Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wanda's Picks Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This is a black arts and culture site. We will be exploring the African Diaspora via the writing, performance, both musical and theatrical (film and stage), as well as the visual arts of Africans in the Diaspora and those influenced by these aesthetic forms of expression. I am interested in the political and social ramifications of art on society, specifically movements supported by these artists and their forebearers. It is my claim that the artists are the true revolutionaries, their work honest and filled with raw unedited passion. They are our true heroes. Ashay!

1. Deborah Vaughn, Artistic Director, principal choreographer, co-founder of Dimensions Dance Theatre, joins us to speak about The Village Project, Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m. at Phillip Reeder Auditorium at Castlemont High School in Oakland. Visit DDT for tickets and info.
2. People's Climate Movement Bay Area event, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Lake Merritt Ampitheater in Oakland, Sat., April 29, 2017. 

3. Rodney King, written and produced by Roger Guenveur Smith. Now a film, directed by Spike Lee (Netflix 4/28/17)

Link to show:

Deborah Vaughan is the artistic director, principal choreographer, and co‑founder of Dimensions Dance Theater, a contemporary dance company that was founded in Oakland, California in December 1972 to promote public awareness of the central role that African Americans have played in defining American art, culture and social change. Vaughan is strongly committed to artistic collaboration, and has worked with an eclectic mix of internationally recognized artists including jazz singer and bandleader Cab Calloway, South African jazz artists Hugh Masekela and Thamasanqa Hiatywayo, vocalist Linda Tilllery, a capella gospel and blues group Street Sounds, jazz artist Idris Ackamoor, Chinese-American dance-maker Lily Cai, composer Anthony Brown, and the late composer and recording artist Khalil Shaheed. After attending the 50th anniversary of Brazzaville, Congo in 2010, Vaughan was inspired to create a monumental work representing the legacy of traditional Congolese dance forms, a work for which she has collaborated with longtime colleague Latanya Tigner, as well as Hervé Makaya, Isaura Oliveira, Jose “Cheo” Rojas, Kiazi Malonga, and MJ’s Brass Boppers.

Vaughan is the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships, and awards. Among them are the City of Oakland Artists Among Us Award (1997); Today’s Women Community Service Award (1998); two Isadora Duncan Awards for choreography including Common Ground (1996, which also won in the category of best performance) and People of the Zozos (1991). Additional honors include a KQED Black History Month Award, a San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Award for Outstanding Performance, the Jerash Festival Award for Culture and Arts (Aman, Jordan), and the Jefferson Award for Community Leadership. In 2006 Vaughan was inducted into Alameda County’s Women's Hall of Fame as Outstanding Woman of the Year in the category of Culture and Art; that same year she also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from In Dance magazine; and in 2007 she earned a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Carroll Fife is an activist, educator and mother who has lived and worked in Oakland for the past 18 years. As co-chair of the Oakland Alliance, the parent organization to the Oakland Justice Coalition, Carroll works to increase access to quality jobs, housing, and education for marginalized Oakland residents. Carroll's deep commitment to coalition organizing has led to the following victories: Oakland's Department of Race and Equity, an eviction moratorium, the Cannabis Equity Permit Program.

Susan Schacher has been an activist in Oakland for 40 years -- working on education, community, labor, and climate issues. She is retired from teaching at Laney College; before that she was an elementary and high school teacher.  She works with No Coal in Oakland, and is on the Coordinating Committee of the Peoples Climate Day Bay Area -- this Sat, April 29.


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