28 December 2006

my stuff, your stuff

Buy my stuff!

Grad school is really tough on the wallet, so I've decided to start selling some things on Amazon.com. My seller nickname is my_stuff_your_stuff, so go and check it out.

Here are some items I posted today:

Raw: The Best of Lady Saw [Audio CD] Lady Saw Used from $11.00

Broken Silence [Explicit Lyrics] [Audio CD] Brown, Foxy Buy New $12.00

Take a Joke America [Explicit Lyrics] [Audio CD] Mencia, Carlos Buy New $12.00


22 December 2006

ban on "natural" hair

(picture from http://www.howtodread.com/dreadlocks.html)

January 1st "extreme" and "fad" hairstyles like cornrows, twists, locs, mohawks and afros are banned from the police dept. People with locs are forced to cut their hair off and women with natural hair are forced to either straighten or shave their heads. I find this to be extremely racist against black people considering locs, cornrows, twists and fros are worn by mostly Blacks. The sad thing is this was set in place by a BLACK mayor and BLACK police commissioner.

Their excuse: The police would "blend in" with the criminals.

Now if you all care about equal rights (despite of how you wear your hair) I suggest you sign this petition. We cannot allow these kinds of regulations to perpetuate internalized racism. There is nothing that dictates that "straight" hair is more "normal" or less offensive than natural hair, except our socialization process.

Please help by signing the petition at the site below.



19 December 2006

protecting equality


(Lansing-MI) - Tonight the Lansing City Council voted unanimously to pass a human rights ordinance that bans discrimination within the city, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Today, Michigan's Capital City, became the 14th municipality in the state to outlaw discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people when the city council voted unanimously to support a human rights ordinance. The ordinance bans anti-gay discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. It also includes local protections based on race, religion, sex, weight, and other characteristics.

"Today is a great day for everyone who lives or works or even passes through, Lansing," said Sean Kosofsky, Director of Policy for Triangle Foundation, Michigan's leading civil rights organization for GLBT people and their allies. "The unanimous vote by city council, should send a loud message that discrimination has no place in Lansing."

Anti-gay discrimination is still legal in the State of Michigan, because the State's civil rights law, The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, does not prohibit discrimination based on "sexual orientation" or "gender identity or expression." Fourteen cities have gone the extra step of banning such discrimination, within their borders.

Anti-gay activists from the American Family Association - based in Midland - have threatened to repeal the protections for GLBT tax-payers and residents of Lansing.

"This ordinance is like a holiday gift to the entire Lansing community. It is a shame anti-gay extremists from outside Lansing want to divisive and mean-spirited agenda to Lansing," continued Kosofsky.

The other Michigan cities with protections for GLBT people are: Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Douglas, Birmingham, Oak Park, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Flint, Huntington Woods, Ferndale and Grand Ledge.


12 December 2006

gift ideas

While trying to finish up exams and prepare for the numerous holiday parties just around the corner, I have found myself in a quandary over holiday gifts. I came upon this website/store uncommon goods. They have really cute stuff, and an abundance which fits into my price range of under $25.


08 December 2006

Role of Arts in a Time of Crisis

(click post title to link to video and text)

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, presented this keynote address at a conference last year in Brazil, called "Performing Heritage." In this keynote speech, she addresses the role of arts, the public intellectual and response to government and political policy. There is a full text and video of her address, available at the link above.

Ayanna turned me on to this series of conferences called Encuentros, which are really a mix of academics and arts. The next one is taking place in Argentina, and focuses on body politics. The deadline for proposals is January 15, 2007, and you can access info at this website.


07 December 2006

Scratch and Sniff Art Exhibit

(click post title to read entire story)

My partner sent me this article about a really inventive idea for an art piece. I only wish I had thought of it first. Read on . . .

Exhibit captures the 'smell of fear'

Associated Press Writer
Wed Dec 6, 6:17 PM ET

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Masahiro Sugiyama walked up to the gallery wall, gently scratched the paint and cautiously moved closer to capture the smell that many would try to avoid or mask with deodorants under normal circumstances.

A potent odor similar to that of an unwashed male armpit wafted from the wall, a scratch-and-sniff exhibit that captures the "smell of fear" as part of a show at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exploring how artists use modern technology in creative work.

"This is not the kind of place where you you'd want to stay for long," MIT graduate student Sugiyama, 28, said of the artwork created by Norwegian artist and researcher Sissel Tolaas.


27 November 2006

Life in the Fast Lane

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Gloria Castillo, 22, works from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. at a Burger King in West Dallas, earning $252 a week before taxes. She and her husband, who have two boys ages 7 and 8, work different shifts.

(click post title to view read article and view video on nytimes website)

From the car window, the whole fast-food experience is a numbing routine. Pull up. Order from the billboard. Idle. Pay. Drive away. Fast food has become a $120 billion motorized American experience.

But consider the life inside that window on Loop 12 in West Dallas. There is a woman with children and no health insurance, undereducated, a foot soldier in the army of the working poor. The fry cook sneezes on the meat patties. Cigarettes go half smoked. Cameras spy on the employees. Customers throw their fries and soft drinks sometimes because they think it’s funny.


22 November 2006

fyi: travel regulations

So, I am finally getting out of Ann Arbor for a little bit to visit some family :) I haven't gone anywhere in a while, so I wanted to be sure I was up to date on all the latest travel regulations. After hearing that they threw away this little girl's peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I had to go to the source. I don't know about you, but I always bring my own food, water, etc to the airport cause everything is way overpriced AND gross. It looks like I can still bring food, as long as none of it is liquid-like, but no water. I am already feeling parched!

Click the title link to see all prohibited/allowed items. I won't poke fun now, but some of them did make me laugh. Ok, I'll tell you one that did - the gel bra! hehe. Luckily, you are allowed to wear this through the security area.

Have a great weekend!


14 November 2006

immigration: these arguments incense me

How does this make any sense? (click title of post to read full article from USA today)

"City Council members (in a suburb of Dallas, Texas) unanimously approved fines for landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, making English the city's official language and allowing local authorities to screen suspects in police custody to check their immigration status."

English is used here as an indicator of legal citizenship status. How does that make any sense? I know a lot of people back home in Miami that speak very little, or poor English, and are fully legal citizens. Talk about politicizing and criminalizing language! Arguments like these really incense me, because they terrorize people. Then, the advocates wonder why people get angry and get into fights. Hello! I'm angry, and I don't even have to worry that anyone's going to come knocking on my door to see whether or not I speak English, and then use that against me in terms of immigration status.

Then, there's that part about landlords being fined for renting to illegal immigrants. Now, I understand, as a property owner, that it is my responsiblity to be sure that there is, like, no drug ring action happening in my condo, and that I get my rent check on time. But, how does a mere landlord gain the credentials and reponsibilities of an immigration officer? That is not my job, and it is not the job of any landlord in Texas (well, I guess now it is!). See, it just doesn't make any sense.

All of these policies come out of fear. Fear of what? Fear that their city is going to "become Hispanic." Well, they should've realized a long time ago that that city that they think is "theirs" doesn't really "belong" to anyone. It is not their job to "make it white." And, if they really want to see whose land it is, then it is definitely not historically theirs. Texas, before it belonged to the US, was most assuredly part of Mexico. And, before it was part of Mexico, it belonged to the indigenous people who lived there.

That's the end of my rant for today . . .


13 November 2006

the Bluest Eye: Detroit this weekend

The Bluest Eye is playing at Plowshares Theater through the end of this weekend. Don't worry about getting a bad seat because it's general admission! I just bought my tickets, and I am super excited to see this adaptation of Toni Morrison's book. Here the description from the theater's website:

Eleven year-old Pecola Breedlove has desired the love of her family and friends all her young life. Instead, she faces constant ridicule and abuse. Blaming her dark skin, Pecola prays for blue eyes - as blue as Shirley Temple's. Everyone adores little blue-eyed girls. Her prayers are granted in the most poignant way. The Bluest Eye is the heartrending story of a young black girl's tragic coming of age in 1941 Ohio. Toni Morrison’s poetic and piercingly relevant debut novel is brought to the stage with loving care by playwright Lydia R. Diamond.


07 November 2006

Shorts on the Beach (films, that is)


NYC makes gender a personal choice

Read the article linked above. NYC now makes it possible for transgendered people to "change" their legal gender with or without undergoing surgery. This has many interesting implications for the use of the words 'sex' and 'gender' in society, well in NY anyway, and how people perceive themselves v the way the world interprets them. But, what I am unclear of is, does this mean that there are still only two legal genders, male and female? What if a person rejects both of those categories?


06 November 2006

a poem to kick your butt to the polls!

a poem from Staceyann Chin on tomorrow's necessity . . . I have already sent in my absentee ballot, so you all go on and exercise that right.

Why the Fuck Should I Vote in 2006? (only a portion, go to her myspace to read the whole thing)
by Staceyann Chin (www.myspace.com/staceyannchin)

Less than twenty-four hours


before the mid-term elections

the weeks have tricked us

into days/the moment

descends and my fingers itch

for a poem

a great rage to inspire you

to rise you up

early or late tomorrow

to go vote

for Katrina

and the ill winds that flapped

incumbent at the throats of old women

who marched in Selma

for the children who will never know

the New Orleans into which they were born

for Alabama

and Georgia

for Tennessee


New York City and how this town

has become a place

only the wealthy can enjoy

vote against these small boxes we pay

entire months wages for

every month

I have to cut something else



snip away at the doors Black teenagers can walk through

pile all the Puerto Ricans on top of each other

call them Mexicans

because you don't know better

if your mother is Dominican

if your father is from Barbados

your older brother is still in Belize

grandfather is in Nigeria

if your maternal grandmother is Jamaican

if you have never seen the city where your people are from

white as a WASP and liberal

or independent

or you used to be republican

Go Vote


18 October 2006

being a woman artist

Guerrilla Girls
Originally uploaded by 16_sparrows.

i am supposed to be working on writing my NSF grant, and instead i got lost looking at flickr photos. but, this has some bearing on the subject of what it means to be a caribbean woman artist, so i thought i would share.


17 October 2006

*weekly* recipe: honey-glazed tofu with bok choy

glazed tofu in pan
Originally uploaded by thinkist.

I just finished yet another paper, and my reward is a blog post. Maybe that sounds lame, but hey, you gotta have something to look forward to. And, maybe some of you will benefit . . . works out all the way around!

So, here is an awesome recipe from >poco-cocoa

I have made so many things from her blog. This honey-glazed tofu was so yummy! I made the bok-choy too, but forgot to take a picture once everything was plated.

Gingered Bok Choy

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger (one small piece)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (2 medium cloves)
1 head bok choy, sliced, stems and leaves separated
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and saute 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic is just golden. Add bok choy stems, soy sauce, and water, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until stems are just tender. Add bok choy leaves and cilantro, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve with tofu and brown rice.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Source: poco-cocoa.

Honey-Glazed Tofu

1 (12-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained, blotted dry, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce (you may want to add more, mine wasn’t spicy at all)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu in one layer, and cook without stirring for 4 to 5 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Flip pieces over and brown at least one other side, about 4 to 5 minutes more.

While tofu is cooking, whisk together remaining ingredients. Once tofu is browned, add honey mixture to the pan. Shake and stir until the tofu is evenly coated, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens up a bit and glazes the tofu.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Source: poco-cocoa.

poco-cocoa's original post


09 October 2006

a girl like me

read this opinion piece, by Leonard Pitts in the Miami Herald. it's associated with this video by Kiri Davis. she's a 17 year old who made a short film about the self-image of young black women. in this short film, which is part of the media that matters film festival, davis investigates self-image, beauty and how young women understand their own histories. she also recreates a 1930s "doll test" which engages young children to express the ideas and stereotypes they've already been shaped by.

soon to come on this blog (i will try. grad school work is keeping me far away from blogging.)
-a weekly recipe so long overdue, i should just call them "monthly"
-why do we still have a holiday called "columbus day?"
-what i learned from sandra cisneros

thanks for hanging in there. meanwhile, i'd like to let you know that comments really motivate me, so keep 'em comin',


22 September 2006

Sandra Cisneros and Ruth Behar, Ann Arbor

Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm, in the Rackham Auditorium

The Hispanic Heritage Month 2006 Keynote Address will feature Sandra Cisneros on “Why I’m Not Hispanic.” Sandra Cisneros is a novelist, poet, short story writer, and essayist whose work gives voice to working-class Latino and Latina life in America. Her lyrical, realistic work blends aspects of “high” and popular culture. Her work includes the novels: The House on Mango Street (1983) and Caramelo (2002), Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991), poetry: Bad Boys (1980), My Wicked Wicked Ways (1987), and Loose Woman (1994), a children’s book Hairs/Pelitos (1994), and Vintage Cisneros (2003), a compilation of her works. In 1995 Cisneros was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and in 2003 she received the Texas Medal of the Arts. She lives in San Antonio, TX, where she has created the Macondo Foundation, a unique writers workshop with a Latino focus and a commitment to community service.
Followed by a light reception and book signing by Sandra Cisneros.

Friday, September 29, 11am-1pm, in 3512 Haven Hall

Talking in our Pajamas: A Conversation Between Sandra Cisneros and Ruth Behar. Dressed in their pajamas, author, Sandra Cisneros and U-M Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies, Ruth Behar will have a public conversation. They will discuss a range of topics, including writing, books, and being Latinas, topics which they have been talking about for over a decade. A continental breakfast will be served.


15 September 2006

Calling All Dancers! A Space of Your Own (new york)

This is a great opportunity to have an office and get the guidance needed to run a professional dance company. Here are the details:

DNA Subsidized Administrative Space Program

Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) is a unique arts organization that provides an arena where dancers at all levels of training, from novice through professional can study, create and perform. DNA's mission is to provide the tools and support necessary for artists to establish viable, healthy long-term lives as dancers. DNA acts as a laboratory in which ideas and vocabularies are exchanged and where artists may present their work before audiences.

Dance New Amsterdam's Subsidized Administrative Space program (SAS) was created and designed for dance artists and choreographers seeking to establish themselves in New York City but have been unable to find affordable administrative rental space given the current New York City real estate market.

Dance New Amsterdam's SAS program provides up and coming choreographers as well as established choreographers and companies dedicated administrative office space located within the executive offices of Dance New Amsterdam at a subsidized rental rate. For those applicants selected Dance New Amsterdam will provide access to the following.

:: Office hours 9:00am - 8:00pm* (Monday - Saturday)

:: Private cubicle with lockable storage and file space

:: Computer with internet access and printer

:: Phone with a private extension and receptionist

:: Office supplies**

:: Fax and photocopying**

:: Access to DNA facilities including conference room for private meetings, rest rooms, locker rooms, kitchen and faculty lounge

:: Approximately two hours weekly of private consultation with DNA staff in finance, development and marketing***

:: Access to potential teaching and performance opportunities.

*Flexible schedules available
**Limited to availability and usage
***By appointment only

DNA's community of artists, dancers, musicians, patrons and students provides a stimulating environment for SAS participants. Resident companies will receive professional guidance based on an initial annual assessment of each company's unique challenges, goals and objectives. Directors of SAS companies will be given special consideration for employment within DNA's school programs including the Modern Guest Artist Series.

Applications for the SAS program will be reviewed by the senior staff of Dance New Amsterdam as well as an independent panel of six dance educators and administrators. Selected choreographers and companies will begin their administrative residencies in November 2006 by signing a one year rental contract with the opportunity for extension when applicable.

The Application & Selection Process

Choreographers and companies interested in seeking approval should provide the SAS committee with a brief narrative that should include the following information.

:: Name of Company or Individual

:: Non-Profit/Corporate status and organizational chart*

:: Mission Statement

:: Brief History: biography of body of work, recent accomplishments

:: Current Fiscal sponsorship

:: Funding history and current fiscal sponsorship

:: Financials (annual budget)*

:: HR manual and EEO policy guidelines*

:: Administrative Goals: strategic plan or outline of intended goals during artist/company's residency in the SAS Program

*when applicable

The SAS committee will choose a group of semi-finalists with the final selection by the Executive Director. Selection will be based upon need, a clear mission and a history of completed projects. Consideration will be given to successful informal showings, presentations in small venues and ongoing consistent development of work.

Emerging dancer artists and companies without an extensive history of performances or general body of work will also be considered for participation and are strongly encouraged to apply

Deadlines for Submissions: October 13, 2006

Send proposals via email to:

SAS Program

Proposals can also be submitted by US mail or Fax:

SAS Program
Dance New Amsterdam
280 Broadway 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10007
Attn: Development Department

Fax: 212-625-8313

No Phone Calls Please


14 September 2006

favorite yoga pose: Janu Sirasana

I get these daily emails from Yoga Journal, which I think are really great. They remind me of things to focus on, and also things I can "let go" of. I meant to post one email that was titled "mind chatter!" But that's beside the point. My point today is that Janu Sirasana is one of my favorite poses. It's easy to do, and when done properly, uses your whole body to twist slightly and fold forward. Make sure to spend the time getting into proper position and avoid just collapsing forward.

Here's the info from Yoga Journal:

Tune Your Hamstrings

Think your hamstrings are too tight to forward bend? Then Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose) is the pose for you. This asana is attainable even for those with little flexibility. Its benefits-mental clarity, improved digestion, decreased stress-make it a welcome addition to any practice.

Janu Sirsasana is easier than other forward bends because it allows you to stretch one leg at a time-it cuts the resistance you may feel in your hamstrings when you fold forward in half.

Here's how to try it:

Sit upright with your legs extended on the floor in front of you. Bend your right knee up to the ceiling and pull your heel in toward your buttocks. Let your knee open out to the right until it touches or almost touches the floor. Place the sole of your right foot on your left thigh and flex your left foot. Twist toward your left leg and hold your thigh, ankle, or foot with both hands (or you can hold on to a strap wrapped around the left foot). Inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale and gently fold deeper into the pose. Remain for five to 10 breaths, then switch sides.

Janu Sirsasana is a calming, cooling pose. As it becomes more comfortable to perform, you may find yourself ready for more challenging forward bends.

Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)

Long and Strong


12 September 2006

A Ban on Skinny?

Skinny models wearing thin in fashion shocker By Andrew Hay
Tue Sep 12, 11:43 AM ET

MADRID (Reuters) - The world's first ban on overly thin models at a top-level fashion show in Madrid has caused outrage among modeling agencies and raised the prospect of restrictions at other venues.

Madrid's fashion week has turned away underweight models after protests that girls and young women were trying to copy their rail-thin looks and developing eating disorders.

Organizers say they want to project an image of beauty and health, rather than a waif-like, or heroin chic look.

But Cathy Gould, of New York's Elite modeling agency, said the fashion industry was being used as a scapegoat for illnesses like anorexia and bulimia.

"I think its outrageous, I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women, but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer," said Gould, Elite's North America director, adding that the move could harm careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models.

Madrid's regional government, which sponsors the show and imposed restrictions, said it did not blame designers and models for anorexia. It said the fashion industry had a responsibility to portray healthy body images.

"Fashion is a mirror and many teenagers imitate what they see on the catwalk," said regional official Concha Guerra.

The mayor of Milan, Italy, Letizia Moratti, told an Italian newspaper this week she would seek a similar ban for her city's show unless it could find a solution to "sick" looking models.


The Madrid show is using the body mass index or BMI -- based on weight and height -- to measure models. It has turned away 30 percent of women who took part in the previous event. Medics will be on hand at the September 18-22 show to check models.

"The restrictions could be quite a shock to the fashion world at the beginning, but I'm sure it's important as far as health is concerned," said Leonor Perez Pita, director of Madrid's show, also known as the Pasarela Cibeles.

A spokeswoman for the Association of Fashion Designers of Spain, which represents those at Madrid fashion week, said the group supported restrictions and its concern was the quality of collections, not the size of models.

Eating disorder activists said many Spanish model agencies and designers oppose the ban and they had doubts whether the new rules would be followed.

"If they don't go along with it the next step is to seek legislation, just like with tobacco," said Carmen Gonzalez of Spain's Association in Defense of Attention for Anorexia and Bulimia, which has campaigned for restrictions since the 1990s.

09 September 2006

Free Tuition to Harvard and More Opportunities!

"O" The Oprah Magazine
is looking to hire Fall Interns in the Fashion & Style Departments.
Candidates must be highly organized, detail-oriented and
able to juggle multiple tasks at once.
Prior internship experience preferred, but not required.
This opportunity is available for college students in need of
credit hours and recent graduates who are available
to start immediately, full-time from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm,
5 days a week.
Send resumes with a cover letter to:
Cindy M. del Rosario, Associate Editor
O, The Oprah Magazine
1700 Broadway, 38th floor NY, or call 212-903-5149.

is looking for students who are 2004-2005 graduates of
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
If you know of someone graduating from a HBCU this year with
a degree in Engineering, Computer Science and Technology, Information
Technology, General Business, Finance or Marketing,
please have them forward their resume to: melissa.w.langham@verizon.com
be considered for career opportunities with Verizon!

The Women's Technology Program at MIT
is a 4-week summer residence program to introduce
high school girls to electrical engineering and computer science.
If you know a girl who is currently a high school junior who
demonstrates math and science ability and an interest in
finding out about EECS, please encourage her to visit
our website for more information and for an application form.
(Applications were due Feb 3, 2005.)
Still, explore possible exceptions: http://www.mit.edu
Our classes are taught in a supportive environment by
a staff of women MIT PhD candidates and undergraduates.
The full-time academic program includes hands-on experiments
and team-based projects in computer science,
electrical engineering, and mathematics
No prior experience in computer programming, physics, or electrical
engineering is expected, but applicants typically have strong academic
records, especially in math and science.
Harvard University is offering free tuition for students that have
a family income below $40,000. If you are a mentor or have nieces
and nephews who might be interested,
please give them this information.
If you know any one/family earning less than $40K with
a brilliant child near ready for college, please pass this along.
The prestigious university recently announced that
from now on undergraduate students from low-income families can
go to Harvard for free!
No tuition and no student loans!
To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for families making
less than $40,000 a year visit
Harvard's financial aid website at:
http://adm-is.fas.harvard.edu/FAO/index.htm or call the school's
aid office at 617-495-1581.


08 September 2006

Cadre Artists' Grant

cadre Visual Artists' Grant
Applications now being accepted!
We're very excited to begin accepting applications for the first cadre art grant. Applications may be submitted September 1 through November 1, 2006.

To date we have collected more than $2000 for the first round of grants!!!!!

If you have made a donation, you are already eligible to apply; if you haven't yet, please make a donation ($10 is the minimum donation) to apply (see details below).

All applications must be sent to cadreartgrant@yahoo.com and must include:

· An artist’s statement (300-500 words; no c.v.'s, please!)

· A description of what you plan to do with the grant (300-500 words)

· Your estimated need for your particular project (you can ask for any amount up to the current total collected for the grants)

· A URL for a blog or website containing your work

All images must be submitted as a blog or website* (no attachments or mailed applications will be accepted) to eliminate the administrative costs of postage and paperwork and submission costs for the artist (no more slides!). Applications must include at least 5 but no more than 20 examples of work. All applicant URLs will be posted on the grant's website for viewing by donors and the selection committee (see details below).

* If you don’t already have a website or blog, you can set up a free blog at blogger.com (if you’re a PC user), a not-free blog at typepad.com (if you’re a Mac user), a free blog at WordPress.org (don’t know if it favors PC or Mac), or you can even simply set up a free photo page at flickr.com. We’re sure there are other options out there, too—look around!



1. What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept:

money orders/cashiers' checks
personal checks (Please make all checks payable to Carla Williams or Deirdre Visser. See question#3 for details.)
PayPal (click donation button below)
Donations can be sent to:

p.o. box 720066
san francisco, ca 94172-0066

2. Can I be automatically set up to make a monthly donation?

Yes! Click here to sign up for an automatic $10 per month payment plan.

3. Are donations tax deductible?

Not at this time. The reason checks are to be made out to one of us is that we have opted not to seek 501(c)(3) non-profit status at this time. It's time-consuming and involved, and for now, we wanted to keep it as simple as possible and to operate like a clearing house for donations—money in, money out. The only deductions being taken are fees for Paypal donations.

4. What kinds of art does the grant support?

This is a visual arts grant—works in all media are eligible. While we don't support traditional performing arts projects, we do support performance artists. You can always E-mail us if you have any questions.

Suggested Donation Amount: $10.00 USD

For more detailed information about the grant, click here.


Please use the link below to forward this E-mail far and wide!

Warm regards,

(Carla Williams and Deirdre Visser)

email: cadreartgrant@yahoo.com
web: http://www.carlagirl.net/cadre/cadreartgrant.html


03 September 2006

weekly recipe: dual dinner (veg and non-veg)

For this week's recipe post, I thought I would include recipes which can easily be adapted to suit vegetarian or non-vegetarian dietary choices. See, I am vegetarian and my hunny, well, she's not. And, while she does enjoy all the veggie food I cook, once in a while, I like to surprise her with something she'd really like (well, not quite a hamburger!) - salmon.

The recipes for this week are Spice-Crusted Tofu (or Salmon), adapted from poco-cocoa, and Black-Eyed Peas with Rainbow Chard, adpated from Cooking Light.

For the tofu or salmon, follow the recipe above with slight alterations for the salmon.

Salmon Alterations to Tofu Recipe
1. Dust the spice-mixture on the salmon in a foil-lined pan.

dusting the salmon
Originally uploaded by

2. Bake at 350 degrees F, until almost done. Not completely, since you will be baking for slightly longer in the next step.
3. Pour honey and lemon mixture over salmon and bake 5 more minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
4. Then, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and enjoy with greens!

Black-Eyed Peas with Rainbow Chard

4c vegetable broth
3c water
2c fresh black-eyed peas
2T butter
2c finely chopped red onion
1lb coarsely chopped rainbow chard (or any other chard if you can't find rainbow)
1/2t pepper
1T hot sauce

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a Dutch ove; bring to boil.
2. Redcue heat and simmer, partially covered for 30 mins or until tender (ok, mine took @ 45 min to 1 hr!)
3. Remove from heat.
4. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion. Saute 5 mins.
5. Add chard and pepper. Saute 3 mins or unitl wilted.

cooking greens
Originally uploaded by

6. Stir in vinegar.
7. Add onion mixture to peas. Stir.

Hope you enjoy this week's recipe posting.


28 August 2006

Call for Artists: Immigration Art via Mail Project

While purusing this month's Fresh Art (the Florida Arts Education Magazine), I came upon this very interesting "call for artists." It's a multi-media based project in which artists send in their interpretation of immigration. It is open to all artists in all media. Read more below, and check out the blog for what's been sent in so far.

Here's the description from Sophie Blachet, of Art Vitam.


Mail Art Project 31.12.06/Immigration
P.O BOX 975
Miami Beach, FL 33119


MAIL ART PROJECT 31.12.06/Immigration
Sophie Blachet, director of Art Vitam and Valeria Pouza, independent curator, are seeking Mail Art works for an ongoing Mail Art Project book on the theme of immigration.

The Mail Art Project will proceed in two phases:

Phase One
The Mail Art Project will collect over a period of six months beginning in June 2006, a range of mail art works sent royalty free to be published in book form. Only 100 works will be chosen for inclusion in the book entitled “Mail Art Project 31.12.06/Immigration”.
All works will be, however, exhibited online at http://ganthine.blogspot.com
Deadline for the project is 31 December 2006.
Phase Two
Beginning of January 2007, Blachet and Pouza will choose 100 works received for publication in the book.
Selected artists will be contacted either by regular mail, e-mail or phone by the end of January 2007.

The Details: The Mail Art Project 31.12.2006/Immigration
Theme: Immigration. Coming, going, staying, living, borders, boundaries, legal, illegal… it’s your call.
Format: Anything goes, from postcards, envelopes, to large format works on board and works on paper.
No entry fee.
Works will be juried, and not returned but exhibited and documented online.
Deadline: 31 Dec 2006

The Book
The book will include one full page reproduction of the work with description of the work, name of artist and artist details (in three languages).
Each selected artists will receive a book.
Printer to be announced

If you are interested in participating, please send works to:
Mail Art Project 31.12.06/Immigration
P.O Box 975
Miami Beach, FL 33119 USA

For more information please contact
In English/French: sophie (AT)artvitam.com
In Spanish/ Español: mailart(AT) artvitam.com


27 August 2006

weekly recipe(s): cookies

This week, I made two different types of cookies when I couldn't decide what to bring to my host's house. I was torn, chocolate, not chocolate, what if someone doesn't like nuts? Growing up in a house of very picky eaters, I can dream up more dislike than you can imagine. So, I settled on two recipes I found at Martha Stewart's website: Ginger Lemon Cookies and Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti. I made some adjustments to my liking. They turned out great, and were really a good complement, in terms of flavor and look, to one another. Enjoy! And, let me know how they turn out.

Ginger Lemon Cookies

ginger lemon cookies, 2006
Originally uploaded by

Makes 3 dozen (if you measure VERY precisely when shaping cookies, and stick to small cookies!)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, cut into 1/8-inch dice

1. Heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl twice. Add egg; mix on high speed to combine. Add zest; mix to combine.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, ground ginger, baking soda, salt, and crystallized ginger; add to butter mixture. Mix on medium-low speed to combine, about 20 seconds.

3. Using two spoons, drop about 2 teaspoons of batter on baking sheet; repeat, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Verdict: Great ginger taste. Maybe would've been even better with some white chocolate chips. Very light, airy cookie. They go very well with tea.

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Makes about 12
These biscotti are baked for a shorter time, making them softer than the traditional version.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheet
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheet
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts (unsalted)
1/2 cup carob chips

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Butter and flour a baking sheet; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a stiff dough, as seen in picture. Stir in pistachios and carob chips.

3. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet; form into a slightly flattened log, about 12 by 4 inches. Bake until slightly firm, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300º.

4. On a cutting board, using a sharp serrated knife, cut biscotti diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet, and bake until crisp but still slightly soft in the center, about 8 minutes.

Verdict: They turned out so much better than I expected. The carob chips tasted great. They were very yummy with coffee the next morning for breakfast :)

chocolate pistachio biscotti1, 2006
Originally uploaded by


21 August 2006

kvetching, art and cooking - September events at Books & Books

Below is a list of events that I would DEFINITELY attend if I were in Miami. They include a linguistic exploration of Yiddish, a celebration of Cuban poetry (including my talented advisor, Ruth Behar), tragic photographs, Queer humor and a self-assigned cooking project. Go to the Books and Books website to see all of the events.

Sunday, September 10, Coral Gables, 4pm
In the popular imagination, Yiddish is an ancient language with many ways to express grumbling, hand wringing and displeasure, full of earthy attitudes and vulgar humor. While that's all true, it's not a complete picture. In Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods (Harper Perennial, $13.95), author and expert Michael Wex takes a probing look at just what makes Yiddish, the principal spoken language of the Jews for over a century, so original, so resilient - and so full of complaint. Almost impossible for a non-Jew to learn or understand, Yiddish started out as a bastardized version of German to give voice to systemic exclusion and exile. Born to Kvetch explores Yiddish in relation to nature, food, childhood, courtship and marriage, sex (setting the record straight on the difference between shmuk and puts, both part of the colloquial vernacular, neither for use in mixed company!) and death, all topics worthy of a good kvetch. Armed with stories, anecdotes and perfectly delivered punch lines, Wex strikes a skillful balance between the somber and the comical aspects of his subject matter. 4pm

Wednesday, September 13, Gables
Burnt Sugar Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish (Free Press, $14) brings us the sights, sounds, and rhythms of Cuba, revealed in the evocative works of some of the finest Cuban and Cuban-American poets of the twentieth century, including Gustavo Pérez Firmat, José Abreu Felippe, Enrique Sacerio-Garí, Reinaldo Arenas, Heberto Padilla, Pablo Medina, Agustín Acosta, Angel Cuadra, Eugenio Florit, Severo Sarduy, Virgil Suárez, Sandra M. Castillo, Lissette Méndez, Ruth Behar, Rita Geada, Belkis Cuza Malé, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, José Kozer, Orlando González Esteva, Uva de Aragón, Adrián Castro, Carolina Hospital and Armando Valladares, among others. Bestselling translator Lori Marie Carlson and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos have created an intimate collection of some of their favorite modern poems, all of which are informed by cubanía -- the essence of what it means to be Cuban. Stirring, immediate, and universal in its sensibility, Burnt Sugar is a luminous collection lovingly compiled by two of the world's foremost authorities on the subject. This event is presented in collaboration with the Florida Center for the Literary Arts and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC). 8pm

Thursday, September 21, Lincoln Theatre, 541 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
Joel Meyerowitz is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. His work is in the collection of the MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and many others. After the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, nobody who was not directly involved in the recovery effort was allowed on the Ground Zero site. Journalists were included in this ban, but, with the help of the Museum of the City of New York and sympathetic city officials, Meyerowitz became the sole photographer granted unimpeded access to the site. For eight months, at all times of the day and night, he photographed “the pile” as the WTC came to be known, and the 800 people a day that were working in it. Influenced by Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange’s work for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression, Meyerowitz knew that if he didn’t make a photographic record, there would be no history. His work is contained in a major new book, Aftermath (Phaidon, $75) that features, for the first time, the vast archive of his unpublished photos from Ground Zero. Join us for an unforgettable program, Ground Zero Through the Artist’s Lens: An Evening with Joel Meyerowitz. FREE tickets for this event are available at all Books & Books locations, beginning September 1st. 7:30pm

Thursday, September 28, Miami Beach
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Houghton Mifflin, $19.95) by Alison Bechdel (the author of the long-running comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For) takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It's a father-daughter tale pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings and- like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis- a story exhilaratingly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian house, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift . . . graphic . . . and redemptive. This event is presented in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and Design Within Reach. 8pm

Saturday, September 30, Gables
On a visit to her childhood home in Texas, Julie Powell pulls her mother's battered copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking off the bookshelf. And the book calls out to her. Pushing thirty, living in a run-down apartment in Queens, and working at a dead-end secretarial job, Julie Powell is stuck. Her only hope lies in a dramatic self-rescue mission. And so she invents a deranged assignment: in the space of one year, she will cook every recipe in the Julia Child classic, all 524 of them. How hard could it be? With fierceness, irreverence, and unbreakable resolve, Powell learns Julia Child's most important lesson: the art of living with gusto. Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously (Little, Brown & Co., $13.99) is "a feast, a voyage, and a marvel," says Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Last American Man, for anyone who has ever cursed at a cookbook or longed for a more delicious life. Tonight, the Café at Books & Books Coral Gables will offer a Julia Child-inspired menu to celebrate the author’s reading. Powell’s visit last year was cancelled because of Hurricane Wilma, so we are hoping to make it up to her during the paperback tour. Please join us! 7pm


20 August 2006

peaches, waffles and very busy hands

Due to my move up north, I have come to the realization that my cooking is WAY better than most of the restaurants here! Big statement from someone who loves to go out to eat, as much as I like to cook.

So, I've been in the kitchen cooking up a storm, and cranking out some great food. I've been experimenting with recipes to adapt to new ingredients and my new vegetarian, almost leaning vegan, food preferences.

I went to the bookstore to get a glimpse inside some veggie cook books, and I was disappointed in that arena too. Where are all the pictures? I need pictures!

With that said, I will start posting, once a week, about a new recipe. This may or may not turn into a separate food blog ( don't know that I have THAT much time on my hands).

Weigh in, and let me know what you think.

Here's my very best recipe for Vegan Waffles with Peach Syrup (adapted from The New Vegan cookbook)

Notes: Make the syrup while making the waffles, so everything is ready at the same time. The picture included in this post is not my own, but it is a wonderful picture of waffles, so there you go! More of my own pictures when I finish moving in:)

Yield: @6 belgian waffles, depending on size of waffle iron


1 1/3 c soymilk
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4c whole wheat flour
1/2c cornmeal
3/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
3 T canola oil
2 T lite pancake syrup

1. In a 2c liquid measure, combine the soymilk and the lemon juice. Set aside, and don't worry, the curdling is expected.

2. Sift the flour, cornmeal, salt, bakin soda, baking powder, and cinnamon into a large bowl.

3. Stir the oil and maple syrup into the soymilk.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the liquid ingredients. Stir with a fork just until blended. The batter should be medium-thick, but still pourable. Add more soymilk or flour to get it to the right consistency.

5. When the waffle iron is ready, mist with pan spray. Pour a generous 1/2 c of batter onto iron and bake till crisp. It usually takes mine about 5 -6 minutes.

6. Transfer to wire cooling rack, serve warm. ( I often reheat mine in the waffle iron because I like my waffles steamin hot :)

1 peach
1 T apricot jam
1 T lemon juice
1/4 c lite syrup
1/4 to 1/2 t pepper

1. Blend ingredients in a food processor or a blender.

2. Transfer to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes.

4. Strain through a sieve. (Not absolutely necessary if you don't feel like it, but it gives it a much more silky consistency)

the Verdict:

I have made these 3 times in the 3 weeks we have lived in our new house. In Lisa's words, "they're a keeper!"

I love to freeze any leftovers and pop them in the toaster for a weekday breakfast, yummy, yummy :)


16 August 2006

Castro turns 80

(In a photo released by a division of Fidel Castro's personal support group, he holds a copy of the Aug. 12 edition of the Communist Party newspaper. It was impossible to confirm the authenticity of the photograph.) from the NYtimes

On August 13, 2006, Fidel Castro turned 80. Figures that he's a Leo.

He released a statement and a picture explaining that Cuban people should brace for the worst. Maybe more was said and I missed it in the news, but what is his opinion of the worst? US invasion? His death? Constant badgering by journalists who "have the right to know and report on Cuba."

Meanwhile, photos that are being taken and released from Cuba, show a nation of empathetic people, hoping for the well-being of their longtime leader.

01 August 2006

Castro ill, future uncertain

Fidel Castro has recently turned over "temporary power" to his brother, Raul, as he has fallen ill and must undergo surgery. He has explained his illness is a result of stress due to recent world affairs and travels. Castro has NEVER turned over power! Even when he fell, and shattered his kneecap, he was still the man in charge. What does this mean for the future of Cuba? The people of Cuba? And, what will exiles, who mainly live in Miami, do now and in the future?

Well, from what I have been watching on the news, Miami's Cubans are celebrating as if they "have won the world cup" (Associated Press). Watch the video on this page.

Politicians in Miami have been plotting for the demise of Castro since he took power in 1959. Now, the US government has officially come out with the Compact with the People of Cuba. It is basically a written plan that says the US government will "help" the Cuban people with medical supplies, food and other goods should they "ask" for help.

What the US government and Miami Cuban exiles fail to consider is the thoughts and feeling of those people actually still living IN Cuba. In my opinion, it is their decision; not mine, not the US government, and NOT Cuban exiles. I understand the connection to Cuba, but they made a decision to leave, and make a life in a different country. To most who left, the measure of success is how many material goods they can acquire. In Cuba, there must be a different measure: life, family, leisure time. They cannot acquire material goods, but SO WHAT!

And, what is the reaction in Cuba today? From what I have seen on the news, it is "business as usual." What? No protests? Revolts? Revolution? Wouldn't this be the time, if they so desire, to pressure Castro out of power? Not happening . . .

More to come, as I process and collect thoughts and info.

20 July 2006

Tracked pictures

Here are a few from the first two nights. More after my big move up north . . .

17 July 2006

$15,000 Grant for Activists of Color

Activists of Color Invited to Apply for Alston/Bannerman Fellowship Program
Deadline: December 1, 2006

The Alston/Bannerman Fellowship Program
( http://www.alstonbannerman.org/ ) is committed to advancing progressive social change by helping to sustain long-time activists of color. The program honors those who have devoted their lives to helping their communities organize for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice, and provides resources for organizers to take sabbaticals for reflection and renewal.

Each year, ten organizers of color are awarded the Alston/Bannerman
Fellowship and receive $15,000 to take sabbaticals of three months or more.

To qualify for an Alston/Bannerman Fellowship, an applicant must be a person
of color; have more than ten years of community organizing experience; be
committed to continuing to work for social change; and live in the United States or its territories.

Beyond the basic eligibility criteria, the Alston/Bannerman Program seeks
applicants whose work attacks roots causes of injustice by organizing those
affected to take collective action; challenges the systems that perpetrate
injustice and effects institutional change; builds their community's capacity for self-determination and develops grassroots leadership; acknowledges the cultural values of the community; creates accountable participatory structures in which community members have decision-making power; and contributes to building a movement for social change by making connections between issues, developing alliances with other constituencies, and collaborating with other organizations.

Both full-time and part-time or volunteer activists are eligible to apply.

Visit the Web site of the fellowship program for complete program details,
eligibility information, and application procedures.

bbarash productions, LLC
1875 McLendon Ave, NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
fax: 1586-816-2924

11 July 2006

Tulips in NYC, April 2006

Tulips in NYC, April 2006
Originally uploaded by miami tru.
Trying out flickr. I tried it a long time ago, it froze, i gave up. Here I go again. Let's see how it works.

karma art

Artist, lara stein pardo, is seeking some good karma artists to help deconstruct Tracked. Tracked is a performance installation piece which has been on view at the Art Center since July 4. There will be three more performances, and then I need to take this baby down. I'd really appreciate any help I can get with tearing it down, and hauling the materials away. In exchange, I can offer you some paint, some wood, good times, free parking, and of course, good karma.

Date: July 19, 2006
Time: 10 AM - it's done (the more people the better! and faster!)
Place: 924 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL, 33139, Art Center, 2nd Floor

Please RSVP to let me know what time you plan to arrive, what tools you are bringing, and what materials you'd like to reserve. I'll pay for your parking if you RSVP :)

Here are a couple of pictures of the piece:

28 June 2006

H.O.P.E for Darfur

H.O.P.E for Darfur
is part of Human Rights First. The acronym stands for Help Organize a Peace Envoy.

These pendants are courtesy of the artist, Janna Weinstein, who has created and donated these pieces to Hope for Darfur. Each one is $50, and the site explains that 80% of the profit will go directly towards the campaign for peace in Darfur.

Take a minute or two and browse the site, sign the petition and learn more about another tragic moment in our history. Buy a necklace and make your outward "never again" statement. That statement does not only apply to the Jewish Holocaust, it means that NEVER AGAIN should we, as people living in comfort, sit idle as people are suffering and dying around the world.

I like that they are using art as activism. It is huge that this artist is donating her time to create all of these pendants. Leave a comment when you receive yours - maybe send a photo!

27 June 2006

Tracked: Performance Installation - Almost here!

I've gotten some great response to my performance installation which is opening next week. I'm working on the invitation and submitting info for the press release. Here's a sneak peak at the invite.

21 June 2006

Tap me on my shoulder, and tell me . . .

that my plane bound for home has arrived. - paraphrased quote from Richard Blanco, poet and civil engineer

I was struck by his precise descriptions about home, place, identity and being a poet. I have been trying to find the interview on NPR's site, so that I could listen to it again more carefully. While I was tempted to pull off to the side of the road to take notes, I made do by writing without looking.

He is a poet and a civil engineer who was born in Cuba, and lived in Miami for a while before living in Connecticut. I have been grappling with many of the ideas he spoke of in this interview, and had a long discussion about the issues with my hunny (who is from Trinidad). Blanco's new book is Directions to the Beach of the Dead. No time for fancy linking, just follow this link to read more about him and his work: http://www.richard-blanco.com/Directions_to_the_Beach_of_the_Dead.php .

For lack of time, and being bummed about not finding the interview, I will list some thoughts:

1- When you are exiled from the country where you were born, does your new city/country become your home?

2- What becomes of the place you called home, previously?

3 - What are the reasons people are exiled from a home country? And, why do some feel they can never go back? (politics, business, religion, sexuality)

4 - Is there some common feeling among exiles, such as an overall sense of displacement no matter where they live after leaving the home country?

5- While many people who leave Latin America and the Caribbean arrive in Miami, to what extent is Miami part of the Lat. Am/Caribbean imaginary?

6 - Can a new location ever replace, in the mind of the exile, the idea of home? Does anyone ever come to claim a new location as "home?" Does this relegate the country of birth to merely a place of origin, with no attachments?

7- To what extent does family ties in another country affect an exiles' ability to restablish "home" in a new location?

Any thoughts, from exiles or otherwise, I would love to hear your feedback.

12 June 2006

BabLar @ NYC Pride - Invitation

I received this evite from my subscription to Staceyann Chin's mailing list. I wish I was going to be in NYC later this month to support and join in on the action. Passing it along to all of you, in the hopes that someone will carry my spirit there. . . let me know . . .

Host: Marta, Andrea and Staceyann
Location: Pride March Starting Line5th Ave and 52nd Street, New York, NY View Map
When: Sunday, June 25, 12:00pm

Dear friends,

We would like to extend an invitation to all of you to march with a collective of Black and Latina Lesbians and our allies in the Annual New York City Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25th 2006. This invitation is open to official or unofficial groups, organizations, and individuals who wish to march and support the issues that our collective will be highlighting on this day. For more information, please see BABLAR's (Black and Brown Lesbians against Racism) statement of intent which you should receive via email. If you are interested in marching or helping with this event, please respond to this e-mail indicating your particular interest. You may also send any inquiries to bablar2006@gmail.com. Feel free to circulate this e-mail to all who may be interested. HAPPY PRIDE! Marta, Andrea and StaceyannBabLar: Black and Brown Lesbians Against RacismWe are Black and Latina lesbians committed to highlighting issues of race and racism as they pertain to Black and Latina women, and girls, and how those issues are addressed in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community.We begin with the premise that women, and therefore lesbians, are still OPPRESSED. As Black and Latina Lesbians, our issues are specific to us and simultaneously connected to the larger Black and Latino communities.It is the duty of the LGBT community to address issues affecting Black and Latina lesbian communities. Our issues are often invisible within the larger discourse about LGBTQ issues.

07 June 2006

Tracked - a performance installation

On July 4, 2006, I will present a performance installation, entitled Tracked at Art Center/South Florida’s window at 924 Lincoln Road. This piece will cost approximately $1160 to construct. I am reaching out to people that I know would support this type of artistic creation in our community. With your sponsorship, I will be able to bring this project to fruition. Below is a description of the project, and how you can help.

Tracked is a performance installation which seeks to address the way that people are tracked, traced, tapped and ultimately trapped by government and commercial surveillance. This site specific work consists of a wooden maze, vertically facing Lincoln Road. From the pedestrian mall, viewers will be able to watch as the artist crawls, climbs and attempts to navigate the maze. This navigation is akin to our movement in our everyday lives. Everywhere that we go – the grocery store, the gas station, a café – we leave behind a trail which can detail the pattern of our lives. The trail is in the form of a credit card swipe, a telephone call, or a zip code given to a store clerk. In this constructed maze, the feeling of being trapped by this trail is heightened due to the space confinement. Using the body as part of this performance installation, viewers can connect on a personal level, and draw parallels to the way their own lives are tracked by a variety of sources. Tracked will open on July 4, 2006, at 7PM with a premier performance. It will run through July 18, 2006, with performances every Tuesday and Thursday at a TBD time.

How you can help: (send payment via paypal - donation button to the right)

Sponsorship ___$50 ___$100 ___$150 ___$200 $ _____(other)

How would you like to be recognized in the advertisements? (name or company name/logo)

If you have a logo, please send it to lara_steinpardo@hotmail.com.

I thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at opening night. If you have any questions for me, please call 305-775-9683 or email. If you would like to speak with the Art Center, please contact Claire Breukel - 305-674-8278, or cbreukel@artcentersf.org.

30 May 2006

Why be an Optimist?

Memorial day never used to mean much to me. I am against the war, and do not hold too much weight for the overall good of the military. However, with the passing of both of my grandfathers in the past year, I had to pause to at least think about what it meant to be part of the military. They, of course, had no choice, but to be in the military. My paternal grandfather, was, as I like to call him, a reluctant soldier. He didn't want to be where he was, but he figured he'd make the best of it. He took these amazing candid photographs of fellow soldiers totally goofing around!

My maternal grandfather had a lung condition and was forbidden to participate in combat. He was a weatherman, and absolutely loved it. That was what we connected about when I was a kid - the weather. And, people joke about discussing the weather, but with him, it was the greatest way to spend an afternoon.

My maternal grandfather was in the Optimist's Club, and for the longest time, I thought this was something like a Rotary Club, a civic organization of some sort. Recently, at a bed and breakfast, I was drinking tea out of a mug, and it was imprinted with the Optimist's Creed. What? It's really about being an optimist!

So, I thought again about both of my grandfathers and how they really did look to the bright side of things. I felt that on this Memorial Day, (well, a day after), I would post this creed in their honor, and try to live a little of it.

Optimist's Club Creed
Promise yourself . . .

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something of value in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistake so the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit presence of trouble.

24 May 2006

note from a student

I've been quiet on here, but super busy otherwise. School is wrapping up, and I only have a day and a half left as a high school teacher. Now it's starting to hit home . . . it's bittersweet to say the least. I hope that I can keep up with some of my former students.

Here's what one of the said, as a comment on my website.

hi ms. s! i see that you're doing a wonderful job with your web page and i wanted to drop by and say hi and to say that i'm really going to miss you this next school semester. you're the best! don't forget me and thankyou for opening my world even more to art.'] your student, Vicky Quintana

Thanks, Vicky!

16 May 2006

Hurricane Preparedness

How do you know when it's almost Hurricane Season? When, at 1 PM students peek outside the classroom door and are afraid they signed up for night school. Oh, and when the news media starts showing more satellite pictures like this one from the Miami Herald (5/16/06).

For the past two days the earth has poured down, gusted winds and even hailed all over the Miami area, and left many wondering if they're prepared for the upcoming Hurricane Season. I, a Miami native, feel like I've got a handle on it. I know what to do, when to do it, and I DO IT! This is not one of those things you can procrastinate about. If you aren't prepared for a storm, it's still coming. The good news is that there is a lot people can do now to help themselves out during a storm. It really scares me to think that folks still believe that zig-zagging masking tape over their windows will prevent anything! So, if you read this, pass it along and spread the knowledge. Help each other stay safe and be prepared.

There are several sites you can go to for a lot of information (weed through what you know, and you'll get some good tips)
National Hurricane Center
FEMA (I know, I know, but it has some info)
Florida Disaster Site

Here's what my family and I do:

1. Get together a Hurricane Kit,yes an actual bag, box or something, which includes food and water for 2 days of more, for each person, flashlights, batteries, battery-operated radio/tv, an old-fashioned plug-into-the-wall phone, sanitary items (wipes, tampons, toilet paper), and games (Cranium and Uno are my favorites).

2. Close the shutters early.

3.When you hear that a storm is coming, fill up your gas tank, and keep filling it up until you are home for the duration of the storm.

4. Pick a location where everyone in your family will go when a storm is coming, and go there ASAP.

5. Charge cell phones, laptops and cameras so you can still use them after the power is out. Last year my power was out for two weeks! And, dammit, I need to take pictures. Seriously, though, you'll want your cell phone,laptop and camera operational for use after the storm.