while many rap artists who consider themselves true hip-hop heads study the greats before them and are able to speak to the history of the craft. Maybe this is why every great actor can speak of movies or plays that inspired them because they studied them in critical detail and repeatedly watched them for tips and cues.

Ultimately, it can be surmised that talent alone is not an indicator of ultimate success and growth or in the field of the given talent.

Honing Your Craft= Hard Work
As I conclude my last day of my four-week course at a local photography school, I can only hope to build my skill as I learn techniques in composition, lighting and aperture. Before-- a point and shoot queen-- I garnered attention for my photography but wasn't able to speak to the "why" behind it. Now I'm on the path of making my artistic creations more intentional.

Consider these notable creative folk when you make the decision to take a class, seek a mentor, attend a workshop or go back to school to study in your artistic field of interest:

  • Angela Bassett, actress, received an MFA in acting from Yale University
  • Impressionist Painter Allan Freelon won a full scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts) and later earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a masters of fine arts from Temple's Tyler School of Art.
  • After years of performing as a teen mother and learning things by trial and error, noted author & performer Maya Angelou studied under famous mentors and joined alliances with noted writers as a member of the Harlem Writers Guild where she was mentored by James Baldwin
  • With innate musical and dance ability, soul legend James Brown's early recordings were heavily influenced by the work of contemporary musicians such as Ray Charles and Little Richard. Little Richard's relations with Brown were particularly significant in Brown's development as a musician and showman. Brown once called Richard his idol, and credited Richard's saxophone-studded mid-1950s road band, The Upsetters, with being the first to put the funk in the rock and roll beat.
  • Writer Terry McMillan received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, and attended the MFA Film Program at Columbia University
  • Actor Denzel Washington earned a B.A. in Drama and Journalism from Fordham University in 1977.
  • In 2003, Samuel Jackson spoke out against rappers turned actors, saying that as a classically trained thespian it was not his job to lend credibility to by appearing in movies with them. Jackson earned a BA in Drama from Morehouse College in 1972.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Who Are the Police Protecting? Your Thoughts Appreciated...

Woke up yesterday and got on Facebook (as is the morning tradition) and read a status message from Fiona Bloom, the publicist of DC-based singer Wayna. The status simply read "Free Wayna".

Wayna, a soul singer who was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for her song "Lovin You" is the anti-diva. She is personable, laid back yet classy and is more girl-next-door with not a lick of Lil Kim-ish quality at all. So, I thought, this can't be about being locked up. Wayna? Hell no.

But I was wrong. The Baltimore Sun reports that Wayna was arrested day before yesterday after packing a stage prop in the wrong bag. The indie soul singer was arrested Wednesday at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport. The item that attracted security's attention was a police baton prop used during her performance--ironically-- of her song "Billy Club," which addresses police brutality.

An explanation to security was futile, as the Ethiopian singer was arrested on a third-degree felony weapon charge. After 12 hours in jail, Wayna was released early Thursday morning on $5,000 bail.

Can we say WTF????

This news comes on the heels of a tragic news story of police authority gone overboard (do these stories ever end?) in Texas once again.

A police officer was placed on administrative leave Thursday over a traffic stop involving an NFL player whom he kept in a hospital parking lot and threatened to arrest while his mother-in-law died inside the building.

Officer Robert Powell also drew his gun during the March 18 incident involving Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats in the Dallas suburb of Plano, police said.

"I can screw you over," he said at one point in the videotaped incident. When another officer came with word that Moats' mother-in-law was indeed dying, Powell's response was: "All right. I'm almost done." Read the entire story HERE or watch the video below

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Sad Day in the Making: Artmosphere Set To Close in April

"We regret to inform you that Artmosphere Café will be closing its doors on Saturday, April 25, 2009. "

This was the Facebook blog post I read from Artmosphere owner Dyrell Madison last week. With a heavy heart, I read the comments from area folks who know and love the artsy urban hang spot that has featured some of the best independent music over the few years of its lifespan.
"Two thumbs down with a sad face," wrote poet Dehijia Maat who has hosted a Tuesday night jam session at the spot for the past several months.

Located in the Gateway Arts District in Mt. Ranier, Md, Artmosphere had a difficult time staying afloat in these troubled economic times, wrote Madison.

Madison is still allowing folks to reserve the space for shows until the cafe's closing in April. You can contact him at 301-927-2233 or events.artmospherecafe@gmail.com.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Get Your April Calendars Out Now! Good Stuff On the Way...

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts (DFPA) at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland will host an exciting and inspiring week-long series of visual and performing arts events, including a student art exhibition and screenings, a hip-hop, soul/urban art "mini" yard festival and workshop, guest artist/performer lectures; comedy, theatrical and musical performances.

A special artist lecture by Sam Gilliam.

The DFPA announces performances by Bilal Salaam, Jah-I-Witness, Bless Roxwell; live art/video/animation by Jeff Henriquez, Tewodross Melchisua and more; the play, "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead" and the FocusonDesign/VCDMA Reality Check: a special portfolio review and career day in the areas of art, design, multimedia, music and entertainment for area students.

Independent and student films, including short and documentary films will be screened, such as “I AM SEAN BELL, black boys speak” is a short form documentary that highlights the voices of young black boys between the ages of 11 and 13 years old growing up in New York City, directed by Stacey Muhammad. Also there will be a screening of a moving documentary about Black and Latino youth and the HIV/AIDS epidemic titled, "America's Shadows" directed by Tchaiko Omawale.

Earth Day Celebration
The wonderful Earth Day celebration above is a production of Groundwork Anacostia River DC in association with the National Park Service. Groundwork Anacostia River DC is headed by Dennis Chestnutt who is the Executive Director and a friend of Liberated Muse Productions. Call him at 202-345-5693 for information on vending or reserving a table.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

MTV Video Covering the 2008 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest During the Presidential Campaign Season

The video above was produced by EricaAmerica, a citizen journalist for MTV's Street Team '08. One of 51 journalists selected, she was hired by MTV and The Knight Foundation to create a young, national press corp to cover the historic 2008 election. Because the 2008 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest was unique in that it had voter registration drives going on and candidates present to campaign and bring awareness to various issues, EricaAmerica chose to cover it as her piece for July 2008.

Check it out!

If you haven't already emailed us for your vendor application for your nonprofit or business, make sure you email us at CapitalHipHopSoulFest@gmail.com!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest Roster of Acts HOT LIKE FIRE!!

The roster of acts for the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest are off the chain this year! Two of those acts, Teisha Marie (in the video above) and the 5th L are bonafide stars in their parts of the DMV, lacing music with spoken word and appealing to the nature of fans who like to be intellectually and artistically stimulated.

The 5th L
The 5th L is a Baltimore-based but nationally traveled spoken-word poetry meets hip-hop soul group which is made up of David Ross/Native Son and Femi Lawal/The Dri Fish. They are an action packed poetry experience that delivers spoken word with the skilled theatrics of a Broadway show and the high energy a rap artist exerts on stage and yet able to maintain the poetic integrity of Langston Hughes to entertain and enlighten audiences.

As a duo and band, they have shared stages with international recording artists such as Musiq Soulchild, Saul Williams, Ursula Rucker, Raheem DeVaughn, Bill Cosby, The Last Poets, Fertile Ground, Jaguar Wright, and KRS-One. And in response to The 5th L’s continuous work in the Baltimore city community, Reginald F. Lewis Museum has featured them and their works, written and audio for reading and listen as a permanent exhibit in the museum.

We are so excited to have them as part of this year's Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/the5thl
Teisha Marie

I caught this soul diva last year for the first time in the Can a Sista Rock a Mic festival in 2008 in downtown Silver Spring and she reminded a bit then of a young Afi Soul, the popular DC vocalist who was part of the 2008 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. However, seeing her later on stage and catching her video above (which is a new favorite of mine), it is clear that this singing diva has a style that is her own, with an appeal that is sure to transcend taste barriers. Make sure to peep the video above and catch her on MySpace here: http://www.myspace.com/teisha360

Stay tuned for profiles on more of the performers of the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. The festival website will be updated in April with hot news for you to check out! You can email us at CapitalHipHopSoulFest@gmail.com to learn how to become a vendor or partner at this event.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Past Weekend in Review-- The Great and Not So Great

Common Sits Down w/ Substantial for UAUTV (Up And Up Television) from Up And Up Television -Truth Hall on Vimeo.

This past weekend, I was caught in a dilemma-- two favorite performers of mine, Common and Eric Roberson-- were both coming to the DC metro area and were performing at the same time. Which one to see? I chose Eric Roberson's concert. For one, his was closer, and also, I have more of his music and have never had the pleasure to see him in concert.

Roberson is the independent performer that has become the model of many aspiring performers trying to get more gigs and sell CDs. Roberson's story is legend-- gets a deal, disses the deal and sets out on his own, taking the promotion of his music in his own hands. Not only is he highly successful as a recording and perfomance artist today, he is also very down-to-earth and as likely to perform in a large concert hall and a small local club within the same week.

Roberson's performance this weekend in DC was in a fairly new venue called The Scene. Located in the northeast area of Washington DC, it is a lounge and restaurant trying to build an audience as it competes for the attention of club-goers more familiar Love nightclub which is fairly close.

As a fan, I purchased my tickets to Roberson's concert almost a month in advance and made sure to get the VIP tickets which were twenty bucks more than the regular admission price but guaranteed seating and included dinner.

When I arrived, the seats had been taken and there was no more available seating in the venue. However, they were still selling tickets to folks. There was a line of furious folks (myself included) who were clueless as to what was going on. Within minutes, I identified the issue-- no one was at the door monitoring who had paid for what and was allowing anyone to seat anywhere. We demanded a refund and many of us got it. However, no one from management came out to apologize or offer some alternative to simply walking away angry.

This disappointing night led me to wish that we had chosen Common's concert from the get-go. At least Up and Up Productions shared with us the video above so we could at least quell our Common fix. Enjoy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest Seeking Partners for this Year's Summer Event

Liberated Muse Productions is inviting local organizations and individuals to become partners for the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. Partnership is different than sponsorship or vending at the event. Partners will have opportunity to showcase their business, talent, services or product.

This opportunity will allow partners the chance to gain exposure, build an audience and earn revenue without the need to become mired in the logistics of planning their own major event.

The Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest is an annual event that is a musical platform for performing artists in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The first Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest took place in 2008 and promoted the theme “Vote for Soul And REAL Hip Hop” given the backdrop of the historical presidential election.

This year, the theme will be “Time for Some Action”.

It is our hope that the Partnership Package will allow organizations, businesses and individuals more flexibility in their role as participants in the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. Those interested in becoming Partners are invited to participate in a Welcome Meeting we are holding Saturday, March 28, 2009 in Washington DC.

Email us at CapitalHipHopSoulFest@gmail.com to get more information on how to become a partner.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Award-Winning Black-Owned Web Site Asks You to Be Part of a New Book

In 2007, I became a fan of the site http://www.todaysdrum.com/ which included daily articles about positive news in the African-American community. I was pleased to be featured in 2007 when I was casting for my play Shades of Black: a thought in progress which hit the stage in Baltimore, MD in 2008. I made http://www.todaysdrum.com/ my homepage, which kept me in the loop on news that often doesn't make the front page news on many mainstream publications.

Today's Drum has posted over 10,000 articles since its inception inMay 2006 and is linked to more than 400 web pages including AOL, and a few universities and high schools. Today's Drum won last year's BlackWebAwards for "Best News Site".

Today's Drum is publishing a book currently titled, President Obama, Just One Question.

Editors of the book are asking the public, "If you could ask President Obama one question, what would it be?"

Respondents are asked to leave their question in the comments section on http://www.todaysdrum.com/. It is also an awesome opportunity for you to leave your web site link on the site. At last check, over 100 individuals, from ages 8 to 70 years-old have already taken advantage of this opportunity. Selected responses will be published in the book.

Today's Drum Editor Keith Foxx calls this a wonderful opportunity to network. "The future is all about creative and strategic partnerships," he said.

You can go directly to the link by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Restaurant Opens in Washington DC in Honor of Writer Zora Neale Hurston

The Harlem Renaissance has been a central theme for me since the start of 2009 for some reason or another...but I love it! I have either been given books or come across books in random places that just happen to be about this almost magical time of rebirth in the Black artist realm and I'm diggin it major-ly...

Last month, I enjoyed Lil So So's production "When Harlem Came to Paris" and I am looking forward to this weekend's grand opening of the new restaurant eatonville in Washington DC. eatonville is another marvelous creation of restauranteur Andy Shallal who also owns the fantastic chain Busboys & Poets. Both eatonville and Busboys & Poets are linked to key figures in from the Harlem Renaissance. Eatonville is the hometown of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes was a busboy before becoming the renowned poet we know and adore.

The debut of eatonville the restaurant is in the form of an event called Murals to Zora.
Featured performers in this event include www.LiberatedMuse.com members Noon:30. Check them out on Liberated Muse by clicking HERE.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Calling All Women Visual Artists, Dancers, Poets, Singers & Musicians!

The Saartjie Project is proud to present its first benefit showcase which will celebrate the homecoming of its muse Saartjie Baartman.


Born in 1789 into the Griqua tribe of South Africa's eastern Cape, the Khoisan woman was orphaned in an early raid and was later baptized Saartjie Baartman (her name means "little Sarah" in Afrikaans). She was working for a local farmer near Cape Town, South Africa when her physical appearance attracted the attention of a visiting ship's surgeon, William Dunlop.

Saartjie's enlarged buttocks and oversized labia intrigued Dunlop and he suggested that he take her to England to be studied. Arriving in England in 1810, Saartjie was examined by some of the leading anatomists of the time. Her unusual genital condition was formally termed the "Hottentot apron" (Hottentot being an archaic name for Khoisan). Seen by the public as nothing more than a sexual freak, she was placed on public display in Piccadilly and quickly dubbed the "Hottentot Venus". According to contemporary accounts, Saartjie was often "exhibited like a wild beast" (usually in a cage) and forced to parade almost naked before gawking audiences. Many spectators poked her with sticks to ensure that she was "all real" and she was often left in tears due to the pain and humiliation.

At some point, Dunlop and Cezar dropped out of the picture and Saartjie became the property of an animal handler named Reaux. Her showings in Paris were as popular as they had been in London and she was examined by many French anatomists, including Georges Cuvier. Numerous scientific papers were written about the "Hottentot Venus" that emphasized prevailing notions of racial superiority. Saartjie died on January 1, 1816 (probably of pneumonia) but the exploitation didn't end with her death. Her body was dissected by Georges Cuvier and a wax replica of her body was made. Saartjie's skeleton,brain and genitalia went on exhibit in Paris' Musee de l'Homme and remained there until 1974 when they were finally removed from public view.

Over the years, there were repeated pleas for the return to Saartjie's remains to South Africa but interest in the case intensified after Stephen Jay Gould wrote an article on her in 1985. Finally, following pressure from the South African government and debates in France's National Assembly, permission to return the remains was given in 2002. On May 6 of that year, Saartjie Baartman's remains were returned to South Africa and, in a moving ceremony, she was laid to rest on August 9 (National Women's Day in South Africa) in the Gamtoos River valley of the Eastern Cape.

The Saartjie Project, an artist collective based in the United States in Washington DC, debuted a stage performance in 2008 inspired by the life of Saartjie Baartman. Since the August 2008 premiere performance, The Saartjie Project has performed in sold out shows extending into 2009. This year, the collective is scheduled to perform in upcoming venues including the Capital Fringe Fest held in the nation's capital and The Theatre for the Oppressed Conference in Minneapolis.

To celebrate the anniversary of Saartjie's homecoming to South Africa and to support the growing programs and performances soon-to-be implemented, The Saartjie Project is pleased to put out a call for female artists-- visual & performing-- to participate in a benefit concert to be held on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) in Washington DC.

Email a link to your work and a bio to homecoming@thesaartjieproject.org for consideration. Deadline to submit your work for consideration is April 1, 2009.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Teach Your Art Skill to Washington DC Students and Get Paid To Do It!

For those who live in the Washington DC metro vicinity, the Child & Youth Investment Trust Corporation (CYITC) after-school component called Project MyTime (PMT) has an opportunity for you if you fit this criteria:

* You enjoy working with middle schoolers (11-14 years-old)

* You have a skill you can teach them (i.e. dance, double dutch, football, martial arts, painting, etc.)

*You can work in urban settings with youth who may be "at-risk"

*You have reliable transportation

*You can flesh out in writing what you would engage the young people in each session

Project My Time continues to ask Liberated Muse Productions to spread the word to our network because so many of our members have responded to this opportunity in the past. Current members who are now Project My Time contractors include (but are not limited to): Afi Soul, MYST Studios, Binahkaye Joy, 5 Rings Art, and the Adinkra Group.

Project MyTime is currently seeking bids from individuals to serve as independent contractors specializing in a variety of arts and recreation activities for after-school programming in DC Public Middle Schools: Sousa Middle School, Hart Middle School, Kelly Miller Middle School and 7 others.

A word to the wise: only consider this if you are really interested in working with young people. Because this initiative is fairly new, there are several kinks regarding management of the Project My Time program. Each school has a different site director who is the liaison between you the contractor and the school. This oversight impacts your ability to recruit and actually have children to work with. You may have a site director who will recruit children to come to after-school programming and you will then have your pick of children to recruit from to join your group. However, you may have a site director who will expect you to come during the day to recruit children by passing out flyers to students in their classroom or during their lunch period or doing visits to classrooms to talk about your what your after-school group will offer. So, keep this in mind when applying to be a contractor. Your range of payment will be based on the number of children you are expected to serve each week.

Visit http://www.cyitc.org/about/jobs.asp#Indie_Provider_with_Project_My_Timeand learn more about opportunities to become a Indie Provider with Project My Time.

Please note deadline of March 10, 2009. Follow instructions for application - a full application packet must be received to be considered for this bid request.

For more information, contact Shanita Burney at sburney@cyitc.orghttp://www.cyitc.org/

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Binahkaye Joy & Friends @ the Potter's House this Month

Dancer, writer, actress and humanitarian Binahkaye Joy is a spirit who you get a chance to meet every once in a while. Her persona is as endearing as her name and stage characters she presents whether she is dancing, acting, performing spoken word or facilitating workshops. A member of our Liberated Muse network, Binahkaye blogs about her work as an OSA dancer and her work with different populations as she uses dancing as a healing agent. According to Binahkaye, OSA "Open Space Activation" Dance is a transformative, organic-art experience that evolves as movement in public spaces. "Activation" is a dance process that transforms idle, static spaces into active, creative laboratories and initiates awakenings inside everyone in the space. Visit her wonderful blog HERE.

Binahkaye will be performing this month at the Potter's House in Washington DC doing a performance she titles "Joyism". The performance is hosted by Sounds of Music and will be a fusion of dance, words, sounds, and fun, inviting everyone to participate in the dance that, she says, "belongs to all of us". She will be accompanied by the cosmic melodies of Manatho "Moonhead" Masani on mbira, (the thumb piano). Sounds of Hope is a benefit concert series that happens EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT from 7pm to 10:30pm at The Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Road NW in Washington DC.

Binahkaye is a member of the artist collective The Saartjie Project who she has invited to do excerpts from the show during her performance set. Doors open @ 7:30pm and the suggested donation is $15 All tickets sold at the door! The Facebook invite is HERE.

Host: Sounds of Hope @ The Potter's House
Date: Friday, March 20, 2009
Time: 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: The Potter's House
Street: 1658 Columbia Rd NW
City/Town: Washington, DC

The Potter's House is a restaurant, a bookstore, a gift shop, a concert venue, a theatre, and an art gallery. The Potter's House is maintained by the Potter's House church of Washington DC. For more information, call (202) 232-5483

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hip Hop Cinema's "The Freshest Kids: a history of the B-Boy"

Did you know that "B-Boy" is the term preferred over "Breakdancers" by those who are adept at popping and locking and getting down-right dirty on the floor as they twist and spin in ways that we sometimes can't believe is humanely possible?

Were you aware that B-boying actually pre-dated a lot of what we now refer to as "hip-hop"?

Hip-Hop Cinema, a solSource DC production, treated us this month with their monthly film installment that took a historical look at the history of the B-boy. After the in-depth documentary, attendees were treated to some dance moves by the Beat Ya Feet Kids who are based in DC, Grey Matter-- a b-boy and emcee and b-boy Giovanni Galleno(http://www.myspace.com/geosnap). A forum discussion was moderated by Kobie Nichols.
(All photos by Khadijah Ali-Coleman--please link back to this site if you use the photos)

When Harlem Came to Paris-- Simply Divine!

When Harlem Came to Paris is the brainchild of Risikat "Kat" Okedeyi, the founder of Lil So So Productions. Okedeyi had the creative thought to imagine the Harlem Renaissance alive and kicking with some of its key players living and breathing among us as we party and socialize like its 1934. Set at the elegant Alliance Francaise De Washington , the evening was a remarkable flashback setting where everything was authentically reenacted as possible-- from the french menu to Josephine Baker's accent. Planned to perfection, the atmosphere created was stellar-- classy, fun, cordial and festive. Some DC luminaries were at the event, including Post writer Rhome Anderson, legendary vocalist Valerie "Kehembe" Eichelberger, Sherry Ways of Sankofa Doll Artistry Studio, DJ Jahsonic, and others.

The actress in me loved this event as it was a prime event to dress up, Charleston and Lindy hop while imagining being a part of the rebirth of Black arts and literature. Some of the guests at the party included the divine Josephine Baker, writers Marita Bonner and Wallace Thurman, blues great Bessie Smith and Cab Calloway, among others.

Liberated Muse member Sharon Burton was the curator of the wonderful art auction that took place during the event.

The event featured:
Dorothy Tene Redmond as Mamie Mason
Shawnea Posey as Bessie Smith
William Smith as Count Bassie
Bassey Ikpi as Marita Bonner
Fred Joiner as Wallace Thurman
John Murph as R. Bruce Nugent
and Holly Bass as Josephine Baker

Me with Wallace Thurman (played by Fred Joiner)

My partner Maceo Thomas, co-founder of Liberated Muse Productions with Marita Bonner (played by Bassey Ikpi)

Bessie Smith (played by Ne'a Posey) belts out a nice one with Count Bassie on the keys

Visit our social network at www.LiberatedMuse.com to view more pictures from this event.