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Young, Gifted, Black…and Arrested: #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons, Part I

Young, Gifted, Black…and Arrested: #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons, Part I

Young, Gifted, Black…and Arrested #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons Sonic Sunday Podcast, August 14, 2016 Depending on who you talk to, Christopher Johnson may not quite fit under the moniker of young. Or maybe you think the 45 year old does. Still, there is no arguing that the poet, playwright and actor is gifted and Black, to borrow from the wise words of Nina Simone. In fact, just this…

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Young, Gifted, Black…and Arrested: #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons, Part I

Young, Gifted, Black…and Arrested: #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons, Part I

Young, Gifted, Black…and Arrested #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons Sonic Sunday Podcast, August 14, 2016 Depending on who you talk to, Christopher Johnson may not quite fit under the moniker of young. Or maybe you think the 45 year old does. Still, there is no arguing that the poet, playwright and actor is gifted and Black, to borrow from the wise words of Nina Simone. In fact, just this…

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Young, Gifted, Black…and Arrested: #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons, Part I

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Young, Gifted, Black…and Arrested
#BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons
Sonic Sunday Podcast, August 14, 2016

Depending on who you talk to, Christopher Johnson may not quite fit under the moniker of young. Or maybe you think the 45 year old does. Still, there is no arguing that the poet, playwright and actor is gifted and Black, to borrow from the wise words of Nina Simone. In fact, just this past May, Johnson was interviewed by the office of RI state Governor Gina Raimondo for the position of state poet laureate.

However, Johnson now may also be known to some as the “poet” who “was arrested in Providence for ‘walking while black’.” That is because earlier this week on August 10, the Providence Journal published an article sparked by an August 3rd essay written by Johnson, for Motif Magazine, in which he discusses being “stopped by a police officer while walking home from a bus stop in May.” And on August 4, Bob Plain of RIFuture.org, also published a piece about Johnson and his arrest, including the perspective of Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steve Pare who said “‘The officer is going to have to articulate to the court why he asked this man his name and where he was going.’” Matt O’Brien’s piece in the Journal reminded readers that Governor Raimondo “is considering about 20 candidates for state poet,” with a note from the governor’s spokeswoman Marie Aberger saying that an “‘arrest would not preclude someone from being named to the position’” though acknowledging that “‘the seriousness of the alleged offense…[and] the circumstances surrounding it and the outcome’” may be considered.

This is indeed a serious matter, and this is an ongoing case, all of which should help you understand some of the work Johnson shares, and why he sometimes writes, posts and advocates in the name of or with the inclusion of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Luckily for all of us, he has developed this craft of joining words to create something new, and whether it’s love, racism, or violence, Johnson holds a mirror up to the world we live in, not to placate and soothe us but to ensure that the truth, sometimes harsh, sometimes beautiful, is told. Johnson is not only the face of racial profiling or another victim of police brutality, he is an artist. And that’s the man who joined Sonic Watermelons on June 28, 2016, when Johnson visited the show as a guest to tell us about his relationships and network in Providence, the many projects he has worked on, and the amazing opportunity he was embarking on the very next day in Sedona, Arizona.

No, we didn’t talk about his experience with being profiled and harassed on a short walk home one night this past May. Because we don’t need violence and death to remind us to talk about why #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons. To listen to the podcast, “Christopher Johnson Visits Sonic Watermelons Y Las Vidas Negras Importan” click here: http://bit.ly/2aTY7EP. Subscribe to “Sonic Watermelons” on iTunes; follow the show on FB, SoundCloud and Instagram @sonicwatermelons and on Twitter @watermelonradio; and hear the live show via webstream every Tuesday, 7-8 PM on bsrlive.com.

Read/Learn More:

More About Sonic Watermelons:
“The world is a big place. With big ideas. And lots and lots of music.” That is the theme of Sonic Watermelons, a radio show on Brown Student and Community Radio (www.bsrlive.com) started in 2010 by Reza Clifton (Reza Rites), an award-winning multimedia producer. Sonic Watermelons can be heard / streamed live every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 PM (EST) on bsrlive.com, where Clifton is now joined by co-producers and crew members Jose Ramirez, Deejay Kellan, Jessica LaBrie, and other rotating volunteers. Every Sunday, the team publishes and shares podcast versions of previous episodes and other multimedia tidbits; #BlackLivesMatter on #SonicWatermelons is a series that will be shared in that space. To listen live or find archive links (going back to 2010), visit http://www.bsrlive.com. Follow Sonic Watermelons on Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram @SonicWatermelons, on Twitter @watermelonradio; subscribe to podcasts on iTunes under “Sonic Watermelons.”

Music Moves TODAY in Warwick and More News: A Look at Today’s Take 5 with Reza Rites E-Newsletter: 6.26.14

Take 5_June 26_2014

Click on the image above to view an online version of today’s Take 5 with Reza Rites E-newsletter. Or click here to view and print the PDF version.

Challenges for Women in the Media and Global Humanitarian Crises Highlighted in New Film and Closing Exhibit for ‘Music Moves’ – Thursday June 26 at Warwick Public Library

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Providence, RI-based “digital storyteller” Reza Clifton discusses her photography exhibit, ‘Music Moves,’ Thursday, June 26, 2014 at Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick, RI, at 6:30 PM. She also debuts “Romantics Never Die Because Music Moves,” a film that addresses gender disparities in the media industry. The event is free and open to the public. Click here to listen to a four-minute podcast/interview of Clifton discussing the show with Steve Klamkin and the WPRO Saturday Morning News 

WARWICK, RI – Music moves cultures and ideas. Music moves across and through space and time. Music moves the human spirit.

These are some of the themes being explored in “Music Moves” a new photography project and multimedia installation created by “digital storyteller,” Reza Clifton, an award-winning blogger, freelance journalist and community activist from Providence, RI.

Clifton, who produces radio shows for WRIU and Brown Student and Community Radio, will also debut a short film about the project called “Romantics Never Die Because Music Moves,” which she finished earlier this month. She says the film as well as the photographs and multimedia snippets document and capture snapshots from three different types of musical projects in which she has been involved: 1) Covering musicians and cultural festivals as a journalist; 2) Organizing events and collaborating with musicians and performers as a DJ and arts programmer; and 3) Attending concerts as a consumer and live-show enthusiast.

Clifton officially launched Music Moves in February 2014 in Providence, but earlier in June she brought her work and stories to Warwick with a month-long exhibit at Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Lane. She will discuss the project in more detail on Thursday, June 26 at a reception being hosted by the library at 6:30 PM.

“Reza is an intelligent and ambitious artist, and we’re excited that she’s bringing her latest project to Warwick,” said Wil Gregersen, Community Services Librarian at WPL. “Her interests are wide-ranging, and her creative pursuits look for and find the shared circumstance and commonality in our human experience. I especially look forward to seeing and hearing reactions to her film after the test screening we did.”

Clifton says the film is new to the project and will be the first public screening. “It not only corresponds with the photos and stories in the exhibit,” she explained, “but it also raises awareness about challenges for women in the media.” She says she hopes the film encourages “creativity and bravery in storytelling,” through it’s use of poetry, music and different types of visuals.

In a different part of the exhibit, Clifton – who has been instrumental in local efforts around the #bringbackourgirls campaign for the 300 kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria – created space to raise awareness about a different issue, which she refers to as “blood cell phones,” partially in reference to the popular film “Blood Diamonds.” Through incorporating what would have been discarded CD’s into the display, says Clifton, she is asking viewers to consider the human experience of the citizens and women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where human rights organizations say the conflict there – Africa’s longest-running civil war – has been exacerbated by tension over mining for “coltan,” a mineral found in everyday electronics and most of the world’s cell phones, computers and CD players.

Though raising awareness around humanitarian crises is important, says Clifton “Music Moves is ultimately meant to instill joy. I want to inspire viewers and participants to identify, embrace, pursue and celebrate the things they love and the things that move them.”

The reception, which includes refreshments and is free and open to the public, begins at 6:30 PM with the film scheduled to show at 7:00 PM. Directly after the film is an artist talk featuring Clifton, Gregersen and artist Simone Spruce-Torres – who also works at Warwick Museum of Art – discussing what it means to bring new art to a community. Warwick Public Library is located at 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick, RI.

For more information about Music Moves, visit Clifton’s website, http://www.VenusSings.com or email singsvenus@gmail.com. For more information about the Thursday’s reception and the Warwick Public Library, visit http://www.warwicklibrary.org or call (401) 739-5440.

Venus Sings with Mighty Mystic, Music Moves The Whale Guitar: Confessions of an Ambitious Black Feminist, April 22, 2014

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Confessions of an #AmbitiousBlackFeminist
April 22, 2014

My calendar has been full of teaching, speaking, listening, reading, writing, sharing, securing, releasing and loving…

And there’s more coming up.

Join me by finding/friending/following me on FB and Twitter, @rezaclif and @3amblack; on Instagram, @3amblack; and at VenusSings.com and AmbitiousBlackFeminist.com.

Sunshine and laughter,
Reza Rites / Venus Sings / DJ Reza Wreckage

Writing for Survival – Sharing Your Poetry, Essays and Brand Online – Tweet Chat This Wednesday, Feb 12

Writing for Work
Writing for Self
Writing for Survival

Four-week Writing Workshop Series
Led by Reza “Rites” Clifton

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Feb 12 tweet chat

(News/updates, February 12, 2014: Video Essayist and Podcaster, Victor Omoayo, Joins February 12 Writing for Survival Tweet Chat. Details below.)

Due to the success of the February 5 Tweet Chat on Grant Writing – and feedback I’ve received about Wed nights being difficult for many folks – the fourth and final class in this round of Writing for Survival Workshops will also be moved to social media.

Join the (free) TWEET CHAT on Sharing Poetry, Essays and Your Brand Online this Wednesday, February 12, 2014 from 6:30-7:30 PM.

To participate in the conversation, and ensure that your questions/comments are seen, use the hashtag #survivewritingonline in every tweet/post. (EXAMPLE: “Get tips on blogging and using social media Wed at 6:30 PM during the #survivewritingonline tweet chat.”)

More information about the Writing for Survival series is below and on www.venussings.com. Plus more sites coming soon.

***

NEWS/UPDATES 
February 12, 2014
Writing for Survival
#survivewritingonline

Video Essayist and Podcaster, Victor Omoayo, Joins February 12 Writing for Survival Tweet Chat

PROVIDENCE, RI – The final workshop in the current round of Writing for Work, Writing for Self, Writing for Survival workshops will be held later this evening, but like last week, today’s session has gone digital.

Join the (free) TWEET CHAT happening TODAY, Wednesday, February 12, from 6:30-7:30 PM (EST) with Writing for Survival creator and instructor Reza Clifton PLUS special guest, Victor Omoayo offering tips and addressing inquiries pertaining to how to Share Poetry, Essays and Your Brand Online.

Clifton has been running workshops and informal tutorials on creating and sharing online content for half a decade and started the Writing for Survival series in the fall of 2013. Omoayo, a former intern of Clifton’s who earned his degrees from URI (BA) and Emerson University (MA), is a video “essayist” who critiques and discusses films through video podcasts shared and promoted through Youtube, Twitter and Google Plus.

Clifton moved the fourth/final class to social media after the success of a Tweet Chat she ran on February 5 on the topic of Grant Writing, which she originally moved due to a snowstorm, and after considering feedback she’d received from a number of interested students who expressed that an online format might be easier than face to face on Wednesday nights.

To participate in the conversation, and ensure that your questions/comments are seen, use the hashtag #survivewritingonline in every tweet/post. (EXAMPLE: “Get tips on blogging and using social media Wed at 6:30 PM during the #survivewritingonline tweet chat.”)

More information about the Writing for Survival series, including details coming soon about additional sites offering Clifton’s classes, can/will be found on http://www.venussings.com.

***

CONTACT:
http://www.venussings.com
singsvenus@gmail.com
401-217-9280

TWEET CHAT on Grant Writing TODAY at 6:30, Photography Exhibit Feb 15: Take 5 w. Reza Rites

take 5_Feb 5_2014

Click on the photo or here to view/read today’s newsletter, “TWEET CHAT on Grant Writing TODAY at 6:30, Photography Exhibit Feb 15: Take 5 w. Reza Rites.” To get updates directly by email, click here to sign up for the e-newsletter.

January 22 Writing for Survival Class Postponed Due to Weather; Next Date is February 5

class 2

Hello friends, bad news: Due to the weather, I have to cancel today’s Writing for Survival class, which dealt with Writing for Drama and Performance and Writing for Public Speaking.

Good news: Class 3 is still on and scheduled for Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 6:30 PM at Brooklyn Coffee Tea House. The topic of that workshop is Grant Writing and Writing for Project Management. Hope to see some new faces!

class 3

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards
(click on the paypal button to register/purchase one class for $30)

Info/Scholarship Inquiries:
singsvenus@gmail.com
www.venussings.com
401-217-9680

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