One of the commitments for my artist laureate year has been hosting afroQuantum Experiences: ArtMaker Talks.
afroQuantum is a term I think I made up – I say I “think” because I’ve never seen or read it prior to starting to use it, but ya never know…
I use it to describe the stuff we can’t see… that is always with us, and which we are creating and living through, and out of. It’s like dark matter, or dark energy, but it’s also locating ourselves in what Dr. Edward Bruce Bynum calls our “African Unconscious” – which every human on the planet carries within them, because the earliest generations of our human family and all that evolved within their conscious and unconscious experiences are rooted on the Continent.
Pairing it along with ‘Experiences’ – first with a family of creatives from my NYC art family – and it has evolved to include some events I’m helping promote and organize with the nonprofit Pinellas Diaspora Arts Project (PDAP) locally. Everyone loves experiences!!!
So far, I’ve had the pleasure of hosting three talks with folks from Tampa Bay who are making art or making art happen.
The first episode kicked off with Celeste Davis – Dr. Nashid Madyun was unable to join that one, and we hope to have him back for another…
Celeste is now the executive director of Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA); I first met her during one of her Curious Collector talks at the Woodson Museum. She was doing a talk on an artist I really like, Amy Sherald, and the photographer Carrie Mae Weems, both Black women. I really enjoyed her passionate discussion; she has what I call an “art-heart.”
My next aQE talk featured three Tampa Bay area music artists – DJ Donnie Luv, rapper Nico Sweet, and music artist, promoter, and LostBoyLounge host Reeves. I really enjoyed chatting with these folks about the Tampa music scene, and how they are helping to grow it. As someone who grew up loving hiphop, as I’ve written about here, it’s super special to get to watch a new generation of local artists doing their thing — and having them on was so much fun.
My third episode featured Boyzell Hosey, media master, and photographer, and director, actress, educator Adrida McCall Hosey – yes, they’re married –a theater professional and beloved teaching artist in St. Pete, recently retired; and the stellar vocalist Siobhan Monique. Boyzell, currently senior media editor at ProPublica, also cofounded the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival. Andrida was Siobhan’s teacher sometime in middle school, so it was a lovely circular triad of connection.
Andrida carries a holy goddess queen energy which she bestowed upon on, as she discussed how spirituality allows her to do and be all she is – look, she made it through 23 years in PCS system still giving out hugs and inspiring da children. Nuff said.
Siobhan IS afrofuturism, from her tippy toes to the top of her flawless crown…and musically she is covering oceans and traversing eras with her incredibly powerful instrument, her vibe, and her subject matter. Check out one of her latest videos:
Oh – right. Afrofuturism… do you know about it? Ok, we’ll get back to that in another blog… and get ready cause PDAP is getting ready to host the inaugural Tampa Bay Afrofuturism Festival here in November. GET READY and BE AT THAT… three days of music, art, technology, panel discussions, workshops… and SOUL…