Friday, October 21, 2016

Roxey Ballet Frankenstein

When I think back to my grade school education I regret not exploring the Performing Arts more.

I remember Earl Carhart telling me to consider the stage, unfortunately my interests were elsewhere.

Fast forward to my adulthood, where I am using my access to be a cheerleader for all genres of Art.

Earlier this year I met Filmmaker Katherine Elisabeth Clark while promoting her Pop Up Anthology film viewings.

Later Katherine introduced me to the Roxey Ballet based out of Lambertville NJ.  I visited the studio for the series "BEER AND BALLET" FRANKENSTEIN sneak-peek.

Have a listen to my chat with Founding Director Mark Roxey

The open studio event gave visitors a chance to see and hear a bit about the forthcoming performance while enjoying some light refreshments.

I hope you will attend one of the performances and here is a little motivation.

The following images were captured by Kevin Duddy Photos

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Community Conversations

Most people would agree that stress levels are high at the moment.  Whether those feelings are brought on by the season, a national election, global news or just everyday life.  Either way STRESS will KILL YOU!

I want to be clear, I am not making a case for or against guns.  However I am making a case for us to have conversations around gun violence, Law Enforcement, and the policies that govern both.

Earlier this year I was taken by emotions around the news of gun violence and made this post on my personal Facebook page.

Jacque Howard
July 8Trenton
I have questions and I know/hope others do as well.
I would like to talk with, cry with, debate with, discuss with my "social media" friends and networks about how we learn from these recent events, look into our past, acknowledge our present and design/implement our future.
My network is a group of multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi and non-faith community members and I am thankful that you are in my life, whatever the capacity.
Get in touch if you would like to connect.

As I contemplate my version of "conversations" that will take place in a safe space dealing with hard subjects like racism, sexism, classism, violence, mental health, marijuana and other subjects, I am thankful others feel the need to have these as well and are taking actions!

Angeline Dean and Darren "Freedom" Green hosted an event at Mercer County Community College's Kerney Campus in Downtown Trenton thorough My Eternal Family where the website states:

"It is our desire to educate men, women, and children on the dominating power of who God says they are.  We believe that all individuals are created "Full."  It is therefore the vision of MEF Inc. to provide the necessary training, teachings and skills that will birth maximum potential, cultural competency, and gifting.  Through these trainings, whole individuals will produce whole families and become productive citizens. Genesis 1:26-28"

Approximately 75 people gathered at MCCC's Kerney Campus for the event billed as "Community Conversations."  Author and Educator Dr. James Braxton Peterson led the discussions which included a question and answer segment.

In addition to these efforts, Inspirational Speaker, Life Coach and Self-Help Blogger Ayana Iman will host one of her #AuthenticConvos at the Grounds For Sculpture on November 5, 2016.  

More information is available on the website

In closing I believe it behooves us to make every effort to build a better community and this starts with conversations!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Trenton Literacy Movement at Hedgepath Williams School

There are no shortages of individuals, organizations and businesses working with the City Trenton to address literacy in NJ's Capital City.

One of my personal efforts, Library Boxes of Trenton aka #lbot is about to launch the next step in this grassroots effort.  More information can be found on the Library Boxes of Trenton Facebook Page.

The week of October 9th I met with ~6 representatives of the Trenton Literacy Movement - TLM to hear about the efforts they have been working on for approximately 4 years.  At this meeting I learned a bit of the history, some of the players, the goals and most importantly why they are committed to literacy efforts.

In short "TLM is an umbrella organization born out of the commitment of the NAACP Trenton Branch to educational equality.  TLM seeks to galvanize the greater Trenton community to partner with Trenton Public Schools in addressing Trenton's literacy crisis."  Highlighted points of the organization can be read via the image captured below of a handout from the event.

The event coordinated in partnership with Random House Publishers/Books began with a welcome and introduction by Interim Superintendent Lucia Feria.  After some brief comments Chief of Staff Francis Blanco delivered a message from the Mayor Eric Jackson followed by comments from Author Mary Pope Osborne.

Hedgepath-Williams School located in Trenton's East Ward is named after 2 families who fought segregation in Trenton's public schools in 1944, which became the precursor to the Brown v. Board of Education case that prohibited racial segregation of school systems throughout the United States. 

My visit also gave me some time to chat with Principal Mrs. Talaya Stoddard-Wilson about the biking culture in Trenton, stay tuned.