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The Conjure and Be Connected Present HERstory: A Night of Black Femmes in Hip Hop (Pt 1)

The Conjure and Be Connected Present HERstory: A Night of Black Femmes in Hip Hop (Pt 1)

We’re only a few days away from HERStory: A Night of Black Femmes in Hip Hop, presented by The Conjure and Be Connected. The show will consist of nine underground artists from both the Bull and Oak Cities. There will be a cypher encouraging femme hip hop artists to showcase their talents. The night will be hosted by Angel Dozier, and will be capped off with an afterparty featuring DJ Gemynii. Earlier this month, the “moon” shined its light over a small part of downtown. Now’s the time for local stars to takeover Pinhook for one dynamic, unforgettable night. Featured Artists: Lena Jackson "Lena Jackson is an award nominated hip-hop artist hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina.
Born and raised in poverty stricken neighborhoods, Lena grew up with music as her
main source of comfort, and writing as her therapy. Jackson started penning poetry as a
child, but in her early teens became intrigued by rap cipher sessions she would see in
school cafeterias. Her obsession with hip-hop inspired her to exchange poetry stanzas
for rap bars, and sharpen her craft as a hungry emcee." - www.lenajackson.com Check her out: www.lenajackson.com IG: @ljackpower Zen Raleigh native Zen, formally Zen So Fly has spent the last couple of years seeing her career steadily climbing. She's become a household name at Hopscotch Music Festival, opening for big names such as Rapsody in 2017, and most recently opening for Tierra Whack in Chapel Hill. Her sound ranges from electronic to soul/r&b to ambient. Check her out: Album Review, Sunflowers, Zensofly, The Durham Beat https://durhambeat.com/2019/01/23/tldr-reviews-album-review-sunflowers-zensofly/ Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/zensofly IG: @t0mb0ygirl M8alla "As an artist, Mendouga's tagline is "I sing for immigrant women with American degrees and bottom grillz." This isn't about an image. It's rooted in her reality, and just one example of a multilayered femininity that's fluid, strong, and complicatedand finally being celebrated in pop culture, especially in music, from Cardi B to Solange." - Mballa Mendouga, aka M8ALLA, Makes a Powerful Mission Statement After Family Trauma and Heartbreak, IndyWeek Check her out: Mballa Mendouga, aka M8ALLA, Makes a Powerful Mission Statement After Family Trauma and Heartbreak, IndyWeek IG: @firstnamemballa Tiny Two Timez Check her out: IG: @TinyTwoTimez

QuirkCon is coming to Durham!

QuirkCon is coming to Durham!

Bryanda Law is anything but ordinary.  While the typical twenty something is just beginning to touch their toes at the edge of life’s seas of opportunity, Bryanda dove into the ocean, busy planning one of the biggest and most unique festivals to happen in Durham. QuirkCon, a festival geared towards gamers, cosplayers, and fans of anime, comics, cosplay, and all things considered quirky, takes place this weekend, May 31st – June 2nd. While QuirkCon is an inclusive experience for all, it specifically gives space to people of color, in particular African Americans (and in particular, particular African American women), who share these experiences but have not been given a space to celebrate their weirdness.  Bryanda is no stranger herself to quirkiness.  In fact, she created the app Quirktastic as a response to her own need to create a community of peers who share her interest in anime, comics, and gaming that was not geared specifically to White and Asian men.  What started as a mere need has grown into a community that reaches across the US as well as Canada and the UK.  Be Connected reached out to Bryanda to learn more about Quirktastic, her connections to Durham and the upcoming QuirkCon event. Be Connected: What is Quirktastic? Why did you feel it was important to create a universe for alternative people of color? Bryanda Law: Quirktastic is a friendship app and media community for geeks, gamers and nerds. We are also building an event management and ticketing site for fandom events, such as comicons and expos. Our company is for everyone. If you go into our app, we have representation in every state, as well as the UK and Canada. With that said, it is no secret that our focus is on women, people of color and the LGBT+ communities. If you go to most nerd and geek sites and apps, it is obvious that they were created to serve young white and Asian men. If you are someone who likes anime, k-pop or comics and you don’t fit this description, without community, it can feel lonely. This was how I felt in high school and being one of the Black girls at the first few years of Animazement. All of the people who work for the company are women, people of color or LGBT+ and we all have similar stories. We would like to think that Quirktastic can help the next generation of geeks and nerds look a lot more inclusive. You have a longstanding interest in science and technology, earning your Bachelor of Science at UNC Charlotte and working as a cytogenetic technologist. What challenges have you faced as a black woman involved in a predominately white-male dominated field? How did these experiences add to the development of Quirktastic? I’m sure we can all agree that the world is very male dominated, especially white-male dominated. Not unlike other Black women in the startup space, the biggest struggle has been funding. Raising venture capital in general is no easy task, but it can be discouraging talking to my male peers that were able to raise funding with just an idea and a prototype, while we struggled to raise funds with our community of 200,000 people and 10,000 users on our new app. I think it is easy to focus on the challenges, but I knew that if I used these challenges as an excuse, the company would go nowhere. Instead of trying to win the hearts of investors, we have been focusing on winning the hearts of our community. Since launching our new app, we’ve actually been able to raise $265,000 in funding from angel investors, the Shea Moisture New Voices Pitch Competition and from our newest investor, Snapchat! How did you become connected to Durham? How has Durham helped to influence your quirkiness and the development of Quirktastic? I moved to Durham after graduating from college to focus on a career in science (I used to work in the Research Triangle), though what kept me in Durham after I decided to forge a different career path was the amazing entrepreneurial spirit I felt every time that I came to Downtown Durham. Tell us about QuirkCon. QuirkCon is a 3 day conference for geeks, gamers and nerds, with a primary focus on people of color and the LGBT+ community. Topics covered at this conference include anime, cosplay, comic books, gaming, sci-fi, art, film, mental health and alternative lifestyles. QuirkCon will have over 40 speakers, including special guest, Kiera Please, Momo Pixel (founder of Hair Nah), Searit Huluf of Pixar, Black Girls Anime, Adorned By Chi, Thaddeus Coates aka Hippy Potter and more. The 1st Annual Cosplayer Awards will also take place Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 7:30pm in the Durham Convention Center and will be hosted by popular YouTuber, actor and LGBT+ personality, Miles Jai. The Cosplayer Awards received over 300 nominations and voting took place online early May. The 12 winners will be announced in our academy style award show during QuirkCon. You have quite a diverse collection of speakers and events lined up for the weekend. What were you looking for when you were seeking out presenters, speakers, and performers? Who are you most excited about? We definitely wanted QuirkCon to feel somewhat like a nerdy reunion. A lot of the speakers are a part of the fandom community, either popular cosplayers, well-known Youtubers or other creators that are making great things or working on cool projects. We are excited about everyone attending, though our audience seems to be most excited about Kiera Please and Miles Jai. Where can people learn more about Quirktastic? You can download our friendship in both the App Store and Google Play. You can also read some awesome articles, listen to nerdy podcasts and watch geeky lifestyle videos on www.quirktastic.co.

A first reaction review: Art of Cool Festival is a five year old

A first reaction review: Art of Cool Festival is a five year old

That’s so dope and so Durham. It takes something special to connect in a way that community speaks up, shows up, and will ride for you and/or your creativity. This week in Durham was nothing short of magic. So much, I started calling Durham the Magic City. What we’ve known from the beginning about The Art of Cool Festival can be summed up in two powerful words: family and community. If you were here this weekend you felt it. You felt normal things that come up in families and community. You may have seen new owners, Sulaiman Mausi and Lesleigh Mausi address the dopeness and the problems that come up in families and community. Little Brother reunited and dedicated their performance to Darian Atlas Hager, a beloved man for the culture who passed away a few months ago. Sons of Kemet intensified the walls of The Pinhook with their sound and with their intention. You could hear the gregarious beats and bars of Nas' 1999 single, 'Hate Me Now' miles away from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Erykah Badu hyponotized us with tunes from the 21-year old 'Baduizm'. She shared her story of writing this album while pregnant with her son, Seven. Magic. Miracles. Dreams come true. There was a balancing, a reckoning... it was beautiful. Quite often I say I don’t have or can’t find the words to express what I’m full of at the moment but this time, I have words: I stay lifted by the show of community here in Durham. I stay impressed by a willingness to acknowledge and solve problems. I stay grounded in love because of what I’ve experienced time and again by the people who live in and who are attracted to this great city. I have never been more proud to be here. I stay prouder. Like, one level of proud gets better than the last. My mother, Diane F. Dozier wrote about the idea of her children being better in her master’s thesis in 1976. Special Education y’all. Art of Cool is a local and national brand that carries on the legacy of my mother’s intention for me, but also for the generations of mothers and fathers in this country who wished for the same. Can we be dope together? After this week of a newly formed Trifesta, i.e., Google For Entrepreneurs Exchange, Black Wall Street Homecoming, and the Art of Cool Project, I have no doubt we can. My unsolicited advice for myself and for our community is to listen, be honest and trust the process. We are all learning, growing, adjusting, (and whatever other participle) to our next level. It is our fuel for higher. It is our fuel for hire. It’s our legacy. It’s alchemy. It’s jazz’s baby. It’s hip hop. It’s the show of worth to which we are deserving. And, it’s still all good. So much love, 🙏🏾 Angel Iset Dozier Be Connected Durham Fun Facts: Five is the number of necessary change. Cicely Mitchell, co-founder of the Art of Cool Festival and President of the Art of Cool Project helped me rename Be Community to Be Connected. Now, we’re here. Be Connected Durham.

ANGR MGMT

ANGR MGMT

Given everything that has us asking What’s Going On… we’re starting ANGR MGMT at The584 Durham. July 31. Join us. #beconnected #durham

ANGR MGMT OCTOBER

ANGR MGMT OCTOBER

It's October and we're back with new partners, larger class options with a full live band, and new pop-up locations. Our October 23 and October 30 classes are taught by artist/yogi/tarot reader Jameela F. Dallis, PhD and features instrumentation by Russell Favret of Zoocru. Our October practice is dedicated to breast cancer and domestic violence awareness. For tickets, click here. ANGR MGMT is an art, yoga, and tarot coloring card experience for ordinary people who are looking for an intimate, creative group exercise & therapy session. Live instrumentation allows us to focus and achieve a higher meditative state. Vocals may be performed after savasana. “You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.” --Maya Angelou

Saturday Love Notes

Saturday Love Notes

We‘ve been here since 2015. How do you engage a target audience around HIV cure research? We answered Dr. Allison Mathews’ question with hip hop music, live painting, and artistic expression wherein the audience became the creative problem solvers. We’ll be telling this story over the next few weeks, leading up to our three year anniversary. Come Be Connected and get so much more. Photograph: a love note left by a visitor after attending a Be Connected event on October 23, 2017. #onaTuesday

Fix Your Crown. ANGR MGMT Coloring Journal Therapy for Patrons & Enthusiast

Fix Your Crown. ANGR MGMT Coloring Journal Therapy for Patrons & Enthusiast

Fix Your Crown, come to ANGR MGMT on a Tuesday at Threehouse Studios! It’s art, yoga, and a tarot coloring card experience Tuesday, Oct 30 featuring Russell Favret of Zoocrü. 7pm. You can join our Patreon at the Oh Snap! Level for just $5 a month and get this post card coloring book as a thank you. Oh Snap! patrons get 4 free yoga classes a year. Or, pre-order your ANGR MGMT Coloring Book at beconnecteddurham.com/book-online. Ships November 27, 2018. Concept & Cover by Angel Iset Dozier #beconnected #durham #durhamnc #art #culture #music #politics #community #education #angrmgmt #yoga

Community Call for 'It's Complicated Durham!' Deadline December 15.

Community Call for 'It's Complicated Durham!' Deadline December 15.

Call Two: Call for artwork! It's Complicated Durham will work as an artist collective to tell often ignored stories of intimacy and love in our community over the coming months. In addition to the artist-storyteller collective we are gathering, we would like Durham artists to submit pieces they have created on their own related to special love stories.

April Showers #onaTuesday

April Showers #onaTuesday

Entering the Stage
April showers the area with magic from the underground

This weekend, the 22nd Annual Full Frame Documentary Festival premieres Mossville: When Great Trees Fall among a variety of amazing films. Learn more about this story of triumph and heroism in the face of environmental pollution.
MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL
Saturday, April 6 at 1:20 p.m.
https://www.fullframefest.org

DREAMVILLE! Our friends Ky Jennings and The Jade Wilson are covering the First Annual Dreamville Festival for Indy Week! We're looking forward to the coverage while we go underground with...

Spirithouse Inc. Celebrating 20 Years What were you doing in 1999?
Spirithouse "believes grassroots leadership is directly and organically linked to community. We prioritize the leadership of people most impacted by systemic racism and oppression through the Harm Free Zone Transformative Justice Training." Stay tuned for how you can celebrate Spirithouse's impact in Durham and beyond.

STAY CONNECTED:

APR 03 Carolina Waves Chapel Hill Showcase & Open Mic
Hosted by Carolina Waves founder, K97.5's Mir.I.am. Music by DJ RNB. Come perform, network, build your buzz, participate in the live cypher and possibly get booked!

APR 10 Carolina Performing Arts Presents Carrie Mae Weems Past Tense
Through spoken word combined with still and moving imagery, iconic American photographer Carrie Mae Weems examines the right to justice and peace through the lens of the classic play Antigone. In this spare, captivating lecture-performance, Weems explores themes of social justice, escalating violence, gender relations, politics, and personal identity within the context of contemporary history—recurrent subjects in her practice...

APR 12 The Conjure: Two Year Anniversary Dance Party Celebrating Black Femmes The first to do it in the Triangle area while employing black women, black femmes, and black trans people, The Conjure has featured artists, DJs, singers, tarot, radical honesty/healing and more to center black femmes. All are welcome. This is such a dope party!

APR 12 Toshi Reagon Presents A Parable Becoming Healing Through Sound at North Star Durham So magical, you should read the description yourself and tell your friends.

APR 13 Summerstage Block Party at Goldenbelt Campus Durham
RSVP for the stage launch and block party complete with music, art, food trucks, hiring fair and beer at Goldenbelt campus. Curated by SummerStage Artistic Director, Cicely Mitchell

APR 20 Red Hot Presents: A Free Red Hot Harm Reduction Concert at Urban Survivor's Union Greensboro, NC From 1999 to 2016 more than 12,000 North Carolinians died from opioid-related overdoses, and in 2017, drug overdoses in NC increased faster than every other state but ONE! Join @redhotorg for a FREE concert featuring some of North Carolina's hottest artists! Come join us as we shift narratives away from the criminalization of addiction--to seeing addiction as a mental health issue that needs treatment, destigmatization and greater emphasis on harm reduction practices. Love is the drug! Doors open at 3. Show starts at 4. Event hosted by K97.5

MAY 31 The Future is QuirkCon
The First Conference for Quirky People Like You Is Finally Here in Durham May 31st through June 2. Stay tuned for an official Be Connected interview with founder and CEO, Bryanda Law.

JUN 08 The Sol Kitchen Presents Purple Note Durham: Celebrating the Life of Prince through Jazz Shelby J. is performing in Durham! Live show honoring Prince featuring The XMen, Shelby J., and friends. After The Show party with DJ Mad Skillz immediately following. NB: Shelby J. has only performed at a few special charity events since Prince's death. Durham has got the juice to welcome her back to the stage in style. Come On!
Be Connected Durham
FOLLOW us on Instagram and LIKE us on Facebook Subscribe to our e-blast as we build community-rooted partnerships throughout Durham.

Co-producing Kamara Thomas’ Country Soul Songbook — Bring Your Tambourine!

Co-producing Kamara Thomas’ Country Soul Songbook — Bring Your Tambourine!

Country Soul Songbook is a high-energy community celebration that spotlights alternative voices in country-soul-Americana music— a quarterly, seasonal, Durham-centric concert series (and Potluck!) featuring local musicians, AND an online episodic documentary series highlighting artists, Durham culture, and the places (venues, restaurants, etc.) where our community gathers. The larger intent of the project is to explore, discuss, and demonstrate how the country, soul, and Americana genres, and the Durham community itself, are rooted in the same history, and the same multi-race/multi-identity American soup. We want to build community bridges, and celebrate our unity-in-diversity through the irresistible power of music, food, and the good times that gather people together. Our first concert will take place at North Star Church of the Arts on Sunday, November 24th, 2019. Featured artists include Kamara Thomas, Rissi Palmer, Phil Cook, Kym Register, and Shana Tucker. Additional concerts will take place seasonally starting in March 2020. Each concert will feature a combination of artists' original tunes, and curated songs from the existing country-soul-Americana canon. The pilot episode of the web series will complete filming in 2019 and begin airing online in Spring 2020, with regular episodes to follow. INTERESTED IN BECOMING A PRESENTER OR SPONSOR OF CSS? We are currently seeking short- and long-term partnerships with progressive Durham businesses and organizations to help produce the episodic series, and to feed and pay our artists and film crews. Please contact CountrySoulSongbook@gmail.com for more information and to discuss the possibilities! Country Soul Songbook’s executive producer is musician and multidisciplinary artist Kamara Thomas. Additional producers include Heather Cook of North Star Church of the Arts, Angel Dozier of BeConnected, and Tess Mangum Ocaña of Sonic Pie Productions. Initial support for Country Soul Songbook is provided by grants from Durham 150 and the Cucalorus “Filmed in NC” Fund.

The Conjure and Be Connected Present HERStory: A Night of Black Femmes in Hip Hop (Pt 2)

The Conjure and Be Connected Present HERStory: A Night of Black Femmes in Hip Hop (Pt 2)

We’re only a couple of days away from HERStory: A Night of Black Femmes in Hip Hop, presented by The Conjure and Be Connected. The show will consist of nine underground artists from both the Bull and Oak Cities. There will be a cypher encouraging femme hip hop artists to showcase their talents. The night will be hosted by Angel Dozier, and will be capped off with an afterparty featuring DJ Gemynii. Earlier this month, the “moon” shined its light over a small part of downtown. Now’s the time for the stars to takeover Pinhook for one dynamic night that you will not want to miss. Featured Artists: Lovely The Don "Lovey The Don, an Independent Rap Artist from Greensboro, NC channels a “don” like mentality through her music. Emerging onto the Underground Rap scene in 2015, Lovey captivates with her raw but witty, and pleasantly odd lyrical ability." - Facebook Check her out: IG: @loveythedon Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loveythedon/ NunAfterHours "Through my music, I can be the real me. Growing up sheltered in a religious household caused me to lose my identity, and I spent many years being trapped. I’m glad I decided to step out from behind the shadows and finally do something for myself. I’m taking my power back through music. I’m not afraid to be who I really am anymore, and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it. I’m bold, fearless, and strong. I’m ready to share more of myself with the world." - Nun After Hours, www.nunafterhours.com Check her out: www.nunafterhours.com IG: @nunafterhours Tanajah "Tanajah is an up and coming rapper who currently lives in Raleigh, NC. Tanajah, originally from Germantown, Md, has been rapping since she was 11 years old.She finds her musical inspiration from Tupac, Hiatus Kiayote, Stevie Wonder, Noname, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Kendrick Lamar and Rapsody. Tanajah, the “Giver of Good Vibes” hopes that her lyrics can spread the message of self love, good vibes and to follow your dreams no matter how big!" - tanajahraps.com Check her out: www.tanajahraps.com IG: @tanajahraps Maestra "I aim to be a versatile artist ranging from hip-hop, r&b, soul, jazz and even rock. My act includes rapping, singing and poetry, but if you let me, you'll get to see a little acting as well. Not only do I use my Theatre Arts-Acting and Psychology degrees from Purdue University to be a performing artist myself, but I am also a NC Public School educator as a Theatre Arts teacher." - Maestra Check her out: https://sites.google.com/view/mcmaestra IG: @maestraemcees

The Experiment: Looking Back at 4 Years of Be Connected

The Experiment: Looking Back at 4 Years of Be Connected

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.”