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Rhizome Voice: Speakers Series for Black History Month
February 26, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC-5
A Movement Not a Moment: Black Liberation Movements Through Time
February 12, 7pm EST
The first of a three part series of the Rhizome Project’s speaker series for Black History Month, Rhizome Voice is curated by Queens based artist and activist Trasonia Abbott.
The current uprising has given way to a multitude of new local liberation organizations started by young activists. To those young activists we pose some questions: How was this mobilization possible in such a short time? How were the current organizers influenced by previous movements?
How does this experience compare to movements of the past – we invite experienced (our elder) activists to join the conversation. What similarities to your own activist beginnings, in spirit and drive and urgency, do you feel from the latest iteration of the movement?
Join us for an honest conversation with organizers Nathylin Flowers Adesegun and Fayola Fair as they talk about their experiences, influences and future goals. They will bridge the gap between the decades of the Black Liberation Movements within the United States, connecting past movements to the current one with the hopes of rekindling victories and sharing tactics to keep the current movement alive.
Nathylin Flowers Adesegun has been an activist, an artist, and a community leader for her entire life. She started organizing with the Scranton Youth Chapter of the NAACP, marching with Dr. Martin Luther King on Washington DC in 1963. Back then they were fighting for jobs, justice, and housing, and she’s still fighting for jobs justice and housing. For the last 3 years, Ms. Flowers has been a leader with VOCAL-NY fighting for a home for every New Yorker. Although she is most famous for confronting the Mayor at the gym last year, her role at VOCAL-NY goes much deeper. Flowers also helps organize and run meetings and actions, as well as lobbies elected officials on at a local, state and federal level. A brooklyn resident of over 35 years she is an active performer in the New York City theater, tv, and film scene.
Fayola Fair (she/they) is an educator, curator, activist and organizer from Jamaica, Queens who works to center and uplift Blackness in all iterations. Fayola is an active member of the Queens community fridge network, volunteering and organizing with the Jamaica Community Fridge. Fayola is also the creator and curator of the Reading for Black Lives Project and a part of South Queens Women’s March. Fayola hopes to follow in the footsteps of radical Black activists who dared to envision a new world.
The State of Black Art in and out of The Institution
February 19th 2021 7-8:30pm
At this moment we, as Black artists find ourselves at a crossroads, with the choice of deciding for ourselves where the center of gravity for Black Art is to be. High Art Society has its allure but it comes with implicit bias and it’s own deeply entrenched investments in the world wide oppression of BIPOC, In this discussion, we ponder our options: keep working within institutions that have the resources we require as artists but force us to play by the rules of our oppressors or forge a new path outside of it.
Join us for a conversation between two artists who will discuss working within Institutions and outside of them, ruminating on the pros and cons of the two worlds and the freedoms that may lie within each.
Jonell Joshua is an illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY specializing in editorial illustration and animation. Jonell graduated from Pratt Institute in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications design majoring in Illustration. Soon after graduating, Jonell started her career in package design while also working on freelance illustration projects. After leaving the package design industry Jonell transitioned to Higher Education, working as the Assistant to the Chair in the Art and Design Education Department at Pratt Institute. There, she works with
students pursuing careers as Art Educators while continuing to freelance. Jonell’s work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators and American Illustration: International Motion Art Awards and has worked with clients such as The New York Times, NPR, Civilrights.org, and The Washington Post. Her work can be found on www.jonelljoshua.com
2020-2022 Threewalls RaDLOW fellow Felicia Holman is a native Chicagoan, independent cultural producer/facilitator, and a co-founder of Afrodiasporic feminist creative collective Honey Pot Performance. She is also a 2020-2021 Buddy Research and Performance resident artist and a member of the Co-Prosperity Programming Committee (CoPro ProCo).
Felicia’s creative/ professional and social practices are firmly grounded in critical thought, intersectionality, community building and embodied storytelling. Her recent projects include commissioned performances for Illinois Humanities and the 5th annual Instigation Festival, as well as written contributions at See Chicago Dance, Performance Response Journal, 6018North, and The Quarantine Times (published by the Public Media Institute).
Felicia relishes her artrepreneurial life and sums it up in 3 words—“Creator, Connector, Conduit”.
Celebration of Black Life Cypher
February 26th 2021, 7 – 9PM EST
A night of rejoicing in Black resilience and artistry, Flux Factory will be providing a platform for artists to come together to celebrate through art, music and spoken word, in an open mic / cypher hosted by Nonbinary Artist / Poet / Organizer, Trasonia Abbott.
This cypher is open to Black artists of all creative backgrounds, once signed up the artist will be given up to 5 minutes to show off the art of their choosing.
All events are curated by Queens based artist and activist, Trasonia Abbott.
Trasonia is a Nonbinary Visual Artist / Poet / Community Organizer from Richmond, Virginia. They graduated from Pratt Institute in 2020 with a BFA in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and soon after became one of the cofounders of Queens Liberation Project, a mutual aid organization in West Queens.