Things are beginning to happen again, after a year of global lockdown. But some things never had to stop, like creativity. In fact, I would venture to guess that many of us discovered innovations inside ourselves we didn't know we had. Here are the artistic highlights in my life these days. Let's start with a gig! The first one for me since this pandemic!
THE BLUE ROOM AT THE AMERICAN JAZZ MUSEUM
On historic 18th & Vine
Saturday, June 5, 8:30 to 11pm
I'll be singing with the Charles Williams Quintet
for The Blue Room's Grand Re-opening!
THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD
On Christmas Day 2020, I released my first and only children's book, as a videobook, about the indwelling nature of friendship. When a sage old man arrives in an enchanting village, he changes the life of a little girl forever. Featuring over a hundred colorful illustrations, and underscored with a whimsical music score, THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD sets the stage for an idyllic and timeless story, where gratitude, compassion, and being present are everyday virtues. It's KidLit for a risen consciousness. For kids ages 8 to 108! WATCH HERE
DIGI-FEST TEMECULA 2021
And speaking of THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD, both she and a docu-short I made called SIX MURALS, about the Black Lives Matter street mural installation event in Kansas City, were selected to be a part of DigiFest Temecula, an annual digital media festival that happened April 16-18, 2021. The additionally fortuitous news is that RICHEST GIRL took home two awards: The People's Choice in the category of Multi-Media, and she was also awarded an Honorary Mention from the judges.
CREATING FROM THE ASHES
I was recently one of eight writers invited to participate in, and contribute an essay and an interview to, the new vMuseum project from Echoes Media, called "Creating from the Ashes," on the challenges of being a creative during times of great upheaval, as 2020 gave us. The vMuseum is the brainchild of recent Harvard grad and mover/shaker Janelle Gray, and it is a beautiful platform she's created. READ HERE
BRILLIANT CORNERS: A JOURNAL OF JAZZ & LITERATURE
In the Summer 2021 issue of this wonderful print journal out of Pennsylvania, I am thrilled to have been interviewed by editor Sascha Feinstein. We had a grand time laughing and chatting on Zoom as if we'd known each other forever. And the incredible cherry on that cake is that one of my alcohol ink art pieces is serving as the issue's cover. To get your copy of this very fine journal, ORDER HERE
POETRY AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Back in March, I was privileged to have one of my poems, But There, from the BONES collection, as the featured poem for Living a Poetic Life's monthly Zoom Poetry Salon: "Poetry as Spiritual Practice." What a visionary concept, conceived of by Johanna Van Gelder. And what an amazing evening it was to hear my poem recited several times by different participants, each recitation prompting a meditational question for the room to journal on. The entire process was loving, giving, communal, and truly opening up the endless possibilities of how poetry can operate as transformation. For information on this lovely series: VISIT HERE
THE PRAYER WINGS PROJECT
Presented by Unity Arts Ministry, this beautiful Unity Village art project was something I got to participate in, that of contributing a painted paper feather as part of a global contribution to the new Prayer Wings mural now hanging in the Unity Village Bookstore & Café in the Kansas City metropolitan area. I am a recent transplant from Los Angeles to KC, and this feels like my first tiny little stamp on my new Kansas City life. A small part of me is now a part of the city. And it's been lovely to finally see the prayer wings in their completion. The mural was revealed on April 5, 2021, at the bookstore's post-Covid re-opening.
"SHORT STORIES" FROM THE METROPOLITAN MASTER CHORALE
I am so honored to have been invited to contribute five of my 100-word stories, from the ALEATORY ON THE RADIO collection, to be featured in an upcoming concert evening by the glorious Metropolitan Master Chorale called "Short Stories," a blending of music and storytelling. It will be a virtual concert, anticipated by late spring/early summer. Stay tuned!
AS FOR LIVE EVENTS
On the in-person front, thanks to the new vaccines, it won't be long before we can all come together again post-pandemic, to a new normal, a better version, Normal 2.0, when live music, art exhibits, and book events can once again connect us face to face, with a new appreciation for the fragility of this world.
Until then, be safe and stay safe. Keep others safe too.