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Category Archives: Black Females

The Time has Come… Finally

It finally happened! I got a full-time position in the arts. I am super happy, blessed, and excited. In my last post, I talked about finding passion and pushing forward, well this has paid off. I will be starting my new position on 1/12/15. I am the new Branch Coordinator for Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. I grew up with Settlement being a household name due to being a musician and a huge music geek. Now, I have the ability to create more musicians and artists for the world. I am super happy and excited! This year I will be turning 29, which is look very good. I started this blog at 25 when I was at a crossroads in life and really wanted to get back to what made me feel whole… the arts. After four years, my journey continues in an upward position.

As far as school, I am even more motivated to finish and continue my professional development. This winter quarter, I decided to take a break and re-group as well as really focus on my thesis goal/purpose. Drexel has a wonderful art administration program online and campus. Their staff is amazing and they continue to improve. Although, I have had two classes that were not as helpful; however, these class were educational and provided real life learning experience to provide a balance view of the arts. I have grown as a student, researcher, and person in this program. I definitely recommended this program if you are considering a masters/career in the arts. I am super ecstatic for the spring semester and the completion of the program.

So happy NEW YEAR!!! I hope this year, you find peace, happiness, and your passion! I will keep you posted on updates and well as the restructuring of this blog, which will focus on creativity, goals, and professional development.

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And the struggle still continues…

This has been a very difficult semester. It has been a combination of a lot of things… Some procrastination and excuses included. I am just struggling to stay focused and energized. Hopefully, I can get this accounting perquisites out the way this summer but I am thinking about taking it in the fall. I feel like I need a break and my fall is super busy… Three classes…. In grad life that hard, in my fulltime and part-time working  life that’s insane!!!! I just need to get it together. I am just in a weird place; where I want to change jobs, where I want to do adult things like buy a house, and where I just want to not struggle internally anymore. I feel like I just want to either quiet this fire in myself or release it and not be afraid of it. I feel like I have so much built up in me that I just want to release it. A former coworker once said to me you should write a book. I often go back and cringe at my response to this notion… “Who would read my story”…. I always do this, self-doubt. It’s one of the things I struggle with along with procrastination. But maybe I will write a book or books about my life and views as an art administrator (in training) of color. I need to proclaim my right to be heard and recognize my own power to inspire change and hope!  One of my guilty pleasure movies that give me a “pick me up” and courage to push through things as well as motivation,  is Legally Blonde… I know, shocking. This movie is ridiculously awesome and hilarious… Yet it inspires me to be and do better.The fact that she has the confidence to say ” I don’t need a back up, I’m going to Harvard ” makes me want to have that confidence and assurance that, yes I am the shit!!! And will accomplish what I want. I love this movie for its feministic views and the promotion of staying true to yourself. However, this film is “interesting”  in the continuing conversation of black feminism and people of color in higher education… But that is another discussion and post. Although I love this movie, I still have issues with it. But like the world everything has its flaws. Just venting and perhaps procrastinating… 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Black Females, Grad School, Writing

 

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Half way Done the 1st Year!!!

Wow!! Half way done… the first year of Grad School. It’s been super stressful but rewarding. I am happy to being doing something that I am passionate about and genuinely excited about. I have improved from my previous semester/quarter. I have gotten better with the discussion board. I have learned that I need to respond to something regardless because this most of my grade. I was very sick this semester but I managed to get an A- in my Management Techniques Class and still awaiting a grade for my Fund Development Class. In the Fund Development class my final paper was on L3C which is super interesting and under used in the art sector. I think this paper is the start of my thesis. I am still mulling over information and a data but I building more and more research. During the paper, I was able to attend on March 20, 2014, Risk-taking and Entrepreneurship in Museums: a Conversation, hosted by the Museum Council of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. The conversation featured three faculty members, Danielle Rice, Neville Vakharia, and Derek Gillman, from the Arts Administration and Museum Leadership departments at Drexel University. The conversation discussed how museum can be financial viable and stay relevant in the 21st century. This is something that remains to be a trend in each class I take. Sustainability and Diversity are topics I seemed to be stuck on. I am excited to see how things will eventually develop. One of the things I need to work on is time management and pacing. I felt so drained by the in of the semester. The last two weeks of the semester seemed to be awful and were the most stressful. I caused most of the stress due to poor time management and lack of motivation.

My goal from the next and future semester is to stay positive, stay focus, time management effectively, and complete easy task sooner. But so far so good!! Super Happy the semester is over!!!

 

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Black Female Voice

I have been on my black feminism kick for a minute now. I am in this mind state maybe because of the world or maybe because it’s time to weigh-in on black issues or really, world issues. I think different perspectives provides us with education. I love these women and I think this was an interesting discussion. I think as people (regardless of race) have a narrative that need to be shared. I think that we need to figure out how to shape this information and provide this dialogue for change. I like that… Dialogue for Change. Watch this great discussion with these two women.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Art and..., Black Females, Scholarships, Writing

 

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Reflections on Afrofuturism & STEAM at SMiH

Here is another piece from the same blog. Last semester, we discuss the impact of STEAM and art advocating. It prompted many papers and debates about the importance of art in education and in general. I think this adds to the discussion and take the topic to the next level. Examine the information presented as well as the sources. My paper/letter* about the program initiative STEAM is below as well for more information. But what are your thoughts on this movement as well as the STEAM project?

 

* Dear Representative Harris,

What is art? According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, art is defined as “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.” When the arts are removed from our educational system, we lose these valuable skills and take away a child’s opportunity and dreams. Art saved my life; without it, I would not have been able to obtain my dreams. As your constituent, I call on you to support the success of all students by strengthening arts education in the reauthorizing of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act.

The Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) AKA “No Child Left Behind Act,” was a temporary solution enacted by the Bush Administration in 2001 to address the education crisis of this country. The Lyndon B. Johnson Administration first enacted the ESEA in 1965, as a campaign to combat the “War on Poverty.” The act was later amended in 1994, with the premise of higher standards for children, more community, family, teacher interactions, and resources targeting the areas of the “greatest needs.” This brings the education debate to 2013 with Representative George Miller’s Amendment to the H.R.5.  I request from you, Representative Harris that you support the following provision proposed by Representative Miller:

1) Demand clarification of the allowable uses from Title I funds, for disadvantaged students to use in all core academic subjects, including art education;

2) Guarantee that struggling schools could have greater flexibility with the arts as a turnaround strategy for schools labeled as failing;

3) Include specified support for art education grants in a well-rounded curriculum fund in the U.S. Department of Education;

4) Add art and design into the definition of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program activities, helping to turn STEM into STEAM;

5) Designate the arts as an eligible activity for schools that are seeking expanded learning time (ELT) for their school day.

In addition, I urge that you to strengthen access to learning in the arts by supporting $30 million in funding for the Arts in Education program and reject the effort to terminate this program in the FY14 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.

Why are the arts important for our children?  If not for the arts, I would not be writing this letter. I was born and raised in the inner city of Philadelphia. I grew up in a single parent home and below the poverty line. In my senior year of high school, I was homeless and was motivated to stay in school because of music. I learned to play the flute in the fourth grade at Rowen Elementary public school. Music allowed me to escape from my surrounding and nurtured my dream of getting out of poverty. I stand as a college graduate, current graduate student, and an artist, due to the encouragement and motivations of my art teachers and art. Art saved my life; without it I would not be the successful, well-rounded person I am today. Please support the Arts and the future of our children!*

Renegade Futurism

The so called fine artist realizes, those of us who have freed ourselves, that our creations need not emulate the white man’s, but it is time the engineers, architects, chemists, electronics craftsmen, i.e. film too, radio, sound, etc., that learning western technology must not be the end of our understanding of the particular discipline we’re involved in. Most of that west shaped information is like mud and sand when you’re panning for gold! –Amiri Baraka, “Technology & Ethos” in Amistad 2, 1970

Last Thursday I moderated an artist panel at The Studio Museum in Harlem. My rationale for moderating Enlightenment, Strange Mathematics and Rhythmic Equations was two-fold. The first objective was to place contemporary, interdisciplinary artists in dialogue around the idiosyncratic notions of Sun Ra and other pioneers of afrofuturism, a framework for freedom of expression.

Tasked to reflect on afrofuturism in Africa Tegan Bristow writes, “The…

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Augmenting Sociocultural Awakenings in Art & Beyond

Very Interesting!! Check it out! Share and explore!

Renegade Futurism

The Shadows Took Shape exhibition at The Studio Museum in Harlem (especially reading the catalog) got me thinking about redesigning Augmented Reality in Open Spaces for a new project/purpose. I read We Want the Funk: What is Afrofuturism in Africa? by Tegan Bristow. Tasked to reflect on afrofuturism in Africa Bristow writes, “The practices that refer to being of a contemporary Africa presented in The Shadows Took Shape reflect something new to me – digital and technology culture augmenting already existing sociocultural awakenings occurring in contemporary Africa.” She notes a strong relationship between innovative practices and social change in Africa.

Bristow highlights the work of Botswana-born South African based artist Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum who imagines parallels between ancient mythologies and futuristic sciences. Her practice includes drawings on paper, drawing installations, animation and performance. In her paper Afro-mythology and African Futurism: The Politics of Imagining and Methodologies for Contemporary Creative…

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OH WOW!!! It’s 2014!!

WOW!!! It’s 2014!!! Back to the Future II was based on Marty returning to 2015…. CRAZY!!! One more year and still no flying cars, no trash powered vehicles, or hover boards!!!!! But we still have one more year! so let’s see what happens..

Classes for winter semester starts on 1/6/14. Super excited and terrified at the same time. I just received an email from my professor of one class, which included the syllabus. I have a lot of reading to do! This is why I wanted to write this post because it will probably be a long time before my next one. This year, I plan to make changes both internally and externally. Time to stop being so negative and pessimistic. I am not going to go into detail on my transformation but… this is my year! 🙂

As was discussed in November 2013, black feminism and self-confidence are topics that I would like to explore this year. I think that art evoke and inspired these topics. I think there is a debate brewing; however, no one is ready to explore it. I will attempt to get the conversation started.

This is an introduction to these topics. I will also try to find the interconnections to art as well as tackle the taboo subjects these topics. I guess this also another commentary of my feelings on, what is art? and how art is deemed art? This new segment will embark on the perception of art. Last semester in my overview class, we discussion art perception and how that affects funding for the arts. In this segment, I want to explore art and its effect on society. Thus, hopefully, connecting the above topics of black feminism and self-confidence and art… we will see.

In the meantime, I hope (seriously hope) that I am able to read the following books by the end of 2014. Here is my list:

Divided Sisters: Bridging the Gap Between Black Women and White Women

Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

At Knit’s End: Mediation for Women Who Knit Too Much

Curtsies and Conspiracies

I kept the reading light because of school. I plan to really read and study a lot. Who knows, with this research/readings, will, perhaps, develop my methodology and thesis. Who knows!

Why am I so interested in this topic? Why wouldn’t I be! The whole point of this blog is to explore the lack of diversity in the art world. I started this blog to detail my journey into this world that at times feels exclusives and unattainable. Although, starting my program in 2013, there was a great number of black females in my class, more than I expected, especially when I false started in 2010, there were only three (this includes me). How many will make it? Only time will tell. More importantly over three years, there was an increase in the community that this profession (art management, registrar, curators, etc) is viable and an option in the art world. However, we still have a long ways to go, only one black male in the class and this is a graduate program. Ideally, I would like high school students who are interested in art, but do not want to be creators, have the information about other position that are in this field. In hindsight, I think I am going to explore this as a thesis topic, possible book (maybe too presumptuous), of diversity in art management or diversity across the spectrum of art. Hum…

Anyhoo, what are your plans or goals for 2014? 2014!!! OMG!! Crazy… Sorry, I am an 80s baby and 90s kid; this is flipping me out that I am here in the year 2014!! Who knew! Anyhoo, good luck everyone with this year’s endeavors! I will try to write often and explore the topics above. In the meantime check out some suggested reading list on black feminism:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyford/13-must-reads-for-the-black-feminist

http://www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-perry/the-mhp-black-feminism-syllabus

Happy New Year!!! 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2014 in Art History, Black Females, Grad School, Writing

 

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