It's that time of year! When the countdown begins on wrapping one year up and prepping for another, it's good to take a moment to reflect on what in the world of your life happened in the past 12 months. Last year, I posted my top most memorable moments of 2018 so naturally, I felt I should post in the same spirit this year.
In no particular order...
1. Performing my one woman original play, Simone at Capital Rep Theater! Oh, the many hats I wore to pull this off...This show meant a lot to me and to see all the support in the audience really made the moment special. Thank you so much for coming through!
2.Performing with Jordan Taylor Hill, Adrian Lewis aka The Age and Hannah Rowe for Holistic Theory Flow & Glow put on by J'Vanay...it was a yoga, poetry, music, bohemian, body paint enchanted experience that reminded me how beautiful my life is as an artist.
3. The Women of Color March & Rally! The energy at the pre-march gathering was pure magic and the energy just kept spilling over that day again and again. It was a honor and so apropos to share "for every Black Woman who has been called Angry" just for this.
4. Curating and performing poetry at the 10th and Final Beatshot Festival! I am super appreciative to DJ Trumastr for having me. I had a great time!
5. This year's Poetic Vibe Anniversary show and after-party was lit! I can't wait for the next one in 2020!
6. This year, I had the opportunity to teach a 10 week poetry workshop for the New York State Writers Institute (NYSWI)! Looking back on that experience makes me feel really good. (And while we're here on the NYSWI, I also got to introduce Ibi Zoboi earlier this year and Elizabeth Acevedo last year. I met Ibi Zoboi years ago at VONA and this year, Elizabeth Acevedo was at Cave Canem! Talk about serendipity.)
7. Being one of the keynote speakers at Bags with a Mission for Women on a Mission Conference put on by one of my favorite people, Elizabeth King who hit the ground running this year with her business, EKCourage!
8. Whitewashed: the racism project has been more than I had ever imagined. From helping to develop the show to all the rehearsals to the incredible response we have gotten in and around the Capital Region, I am so moved by it all. We have two more shows coming up in 2020. If you haven't seen this production, get your tickets.
9. I put out a book this year! Said the Swing to the Hoop was a labor of love and vulnerability but my moment was not just releasing it but doing so alongside my love and best friend, Robert Cooper who launched his zine, Mfoni at the same time.
10. Acting in Eclipsed again! The script for this play is soooo well done but bringing it to life with all that #blackgirlmagic... felt like home. Many thanks to Jean-Remy Monnay for all of his work for Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate NY.
11. The Sanctuary for Independent Media gave me many moments this year. I have to say opening for RAM. This Haitian band blessed us all with a immersive experience of music and culture. Performing and connecting that night was dope.
12. Going to the Black People Rock Magazine launch in my hometown, Bridgeport, CT and meeting D'naia Bryant who performed so passionately, I had to go and let her know later how I enjoyed her poems...Well, as I approached and she realized who I was, she screamed. Turns out she's a big fan of mine. Totally made my day.
13. Not only hosting the 5th Annual Brava! event for YWCA-GCR but also walking by Market Block Books, seeing the Brava! collection in the window, and running in to get a copy. My poem "Soutien" is on page 152.
15. Hosting Spirit of the Suffragettes put on by the Sanctuary for Independent Media was full of great moments but this one was my performance on this night. It was my favorite night performing in the series. Sammus performed that night and LEFT EVERYTHING ON THE STAGE. I was inspired for real.
16. Having my artwork up on display at the Hamilton Hill Arts Center! I don't have enough moments for my paintings. Looking forward to having more in 2020.
17. Doing a day of workshops and a Harriet Tubman reenactment at North Country School! I do this type of work throughout the year, but I made some connections that day that really warmed my heart. Shout out to the kids who thought I was inspiring them but it was the other way around!
18. Cave Canem. Literally that's all I need to write on this one but to elaborate, it was like landing on the Black poetry magical moon. For real.
19. Being honored as Resourceful Woman of the Year in the Arts at the YWCA-GCR's Annual Luncheon! I was among such amazing women and couldn't stop smiling all day.
There you have it! Here's to another awesome year of more memorable moments in the arts and chasing the dream one day at a time!