Search

Venus Sings by Reza Rites

Providence-based Artist Explores Intersections of Race, Videography and Social Media, Locally and Globally, in Race Matters! A New Exhibit at URI

Providence-based Artist Reza Clifton Explores Intersections of Race, Videography and Social Media, Locally and Globally, in New Exhibit at URI

IMG_9328
(Music Moves at Race Matters! full release below. Click here on the image to link to an extended release)

WHO:

Reza Clifton, Digital Storyteller

Steven Pennell, Gallery Director & Urban Arts and Culture Program Coordinator

Twenty artists working in different visual arts formats.

WHAT:

“Race Matters” an exhibit honoring Black History Month by celebrating racial and cultural diversity and examining the long history of horrible acts of racism across the nation and the world through the visual arts.

“Music Moves” a photography exhibit and multimedia project created by RI-based writer, “digital storyteller” and cultural navigator Reza Clifton.

WHEN:

Exhibit dates: January 25, 2016 to February 26, 2016.

Building/gallery hours are

  • Monday-Thursday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday and Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4;00 PM.

Reception: Sunday, February 7, 2016, 1-4 PM

WHERE:

URI Providence Campus, 80 Washington Street, Providence, RI.

INFO

***

promo_uri_music_moves

Providence-based Artist Reza Clifton Explores Intersections of Race, Videography and Social Media, Locally and Globally, in New Exhibit at URI

PROVIDENCE, RI – “Race matters, and music moves; just look around you.”

That is how Providence, RI-based writer, cultural navigator and “digital storyteller” Reza Clifton describes her participation in an art exhibit currently on display at the Providence Campus of the University of Rhode Island (URI). Race Matters! features a collection of artwork from over a dozen different artists who contributed pieces to help highlight the beauty of racial and cultural  differences as well as the urgency behind the need to end racism. Among the artists exhibiting is Clifton, who submitted pieces from her project called “Music Moves.”

Clifton describes Music Moves as a photography exhibit and multimedia project she launched in 2014 “to explore and celebrate the different effects and benefits delivered through music.” She does this by sharing photographs, multimedia interview clips, and stories captured in places as wide and diverse as Madrid and San Sebastian, Spain; Austin, TX; Asheville, NC; Providence, RI; and Brooklyn, NY.

Clifton, also known as Reza Rites, Venus Sings and Reza Wreckage, has acquired several nicknames because she has worked as a blogger, community organizer and DJ, independently and for organizations across RI, for over a decade. She has produced content for radio dating back to 2001, and has been known as a pioneering blogger, podcaster and social media user and a busy freelance writer since 2004. Clifton was awarded Diversity in the Media Awards in 2007 and 2009 for work that appeared on her blogs and podcasts, and she has been recognized for leadership as a community organizer and contributor to the music and art scene in and outside of Rhode Island. She currently teaches writing and digital media at various sites (schools and community centers), and she can be heard weekly on Brown Student and Community Radio where she shares music, airs interviews and reports on the intersections of art, social media, race, gender and poverty on her show, “Sonic Watermelons.”

Despite these accomplishments, Clifton says she has experienced the kinds of barriers that women and people of color working in the media frequently reference in anecdotes, and which can be seen in digital media campaigns, like the #OscarsSoWhite conversations, and in research.

For example, the Women’s Media Center found that out of the 250 top-grossing domestically made films of 2013, women accounted for only 16 percent of all directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors. Similarly, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), in their “Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media,” found that men hold 73% of the top management jobs compared to 27% by women.

Clifton says Music Moves is a testament to the fact that focusing on the things you love can get you past these barriers. And she says the photos show it. For example, currently up at URI are photos from the 2015 Afro-Latino and Afropunk Festivals, Brooklyn, NY, which she attended and blogged about last summer, and the 2009 Jazzaldia Jazz Festival in San Sebastian, Spain, which she covered as part of her former production and hosting work on WRIU, a student and community-run station located on the URI Kingston Campus. Clifton also submitted photos from the 2012 South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, and from a day at the park, specifically Recife Park in Madrid, Spain.

Like her other exhibitions, Clifton selected photos that also fit into one of three sub-themes: 1) Music Moves Ideas and Cultures, 2) Music Moves Across and Through Space and Time, and 3) Music Moves the Human Spirit. Reflecting on the links between the Race Matters themes and Music Moves, Clifton explained:

“For me, focusing on music has led me to 1) work in a field, journalism, infamous for its low numbers and skewed representations of women and people of color, while 2) allowing me to to experience live performances and artist interviews in locations and with artists from all over the world, especially with women and musicians with West African, Caribbean, Latino, and/or Black American backgrounds. What I have found? Music Moves!”

The Race Matters! exhibit is on display now and until February 26, 2016, 80 Washington Street, Providence. Building/gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Friday and Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4;00 PM.  The reception for the event is scheduled for Sunday, February 7, 2016, 1-4 PM.

For more information, click here to read the full release, which includes information about photos in the current exhibit, visit www.VenusSings.com/music-moves, or do a search through all online posts containing the hashtag #MusicMovesReza. To follow Clifton, follow her Tumblr page, www.AmbitiousBlackFeminist.com, or follow @3amblack on FB, IG & Twitter and/or @rezaclif of FB and Twitter. 

 

REZA DOES REGGAE: Venus Sings on Reggae Showcase, Sunday Jan 31, 2016

PROVIDENCE, RI – Hi friends, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted here on VenusSings.com. November 12, 2015, to be precise, was the last time I shared anything new. In the interim, I have set some things up, lined some things up, and hung some things up. There is more info and there are more posts coming soon; one hint and way to catch up in the meantime is by following me @rezaclif on Facebook and Twitter.

photo 2One update:

TOMORROW, Sunday, January 31, 2016, I’m covering The Reggae Showcase, a weekly program produced by Peter Dante for WRIU, a broadcast service of the University of Rhode Island. I am one of several different DJ’s selected by Dante to guest-host annually on the Reggae Showcase, which has been on-air for over twenty years. Chune in!

THE REGGAE SHOWCASE
Venus Sings Edition
Sunday, January 31, 2016
2:00-5:00 PM

LISTEN LIVE: 90.3 FM / http://wriu.org/listen.html

cropped-venus-sings-website_logo1.jpgA few other notes to put in your ear:

Photos from my Music Moves collection are currently up at the URI Providence Campus and the reception for it is Sunday, February 7, 1-4 PM, 80 Washington Street, Providence, RI. More info about the exhibit – Race Matters! – and the inclusion and integration of my work, are coming soon right here to VenusSings.com. In the meantime, searching through #musicmovesreza and @3amblack on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter will take you to behind-the-scenes and up-to-the-minute updates about the project. Or visit the Music Moves page here on VenusSings.com.

 

uri combo collage_final_2
A final update:

A quick shout-out is owed to my team at Sonic Watermelons, the show I started in 2010 on Brown Student and Community Radio (BSR). Not only are Jose and Deejay Kellan working as hard as ever to help keep the show full of interesting guests and great music, they have also joined me in extending our net to bring more people onto the team. Special thanks go to some of our earliest and most dedicated new recruits (and former guests, in some cases) Jessica LaBrie, Michelle Arias, Rachel Simon, Erroll Lomba, Vatic Kuumba, and Kabir Lambo.

sonic flyer_summer_2015Follow/share Sonic Watermelons:

With new faces, voices and talents at the table, Sonic Watermelons experienced an exciting start to the new year with a flurry of inspiring visitors and conversations as well as a bump in listener traffic and community engagement. We also have more expertise at the table, which means our podcast game is about to get serious too. If you’re not tuning in weekly yet, you should probably start:

Sonic Watermelons ~ Every Tuesday, 7-8 PM ~ bsrlive.com/live-stream ~ @sonicwatermelons on Facebook ~ @watermelonradio on Twitter 

***

I look forward to returning and adding more content here to VenusSings.com. And I look forward to continuing to build with you folks.

Sunshine and laughter,
Reza Rites

 

Fall Into Music: Venus Sings’ List of Favorites, November 2015

FALL INTO MUSIC:
Venus Sings’ List of Favorites, November 2015

by Reza Corinne Clifton


Other songs by Yuna that I enjoy jamming to are “Live Your Life,” and, from her album “Nocturnal,” “I Want You Back,” and “Lights and Camera.” And her cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” is spectacular!

PROVIDENCE, RI – A few nights ago I had the pleasure of running into a friend I collaborated with in my previous role as co-producer and co-host of Voices of Women on WRIU. I miss the show and the corresponding opportunities, adventures and pursuits that came with having a slot where I curated and presented two hours of music every month. In particular, I miss the way the show inspired me to locate, uncover and share music made by hard-working women in and from all over the world. I was reminded of the rush and given another chance to relive the good ol’ days, when my friend asked me for recommendations for new, sultry women she could share on the show.


The song “Mama Says,” by Ibeyi, inspired me to write a poem that you can find here. “The River,” another song by Ibeyi, has a video that blends the shockingly surreal and shockingly real.

Twenty minutes later, I sent Liza the following list of artists that I thought she should check out:

  1. Ibeyi
  2. Yuna
  3. Jhene Aiko
  4. The Internet
  5. Melanie Fiona
  6. FKA Twigs
  7. Hollie Cook

No, it’s not that all of these women are new, though some are, yes. On the other hand, all of them are artists that fit the sound that my friend seemed to be seeking out. In case she’s reading, and because, in hindsight, seven seems like a strange number, here are four more artists I’d recommend based on new music they’re producing and/or the timelessness of what they’ve already done.


Jill Scott has been out for nearly two decades. Still, as one viewer on Youtube wrote, “She pulled the words out of my heart” with this one. A couple other favorites of mine from over the years include “A Long Walk” and “So In Love.” 

  1. Nneka
  2. Santigold
  3. Solange
  4. Jill Scott

I hope to share additional recommendations before the year ends. In the meantime, leave your favorites in the comments or with me on Twitter @rezaclif.

Celebrating a Decade of Blogging and Chillin’ with the Guys: Reza Rites Visits The Codex Prime Podcast

Article by Reza Corinne Clifton. Photo/Collage Credit: Codex Prime, R.Clifton
Article by Reza Corinne Clifton. Photo/Collage Credit: Codex Prime, R.Clifton

I don’t remember where I was when it hit me: Reza Rites, you are celebrating a decade of blogging.

My first site was called RezaRitesRi.com, my first post went up in 2005, and it’s how I earned the nickname Reza Rites. Some of the work I posted there earned me awards, and some job opportunities where I was asked to replicate the style or topics I was publishing on the site. My presence, persistence, outreach and networking also helped me start and run other sites (including VenusSings.com and AmbitiousBlackFeminist.com, the two sites I run today) and contributed to readers and collaborators not only from RI, but also from and within different spaces and quarters around the country – and world – like Washington, DC, Boston, MA, New York, New Bedford, and even San Sebastian, Spain. In short blogging has been a big part of my personal and professional development, so it feels significant that I’ve been doing it for about a decade.

Soon after realizing and reflecting on all of this, I found myself in one of the chairs in the home studio where Maurice, Aris, Carl and Victor tape their weekly podcast, “Codex Prime.”

Codex Prime, if I had to describe it in one sentence, is a space for nerds, blerds, gamers, techies, fantasy football players and/or Comic Con enthusiasts. In my case, I was invited as a guest to talk broadly about music and my current projects (ie, as a music nerd). But after hearing about my decade of blogging, and two trips to Cuba that happened before that, the window opened for a full, fun conversation with me and the guys.

Click on the Soundcloud file below to hear the Codex Prime Podcast that featured me, Reza Rites, as the special guest. And check out the show info below, from the Codex Prime page, to learn more about their program and about some of the topics that arose during the show.

The Famous Foursome of Maurice, Victor, Aris and Carl are joined by writer, digital storyteller, cultural navigator, and friend of the show Reza Clifton. Their awesome conversation delves into Reza’s work in media and education, Aris’s tales of salty Best Buy employees, Victor’s reviews of The Martian and Sicario, Reza’s experiences with the Afropunk and Afrolatino Festivals in New York this past summer, and some super cool music talk as well.

All of this and so much more, so listen, like, subscribe, GET IT!

Recorded October 6, 2015
——————————————————————-
CATCH REZA CLIFTON AT:

Venus Sings: www.venussings.com/

3 AM is the New Black: www.facebook.com/3amblack
+ instagram.com/3amblack/

Sonic Watermelons: www.bsrlive.com/shows/sonic-watermelons

Ambitious Black Feminist: ambitiousblackfeminist.tumblr.com/

Twitter: twitter.com/rezaclif
——————————————————————-
LINKS OF INTEREST:

Afropunk: www.afropunk.com/

Afrolatino Festival: www.facebook.com/afrolatinofestivalnyc

Ixcanul (trailer): www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMMP0Z21zqU

Gary Clark Jr. music: www.youtube.com/user/garyclarkjr

High School of the Dead: www.hulu.com/high-school-of-the-dead
——————————————————————-
Email: CodexPrimePodcast@gmail.com

CATCH CODEX PRIME AT:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/codexprime
Twitter: twitter.com/codexprimecast
Instagram: instagram.com/codexprimepodcast/
iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/codex…id998035389?mt=2
SoundCloud: @codex-prime

I May Move: A New #3amblack and #RezaRites Flick


Sometimes you have something to say. And sometimes it’s time to walk away and move on. But where do you go?

That is one way to describe the newest short film – and question – produced by 3 AM is the New Black and Reza Clifton called “I May Move.” The video features a short poem written by Clifton as well as photographs, drumming and an audio clip from a graduation program honoring adults and teens who completed a community-based Black Studies course on August 14, 2015 in Providence, RI. Clifton served as the graduation speaker, delivering an address she called “Getting the Revolutionary Word Heard.”

Click on the video above, or here, to view the film. Learn more about the class, talk and partners involved by visiting the links provided below.

***

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

To learn about, donate to, and read class materials from the DARE Black Studies Program
http://dareblackstudies.com/

To read more #3amblack poetry from Reza Clifton
http://3amblackpoetry.tumblr.com/

To read the full Washington Post article referenced in the talk
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/12/black-poverty-differs-from-white-poverty/

To see the “PVD Black Resistance Zine” produced by the first graduating class of the Fred Hampton Institute for Resistance
http://issuu.com/sophiarwright/docs/pvd_black_resistance_zine_-_color_-?e=18914926/15234109

To read/follow #3amblack updates and other arts/culture updates
http://venussings.com/

For access to Reza’s “Confessions of an AmbitiousBlackFeminist” blog
http://ambitiousblackfeminist.tumblr.com/

***

FILM CREDITS

Producer/Director: Reza Clifton

Poetry/Graduation Address: Reza Clifton

Photography: Reza Clifton, Fred Hampton Institute for Resistance

Video: Reza Clifton

Music/Drumming: Sidy Maiga, Rachel Nguyen, Marco McWilliams

Additional Thank you’s to: Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), Rheem Brooks, Marco McWilliams, Cherise Morris, Kabir Olawale Lambo, and Sophia Wright

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. | The Baskerville Theme.

Up ↑

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,555 other followers

%d bloggers like this: