This is my big project for this year. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and, even now, it’s only slightly past half-baked. See, the goal of this festival is to bring together much of what I’m interested in: art, culture and society, all filtered through a progressive black perspective.
It’s funny. When I started this blog, the idea was to help tear down the walls that limited our community’s imagination. Because I am passionate about music, that’s where I thought I could do the most good. However, in my travels, I discovered that it’s all one big creative community. More importantly, the issues us music folks are dealing with—representation, access, etc.—are the same ones that facing our friends in literature, theater, film, and visual arts.
So, this event is an attempt to move the conversation forward, to change the frame of reference. Rather than looking backwards and airing old, tired grievances, I want us to see all of the great things that are coming out of the black creative mind and use it as a jumping off point to understand where we are now, and what some possible futures will be. More importantly, I want people to leave with not only inspiration, but also with some concrete ideas as to how they can help create the kind of future that benefits us all, one that’s inclusive, progressive, and based on across-the-board justice.
But shaping that kind of future will not be easy. Therefore, it’s imperative that we look to the arts for inspiration, and for reminders of truth, honesty and fearless exploration. And back to something I said during the BoldasLIVE series in 2007: It’s okay to have a conversation about black cultural excellence. Expect plenty of examples of that at the Festival.
So here’s what I can tell you right now: The day will be made up of two parts.
- The daytime portion will be spent on conversation and discussion. It’ll be mix of panels, one-on-one conversations and solo presentations.
- At night, yes, there will be music. We’re putting together a great show of sounds from the new black imagination, so stay tuned for lineup announcements.
Just save the date: Saturday, October 15. Brooklyn. More info coming soon. Really.
I want to thank the folks who’ve been acting as sounding boards behind the scenes. My informal brain trust, if you will. I will definitely be giving them proper shouts very soon.
In the meantime, you can stay connected to the Festival via the following links:
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/nbifestival
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/nbifestival
- Web site: Coming soon!