Sunday, December 27
Shreve Memorial Library's David Raines Branch will celebrate Day Five of Kwanzaa: NIA, which means "purpose".
At 1 p.m. this Wednesday, December 30th, the Mahogany Ensemble Theater will present "Me in the Mirror." The program is free and open to the public.
The library is located at 2855 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Shreveport.
Friday, December 25
After the Christmas celebration has ended, another more cultural celebration begins -- Kwanzaa.
Locally, the celebration will take place at the Pamoja Arts Center on Linwood Avenue. Here's a list of events for the week-long celebration:
Daily: 11AM to 1:30 PM: Activities for Children and Creative Activities
Sunday, Dec 27th : 7pm to 9pm - ATA Skit
Monday, Dec 28th : 7pm to 9pm - Ceremony
Tuesday, Dec 29th : 7pm to 9pm - Reading by Angelique Feaster
Wednesday, Dec 30th : 7pm to 9pm - Inter City Row
Thursday, Dec 31st : 7pm to 9pm - Book Signing Ms. Tollett
Friday, Jan 1st : 7pm to 9pm - Closing Ceremony
Additional Events: Scarf Tying, Poetry Readings, Drum Circle, Exhibition & Visual Arts
- To learn more about KWANZAA, go HERE.
Thursday, December 24
Sunday, December 13
WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS: Tell us what's tops on your holiday gift list or what your family and kids are asking for ... We want to know what was hot this season. Deadline is Dec. 21st.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS: Do you make them? What are they? If you don't make them, why not? Tell us what you do or don't plan to change in the coming year. Deadline is Dec. 29th
TESTIMONIES: Has your faith saved your life? Or saved you from the person you used to be? We're looking for testimonies from the faithful who have a story to share about how their belief in a higher power changed their life or how a major moment/tragedy in their lives brought them to religion. Deadline is Dec. 31st
MAKING BLACK HISTORY: In preps for BHM in February, we want to find people right here in the SBC who are making Black history. Teachers, local celebs, or everday people. Nominate someone or tell us how YOU'RE making it happen for the Black community. Deadline is Jan. 15th.
Any of these interest you??? Then, Submit your story or stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AND THANKS!!! :)
Friday, December 11
For once, there's much to do in the SBC ... and it has nothing to do with going to a club!!!
From blaxploitation at the RFC to spiritual revelations at the Fairgrounds, check out The Hapz this weekend:
HOT EVENT -- "BLACK DYNAMITE" @ THE RFC
This Blaxploitation-inspired film stars Michael Jai White (Tyson, Spawn, Why Did I Get Married), who also co-wrote the screenplay. Filled with other screen favorites like Arsenio Hall (as Tasty Freeze), Tommy Davidson (as Cream Corn), Bokeem Woodbine (as Black Hand Jack), Brian McKnight (as Sweetmeat) and Kym Whitley (as HoneyBee) ... The stars (and characters' names) alone should prove one interesting night of entertainment :)
The movie tells the story of 1970s African-American action legend Black Dynamite who is fighting THE MAN. The Man killed his brother, pumped heroin into local orphanages, and flooded the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor and Black Dynamite plays the hero. The film first opened at Sundance in January of this year. After touring other festivals, it opened to limited theaters in October and is now showing at the RFC!!! So support it so we'll get MORE films like this at the theater!
- To learn more about the movie (and check out the trailer) go to www.blackdynamitemovie.com. To see showtimes (and get tickets) go to www.robinsonfilmcenter.org.
SIDE NOTE: At tonight's 7:30 pm showing, guests are encouraged to come in 70's attire to celebrate the era!!! The film will run through Thursday, December 17th
ALSO HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND:
You can engage in some Improv at the ACTOR's CAFE tonight, or share your talents at OPEN MIC tomorrow night ... Go get your laugh on with MIKE EPPS for his last two nights at The Funny Bone ... Go STOMP and SHOUT at the Merry Berry Christmas Festival's Praise Dance and Stomp Competition (Tonight Only) ... Go see and hear the inspirational GOD'S TROMBONES at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum or see the classic MADEA at LSUS's Black Box Theater ... or have some REAL fun and go Bowl with SANTA! :)
Whatever you do ... Have fun and Be Safe!!!
Thursday, December 10
Funnyman/actor MIKE EPPS will be hitting the stage at the Funny Bone Comedy Club this week. He'll perform two shows tonight, and Friday night (8 pm and 10:30)... Then on Saturday, he'll add a third show at 11:55 pm.
Tickets are $25 general admission and $40 for VIP (and don't forget you have that all-important will-get-you-kicked-out-if-you-don't-comply TWO DRINK MINIMUM. To check out drink prices in advance, go HERE).
Mike is not a stranger to the SBC, he's performed at the Funny Bone before. He also set up shop back in the summer of 2007 when he was co-starring in the Made-In-The-SBC film "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins" (He was also in Soul Men, also Made In the SBC).
Since his breakout comedic co-starring role in NEXT FRIDAY, Mike has starred in dozens of movies and TV shows. He's currently filming "Lottery Ticket" with his frequent co-start ICE CUBE (Bow Wow is in it too).
Along with touring and filming, Mike is promoting his latest movie with Ice Cube, "Janky Promoters" and his latest comedy/stand-up release "Mike Epps: Under Rated & Never Faded" -- both hit the stores and web last month.
- For more info on tickets to see Mike at the Funny Bone, Go HERE.
IN OTHER HAPZ TONIGHT:
The Mahogany Ensemble Theatre opens its production of GOD'S TROMBONES tonight.
The play is based on the African-American sermon poems by James Weldon Johnson (who wrote the Negro National Anthem and was a member of the blue-n-white :) !!).
The theatrical favorite is said to "lift your spirits and rock your soul through rousing free verse, spirit-filled songs and dance".
Directed by MET's Angelique Feaster and choreographed by the amazing Roshanda Spears, I'm sure this will be visual and literal delight. The music is directed by Dyani Moore and the cast is said to truly bring these poems alive.
Tonight is the opening night and reception, beginning at 7:30 pm, at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum Theater. The show also runs Friday and Saturday at the same time. Sunday is the final performance and is at 3 pm.
Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 seniors and students, $5 children 12 and under, group rates are available.
To purchase tickets on-line, visit www.mahoganyensembletheatre.org. For reservations, call Mahogany Ensemble Theatre box office at 318-745-ARTS (2787).
- Check out The Times' preview of the play HERE. And go out and revel in the holiday spirit by supporting this production!!!
HAVE A GREAT THURSDAY!!! :)
Monday, December 7
It was the second edition of SoulTree Saturdays, a special event that showcases local artists and others beyond the SBC. On the night’s menu: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Crab Bisque and hometown Duo MAHOGANY DUST.
As I bounced around the café snapping shots before the show, the conversation varied. Some patrons were reacting to their first visit to Just a Little Café. Many have never been to the spot tucked away beside the downtown library, and were pleasantly surprised.
Once just a location for an appealing breakfast or lunch, it has fast become a haven for local performing artists. Hosting an Actor’s Café every Friday, and Open Mics every other Saturday, the café has only been offering nights events just short of two months ... but from the look of the crowd Saturday night, they may have to expand their calendar.
Also a topic of conversation, the ambiance. Holiday-accented tea lights adorned each table and rouge lighting blanketed the stage area. As patrons indulged in the entrée and salad special, they commented on how the atmosphere was different, warm and inviting. I wholeheartedly agree.
By the time the opening acts hit the stage area, the crowd was fed, full and ready for entertainment. Host, and locally-known actor Rick Lacour served as host, and three local poets (included an amazing last minute addition, monikered “Woman”) blessed the mic first.
Then after another intermission, it was time for the main act: Mahogany Dust.
If you’ve never heard of Mahogany Dust, you’re sleeping on some amazing talent. If you’ve never seen them perform, you’re missing a blessing. The husband and wife duo are proof positive that following your dreams pays off.
I first met them in May of this year, when they performed at Expressions After Dark (hosted by local poet/spoken word artist NSpired). They brought an eclectic, youthful vibe to the usually “old school” JOSH Lounge. I bought their most recent CD, “Experience”, after the show ... and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Every performance Mahogany Dust (comprised of spoken word artist DNA and songbird Gi-Twice) tells the story of how just two years ago, the married couple and parents of one, quit their jobs as microbiologists and decided to pursue their career in music.
Starting with just two songs and two acoustic guitars, these Southern University alum, built a musical legacy by investing in their own studio, and producing their own music – which means as independent artists ... they make 100% of their profit. Not many artists, especially in this area, can say that.
They been at coffeehouses and venues all over the country, including major cities like St. Louis, Dallas and Atlanta (their home for several years); they even performed on BET J’s Lyric Café.
More recently, I’ve appeared with them at local high schools where they’ve performed for kids who usually only listen to T.I. and Boosie, and introduced them to a new world by sharing their story and opening their minds to something different. That’s the kind of motivation and energy this city needs.
Saturday night, their crowd was a lot more adult.
The venue was filled with lovers of the arts, including one of last month’s features, Poetic X; NSpired, several of the regular visitors from The Shreveport Times (shoutout to Donecia Pea and the crew), local producer/musician Tashakka Stills, Red River Radio host Eric Jenkins, and La. State Rep. Roy Burrell.
Regardless of their occupations or positions in everyday life, that night everyone was family. A family who came to that Café to enjoy the show -- together.
The minute Mahogany Dust hit the stage, the energy shifted in the Café. It went from the low hum of random conversation to silence and awe.
DNA opened the show telling their musical history and from the first strum of Gi-Twice’s guitar, all eyes were on them.
They performed songs from both their CDs, 2007’s “Livin’” and 2008’s “Experience”. From the playful but poignant “Do What You Want Do” (from Experience) to the motivational “Livin’” (from their debut CD), the applause seemed to get louder after every song.
Front and center for the entire show was a table of their family members who came out for support (DNA is Shreveport native and Gi-Twice is from Tallulah). Even their 5-year-old daughter London was in attendance, and you could tell she was one of their biggest fans.
The rest of the crowd showed them immense love and appreciation and Mahogany Dust gave it right back through poetry and song.
They even performed the song that made me a fan (“Today” from Experience), and in completely lifted my spirit after a long, stressful week.
I think Mahogany Dust lifted a lot of spirits Saturday night. Even Rick, the host, commented that he was inspired that living his dream as an actor is the right choice for him. His affirmation was their music and their story of taking chances and making sacrifices to live out their dream.
Judging by the crowd that came to share in that dream ... Mahogany Dust made the right choice.
Check them out at http://www.mahoganydust.net/ or at www.myspace.com/mahoganydust1 . You can also check out some of their live performances HERE and see more photos from the show HERE.
Saturday, December 5
Go check out Mahogany Dust at Just a Little Cafe' tonight. The married duo mixes classic soul and spoken word (which they call Spoken Soul).
Along with their acoustic guitars (and occassional production), it's an amazing display of artistry.
Just a Little Cafe is located at 420 Marshall St. in downtown Shreveport. Admission to this event is $10. Doors open at 7 pm, Show starts around 8 pm.
Check out a preview of the event HERE. And check them out on You-Tube HERE.
Wednesday, December 2
Help give joy to children in need this holiday season by supporting the SWIFT FOUNDATION's inaugural TOY DRIVE.
This Friday, December 4th, the Foundation will be collection toys at the Bijou (formerly MacArthur's Steakhouse in the Red River District). The event will run from 5:30pm - 8:30pm.
The foundation is asking that you bring ONE NEW UNWRAPPED, UNOPENED TOY to support the drive. All toys will be given to the children living at the YWCA Family Violence Shelter.
Along with the warm feeling you get from helping others, supporters will enjoy drink specials, door prizes, and free hors d'oeuvres while they last.
If you are unable to attend, organizers are accepting them by mail as well. The address is P.O Box 8030, Shreveport LA, 71148.
The Swift Foundation is headed by Shreveport native and NBA player, Stromile Swift, who believes in the importance of making a difference in the lives of Shreveport-Bossier City’s underserved families.
The Swift Foundation was founded in the summer of 2008. It's primary focus is supporting local community, educational, and personal development programs and organizations while also raising awareness for individuals struggling with kidney-related diseases.
Shreveport residents can attend three meetings in the next two days to sound off on the city’s master planning process.
A public hearing on the plan’s principles is set for today at 6 p.m. in chambers at Government Plaza, 505 Travis St.
Core issues include:
• Working together. Having a united, welcoming city that also serves as a regional hub.
• Greenways. Using trails and waterways for walking or biking as recreation or to get from place to place.
• Job growth. Building on the companies here and attracting industries to draw younger workers known as the "creative class."
• City branding. Helping Shreveport find its identity plus ways to communicate that to other areas.
• Environmental friendliness. Having a successful and healthy city.
North Shreveport residents also can tell consultants what they consider important landmarks and values for their neighborhoods.
These gatherings were postponed because of bad weather in October. Other sections of town have already given their input.
Shreveporters can head to either Green Oaks High School, 2550 Thomas E. Howard Dr., or Louisiana Technical College Shreveport-Bossier Campus, 2010 North Market St. Both meetings run from 6-8:30 p.m.