Sunday, June 28, 2009

Join the Liberated Muse Fam @ the Artomatic on July 3rd

The celebration of the new Liberated Muse book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul continues @ the Artomatic on Friday, July 3rd @ 8pm in Washington DC on the Solo Stage. Join us as contributors to the book, Margaux Delotte-Bennett & Ananda Leeke read pieces from the book as well as original pieces. Also, enjoy the musical stylings of Anonamas of Infinite Soul Music, Gary Young and Quineice Clarkson. A Limited Open Mic will follow. Renowned writer Alan King will also share some of his most recent writings. Come early to sign-up!

For questions, email us at

Check out photos from our Liberated Muse weekend @ the Potter's House and the Artomatic June 19-20 by clicking HERE and HERE

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Authentic Contemporary Art Recognizes National HIV Testing Day in a BIG WAY

In Recognition of National HIV Testing Day

Saturday, June 27, 2006

@ the Artomatic

James Renwick Alliance Education Room (4th Floor)

FREE and Open to the Public

Authentic Contemporary Art presents a special forum featuring visual art, music, poetry and dance.

Join us in a special dialogue about how art can play a role as an effective tool for education and treatment for people who are at risk or have been affected with HIV or AIDS. This forum will feature spoken word and other performances as well as representatives from the art community that is making a difference in the fight against HIV.

Artwork from representing organizations will also be on view.

Whitman-Walker Clinic will conduct free private and confidential HIV testing from 12:00-6:00 pm on Saturday, which is National HIV Testing Day.

Forum Participants:

Moderator: Maceo Thomas, MPH, Co-FounderLiberated Muse Productions

Public Health Advocate Participants:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Liberated Muse Weekend Was a Hit!

This past weekend on June 19 and June 20, members of the Liberated Muse community joined forces to kick-off the celebration of the new book "Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul".

On Fri, June 19, actress Farah Lawal and poets Maureen Mulima & Margaux Delotte-Bennett shared readings from the book while musical guests James Terrell, Dee Stone, Gary Young, Quiniece Clarkson and Anonamas entertained the crowd with their musical prowess. The event was also a benefit show raising money for four students who are scholarship recipients from the DC College Success Foundation. Although, they are set to receive an Achievers Scholarship, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, these students are not helped with the up front costs such as housing deposits and enrollment fees necessary to even begin school and utilize the scholarship. Almost $400 was raised to on June 19 to assist with these costs.

(In photo: Dee Stone @ the Artomatic)

On Sat, June 20, Liberated Muse took the show to the Artomatic in DC. Performer Teisha Marie joined Farah Lawal, Gary Young and Quineice Clarkson for this hour-long show as the crowd learned about the new book and the upcoming Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest.

(In photo: Farah Lawal @ the Artomatic)

If you missed it, don't worry. You can catch us on Fri, July 3 @ the Artomatic as we kick off the 4th of July weekend!

(In photo: Quineice Clarkson and Gary Young @ the Artomatic)

Visit the network at to view more photos from both shows at the Potter's House and the Artomatic.

Make sure you buy the book "Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul" by clicking HERE


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul--THIS WEEKEND, DON'T MISS IT!

Liberated Muse Productions was born in early 2008 when two good friends decided to join forces and present a festival to the DC metro area. The idea was for the festival to be a venue for DC-based soul and hip-hop acts to get exposure while linking festival-goers to businesses and services found in the area.

The first festival-- the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest-- debuted in the summer of 2008 and drew large crowds to the Marvin Gaye Park area located east of the river in DC. This park, renovated from its former history as "Needle Park", attracted folk who typically did not come outside of the northwest area of DC to find their entertainment. A tradition was born.

On July 25, 2009 in Marvin Gaye Park, the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest will take place again. This time, the line-up is even fiercer and the mission is the same. Visit to get details.

The featured book at the fest is another Liberated Muse Production. "Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul". The book, an anthology of writings and visual art which revolve around the concept of "freedom", will debut this summer. It is edited by Liberated Muse Productions co-founder Khadijah Ali-Coleman and features work by notable writers from around the world and a foreword by author Ananda Leeke.

We are celebrating the release of this book.

Click on the dates of the upcoming book celebrations for more details:

Friday, June 19

Saturday, June 20

Friday, July 3

Readings from the book, "Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul" will be read by contributing writers Farah Lawal, Maureen Mulima, and Shant'a Monroe with live performances by Dee Stone, Anonamas, Quineice Clarkson, Gary Young & James Terrell.


Monday, June 8, 2009

The Artomatic So Far: What We Like...

The Artomatic Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Artomatic has brought its trademark one-of-a-kind multimedia arts event to Half Street’s 55 M St, SE in D.C.’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. In 2008, Artomatic attracted 52,500 visitors and 1,540 participating artists. It is expected that over 60, 000 will visit the Artomatic this year. Artomatic began on May 29 and extends until July 5, 2009.

In conjunction with the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District and Monument Realty, Artomatic presents more than five weeks of art, music, theater, workshops and more — all of it free for visitors. Artomatic is a nonprofit organization headed by a volunteer Board of Directors. It is funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

(In photo: Camille Pasley-Mosley's exhibit on nurturing)

East of the river visual artists featured this year include Amber Robles-Gordon and Camille Pasley-Mosley. The popular go-go band Mambo Sauce will perform on the 4th of July. Held regularly since 1999, Artomatic transforms an unfinished indoor space into an exciting and diverse arts event that is free and open to the public. In addition to displays by hundreds of artists, the event features free films, educational presentations and children’s activities, as well as musical, dance, poetry, theater and other performances over the course of five weeks. Artomatic is an unjuried event and registration is open to all artists, from professionals to beginners.

“Two of my poems are getting published in an anthology called, Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul. I will be performing at the Artomatic to promote the book,” says local actress, Farah Lawal. Lawal is using the Artomatic appearance as a promotion also for her one-woman show "So Do You Love Me Yet?" which will open on July 10th in the upcoming Capital Fringe Fest in Washington, DC. Lawal will appear on June 20 and July 3 on the Solo Stage with other writers featured in the book and local performing artists.

What We Like So Far

So, Hook of and I volunteered at the Artomatic during its opening weekend. It was a Saturday and it was after 9pm when we arrived. There were wall to wall people and it reminded me of an evening in the busy streets of New York with the crowds and high energy in the air. The eight floors of Artomatic were bustling and alive and the elevator was packed as we made our way to the floor where the office was to receive our volunteer assignment.

Of course we checked out the Solo Stage first to see what the stage looks like for the upcoming Liberated Muse showcase on June 20 @ 6pm and July 3rd @ 8pm. It is on the 3rd floor and was among the art exhibits in a very ideal spot.

When we arrived at the office, it was packed. We were first assigned to the loading dock, but later re-routed to work in the store. I stayed put while Hook went check out the other floors to report on later. I was fine. It was a great volunteer spot. Also working the shift with me was Patrick, one of the planners of the Artomatic who has experience in planning performing arts events aside from Artomatic. We shared a lot of ideas and were able to meet some truly eclectic people who came in to purchase Artomatic souvenirs.

This past weekend, we visited the Artomatic on a Sunday during the day for a children's workshop. My daughter was able to create an original sculpture in a workshop hosted by the Suisse embassy. On this day, the space was not populated as much as it was opening weekend, but still well-attended. Here are some things she was able to do that were hands-on
(from top r to l: Make her Mexican elephant sculpture "Miss Millie", learn about a Swiss sculptor, draw a robot)
The Artomatic sells food and beverages and is open Wed-Sun, closing at 1a.m on the weekend. Visit for more information.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

DC's Head-Roc Tells It Like It Is

If you haven’t heard of DC hip-hop lyricist Head-Roc before, chances are that that won’t be for long. Head-Roc, a DC native and long-time performer in DC and in the tri-state area, recently began touring with his new afro funk band, GODISHEUS and has been headlining such noted events as the recent FUNK FENTY protest held outside of the administration building last month to performances throughout the DC area promoting his “Tip the Band” performance series. Head-Roc is unabashedly honest with his outlook on everything from music to the political scene in DC and here you will read a Q & A that will be sure to answer you want to know about this irreplaceable DC icon.

Liberated Muse: Head-Roc, you are known for both your high-energy shows, classic music and love of DC, most notably your political stance in many of your songs. How do you view the connection between music and politics in general, and specifically when it relates to Chocolate City?

Head-Roc: "For me, music is synonymous with life expression. It’s the nature of the spirit to produce sounds and to me all sounds are musical.

Now politics, in my view and very broadly, is whatever the set of factors are that determine how one behaves and decides to interact with other persons. the politics of a person or group of people can beneficially or adversely affect the life and livelihood of another person or group of people. They in turn have set of politics that will determine who they respond when acted upon. Our politics are born and shaped out of our life experiences which of course can be expressed musically.

So, it is quite a natural thing in my opinion that the expression of my political views come out in my music - as is the case when Robert Nestor Marly, Paul Robeson, Nina Simone, and all the other great soul expressionists made their wonderful rhythmic compositions. Unfortunately, there are groups of people on the planet who have disconnected from certain aspects of their music expression and they have organized themselves to promote a culture that actually devalues the importance and relevance of people doing so freely and uninhibited.

Particularly where playing percussion instruments are involved they have organized, apparently being so unnerved by the awesome and humbling effects of rhythmic human expression, to legislate when and where it is appropriate to express one’s self in such manner. So, we have to get permission from the institutions created by these groups of people to ‘redress our grievances’ as to their political decisions – which overwhelming disenfranchise our needs and favor their cultural desires.

The heartbreaking part is how this all relates to Chocolate City where the residents are majority descendants of enslaved Africans and this continent’s native peoples. The governing body, some members, share many of the same descendant characteristics with the majority of Chocolate City’s residents, but are, seemingly in full force, disciples of Western politics, ideals, and philosophies – which has been nothing but a triumvirate of oppression for us. So, now we are in a very dangerous situation where we are being oppressed by those who look like us, and because they do they are given a ‘pass’ for continuing disenfranchisement political practices. Our so called consciousness as a people erroneously have expectations and assume that our brothers and sister in political office actually will advocate on our behalf towards attaining long overdue fairness in this political process for us very special Americans, of which I am one. So, I try to write songs of empowerment in an effort to counter these complacencies. "

Liberated Muse: What is your opinion on the current state of music in DC and how can it change for the better?

Head-Roc: "I think there are many different aspects of DC music. I’ll answer this as a big fan of those who choose to trail blaze and stand firm in the creation and presentation of original works. that said, DC music is phenomenal! The diversity and level of proficiency in song writing, recording, and performing is second to none in the country I think. The Package, Krayola, Kokayi, Poemcees, Noon:30, Trophy Wife, Cornel West Theory, N’digo Rose, Elikeh, Chopteeth, See-I, Sitali, Asheru, W. Ellington Felton, Nea Posey, Ellisha “Teapot” McKinney, Deborah Bond, Mustafa Akbar, are a few notables who come to mind immediately. There are so many more… young bucks Lyraciss and ProVerb are my favorites from the next generation right now too.

how things can change for the better is simply that people need to play their parts and support one another. For instance, the best event planners/promoters need to connect with the best local stars for their events. at least for some of their shows, maybe instead of spending money to bring indie cats from outta town of comparable name recognition (and draw) to get people at their shows, they can put that money into popularizing the reasons why our local music lovers need to support the professional local indie acts - just like they do for out of town acts. Or, go ahead and bring those acts here to chocolate city but also include the best local talent as part of the event. Most of the local established artists have networks set up themselves, so a coordinated approach to promoting the event is mandatory.

Or, there can be more instances like when my man Nas Jota, who won the DMV EMA Best Video award, shot and produced for the “Warning” video featuring Enoch the 7th Prophet, The Package, Kokayi and produced by Suroc. I believe they all worked together in a wonderful agreement to create a product representing DC Hip-Hop to the fullest with high quality product. Not sure, but I don’t think any money was exchanged and everyone came to the table with their parts ready to be woven into one. The result is one of the hottest singles and video to ever come out the DC music scene. I am so very proud of them for making that happen. It was incredible to be in the video and part of that moment where a good many of the DC Hip-Hop movers and shakers were present for the shoot.

Liberated Muse: You are known as being a hip-hop icon in the DC area, however, your new sound with your band GODISHEUS is very rock-oriented. What are the influences behind this new sound?

Head-Roc:Funk, Funk, funk is the influence behind the new sound. Though I’ve been continuously active as an artist, I haven’t dropped and album since 2005 and part of the reason is that I’ve been searching for the right production. I like to be challenged musically and eventually I was able to convince Dwayne “Super Bad III” Lee, who I know is one of the baddest musicians in Chocolate City, to undertake being music director for what is now known as the GODISHEUS International Funk Train aka The GIFT, or simply GODISHEUS (gotta-see-us) – a 21st Century Funk, Rock, and Soul, Hip-Hop “People of Culture” empowerment band. It is the best thing musically I’ve been blessed to be a part of hand’s down! Keith “Blizzard the Bass Lizard” Snowden and Kenny “Kwick” Gross round out the group so well that as just a four piece unit of Drums, Bass, Guitar, and Lead Vocals, GODISHEUS is turning heads all over the city, and in every genre of music appreciated. We do hope to become your favorite band, DC!

Also a big part of influencing the new sound im rocking with is while out touring and running our Green Party President Campaign in California with my man Dr. Jared Ball (aka The Funkinest Journalist of FreeMix Radio/ and host of WPFW 89.3FM Monday’s “Jazz and Justice” radio show), he turned me on to a book called “Funk” by Ricky Vincent, and reading it has changed my life forever. It’s now my bible as it really gives insight to why I feel the way I do about music expression as a descendant of enslaved Africans living in the Nation’s Capitol, and all the challenges of doing so as a means to earn a living. It showed me that the Funk was the music expression of our people as descendants of enslaved Africans evolved from centuries of survival, and created by Soul Brother Number One: James Brown. It showed me that the substance of Funk is spiritual and otherworldly even allowing one to transcend the confines of this world’s imposed “Law and Order”. It helped me see that Rock is from Funk and only the Funk can hold Rock in place to fulfill a mission of creating music fellowship that brings people of varying interests together achieving the realization that we can do things differently on this planet, than what has been done."

Liberated Muse: You are a headliner in the upcoming Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest in Marvin Gaye Park. What led you to an event east of the river?

Head-Roc: "I am very much interested in doing events east of the river and even more so into being part of a movement that creates sustainable enterprises for hosting and nurturing dc music culture. The CHHSF is a wonderful investment and contribution and I am very honored to be a part of it, and psyched to be rocking it with GODISHEUS! I am actually currently looking to identify just what existing establishments can support live music concerts. As soon as possible I’d like to produce an event east of the river for the very good folks on that side of town. They deserve quality, responsible, and energetic entertainment just like the folks west of the river get on the regular, you know?

Liberated Muse: What advice would you give to a struggling performing artist in DC who wants to have his music heard?

Head-Roc: Plain simple, get organized. You have to organize your support base into a moving force that will follow you around to the different venues you rock. Keep creating, practicing and performing fresh material so as to give your supporters a reason to come and check you out each and every time you rock. Record and release in conjunction with organizing your fan base and your sustainability factor as in independent artist will increase.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Wise Intelligent this Weekend

When did the DC Ethiopian Restaurant & Nightclub Almaz become one of the hottest venues in DC? I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it happened when Adinkra group founder Diallo Sumbry became the event coordinator for evening events. These past three months have seen a whirlwind of hot acts make their way through the doors-- can we say soul brother # 1Wes Felton, hip-hop afro punk rocker Head-Roc & his band GODISHEUS, indie soulstress Maimouna Youssef (voice on the Roots hit "Don't Feel Right"), grammy nominated Wayna and others to name a few-- some of DC's hottest acts!
Well, looking at that roster of talent, it is no surprise that this weekend that Sumbry is bringing to Almaz one of hip hop's royal intelligensia-- Wise Intelligent from the classic group Poor Righteous Teachers. Wise Intellignet will be in the house with some other major players. Check them out below:
Asheru & The EL's
Hosted by: Enoch 7th Prophet
DJ Earth 1NE on the Deckz
Ladies Free b4 11pm
Fellas $10 b4 11pm
RSVP to this event that is sure to sizzle by clicking on the link to the event on Facebook:
If you don't have a Facebook page, just go straight to the source, Almaz is located at 1212 U Street, NW, directly off the metro.