A reflection on Monique Franklin's work, Mama'z Muezz, written by Savannah Parker, CD Forum's Intern. There are many unleveled, inequitable, and unsettling things within the world, but how do we balance the manipulable aspects of life? How do we find a balance between the experiences that make life a bit lopsided? On May 19, 2020, I sat down, via Zoom, with Seattle’s very own Monique Franklin. Monique is an accomplished poet, performer, activist, and scientist. She has been featured in CD Forum's 2018-2019 season of Artists and is currently a part of the 2020 season. Her most recent project is a one-woman play titled, Mama’z Muezz. The play captures the beautifully inevitable challenges of being a mother, and more specifically, a Black mother. Like many of her projects, Monique uses a variety of mediums to enhance the delivery and presentation of her work. She uses song, instrumental, dance, and movement to emphasize the message she intends to send to her audience. While there were many aspects of our conversation that intrigued me, a recurring theme was the underlying thought of Balance. As an Artist, I often struggle to find a happy medium between the personable and community aspects of my work. For the most part, I end up feeling as if I’ve shared too much, or I decide not to share. Monique and I spent some time talking about poetry and the influence it’s had on our lives, and we similarly expressed that poetry is a medium that helps us process and communicates our emotions and experiences. During this part of our conversation, Monique began to discuss the difference between writing for one’s self and writing for an audience. She said, “There was a time where I’d write for me and somebody else seeing it wasn’t a possibility. There was another time, as an Artist, where I would write for me, and people might get to hear this one [poem], there also was a time when I was writing for an audience, which is very different… Poetry is an opportunity for me to communicate.” I believe there’s a general understanding that there are some things that are meant to be shared and others that aren’t. Art is a form of therapy, so when we as Artists express ourselves, we are walking ourselves through the aftermath of an experience, and within that, there is vulnerability. How do we ensure that we, as artists/individuals, receive healing from experiences shared? As mentioned earlier, Monique’s most recent work is a one women play titled Mama’z Muezz. The play captures the raw experiences of being a Black mother. During quarantine, Monique developed new works for the piece, some of which touch on topics that remain highlighted during these times. She expressed she had to take into deeper consideration, whether she wanted to release work, that spoke of death, grief, and isolation. The release of such work would be an outlet of healing for her, but could simultaneously cause her audience to revert into a dark place. She explains, “Mama’z Muezz is also a healing for me, and as Black Woman, I often take the role of caretaker, so then I developed this internal conflict of, do I take care of my audience or do I take care of myself?” I was intrigued. It’s a question that I believe many of us, as human beings, consider. In moments of personal growth, do I care for those around me, censor or be cautious of the feelings I present, or do take care of myself by ensuring that all of my emotions are acknowledged and expressed in a way that enables me to release and heal? Reflecting upon the moments where I decided not to share my poetry, I struggle to understand if I made those decisions, considering my well being or in spite of others. Did I choose to withhold my thoughts from the public eye, because I was afraid of what they’d have to say in response, and how that response would affect the authenticity of my thoughts or, was it out of consideration of not tarnishing or changing their mindset? You may ask, why am I questioning myself? I generally think that some things are meant to be publicly unknown, while there are some thoughts and moments in life that we as individuals are meant to reflect upon, alone. I say this because it can be easy for experiences in our lives to become crowded with the projections of others, and it can cause us to miss the lesson or opportunity of self-healing. But, as Monique and I’s conversation continued, she explained to me that, a lot of the time, we don’t realize to move in a progressive direction, we have to endure the dimness of past experiences. She says, “This time has made me realize that people need an avenue to heal, and sometimes, in order to do that we need to have the tough conversations, and we need to go through the dark places, and having those conversations puts us in a better place, it doesn’t just leave us in a hole.” Conversation and communication are an essential part of healing, and healing is a necessary part of being able to balance. If there’s something on one end of the scale that you’ve continued to hold onto, the scale will be unbalanced, and it will remain that way until you take the time to work through and shed the weight that’s dragging you down. It’s important to consider that sometimes the message that’s communicated through your art isn’t always directed towards an audience, but instead yourself. How do you take what you have written down, to better center your emotions, and how you interact with the world? Often, I find myself so overwhelmed that I don’t know how to feel; that’s where poetry comes into play. Ultimately, when we share our work, those who are projecting may as well be in the process of healing. I think to create a balance between writing for yourself and sharing it with the world; you ought to set an intent. Setting an intention may help you hold the purpose of your art and the healing behind your writing. A huge thank you to Monique Franklin for taking the time to converse with me, and essentially helping me to further evolve into the Artist I am today.
Wa Na Wari, the Central District Forum for Ideas and Langston present: A Space to Rest with The Nap Ministry* A Black and African Diaspora Online Experience *Based in Atlanta, Georgia, The Nap Ministry: @thenapministry is an organization that examines rest as a form of resistance by curating safe spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, and performance art installations. Sunday, August 2, 2pm-3:30pm PT Free Register via: Tricia Hersey, founder of The Nap Ministry, will hold space for collective silence, daydreaming, and a moment of deep connection to our Ancestors as we celebrate the importance of centering rest as part of our liberation. Join us as we engage with text, images, and collective rest as we imagine what it feels like to be rested and free. About Tricia Hersey and The Nap Ministry: Tricia Hersey is a Chicago native living in Atlanta with over 20 years of experience collaborating with communities as a performance artist, theater maker, spiritual director, and community organizer. She is the founder of The Nap Ministry, an organization that examines rest as a form of resistance by curating safe spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, and performance art installations. Her research interests include black liberation theology, womanism, somatics, and cultural trauma. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Tricia’s work as a community activist and artist has been seen with Chicago Public Schools, School of the Art Institute Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, United States Peace Corps, and Google Chicago and universities nationwide. Website: triciahersey.com On Instagram: @thenapministry
Intimate Conversations with Dani Tirrell returns in August, 2020! Upcoming Intimate Conversations August 2020 Saturday, August 1 - Sadiqua Iman Saturday, August 8 - Lauren Du Pree Saturday, August 15 - Kiana Harris Saturday, August 22 - Michele Dooley Sunday, August 23 - Saira Barbaric Saturday, August 29 - Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salva
Saturday, July, 2020 11AM - 1PM AN ONLINE FUNDRAISING PARTY HOSTED BY RANDY FORD The Boujee Brunch Soiree is a virtual celebration, fundraiser, and a chance to come together as a community online. Sit down in front of your computer ready to flaunt your best version of brunch glamour - Garden Party chic, Kentucky Derby duds, your Sunday best, or your finest athleisure with your fascinator. With an incredible lineup of hosts, performances, and great order-ahead food from amazing Black chefs, this virtual party will be like nothing you have experienced before. Bring your “A” game and donate to continuing the work and power of Black arts in the Northwest! Ticket Info Tickets are FREE with event registration. We just need your name, email, address, and phone number and you're ready to brunch! Click here to get your tickets. *Registration closes at July 9th at noon. Get your tickets before then to make sure you can party with us!* Party Platform Info CD Forum is using an online party platform called REMO for The Boujee Brunch Soiree. We recommend you watch REMO's tutorial video and test your webcam and microphone (if you plan on using them) before the party! We understand that not everyone wants to participate in the social parts of the party that require you to have your camera and microphone on. CD Forum will have "Quiet" tables set up in the party platform for those who prefer to watch the festivities without the camera on. We will also have a "Help Desk" table for guests who need technology help during the party. CD Forum is deeply committed to the health and safety of our community. We encourage everyone to enjoy the Boujee Brunch Soiree responsibly by adhering to both Washington State and national guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). YOU are the heart of our organization, and we can’t make it through this time without you. Therefore, we ask that all our guests commit to the following to protect yourself and others from the spread COVID-19: To gather safely, responsibly. Maintain the minimum distance of 6 feet between individuals who do not live with me/share intimate space with me on a regular basis. Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Make sure you, and the people around you, follow gooCD Fd respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands. Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. These and more guidelines can be found on the WHO website section entitled Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public. Click here for more information on how to protect your family, friends, and yourself during these times. Interested in helping CD Forum fundraise? Then we encourage you to become a Table Captain and become a part of our Peer-to-peer campaign! You'll create your own mini fundraiser to share with friends and family in the week leading up to the Boujee Brunch Soiree. Steps to creating a Peer-2-Peer Fundraiser Page 1. Click here to make your own fundraising campaign page for CD Forum! Set your own goal. Whatever amount you want to contribute is meaningful and amazing. Tell your friends and family! Peer-2-Peer campaigns work best when you share, share, share! So be sure to shout it to the rooftops that you are helping us raise money. Have fun! We will celebrate with a great party hosted by Randy Ford, so just know that whatever you are able to accomplish will be highlighted because you are amazing! 2. Register for the Boujee Brunch by July 9th and celebrate reaching your goal. Have questions? Email to become a part of the support team! See you at brunch. Restaurant Info We're partnering with three local Black-owned restaurants for our party! Read full menus and ordering info for each below! Order your food directly from your preferred restaurant in the week ahead of the Boujee Brunch to make sure you get your food in time for the event. CD Forum does not get any of the profits from food you order. All money from the food you order goes directly to the restaurant and supports Black-owned businesses in our community. Plan on picking up your food on or before July 10. Joyce’s Market & Cafe 1. Order two days in advance (By Tuesday, July 7 at the latest) 2 The lunches can be picked up on the 3rd day between 12PM & 3PM (Pick up on July 10 at the latest) 3. Payment can be taken over the phone at (206) 322-9140 or email at when placing orders. Please keep in mind sometimes it's hard to hear or get to the phone please leave the order on voicemail and emails will be responded to daily. Menu: 1) The Italian Summer Salad $12.95 Fresh leafy greens, garbanzo beans, cucumber, salami, & tomatoes Housemade vinaigrette dressing Your choice of Peanut butter, Oatmeal or Chocolate chip cookies A bottle of sparkling water. 2) The Grinder Sandwich $12.95 Toasted Macrina bread / baguette, provolone, turkey, salami, arugula, & pickled vegetables. Vinaigrette dressing. Your choice of Peanut butter, Oatmeal or Chocolate chip cookies A bottle of sparkling water. 3) Vegetable Frittata w/ Side Salad $12.95 Mixed veggies, cream sauce, & cheese Side salad: arugula & croutons Your choice of Peanut butter, Oatmeal or Chocolate chip cookies A bottle of sparkling water. Taste of the Caribbean Taste of the Caribbean is a black-owned Restaurant location in Seattle’s Central District. Both of the owners originate from Jamaica and is proud to represent the culture through Food and Music in the most authentic way. Please place an order over the phone with payment by Wednesday, July 8th. Indicate pick up day (choose Friday to eat before Boujee Brunch, choose Saturday pick up to eat after the Boujee Brunch has ended.) Pick up Friday or Saturday anytime between 3PM & 9PM Call Taste of the Caribbean restaurant at 206-323-9112 to place the order. Menu: Beef or Vegetable Patties $4 Sweet Plantain $ 5 Jerk Wings Meal with White Rice/Salad $14 ... add $1 for Rice and Peas Steam Seasonal Vegetables with White Rice/Salad $13... add $1 for Rice and Peas Phresheats by Mulu Abate Chef Mulu Abate (Pan Africa Grill, Lovage) has created a special Pan African menu for our Boujee Brunch! Order online by Thurssday, July 9 for pick up or delivery ($15 delivery fee). Click HERE to order from Phresheats! Menu Quinoa Breakfast Bowl $25 Quinoa breakfast bowl served with eggs or tofu scrambled, avocado and roasted veggies (smoked salmon optional) Served with new potatoes or a brunch salad, some fresh fruit and biscuit. Chicken Fried Chicken $25 Chicken fried chicken with chicken sausage gravy served with two eggs. Served with new potatoes or a brunch salad, some fresh fruit and biscuit. Fish Cake $25 Fish cakes served with two eggs over a bed of greens. Served with new potatoes or a brunch salad, some fresh fruit and biscuit.
Special Physical Distancing Conversation with Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County
SPECIAL EDITION of Physical Distancing Intimate Conversations hosted by Dani Tirrell. Exploring Organizing and the Mobilization of Black Voices with Board members Marlon Brown and Ebony Miranda from the Seattle-King County Chapter of Black Lives Matter.
The newest iteration of Brian J. Evans’ LOPsided premiered on Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas’ online presenting platform, CD Forum TV on YouTube, on June 13, 2020. “In many ways I don’t want to make art about the pain and trauma of being mixed in America, but the hope is that by sharing my perspective, which is made up of many, it will help to humanize us.” - Brian J. Evans The latest version of LOPsided is a series of 12 videos. Each video can be viewed on its own or all videos can be viewed together in any order as an evening-length digital work. (Click through to CD Forum's YouTube channel to view the video playlist.) Support Brian and this work through Venmo @Brian-Evans-29. Amid a pandemic and racialized social unrest: What is the purpose of this series? I hope this video provides some context. Photos: Kari Mosel Photography LOPsided is an autobiographical work made up of original music, dance and theater, and photography focusing on Evans’ understanding of his own biases and working through translating the idea of Citizen Artistry to audiences viewing LOPsided. The work premiered as a live one-man show in Minneapolis, MN in 2018 as a part of The Right Here Showcase. The original performance of the work was a “Swan Song tribute” to the Twin Cities before he moved to Seattle to continue his academic education at University of Washington. About Brian J. Evans Brian J. Evans is a Citizen Artist, defined by the Aspen Institute Arts Program as: Individuals who reimagine the traditional notions of art-making, and who contribute to society either through the transformative power of their artistic abilities, or through proactive social engagement with the arts in realms including education, community building, diplomacy and healthcare. Mixing disciplines, mixing professions, and of mixed race, Brian J. Evans unpacks the “moments of suspension” that reside in the spaces between spaces. Convinced that connections exist between us all and it is the responsibility of the Arts to remind us to be holistically human, lest we forget. Courageous vulnerability and intentional equity keeps him aloft as he finds ways to give back and add to the communities, mentors, and ancestors who blazed trails and continue to do so! Evans is a recipient of a 2015 McKnight Dance Fellowship, administered by The Cowles Center and funded by The McKnight Foundation. A former decade long principal dancer and musical director for Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, Evans believes it is the responsibility of the Arts to rediscover existing connections within humanity. He is currently finishing his final year of the Dance MFA Graduate program at the University of Washington (UW) Seattle Campus and was awarded the Howard P. Dallas Endowed Fellowship for his service on the UW dance department’s newly founded diversity community and serves as a liaison on the Divisional Arts Diversity Committee. His next adventure includes a tenure-track professorship in the Theater and Dance department at Bates College in Lewiston, ME.
Written by Savannah Parker, CD Forum Intern Life is an experience that is forever changing; nothing is ever the same. There is a common belief that the only thing inevitable in life is death, but I disagree. There are two things that are indefinite about life; death, and the matter of discomfort. Many encounter this feeling when they cannot see the outcome of a challenging situation; they become so enthralled in valuing the physical fruits of an experience rather than its lessons; when often the greatest value of an experience is the lesson you've learned, the knowledge you've gained, or the experience itself. I am a living testament to such behavior. Naa Akua is an accomplished queer African American, writer, poet, actor, and teacher of performing arts. They were featured in CD Forum's 2018-2019 season of performers, and they help develop and participate in CD Forum’s FagGod event. Their work is versatile but holds a general purpose of shedding light on marginalized perspectives. Recently they took part in a series of live interviews hosted by CD Forum, titled Physical Distancing: Intimate Conversations with CD Forum's Curator Dani Tirrell. The interview was centered around Naa Akua's mental and physical experience during COVID-19, as well as how it's affected their artistry. Out of the many things discussed, Naa Akua's ability to maintain a positive outlook on a devastating reality was most intriguing to me. During this time, many of us feel surrounded by sadness, negativity, and confusion. It's easy to focus on what we don't have, or what's no longer here, rather than what remains. Why is that? Negativity is a convenient emotion. It's always there for us to fall back on when we can't see past the unfortunate circumstances of life. It's there when we don't have the patience to work through hardships, and when we want to sulk in an emotion, negativity is our go-to. Why can't we sulk in happiness? What's so difficult about putting aside what isn't working and focusing on what is? Maybe it's the fact that we feel we have nothing to be happy about? Despite the massive effect that this pandemic has had on my life, it's the last thing that I want to think or talk about. Now, my ignorance towards this situation can be seen as an act of immaturity and negligence towards the reality that I'm living in, or it can be seen as an act of optimism. While I'd very much rather be on the optimistic sides of things, the truth is I'm struggling to let go of what this pandemic has taken from me. It's like, I've acknowledged the situation, but I haven't confronted it. I'm afraid that I've become numb to the situation as a whole. And to top it all off, as if a pandemic isn’t traumatic enough, the Black community has been experiencing a multitude of losses. How do we confront the reality we live in, knowing there's nothing we can change? Naa Akua says that what's been helping them to stay grounded amid chaos is focusing on what is living, acknowledging the things and people that have remained during this storm. Let's try this! I think the most important thing to recognize for starters is the fact that I am living. Ok. My neighbors are living. The plants outside are living, the birds that fly, and the bees that buzz are living. What next? Naa Aku says that they also keep a "Gratitude Journal" a device that reminds them of things to be grateful for. If you are still wavering around the significance of what I am trying to say, I'd like you to imagine a sunflower. A sunflower feeds off of sunlight without it; the flower will not grow. Of course, a sunflower that has already blossomed can survive in the dark. Still, it's only a matter of time until the flowers stem begins to weaken, causing it to break. Soon the roots become dry and malnourished, and the flower becomes completely unrooted and loses it's grounding. If you haven't caught on yet, the sunflower is you. The sunlight represents positivity, and the shade is negativity. The stem is your physical well being, and the root is your mental stability. Now you might be wondering, what if my stem has already been broken? What if I've already become entirely unrooted? There comes a time when even a stable flower dries up and has to let go of its seeds and relocate, reroot itself. This may be a time for you to move into a new mindset, root yourself in fresh soil, and start over. Change is never comfortable, and it's not always wanted, but it is often needed. We often look past the simple aspects of life, thinking that there must be more, but at the end of the day, essentials are all we need; and sometimes all we have. In this instance, I have the essentials, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, life, health, and strength. Most importantly I have a family and community that is here to get through this with me. For that, I show gratitude, because the aspects of life that I miss most are wants and not needs.
Saturday, May 9, 2020 – 4PM (PDT) A free online live stream hosted through Zoom and Facebook Live. A follow up performance to our April 29th watch parties, featuring new excerpts of Mama'z Muezz followed by a panel discussion with Black artists and mothers. Mama’z Muezz was first presented during CD Forum’s Creation Project in 2014, and was directed by Valerie Curtis Newton. Franklin will present a final version of Mama’z Muezz in CD Forum’s 2020/2021 season. The work will be live streamed for free over Zoom and Facebook Live. Those who wish to participate in the Zoom call will need to register through Eventbrite. RSVP & Register on Eventbrite. Share the Mama'z Muezz: The Festival Facebook event. Though the live stream is free, CD Forum strongly encourages participants to support the work and the artist by donating to Monique Franklin directly. Venmo @moniquefranklin360 PayPal paypal.me/moniquefranklin360 Cash App $moniquefranklin360 Mama'z Muezz is a one woman play featuring spoken word artist Monique Franklin that explores the theme of African-American motherhood glimpsed from present day and historical vantage points of mother’s of African descent. This show is culled from a cross-section of realities, dreams and nightmares illuminating and intimately exploring artifacts of a collective condition. In examining the experiences of African-American mothers we will uncover what it means to be an individual beneath the hat of motherhood, learn what children teach their mothers (the truth), the rub of society against the fabric of their families (the struggles) and what nurtures and inspires their spirits (love, the living, and the ancestors). About Monique Franklin Poet and teaching artist Monique Franklin, also known as Verbal Oasis, hails from Seattle, Washington. She is a member of African American Writer's Alliance and is published in their latest anthology "Threads". Her poetry gives voice to social issues, human relationships, tributes to her many influences, and self-discovery. She has performed in various venues for a range of events such as Inside out Jazz awards at Benaroya Hall, Poetry & Jazz at Lucid Lounge, MLK Jr. Day at Shoreline Community College, Women's History month at Edmonds Community College, and Poetry + Motion at Town Hall to name a few. She currently co-host and co-produces Afrodisiac Erotic Poetry Show Celebrating the Diversity and sexuality of People of Color (Afrodisiac Seattle on Facebook). As a performer you can find her poetry commingling with musicians, vocalist and dancers. The subject matter of her poetry stems from the rich spectrum of her life experiences. This woman is a creative soul. She has self-published two volumes of poetry entitled “Acoustic Accolades” and “Erotic Annals of a Poet”. Monique released her first live album in 2012 entitled Acoustic Accolades Volume I which features a live jazz trio with her spoken word. For more information about this artist: or email: Sign-up for an invitation to Mama'z Muezz events/Performances SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook Instagram verbaloasis FACEBOOK GROUP: Mama'z Muezz For mothers of African descent who would like to interact with the Artist Monique Franklin to witness and inform her creation of Mama'z Muezz Private Group: The Mama'z Muezz Community For community members who would like to interact with the Artist Monique Franklin to witness and inform her creation of Mama'z Muezz Private Group:
We are surrounded by wonderful family and beautiful friends. CD Forum is fortunate to be comprised of innovative creative people that, in the face of a major crisis, have gone above and beyond to figure out how can we still deliver on our mission. Our heart is in the people – The CD Forum Family, and this May 5th and 6th you can show your appreciation and support by choosing to GiveBIG and donate. We have all been affected by Covid-19. It has halted us as nation and has filled us with uncertainty. a
Why then should you care about supporting CD Forum? In times of great peril and the unknown we believe, deeply, that arts and culture are how we will come out on the other side of this. Think of the many ways you have managed to cope during the pandemic. Did you binge your favorite show? Or maybe you put that one album on repeat and just melted into the floor praying for this to be over? Perhaps you found comfort in the word of that one writer you’ve been meaning to read. Either way, you’ve likely turned to some form of art or creativity to get yourself through this time.
CD Forum is proud to support an incredible roster of talented writers, dancers, filmmakers, and administrators that help to keep our city vibrant and our community healthy. Will you consider making a contribution to our organization so that we can continue this good work? We are grateful and honored to call the Pacific Northwest our home. If we are to get through this time, we hope that we can do it together. Schedule your gift to the CD Forum Family today.
May 2020 - Physical Distancing Intimate Conversations
May 2, 2020: Omitosin King May 9, 2020: Michael B. Maine May 16, 2020: Dr. Stephaun E. Wallace May 17, 2020: Marlon Brown May 23, 2020: Jessica Rycheal Jessica Rycheal is a Multi-disciplinary Storyteller and Creative Director from Macon, Georgia. Since relocating to Seattle in 2014, Jessica has carved space for herself in the pacific northwest with a decade of experience in brand strategy and design, and a blossoming presence in the fine art space. Her work embraces vulnerability as an act of resistance, and asks us to challenge traditional notions of identity and belonging as she chronicles tales of healing, resilience, and her journey toward authentic selfhood. May 30, 2020: Vania C Bynum
Mama’z Muezz Watch Party & Artist Q&A with Monique Franklin
April 29, 2020 – 3PM & 6PM (PDT) A free online live stream hosted through Zoom & Facebook Live. CD Forum is thrilled to showcase artist Monique Franklin’s 2014 work Mama’z Muezz followed by a live question and answer session with Franklin through online live streaming. Mama’z Muezz was first presented during CD Forum’s Creation Project in 2014, and was directed by Valerie Curtis Newton. The April 29, 2020 event will be followed by a May 9, 2020 live stream with new excerpts for the work; Both events are intended to generate audience feedback for Franklin in real time. Franklin will present a final version of Mama’z Muezz in CD Forum’s 2020/2021 season. The work will be live streamed for free over Zoom. Those who wish to participate will need to RSVP and register through Eventbrite or by contacting CD Forum at firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVP and register on Eventbrite. Find the Facebook Event HERE. Though the live stream is free, CD Forum strongly encourages participants to support the work and the artist by donating to Monique Franklin directly. Venmo @moniquefranklin360 PayPal paypal.me/moniquefranklin360 Cash App $moniquefranklin360 Mama'z Muezz is a one woman play featuring spoken word artist Monique Franklin that explores the theme of African-American motherhood glimpsed from present day and historical vantage points of mother’s of African descent. This show is culled from a cross-section of realities, dreams and nightmares illuminating and intimately exploring artifacts of a collective condition. In examining the experiences of African-American mothers we will uncover what it means to be an individual beneath the hat of motherhood, learn what children teach their mothers (the truth), the rub of society against the fabric of their families (the struggles) and what nurtures and inspires their spirits (love, the living, and the ancestors). About Monique Franklin Poet and teaching artist Monique Franklin, also known as Verbal Oasis, hails from Seattle, Washington. She is a member of African American Writer's Alliance and is published in their latest anthology "Threads". Her poetry gives voice to social issues, human relationships, tributes to her many influences, and self-discovery. She has performed in various venues for a range of events such as Inside out Jazz awards at Benaroya Hall, Poetry & Jazz at Lucid Lounge, MLK Jr. Day at Shoreline Community College, Women's History month at Edmonds Community College, and Poetry + Motion at Town Hall to name a few. She currently co-host and co-produces Afrodisiac Erotic Poetry Show Celebrating the Diversity and sexuality of People of Color (Afrodisiac Seattle on Facebook). As a performer you can find her poetry commingling with musicians, vocalist and dancers. The subject matter of her poetry stems from the rich spectrum of her life experiences. This woman is a creative soul. She has self-published two volumes of poetry entitled “Acoustic Accolades” and “Erotic Annals of a Poet”. Monique released her first live album in 2012 entitled Acoustic Accolades Volume I which features a live jazz trio with her spoken word. For more information about this artist: or email: Sign-up for an invitation to Mama'z Muezz events/Performances SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook Instagram verbaloasis FACEBOOK GROUP: Mama'z Muezz For mothers of African descent who would like to interact with the Artist Monique Franklin to witness and inform her creation of Mama'z Muezz Private Group: The Mama'z Muezz Community For community members who would like to interact with the Artist Monique Franklin to witness and inform her creation of Mama'z Muezz Private Group: