On December 14, 2015 at 6:30pm, Be Connected, in collaboration with 2beathiv and Digitalinks, held our first event at Beyu Caffé. The Experiment with Beats and Music, a workshop and showcase of international hip-hop and soul artists, where participants could make beats and write lyrics, used music and visual art as a vehicle to raise awareness about HIV. Musical performances by artists Shirlette Ammons, Median, and Nnenna Ukwu consisted of beats created on the spot, a method dubbed the Median method. Gemynii was on deck, creating a homage to the Bull City during musical performances.
Durham has evolved since 2015. Local revitalization efforts have brought about a skyscraper and a larger police presence, and more displacement and silencing of the poor and marginalized. Be Connected has evolved since The Experiment and has continued its efforts through the arts and politics to bring awareness to the challenges that marginalized people face in a growing community that would at times rather leave them behind. 2019 was a rebuilding year for Be Connected as we curated events that addressed mental health through yoga (ANGR MGMT), emotional health and healing through art and storytelling (It’s Complicated), and reproductive justice (EndShacklingNC). We also connected the community to the arts through collaborations with The Power Plant Gallery (Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South) and NorthStar Church. We’ve connected the community to politics through conversations with Durham Country Commissioner Brenda Howerton. We’ve connected the community through music with events such as Country Soul and HERStory, a collaboration with The Conjure.
It’s been four years since our first event at Beyu. Angel number 4 is one of organization and achieving goals through endurance and practical means through spiritual guidance of our ancestors. As we enter our fourth year, and into a new decade with the numerological number 4, we strive to continue working steadfastly toward growth while sticking to our mission:
“…curate events and provide marketing services that connect audiences, address disparities, foster equity, and bridge understanding through the arts, culture, music, and politics.”