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Decadent Descent: A Super Sexy Fundraiser

Decadent Descent: A Super Sexy Fundraiser

This is an 18 and up event hosted by the one and only Randy Ford! THE EVENT IS LIVE!!! LOGIN HERE: https://live.remo.co/mic-cam-check?event=decadent-descent Whether you are lined in latex, dripping in gold, or ravishing in all red we know you will be utterly divine. Leashes are optional but highly encouraged. Event Details Title: Decadent Descent: A Super Sexy Fundraiser Date: Friday, August 20, 2021 | 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Platform: Virtual | Remo.co | Link sent with Registration Accessibility Information CD Forum is working towards making our events more accessible to folks that live with a disability and we strive to do our best to center the needs of our community. We are committed to offering the following services for the August 20th virtual event: Pre-recorded captioned videos Scheduled Service Provider(s): Erin McClure Deaf Client(s): General Audience Link to Event Captions: https://www.streamtext.net/player?event=Menrva-Labs-809257 WHY ARE WE GETTING SEXY? Why not is the bigger question😉 After working to reach our $20,000 fundraising goal to kick off our 2021/2022 Season, this virtual event is all about honoring what we have accomplished as a community and all the amazing things that are ahead of us. Poet Lucille Clifton wrote "...come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed." We have and continue to survive and thrive in a world that was not designed for the care and love of the Black body. We are here and we are living and making this world better. Won't you come and share in this joy with us? WORLD PREMIER WORK Not only is our Mistress of Ceremonies none other than Seattle's tastiest snack The Randy Ford, but we are premiering BRAND NEW WORK by three of the most scintillating, sensual, and rapturous femmes in the tri-state area! Artists Kamari Bright, Sadiqua Iman, and Jennifer Moore have come together to create something that just makes you feel oh so good. And you do NOT want to miss it. We promise. YOU DESERVE TO BE SPOILED ROTTEN! TICKET INFORMATION 😉 Whether you just like to watch from the comfort of your own dark little corner or you prefer to play with friends, we have a ticket level that's just right for everyone. Each ticket includes admission to the virtual event - streamed live on the Remo platform. If you want the Full Monty the we suggest starting at Tease Me Please. See below for a breakdown of the prices. Voyeur's Delight (Free Admission) for those who just like to watch Heavy Petting ($50) for those ready to feed the mind AND body with a lovely meal Brothel Babes ($150) for watch parties of five who want fun and yummy food too CATERING Bring your appetites because we plan to feed all your needs. The amazing team at The Pot Pie Factory has whipped up a sinfully delicious menu. With gluten-free and vegan options Pot Pie Factory has it all. Choose an individual meal or have a watch party with four of your closest friends and order something yummy for everyone to enjoy. Each meal will come with something savory, something sweet, and a lovely mocktail to be mixed with sparkling and tame or, if you prefer, something hard and wild! Menu - CLICK HERE TO ORDER Savory Pie Options Classic Chicken (Regular or Gluten-Free) Vegetarian Alhambra (Regular, Gluten-Free, or Vegan) Sweet Pie Options Caramel Apple (Regular, Gluten-Free, or Vegan) Peach Ginger (Regular, Gluten-Free, or Vegan) Salad Field Greens (With cherry tomatoes, cucumber, shaved carrot and balsamic vinaigrette) Beverage Pure Passion Mocktail (Passion fruit hibiscus, ginger, and lemon) About Our Spectacular Caterer Chef Logan Niles of Pot Pie Factory Logan Niles is a chef, entrepreneur, and mother. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Logan has worked as a private chef throughout Manhattan plus founded and ran Blue Nile Catering, an upscale private catering company in New York City for 10 years before becoming a culinary consultant and wellness coach at her company Mind Over Manna and Blue Nile Consulting. As a mom, she knows how challenging it can be for families to cook and eat together. Motivated by a passion for health and the nourishing power of delicious comfort food that brings communities together, she began crafting pot pies as a Josephine.com chef in 2016. 2017 saw the official launch of Pot Pie Factory and the journey towards creating the first ever custom pot pie Fast Casual retail chain with franchising opportunities. More information is still on the way so stay tuned and Signup for the CD Forum Newsletter to stay up to date on what's happening. Questions or need help? Contact us at info@cdforum.org and we'll do our best to take care of you. Prepare yourselves. The descent into our devilish evening will have you panting for more.

The Royal Youth KiKi Ball

The Royal Youth KiKi Ball

Calling all Kings, Queens, and Mystical Beings! CD Forum’s Youth Kingdom and The Royal House of Noir are proud to be hosting a Royal Youth Kiki Ball outside Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Join us on June 5th at 5pm for a COVID-19 safe evening of royal grandeur. Mask up and come ready to show off your most magnificent attire for four categories! Saturday, June 5, 2021 5pm-8pm Graphic design by Chino Gonzales Have we peaked your interest? See below for more details!! Ball Categories 🦋Monarch Majesty (Best Dressed - OTA): Orange you glad we didn’t make it binary!! You are the ruler of your realm!! Show us your finest attire, be like the Monarch Butterfly and rule your flight on the runway!! Bring it in Orange with a butterfly effect!! ✨Jousting Jewels (Runway - Open To All [OTA] European & American): Show us your dominion’s Royal Jewels! Are you flaunting the treasury because it’s your right or because you acquired it in the night? Bring it drenched in your most show stopping gems; COME THRU DRIPPIN!!!! 🧜🏾Mermaid Mug (Virgin Face - OTA who has never gotten 10’s in this category): Only few on this earth get to witness the brilliant beauty that lurks in the unvoyaged dark of the sea. Are you an all Natural, wet, dew-y-eyed beauty, or are you using the entire pallet and serving colorful rainbow realness? Give us the once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the 7 seas’ most prized possession, your face!! Don’t be a LochMESS, bring it with a magical mystical mermaid effect!! 🧚🏾Fae-way (Vogue w/ a prop - OTA): Not old way, not new way, but fae-way! ALL fay, fae, fey, fair folk, faeries or fairies this is your time to shine!! Whether it’s vogue fem, old way or new way, bring it the Fae-way and cast your best spells with a ribbon effect!! Ready to Rip the Runway? Register here! For Our Non-POC CD Forum Family CD Forum's Youth Kingdom and The Royal House of Noir are creating this event for and in celebration of Black and other POC bodies in Ballroom culture. We welcome the love and support of all non-Black folx and respectfully ask that non-POC individuals show their support through financial contributions, volunteering their time, social media follows, and by viewing the event online through CD Forum's Instagram feed. COVID-19 Safety Measures Your health and safety is our biggest priority! We will be doing our best to keep you and all of our guests safe by following local, state, and federal safety precautions. The evening’s events will be held outside, and we ask that masks will be worn at all times and to follow social distancing of 6 feet apart. If you need to use the restroom or use our changing room, a lovely volunteer will kindly take your temperature at the door. Staff, volunteers, and those with changing room access will be wearing color-coded wristbands to help manage the flow of traffic. We also suggest that you get a COVID-19 test prior to the event. We hope to make this event safe for everyone to show up and have fun, and we appreciate the steps we are all taking to take care of our community. Ticket Info Tickets are FREE with event registration. We'll just need your contact information and you're ready to have a ball! Click here to get your tickets. *Ticket sales close on June 3rd. Get your tickets before then to make sure you ensure your spot!* Know Before You Go What to Expect We ask all guest, participants, judge, and volunteers to keep their masks on throughout the event, unless otherwise directed. 17th Ave. S will be closed for the Ball. Street parking is available around the building and adjacent side streets. Limited free parking in the parking lot located at the E Yesler Way & 17th Ave. S intersection. In order to access the restrooms, staff will check temperatures for each person before allowing access. Volunteers will be on hand to help ensure COVID safety protocols are being followed Directions and Parking For directions to the venue click here. The Ball will take place in front of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute located at 104 17th Ave. S, between E Yesler Way and S Washington Street 17th Ave. S will be closed to all thru traffic Free street parking is available on S Washington Street and other adjacent side streets Limited spots will be available in the open parking lot directly across from the building at the intersection of E Yesler Way and 17th Ave. S. This parking is first come, first serve. Questions?
Contact CD Forum's Season Curator Dani Tirrell at danit@cdforum.org Ways to Support Want to Volunteer at the event? Click here to sign up for a shift! Want to keep our events accessible? Click here to donate! Are you a white ally? Watch and share our event on social media! Want to support The Royal House of Noir? Follow them on Instagram! Thank You to Our Partners! CD Forum's Youth Kingdom is excited to present this event in partnership with The Royal House of Noir with support from Town Hall Seattle.

Graphic Designer: Chino Gonzales is an activist, educator, director, music producer and graphic designer from Seattle AKA Bonnet Black in the music world. Learn more at bonnetblack.com.

A Moment of Reflection

A Moment of Reflection

By: Mallory Carbon Looking back, nothing could’ve prepared me for what came after unceremoniously clicking the zoom link to join my first CD Forum staff meeting. I was greeted by literal screams of joy as my mentor and dear friend popped up on the screen, clearly surprised by my face. Of course, I’m talking about the one and only Dani Tirrell. I was welcomed with completely open arms by staff who were strangers then, but have now come to be members of my extended family. After what seemed like a half-day of introductions, business, laughs, cries, and “soap-boxes” (a new term for me), I had one thought in my mind: I am so lucky that this is where I have found myself. My name is Mallory Carbon and over the past couple of months, I had the privilege of interning with CD Forum through Northwest Folklife’s Cultural and Creative Workforce Development Program. I’m a University of Washington senior studying Science, Technology, and Society with a huge passion for the arts. I’m a musical theatre performer, a scientist, and a lover of sparkly things. I would be kidding myself if I didn’t acknowledge that I was nervous to be walking into a Black-led organization as a white woman, especially during a historic time for racial injustice. My extensive time in Dani’s Street Styles classes at UW had completely opened my mind to experiences of Black and brown bodies through dance, culture, and activism. With Dani’s guidance, I had seen many CD Forum shows and sponsored events, usually alongside a mighty cohort of my classmates. However, my time as a CD Forum employee would go on to provide me with educational experiences that I could never glean from my time in academia. At CD Forum I have developed in professional and artistic ways as well as in my understanding of what it means to listen to and represent voices other than my own. CD Forum has shown me what it takes to be a leader for change in the world. I look forward to my CD Forum meetings for a lot of reasons (sharing space with exceptional people, getting to laugh and be my full silly self, hearing about the art we support) but what I find to be most enriching is to be able to listen to Black change-makers talk about their experiences. Our fearless leader and Executive Director Sharon Nyree Williams quickly made it high on my list of people I truly admire for her ability to step up and lead, especially when it’s most difficult. She, alongside her incredible team, create a safe space that allows me to be brave and ask questions as I’m continually defining what it means to be a young white woman wanting to put in the work to understand my privilege and how to combat racism in the world around me. The kind of leadership that has been modeled for me while at CD Forum from all corners of the organization has and will forever inform how I lead, ask the hard questions, act on my words, and find meaningful connections in my work. One of my many duties as an intern was supporting the rehearsal process for Showing Out: Black Choreographers Festival. Originally I was paired with artist Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra, whom I had never met, to make sure she had things set up and sanitized to safely rehearse. In her first few rehearsals, I tried not to bug her too much but would selfishly catch glimpses of her creating something truly unique. Things changed when halfway through the process she asked me to film a run-through. It was the first time I got to see start to finish what she was working on. Needless to say, I had chills from the moment her booming voice marked the beginning of her piece. After that first recording, I was caught off guard with her asking me simply, “What did you think?” From then on we would engage in intellectual dialogue about purpose, meaning, artistic expression, and the deep history of her piece. Most rehearsals were accompanied by a full history lesson when I would ask about what different elements of her art meant to her and represented. I went from just popping my head in the room to check on her to fully assisting her rehearsals by filming, talking about the new elements she added each week, and helping her begin her piece by wrapping a rather difficult to work with tapestry around her head, representing Black women’s hair. What I learned in the conversations we had as I helped her wrestle this huge, stiff, cloth on her head could fill a book. During our final rehearsal together I was literally sweating as we wrapped the tapestry on her head when she asked me to be there on the day of filming to support her. I was completely excited and felt honored that she had even asked me. Filming day rolled around and I realized that it was the first time in 8 months that I was going to be back in a performance space. After fulfilling my duties as the official tapestry wrangling assistant, I sat in the dark and watched it all come together into its final product. The second marvel of that day was watching others in the room be entranced by what I got to watch develop for months. Seeing Milvia advocate for her artistic vision, be in relation with her musician, and exude her strong presence in a performance that demands your attention, I could not help but reflect on the process that I had a small part in supporting. I was watching a talented, intelligent, strong, expressive, kind, and beautiful woman in her element. I could think of fewer more powerful experiences as I teared up in the darkness. I am incredibly grateful for what I have gained from my time thus far at CD Forum. I am incredibly grateful to Northwest Folklife for providing me the opportunity to have a job in the arts during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am incredibly grateful for the people I have been in community with along the way and what each of them has taught me about myself, working in the arts, leadership, supporting incredible work, how to be a better person, and how to show up for each other, especially during times of distance.

Performance + Virtual Exhibition Opening Reception for Anastacia-Reneé

Performance + Virtual Exhibition Opening Reception for Anastacia-Reneé

In partnership with Frye Art Museum, the CD Forum team invite you to a virtual celebration and special performance in honor of Anastacia-Renee’s solo exhibition (Don’t Be Absurd) Alice in Parts. Please join us to get a first look and virtual tour of the exhibition and experience a special performance of a choreopoem by the artist co-presented in partnership with the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas. This choreopoem is inspired by the exhibition’s central character Alice Metropolis as well as the spirit and work of Audre Lorde, and will be read by a chorus of seven artists and poets selected by Anastacia-Renee, librecht baker, Kamari Bright, Randy Ford, Reagan Jackson, Jessica Rycheal, Imani Sims, and Storme Webber. Saturday, January 30, 2021
5:00 – 6:30 pm Pacific Standard Time This online event is free to attend. Click here to register! Choreopoem Participating Artists librecht baker authored vetiver (Finishing Line Press), journeyed with Radar Productions’ Sister Spit 2020 tour, and is an English professor. baker’s full-length play, “Taciturn Beings,” was a semi-finalist for the 43rd annual Bay Area Playwright’s Festival and part of The Vagrancy’s Blossoming: A New Play Reading Series, 2019. Other writings appear in ACCOLADES: A Women Who Submit Anthology, Cultural Weekly, Solace: Writing Refuge, & LGBTQ Women of Color, and other publications, but can also be experienced via Women Who Submit’s IGTV for their ACCOLADES online reading series and The Vagrancy's "The Life and Dead Of," written by June Carryl, via The Vagrancy's webpage. Kamari Bright is an emerging creative with poetry featured in “NILVX: A Book of Magic,” “2018 Jack Straw Writers Anthology,” “Moss,” and Bellwether Arts Week. Her videopoems have screened at 8th International Video Poetry Festival, Seattle Black Film Festival, Tacoma Film Festival and the Film & Videopoetry Symposium. The 2018 Jack Straw Writers fellow is working on a manuscript connecting the influence of Christian folklore on present-day misogyny, and fundraising for The People’s School in Ghana. Randy Ford is a Seattle-born dancer, choreographer, actor, and activist. She has been featured in Velocity Dance Center’s Next Fest NW, CD Forum’s Showing Out: Contemporary Black Choreographers (2016, 2018), Bumbershoot Festival, Birthday Girl Series #5, Legendary Children at Seattle Art Museum, and Beacon Hill Block Party, among other community events. Identifying as a Black non-binary Transfemme, her work continues the conversation about and centering intersectionality. When not onstage she's a program leader through ArtsCorps at Dimmit Middle School and Meeker Middle School. She's a guest teacher at Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a MixxedFit Instructor at the Northwest African American Museum. Reagan Jackson is the Program Director for Young Women Empowered. She is a multi-genre writer, activist, podcast host and producer and international educator with an abiding love of justice, spirituality, and creating community. Her published works include three collections of poetry: God, Hair, Love, and America, Love and Guatemala, and Summoning Unicorns and two children’s books Coco LaSwish A Fish From A Different Rainbow and Coco LaSwish: When Rainbows Go Blue. Her latest book Still Here: A southend mixtape from an unexpected journalist (Menrva Press 2021) is available for pre-order on her website www.reaganjackson.com. Jessica Rycheal is a multi-disciplinary artist and creative director based in Seattle, Washington. Bearing the influence of Southern Black culture and tradition, Rycheal's creative practice juxtaposes intuitive storytelling and historical context to honor the Individual and collective humanity of Blackness. Her work explores themes of culture, identity, and intergenerational healing through the mediums of creative writing, portraiture, and public speaking. Imani Sims is an alchemist and author. She believes in the power of community ritual and performance art, in public space, to shift social narratives around the magic of blackness, queerness, and femme identity. Over the past two decades Imani has collaborated with community organizations and independent artists to deliver arts programming all over the nation. Her heart soul love work is elevating the voices of QTPOC folk in public and virtual space. Sims' book (A)live Heart is available on Sibling Rivalry Press. Storme Webber is a Two Spirit Sugpiaq/Black/Choctaw poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her work is cross genre, incorporating text, performance, audio and altar installation, archival photographs and collaboration in order to engage with ideas of history, lineage, gender, race and sexuality. Her practice explores liminal identities, survivance and decolonization, and does so in a blues/jazz-based experimental manner, often incorporating acapella vocals. She has received numerous honors and residencies; including from Hedgebrook, Ragdale and Banff Arts Centre, and recently was honored with the James W Ray Award. Her first solo museum exhibition, Casino: A Palimpsest, was presented at Frye Art Museum in Seattle.

Q&A with Curator Dani Tirrell

Q&A with Curator Dani Tirrell

CD Forum Curator Dani Tirrell answers a few questions about Dani's approach to curating, continuing to learn, and memorable moments in conversation during 2020. Did your approach to curating change during the pandemic and 2020? Dani Tirrell: It actually stopped for a little bit. As a team we did not want to rush into putting programs out there. We wanted to first make sure that the team was doing as well as anyone could, then we took some time to think about what we are doing and who we are. We are still in this process. What new things did you do and learn? DT: Currently I am learning to reimagine and to think outside of what has been done and what is currently being done. That does not mean to invent something new. It just means to go down while others are going up. I am learning to be more clear, I did not want to be overbearing with the team. But giving little to no direction or clarity was not moving us forward. So I am becoming more clear and sure of myself. What's a thought, idea, or quote from your Intimate Conversations that has stuck with you? DT: There is an IC with Kristi Brown and she talked about how the enslaved African women would cook for the masters. She said at any given time those women could have killed the entire families with the food they cooked. But they did not. They could have served them dishes that would have taken them out, but the humanity and love and fear that Black women carried/carry kept them alive. And to this day black women are still saving people that do not deserve them.

Intimate Conversations: Eve Sanford

Intimate Conversations: Eve Sanford

Intimate Conversations with Dani Tirrell & guest Eve Sanford Saturday, December 19, 2020 "Black love is complex, nuanced. Black love is- in some moments- the process of undoing many layers of harm, hate, and pain. It is also rooted in the comfort of the familiar, the movement of bodies. It is gestural. It is the thickness of our language, you can hear it. It is tastable, touchable, and loud yet it can also feel delicate and ephemeral." Eve Sanford is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and arts leader. Evelyn is a Chicago native whose connection to the city and memory drives much of the voice behind her work. She worked nearly 20 years teaching visual and performing arts for Chicago public and charter schools and various community centers, museums, and programs. Eve’s educational philosophy moves her to facilitate creative experiences that engage multi-generational students and viewers in the exploration of self, community, and purpose. As an artist, her work often takes the form of jewelry, photographs, paintings, curated experiences, events, set and costume design, and installations. She explores identity, vacancy, community, and healing through all its intersections with a primarily autobiographical lens. Eve is an alumna of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFAAE) and Seattle University (MFA). She currently serves as the Director of Programs for Pratt Fine Arts Center, Vice President of the Board of Directors for Shunpike. Eve is currently an artist in residence at the James and Janie Washington Foundation. Support Eve: Venmo: ejs246 cashapp $eveydoesit

Intimate Conversations: Elisheba Johnson

Intimate Conversations: Elisheba Johnson

Intimate Conversations with Dani Tirrell & guest Elisheba Johnson Saturday, December 12, 2020 "Black love looks like that photo of James Baldwin and Maya Angelou dancing; euphoric, delightful and free." Elisheba Johnson is a curator, public artist and administrator. Johnson, who has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that held art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. For six years Johnson worked at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture on capacity building initiatives and racial equity in public art. Johnson is currently a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network advisory council and has won four Americans for the Arts Public Art Year in Review Awards for her work. She currently co-manages Wa Na Wari, a Black art center in Seattle’s Central Area that uses the arts to build community and resist displacement. Cash App: $WaNaWari

"The Show Must Go On", but How?

"The Show Must Go On", but How?

By Merri Ann Osborne When the Governor signed into effect a statewide emergency on March 16th to temporarily shut down ‘life as we know it’ because of COVID-19, I understood that decision. A lot was still being learned about the virus and no one knew for sure how it was spread or how long it would be with us. The one thing we did know was that people were dying because of it. The 4 months prior to that shut down I had auditioned, hired and was rehearsing a show with 4 actors for a March performance through my arts organization The Mahogany Project. And at CD Forum, we were getting ready for our spring shows featuring solo artists, Sunday Dinners, Kitchen Sessions, Galas and so much more. I remember the week leading up to that shut down announcement. Sharon, our ED, had said to our team, ‘Everyone, grab your computers now, because we may be working from home for awhile.’ Boy, was she right! Now close to 8 months later, so much has changed. As the weeks turned into months, the global pandemic worries were joined by the continued murders of unarmed Black people, murders of Black Trans women, protests, marches, voter suppression, unemployment, healthcare inequities, fights over wearing masks, white supremacists (they never have gone away), unease about upcoming election, etc. etc. Every day brought something new and it usually wasn’t good! Constantly on my mind was how I was going to navigate living life while taking care of myself and others in this new reality of social distancing, masks, self-isolation, 6-feet and stay safe. How would I deal with the fear, anger and mistrust that this country is going through in 2020? I have found that creating art and working with other artists has continued to be my anchor in these very choppy waters! Art does heal, save lives, and can uplift and empower people, even when we feel powerless. I’m so thankful to have art and creativity in my life both personally and professionally. As an artist and arts administrator, I’m constantly checking in with artists and other arts organizations as we work together, as a community, to share information on Covid-19 best practices in our spaces and how to financially survive this pandemic. But more importantly, and what I love the most, is that the arts community – individually or as organizations – is reaching out to others in our creative community to make sure that artists and their loved ones are doing okay as we support each other through these challenging times. The Mahogany Project and CD Forum has thought carefully and seriously about this new reality and have dedicated ourselves to our commitment of providing a platform for Black artists and conversations centered around our community, with or without COVID. Both organizations took their programing 100% virtual and CD Forum also pumped up its social media presence. This shift has allowed us to explore new production opportunities and to continue to showcase Black artists while at the same time, connecting with audiences nationally and globally that we wouldn’t have reached in traditional performance settings. For the Mahogany Project, we ended up producing our planned March event but split it into two events that were held in August and September. These events, in collaboration with our annual and community partners (including CD Forum), focused on voter suppression in Black and Native communities. As virtual town halls, we were able to have expert panelists (local and national) who could talk on these issues. The event still had its signature Q&A session, but this time, because it was a virtual event, the panelists received a broader scope of questions from all over the country. During these Town Halls, we screened clips from documentaries that addressed voter suppression in Black and Native communities, adding an artistic element to this serious issue that continues to haunt the integrity of our democracy. The Mahogany Project also had been planning, since the summer of 2019, for a stage reading event to take place in summer 2020. Because of the pandemic, we switched to a virtual event and filmed 6 new short plays by playwrights from the African American Writers Alliance. This production engaged over 20 artists including playwrights, directors, actors, tech support and other artists. The whole project was a huge learning experience for me and I couldn’t have done it without the openness and talents of all the artists involved and from our community partners and donors. All of these projects are accessible for viewing on YouTube and, once again, have introduced audiences to emerging and established artists in our community. Because of the play festival production, I am also happy to say that some of the artists received additional employment opportunities due to their involvement in the festival. As for CD Forum, we went ahead and rolled out CD Forum TV, an online viewing portal where creativity just flows and flows. The first virtual performance we presented since the pandemic began was a May solo show and we haven’t stopped since. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, CD Forum Curator Dani Tirrell, has been having Instagram Live conversations with Black artists, leaders, thinkers and makers through Dani’s show ‘Intimate Conversations’. We also did our first online fundraising party in July called the Boujee Brunch Soiree. Thanks to Dani, Nina (CD Forum’s Business Manager) and the organizing team, this event was not only successful but lots of fun! A chance to gather with friends, dress up, relax and enjoy during a summer where most of us were hunkering indoors. In a few weeks, we will be filming our annual ‘Showing Out’ program featuring Black Choreographers. ‘Showing Out’ is the official start of our 2020-2021 season for CD Forum and will be the first of three performances by the seven Showing Out artists featured this season. As the Production Manager for CD Forum, I am thankful that we have been able to successfully make this transfer to virtual thanks to the film production talents of Michael B. Maine, and that I can continue to work with artists to showcase their talents and for the viewer to still be able to connect with the performers and their art. Like I said before, The Mahogany Project and CD Forum haven’t stopped doing what we do because of the pandemic and social unrest. In fact, it motivates us even more to bring quality, thought-provoking and joyous productions and conversations that artists can be proud of and audiences can enjoy. Wishing all a peaceful holiday season and wishes for a super-feeling-good 2021! We all could use it.

Intimate Conversations: Arif Gursel

Intimate Conversations: Arif Gursel

Intimate Conversations with Dani Tirrell & guest Arif Gursel Saturday, December 5, 2020 "Black Love looks like radical inclusivity and radical non-judgmental." Arif Gursel is a serial and social entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience gained from a unique blend of professional experience. Gursel specializes in product development, technology strategy, and business model development equipped to lead initiatives & people toward common goals. He's most passionate about consumer behavior in the digital space and empowering resource poor communities through S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Arts and Media) education. His company VIBEHEAVY continues to serve as a startup lab where they create and spin out new brands, products, and services across multiple industry verticals with a specialty in entertainment, fashion, and hospitality. Similarly, his nonprofit Pan African Center for Empowerment, PACE follows an agile technology startup model focusing on improving the lives of people of African heritage across the globe.

THE FUTURE IS BLACK

THE FUTURE IS BLACK

Give today to ensure the future is Black! As a Black-led organization, CD Forum is committed to uplifting and amplifying the voices of Black artists. Donate to The Future is Black campaign and you can help ensure the next generation of arts leaders have a place to grow. Your donation will go to support our new Youth Curator position as well as the overall sustainability of the company. GIVE TODAY! Online giving is secure and keeps staff and you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also TEXT CDFUTURE to 44321. Every gift matters and we are grateful that you are part of the CD Forum Family.

Intimate Conversations: Brian J. Evans

Intimate Conversations: Brian J. Evans

Intimate Conversations with Dani Tirrell & guest Brian J. Evans Saturday, November 21, 2020 Black love looks like: "Hope in the eyes of those who have been told they will never know love, yet experience it despite the world’s efforts." 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 has a MFA from 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. www.brianjevans.org Watch Brian's latest work, LOPsided, on CD Forum TV.

Black Love looks like:

Black Love looks like:

By: Dani Tirrell This new season of Intimate Conversation I have asked each guest to share with me what Black Love looks like to them. I have purposely avoided that question. I think now is the time to share. Black Love looks like: My queer ass Black ass Trans spectrum experience Forgiveness Peach cobbler Big Mama talks And Grand daddy handshakes Dressing (not stuffing) on the holidays Thick sisters in move something dresses Brothers with lime green suits and matching gators Family reunions with matching shirts Seeing the young Queens voguing down to some nasty beats The no shirt brothers playing ball and the sweat hitting all the right places Playing hide and seek outside with the cousins Spades/Bid Whist and Tunk My granny takin’ sips of my granddad's TEA (V.O.) Shakin’ my ass in the club with a bunch of beautful Black gay ass people Black Trans women owning every ounce of their womanhood The soloist at church sangin' you down to lay prostrate in front of the altar Preaching Sin……...all of them! Box braids, wraps, weaves and bobs……..and the colors…..oh the colors Loud talking and even louder loving The bass as cars roll down the street The smell of the trees (those happy cigarettes) if you happen to indulge Having your aunt and uncle clear the dance floor….to show you how it is done Embracing your HIV positive friends for what will be the last time Young kids dreaming about a future of fame and fortune Kissing your man and not being afraid of what the world thinks (some gay shit) Yes….all the gay shit! Black love is laying your aunt and mom to rest, with the understanding that the gift they gave you was to keep loving, discovering and always seek healing. Black love is your father supporting and loving your Black ass, queer ass, trans spectrum experience. Black love is knowing your deaf grandmother is always with you…...it is knowing that you can not make it without her whispering in your ear how you are worthy. Black love has no rhyme or reason….it is beyond anything that we could ever imagine. Black love is Goddess and she is divine and she is feminine and she is me.