Trans-Ally 201: A Workshop for the Community | June 21st, 2014 | Washington, DC
Kayley Whalen, Digital Strategies & Social Media Manager at The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Trans Ally 201 was an informative and interactive learning experience. It helped activists gain a deeper understanding of transgender issues and advocacy. They looked at how the trans community experiences oppression, including high rates of incarceration, harassment and hate crimes and high unemployment rates. Participants were challenged to gain a deeper understanding of gender and how it influences their lives as well as what it means to be a transgender ally.
1156 presents: Andy D!! with Amoeba Knievel & Weird Paul | June 13th, 2014 | Pittsburgh, PA
Phat Man Dee, Andy D and Anna VisionAndy D fancies himself the anachronistic love child of Punky Brewster and Lee Van Cleef – the perfect amalgam of a fictional rogue and a real-life badass. He plays music this like he lives life and it sounds like Andrew WK meets Grand Master Melle Mel or Like Prince if he couldn’t sing that well and if he weren’t a hyper-talented multi-instrumentalist. This is what his music is all about: part epicurean hip-hop-dance songs and part sincere dance rock songs, being eclectic and catchy is the only goal. “God Loves Drunk Chicks” is a infectious dance ditty lamenting date rape culture and “Just Push Play” is a witty indictment of “the next big thing” trend in the music industry and pop culture in general (both tracks are from the debut album Choose Your Perversion). This is rap but not hip-hop. It rocks but it’s not rap-rock. These songs are meaningful party songs but maximized! Andy D bends the genres but his influences are pretty apparent. And people take notice where ever he goes. From rapping about having sex with Werewolves to singing about knife fights in a roller rink, no subject is taboo in an Andy D song; and he gets raunchy with it. Half of the fun of Andy D is hearing what he will say next… the other half is dancing. Welcome to your new addiction!
Open Mic at The New Bohemian | May 29th. 2014 | Pittsburgh, PA
LRAD performingThe ladies of 1156, Danielle Robinson and Elizabeth Kivowitz, teamed up with the men of the New Bohemian, Billy Pilgrim and Bill Earl to present an open mic. Last Thursday’s of the month at the New Bohemian located at 887 Progress street in the North Side. Billy Pilgrim is the host for the evening as well as the DJ. They welcome all to enjoy an eclectic evening of music, poetry, and comedy. Every month they feature a local performer to showcase their talents
Return of S.I.N. features | May 15th, 2014 | Pittsburgh, PA
Shad Ali began writing creatively at age 9. Experimenting with poetry in personal journal entries, he found it to be a self-rewarding form of expression. Persisting to work on this hobby, his writing has become recognized as a developing talent.A passion for music has passed through Shad’s family tree. His father, an avid fan of jazz, can be credited for Shad’s soft spoken delivery of lyrics and his knack for an often jazzy selection of hip-hop instrumentals. His dedication to the pen and notepad expanded upon being introduced by an older sibling to many of the genres most praised lyricists. It was at this time, during his teenage years, that Shad’s curiosity guided him as a student of lyricism. He began researching the structure and usage of the words and stories told by varying artists.The ladies of 1156 brought back all 7 features that have performed at the S.I.N open mic. With special performances by: Hubbs, C.H.R.I.S., Jon Quest, Vaig, Blak Rapp Madusa, Parker Webb and Shad Ali.S.I.N (Service, Industry, Night) is an open mic on the second Sundays of every month at Howlers Coyote Cafe located at 4509 Liberty Ave Pittsburgh PA 15224. With a promise of a host, a DJ, and a band they allow the artist to choose whatever outlet they need to perform. It also has a monthly feature, that is chosen from the vast hip hop community. The feature and allowing performers to perform to their own music is what sets this open mic from the rest. SIN was created by 1156 Artist Management Company. Whose soul purpose is to “create and implement innovative management for performing and visual art professionals.”
Welcome Home Celebration & Fundraiser for Eddie Conway | May 8th, 2014 | Baltimore, MD
Mr. Conway was convicted of the April 1970 killing of a Baltimore police officer. Conway has always maintained his innocence. At the time of his arrest and trial, he was a prominent member of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party, the militant black-rights organization that was the principal focus of COINTELPRO, the FBI’s illegal “counterintelligence program.” The FBI, under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, surveilled and infiltrated Black Panther chapters from coast to coast, disrupting their organizing activities, often with violence.The prosecution alleged Conway was behind the fatal shooting of Baltimore police officer Donald Sager. The case hinged on the testimony of a police officer and a jailhouse informant, who claimed Conway described the crime while they were sharing a cell. Former Baltimore NAACP President Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, a longtime supporter of Conway’s, told The Baltimore Sun: “This was when the COINTEL program was at its height. … They did not have a witness who saw him there. They had no fingerprints or evidence there. They basically convicted him on the basis of what we now call an informant.” A global movement grew calling for Conway’s release. In 2001, the Baltimore City Council passed a resolution asking the Maryland governor to pardon him.Conway’s arrest happened a full year before a group of anti-war activists broke into the FBI field office in Media, PA., and took thousands of pages of classified FBI documents and released them to the press. The word “COINTELPRO” was exposed for the first time.One of Conway’s attorneys for more than 20 years, Bob Boyle, explained: “Mr. Conway’s trial took place in January of 1971. The break-in at the office in Media, Pennsylvania, which led to the disclosures concerning COINTELPRO, did not occur until April of 1971. So Eddie went to trial at a time when COINTELPRO was still active and the jury did not know that there was this campaign to neutralize the leadership and the organization of the Black Panther Party.”It was in this environment that the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party was created. Conway had been in the U.S. Army in Germany and was bound for Vietnam. Then, in the summer of 1967, he saw a photo of the riots in Newark, N.J. and said, “They put armored personnel carriers in the center of the black community, and they pointed .50 caliber machine guns at about 25 or 30 black women standing on a corner … something was wrong with that picture, and I could probably come home and help join some efforts to reform that.”He joined the NAACP, and he joined CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality). He continued: “I looked at all the different organizations, and the Black Panther Party represented at least a serious attempt to start feeding the children, to start educating the population, to start organizing health care and stuff like that. So I joined and started working with them.”What Conway didn’t know was that the Baltimore chapter of the Panthers was actually created by a police infiltrator. Conway became suspicious of one of the local Black Panther leaders. He told me: “There was a defense captain named Warren Hart, he worked for the National Security Agency. … I was instrumental in exposing him after a lengthy investigation, and he fled the country.” Not long after exposing the agent, Conway was arrested for the charges that ultimately landed him in prison for close to 44 years.
Washington, D.C. Community Rallies for Kidnapped Nigerian Girls | May 6th, 2014 | Washington DC
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Supporters rallied at the Embassy of Nigeria on May 6, 2014 at 10 am to pressure idle government officials to take measurable actions to save the newly estimated 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in the northeastern Nigerian village of Chibok. Insufficient response from the Nigerian Government in the two weeks following the abduction prompted organizers to plan a public demonstration demanding that the Nigerian military and police uphold their duty to deploy search and rescue efforts. This act of solidarity in the nation’s capital followed the bold example set by hundreds of mothers who marched for their missing daughters in the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria on April 30.Following the march in Abuja, BBC News Africa reported that more than 20 senators requested a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan. No details of their discussions are known yet, but this action suggests forward progress made by government officials. Ralliers in Washington, D.C. hoped to incite similar political action from His Excellency Adebowale Adefuye, the ambassador from Nigeria to the United States, and his colleagues at the consulate.All reports stated that over 200 teenage girls were taking a final exam at their school on April 14, when they were abducted by armed members of the terrorist group Boko Haram. According to the Guardian, the kidnapped girls are being taken as brides by the militants. Rally organizer Lola Adele-Oso remarks, “Anyone can relate to this story because those girls could be your sisters, daughters, or cousins; and you wouldn’t just sit on your hands while they’re being brutalized simply for going to school.” She believed that the rally attracted not just Nigerian Americans like herself, but also a diverse crowd of men and women who champion a range of social justice causes like women’s empowerment, sex trafficking, education, and connecting the African diaspora.The protest occurred on the eve of the World Economic Forum on Africa, which will be held in Abuja on May 7-9. Adele-Oso and co-organizers intended to mount pressure and media attention on Nigeria as global leaders descend upon Africa’s largest economy.
Protestors Arrested at White House Over Deportations | April 28th, 2014 | Washington DC
Washington, DC – April 28th, 2014 – Pressure on President Obama over deportations is increasing as 12 people were arrested outside the White House today in an act of civil disobedience for family unity — broad administrative relief for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, and an end to the record deportations occurring under President Obama’s Administration. More than 1,100 people from the racial and economic justice group National People’s Action (NPA) and the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) came together for the event alongside White House Hunger Strikers from Georgia with one clear message: #not1more.
Speakers at the event the event included people whose families had been torn apart by deportations, as well as those currently facing deportation proceedings.
“I am the mother of six children, two of whom are U.S. citizens. My four older children and I have a deportation order and have been told we need to leave the country on June 25th. If that happens, I’ll be separated from my two younger children. We have already suffered through family separation when I had to leave my country for economic reasons,” said Ana Cañenguez, an NDWA member from Tremonton, Utah. “I am here to fight for my own family and for millions of others. I ask President Obama to do everything in his power to prevent this tragedy and millions more.”
Participants at the event struck 1,100 drumbeats to signify the 1,100 people who are deported every day. With so many families at risk, they underlined the urgent need for President Obama to take immediate action.
Rally goers held signs reading “Keep Families Together,” and chanted passionately as the others risked arrest in an act of civil disobedience.
Carolina Hernandez, an 18 year old NPA member with Sunflower Community Action in Kansas, testified to the culture of fear that is created by our broken immigration system. When she was only 12 years old, she witnessed the deportation of 11 family friends, which resulted in the separation of four families.
“From that day on,” Hernandez testified, “I knew that at any moment my family could be separated. I am risking arrest for my parents, for my family, for my neighbors and for my community because enough is enough!”
“There are 11 million families suffering, our nation is suffering,” said Andrea Christina Mercado, Campaign Director at National People’s Action. “The time for President Obama to stop tearing families apart is now.
Blak Rapp Madusa featured at S.I.N (Service, Industry, Night) | April 13th, 2014 | Pittsburgh, PA
S.I.N (Service, Industry, Night) is an open mic on the second Sundays of every month at Howlers Coyote Cafe located at 4509 Liberty Ave Pittsburgh PA 15224. With a promise of a host, a DJ, and a band they allow the artist to choose whatever outlet they need to perform. It also has a monthly feature, that is chosen from the vast hip hop community. The feature and allowing performers to perform to their own music is what sets this open mic from the rest. SIN was created by 1156 Artist Management Company. Whose soul purpose is to “create and implement innovative management for performing and visual art professionals.”
Background on Blak Rapp Madusa:
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Mel Carter also known as Blak Rapp Madusa emerges from the ghetto streets of Pennsylvania, taking the conscious music movement by storm. Through melodic lyricism this rapper/activist/poet paints a vivid picture of the black experience in America, the black nationalist movement, social and political justice ideologies interwoven with the spiritual inspiration of Islam. Madusa whose name is an acronym for Making A Difference Using Skills and Ambition, came of age in in the third ward community of Houston, Texas and it was here that Madusa discovered her lyrical talent and subsequently recorded her first single “It’s On” with Trickle Down Entertainment a politically conscious record label. She has won poetry slams, freestyle battles and talent shows nationwide. She is affiliated with numerous community outreach organizations from National Black United Front, New Voices in Pittsburgh, Pa, Abrakadoodle in Philadelphia, Sankofa in Brooklyn New York, Project row Houses in Houston, Texas and School Of Unity and Liberation in Oakland, California. This artist is on a mission for change by spreading a positive message and a call to action for all oppressed people. Through her musical expression and activism Madusa hopes to gain reparations for Blacks in America in the form of land.
Vie Boheme at Dream on Fest | April 12th, 2014 | Pittsburgh, PA
Kendra Dennard is a dynamic and statuesque dancer also known as Pittsburgh’s vocal gem, Vie Boheme. A vocal renaissance woman; she uses soul, funk, rock and jazz elements in her music. She employs smooth and stealthy transitions to flow between singing, dancing, and scatting rhythms. Her eclectic and inclusive lyrics ring of truth and beautifully snap us all back to reality. Her poetry serves as vivid imagery of all too familiar experiences that weave through her music. Professionally trained in dance, Vie can’t help but to dance along the path that her musicians pave, engulfing her audience into an experience that excites the senses.“If you listen to my music you follow my journey of life as I study, grow and learn.”-VieDreamOn Pittsburgh was the first ever ice cream music festival. They took over Market Square to showcase 25 musical acts, 75 flavors of Dream Cream Ice Cream and the best of Pittsburgh’s homegrown talent! The 3-day weekend was an awesome recipe for a great time: the performance lineup was choc full of incredible bands; HBO’s Boardwalk Empire breakout star and Pittsburgh native Margot Bingham was on deck as host; the entire event was captured by Emmy-award winning filmmaker Emmai Alaquiva for live-stream; Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best Band in Pittsburgh 28 North rocked us and the headlining act was Grammy-nominated duo, The Foreign Exchange! To top it off (pun intended), every custom flavor of Dream Cream Ice Cream served was a fundraiser to support a local cause (or dream!). DreamOn Pittsburgh brought it to the people, live and direct — this weekend full of undeniably great music, empowerment and pure fun to the Pittsburgh community
Faith, Hip-Hop, and the Common Good, welcome by Russell Simmons | April 9th, 2014 | Washington DC
This concert, presented in cooperation with Georgetown University as part of their Faith, Culture, and the Common Good initiative, features artists of diverse faiths—MC’s Talib Kweli, Jin, Poetic Pilgrimage, AmKoullel, The Narcicyst, and Mandeep Sethi and DJ Boo—in a performance showcasing interreligious diversity and tolerance through the hip-hop lens.
The Brooklyn-based rapper earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. His travels around the globe as one of rap’s most in-demand performers combined with his conversations with political activists and his genre-straddling work with Idle Warship and others caused Kweli to realize that he was limited in a sense, a prisoner of sorts of his own success as one of the world’s best rappers with something significant to say.