05.10.14- 07.06.14 | Kara Walker Exhibits at the Dominio Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Kara Walker
Photos Courtesy of Instagram

BROOKLYN—Internationally renowned artist, Kara Walker has unveiled a new exhibit at Brooklyn’s legendary Domino Sugar Factory.

The exhibit entitled “Subtlety” or the Marvelous Sugar Baby is designed to pay “homage to the unpaid and overworked artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the kitchens of the new world…”

The exhibition features a collection of sculptured sugar figures with the main instillation being that of the ‘Marvelous Sugar Baby’ fashioned in the shape of the Egyptian Sphinx.

Kara Walker has always used her art to open up the dialogue on a range of subject matters but more specifically the subconscious repression of the American-Africans’ contribution to society.

She is best known for her bold silhouettes and tableaus displaying images projecting additional themes centered around sexuality, race and power.

The glorious sugar sculpture stands about 35 feet high and is about 75 feet long.

This exhibit serves as a public arts project that is free and open for the public to explore.

Not only does this instillation provide Walker with another way to express her creativity but it provides an added cultural benefit, attracting more individuals to the Williamsburg community.

This exhibit is apart of the Domino Sugar Factory project, which includes plans to redevelop the area into new residential, commercial and creative spaces.

A proposal was passed earlier this month giving the green light on the demolition and redevelopment of the factory site.

The ‘Marvelous Sugar Baby’ exhibition was unveiled on May 10th and is open to the public on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m.

Be sure to stop in and check out this wonderful exhibit before it closes on July 6th.

And as always share the Street Intell.

 

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05.23-08.29 |2014 Jazz in the Garden Summer Series

Sculpture Garden

May is here and the official first day of summer is right around the corner. That means lots of great opportunities to explore the city.

One local attraction to take advantage of is the 2014 Jazz in the Garden summer series, which hosts free jazz performances in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture garden.

Each an every Friday beginning on May 23rd enjoy the sound of an array of Jazz artist while basking in the summer sun.

Visitors are welcome to bring blankets and lounge out or take part in cocktails and food from the outdoor café.

This summer series is a popular attraction for the after work crews and families so be sure to arrive early to clam your spot.

Every Friday, May 23 to August 29, 2014 5:00-8:30PM
Sculpture Garden | 7th and Constitution NW, Washington, DC
The nearest Metro stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and Judiciary Square.

Summer Line Up
May 23 Elikeh Roots (Afropop)
May 30 Bruce Ewan (Blues)
June 6 Juanita Williams (Blues)
June 13 Deanna Bogart Band “Blusion,” (Blues Fusion)
June 20 Speakers of the House (Baltimore Boogaloo)
June 27 DC Jazz Festival (Various Genres)
July 11 Rick Whitehead Trio w/ Chris Vadala (Sax) Jazz Trio
July 18 Tom Williams (Electroacoustic Music and Composition)
July 15 Incendio (Latin Guitar World Fusion Jazz)
August 1 Miles Stiebel (Contemporary Jazz Violinist)
August 8 Origem (Brazilian Jazz)
August 15 Swingtopia (Big-Band Swing)
August 22 Seth Kibel (Woodwind Jazz)
August 29 Dixie Power Trio (Zydeco, Cajun, and Louisiana Funk)

Behind the Brand: The International Natural Hair Meet-up Day (@INHMD)

Adeea Rogers
Adeea Rogers, better known as ‘The Trendy Socialite’, is the visionary behind the world renowned and highly anticipated International Natural Hair Meet-up Day.

Adeea has been a corporate event planner for 14 years and has also managed to plan other exclusive events but INHMD is her biggest endeavor yet. She is currently employed at East Carolina University as the Assistant Director of Marketing for Student Involvement and Leadership.

We had the pleasure of sitting down and speaking with Adeea as she shared a bit of her personal journey and provided some details on the wonderful things ahead for this year’s event.

Adeea first got the idea for INHMD after attending the 2011 World Natural Hair Show held in Atlanta, Georgia. While there she stated being “over-whelmed, inspired and excited all at the same time.” Although she didn’t know much of anyone there, she shared how the atmosphere emitted a sense of familiarity that made the environment so welcoming. Upon leaving the hair show she took that feeling with her and decided that events like that need to happen in her area. Upon returning home she immediately got to work on providing that experience. She hosted her first couple events and began connecting with other natural hair organizers across the country. It was then she realized that many of them weren’t having the same experience like she had at the World Natural Hair Show. She also recognized that there were many emerging natural hair brands that needed more exposure within her community. So she thought “everyone has meet-ups all throughout the year but how impactful would it be as a community to have them all happening at the same time throughout various cities?” This idea is what birthed the International Natural Hair Day.

inhmd logo 

International Natural Hair Meet-up Day (INHMD) is an annual one-day event where women from across the world come together to collaborate, connect and celebrate the beauty and versatility of natural hair. The INHMD platform was created to provide women —and men, with the opportunity to join together in solidarity to uplift one another through the exchange of information and networking. Communicating virtually through a variety of events held around the world, INHMD provides a unique experience for the entire natural hair community and any healthy skin or  hair enthusiast  to join in.

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This year’s events will take place worldwide in 60 US cities and 5 international destinations to include Paris, France; Amsterdam, Holland; Toronto, Canada; Tokyo, Japan and Saint George’s, Grenada. All events are happening on Saturday, May 17th , 2014 at separate times or simultaneously. Each city’s host will  provide a select experience that they would like to bring to the community.

 

Adeea has dedicated much of her time to teaching and training city hosts on providing more than just another “typical” natural hair meet-up she wants everyone to receive a full bodied experience. Therefore, attendees can look forward to creative events that reach beyond the standard natural hair meet-up. Some of this years events will be fashioned as social mixers with refreshments,  Natural Hair fashion shows, and even an outdoor festival. You can visit INHMD and check out what exciting event will be happening near you.

This year’s returning title sponsor is Koils By Nature, which is led by the amazing Pamela Jenkins.  Attendees of the DMV area event will have the opportunity to meet Pamela as well as Adeea, but not to worry no one will miss out on the excitement because there will be live Tweeting and Facebooking using the hashtag #INHMD throughout the day’s events.

Tickets are still on Sale but moving fast! You can  purchase yours here today.

 
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Adeea has also dedicated this year’s events to a special initiative called INHMD Cares, which is a call to action that challenges participants to think outside the box and give back a small portion of what they have received as a result of being a part of INHMD. For the main initiative Adeea is asking attendees to bring one NEW Natural hair care product of their choice to be donated to either a nursing home, women’s shelter, service member overseas or extended care facility.

The second initiative is as a result of the recent passing of two amazing young women within the natural hair community. Just last month Blogger, Karyn Washington of For Brown Girls and Natural Hair Vlogger, Domineque Banks of Long Hair Don’t Care, passed away at only 22 and 27 years of age. Adeea made it her mission to raise awareness and has instructed every event host to have some sort of informational session with speakers or pamphlets on mental health, suicide prevention and lupus awareness.

 

Adeea’s Street Intell:

@TrendySocialite“We really want people to know we are concerned about your health. Your mental health, your physical health; we’re concerned about your soul and your mind. You’re more than just a body at an event. I’m really privileged that I’ve been given this platform to show some people the love of God in this tangible way.”
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Jovial Jaunt: Jaunt Through the Soul

Jaunt Three:

jaunt2Have you ever experienced an initial pain or illness that seemed to open the door to all types of other issues? Kind of like a gateway situation so to speak, which puts you right where you thought you couldn’t go.

Recently, I experienced that and to say the very least it put me in a really good place but first I had to go through growing pains from my past.

Leaving Kandahar, ending one journey to begin a new one...

Though this journey was not a planned trip it happened nonetheless, I had extenuating circumstances that required me to travel to Guyana. While in the air leaving Afghanistan the words of a close relative hit me “You cannot continue to run. You have to face everything eventually, stop running and come back.” And though I was more than ready to simple get this trip over, I experienced this familiar yet distant calming of my soul. Something pulled at me, beaconing me to be the man I have grown into, no extra… just Taz.

While on my four day excursion to the beautiful Caribbean and coastal country of Guyana, I pondered a lot. I hopped on one plane to the next from Kandahar, Afghanistan to Qatar, then France, making a quick pit stop in Portugal to have dinner and gather some items from home. Then off again to meet up with family during my layover just to arrive at destination location Georgetown, Guyana. During this trip I not only crossed multiple time zones but I saw the most amazing views from the skies since —I could not sleep which also left me with a lot of time to think.

A good drink is needed when continent hopping & thinking  :)
A good drink is needed when continent hopping & thinking 🙂

When I was younger and as a teenager, there were many decisions made for me which is normal amongst many, if not all. But somewhere along the path to manhood, I came of age mentally before anyone in my family knew it. I chose to practice a different religion and accepted an alternative lifestyle, and even worse I voiced it adamantly. I reacted to the disdain of my family and the judgments of these individuals like they owed me something, like they had to accept me. And for this I was wrong.  There was no tact in how I did it; I was a teenager who acted rashly. While I could go on and point the blame at other individuals for my actions or reactions, that is not the purpose of this Jaunt.

This Jaunt is about me.

My self-acceptance that I had to develop, and the respect I feel I owe my family and the world in which I live.  As years had gone by and I remained estranged, it was all running back to me while I was in transit. I knew I would now have to practice what I preach to the utmost during this trip. I know there are certain things about my life that folks will never like, but the acceptance I used to seek was no longer needed. I had to remember the same way I wanted to be respected and treated, was what I would have to give first because after all to many I was still the child, although a grown man— I was still the son and nephew.

Upon arrival it was great to see familiar faces. Among them were friends and relatives that I had not seen in eons and we picked up like we hadn’t spent more than two weeks apart. But the best was just being able to be me; I didn’t speak of things not needed and I ignored what I didn’t like. I kept most opinions to myself unless I excused myself first, though I am sure my facial expressions gave me away. I received quite a few “I dare you looks” which could only mean I gave a look first. 🙂

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This journey was a bitter sweet one, but I do not for one second regret it. I enjoyed every bit of it and I even said to my Auntie, “It’s funny we (my siblings and cousins) all grew up and now we are doing the things we used to see you all do, this is life, our life.” To which my Auntie said “You are very insightful, that it is boi, that it is…” as she looked over her sunglasses and placed her hand over mine. See the solid foundation I have is the family unit in which I was brought up on and in is what allows me to just chuck the deuces and disappear when I want; so that I may travel, explore, and live freely.

 

There are many days as the years progress where we ponder over complicated situations, or maybe question the person we have become. I don’t normally like to think that another person can dictate who we become, but this trip has changed my mind. For better or worse the elders and adults of our youth mold us into the people we have become. If one is lucky you are surrounded by those who teach you the world is yours. Mine taught me that, if I didn’t like it there was always the door, a door to use to escape or explore more possibilities. But little did I know that this door would allow me to return. And for that I am grateful.

As I replay images over and over again in my head about this trip, most of them reaffirm what I thought —or more accurately what I have come to believe about myself. I am nomadic, nothing truly defines me; no name, no lineage, no country can truly engage much less envelop me. But what does engage me is my sense of humanity, a sense of respect that I have to afford everyone even if I do not agree or like their opinions. And if I do not respect them enough to be peaceful at least respect myself enough to not bring reproach upon myself due to misguided behavior.

 

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Jovial Jaunts is a personal blogger series hosted by Tazeem Rumal. Taz will document his travels, share his experiences living abroad, offer his opinions on topics and venture out to ask thought provoking questions.

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls : Rally for Change Expected to take Place at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC

 

20140506-072244.jpgThe abduction of 234 young girls on April 15th by militants from the Islamic terrorist organization of Boko Haran was reported late last week as it appeared no one cared. However through the power of social media; countless endearing souls banned together to support the girls by spreading the word through use of the viral hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Since the April abduction of the teenage girls from their school in the city of Chibok; many people around the world have stood behind this international call to action by bringing awareness to the deadly and despicable act of modern slavery. Through the use of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls citizens in London, New York and Nigeria have all used social media as a tool for social change and raised their voices in disdain at the Nigerian government’s in action in the location of the 200 some girls still missing. It has since been reported that some of the young girls may have already been sold into the sex trade as “brides”.

The pursuit of justice continues as constituents from DC, Maryland, and Virginia plan to rally today at the Nigerian Embassy to further push the issue for immediate action in locating these girls. The Rally will take place 10am-1pm outside the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 3519 International Court, NW , Washington, DC 20008.

 

 

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GemPhones CEO, Kelli Meade Gives Us the Fashion Behind Consumer Electronics

"I just want to bridge the gaps of lifestyle, fashion, and electronics in the CE industry and GemPhones is doing that."
“I just want to bridge the gaps of lifestyle, fashion, and electronics in the CE industry and GemPhones is doing that.”

CEO, Kelli Meade is energized by technology and has a natural passion for fashion that fuels her desire to design products that girls like her will go crazy about. Through simple curiosity and research Kelli found that women love trendy and fashionable items but also enjoy the latest gadgets. She also discovered that there was a need for more fashionable tech accessories and decided to make it her mission to re-design today’s consumer electronics. About a year ago, she began creating and designing earphones that she liked to wear and with nine years of working on fashion design, she developed the look and feel of GemPhones. GemPhones was inspired by her love for pop culture.  As a 90s kid Kelli recalls getting excited when new music videos would be released. In these videos is where she saw the hottest fashion and the coolest gadgets.  She wanted to recreate that feeling and expression through GemPhones.

We had the opportunity to sit down with this tech and fashion engineer and gather some more insight behind her latest project and her is what she had to say:

 What is it like being the CEO of a tech and fashion startup?  I’m not a coder, but I have enough knowledge about wireless networking and computer engineering to be dangerous.  But with a tech and fashion startup, none of that matters because I needed technology and I loved fashion.  No matter the type of startup, you should strive to be an expert at what you are creating.  That means investing 10,000 hours into your craft AND industry(ies).  This is my first company and the learning curve has been steep.  I had to learn how to be a CEO, understand important techniques used by successful designers, and quickly become an expert in both the tech and fashion industries. GemPhones keeps me busy, but I wake up thanking my heavenly father for strength, clarity, and the passion he pours into me every day.  I have not worked a day since I quit my government job in September 2013.  I’m simply doing what I love.

Has being a female posed any challenges for you in the male dominated industry of Technology?  Being a female in the tech industry is about showcasing a differentiating point of view and there will always be challenges when presenting a foreign concept in a mature industry like consumer electronics.  I remember chatting with a guy at a tech startup mixer and he was simply amazed at the creativity and uniqueness of GemPhones.  His first reaction was, “It takes a female to come up with an idea like this.”  I will always remember that conversation because in one statement he summed up the value of a female’s perspective is in the technology industry.  My true challenge however is the commitment to sharing with as many little girls as possible that their viewpoints are valuable and wanted, especially in the technology industry.  One of GemPhones goals is to show young girls how cool tech can be.

gemphones 1

What role do you hope Gem Phones will play in the consumer electronics industry?  GemPhones are the very best consumer electronic accessories combined with the most beautiful designs.  With ubran elegance, we introduce imagination and self-expression into an industry whose designs are traditionally dull.  For us, design is not just how it looks, but how it works and feels as well.  That is what our audience appreciates and that is our role; to give the lovers of music and fashion a product in tech.

 

Gemphones 2Give at least 2 easy style tips for consumers looking to accessorize with Gem Phones?

#1 Side body chain: For fun, flirty girls, GemPhones looks great as a side body chain.  Wear a pair of your best skinny jeans, a baby T-shirt, and attach your GemPhones to your mobile device.  Slip your phone in the back pocket for a super cute side body chain look. This look is a GemGirl fav!

#2 The wrap necklace: Not using GemPhones?  Want to keep the gorg set of GemPhones on?  Unplug your GemPhones, snap the earbuds to the back of neck, then wrap the lower half of the beaded cord around your neck once.  You’ve just created the ultimate conversation piece.  People behind you will ask “Is that your earphones?” and people in front of you will compliment your necklace.  Plus it’s ridiculously functional.

What is your Street Intell? The streets have been making tech and fashion look good ever since the boom box was beating on our shoulders in the 1980s.  GemPhones is bringing back that feeling.

GemPhones Specifications:

• Built-in Microphone

• Two button remote to answer/end calls or play/stop music

• Replaceable silicone earbud covers

• CE and RoHS Compliant

• Noise Cancelling

• Nylon thread braiding “no tear cords” for cord protection

• Cord Length: 1.2m

• Jack Size: 3.5mm

Support this emerging entrepreneur and grab yourself a pair of GemPhones by clicking here.

 

04.26.14 |The Public Defender Service (@PDSDC) is Offering a Day of FREE Services for Ex-Cons and Ex-Offenders

 

ExCon1

The 2014 Community Reentry and Expungement Summit  is geared towards ex-cons and ex-offenders, especially those who have non-violent/drug offenses, with criminal records in DC. The summit will precede the career and social services fairs scheduled to take place later this summer and fall. This event is an opportunity to assist individuals in breaking through legal barriers hindering their access to advancements in the job market and education.  All who wish to participate must register by RSVPing. For further detailed information contact April Frazier, Esq. at reentry@pdsdc.org