The Spotlight: The Veggie Mobile Market

This month’s Spotlight is on The Veggie Mobile Market. The brain child of food justice advocate Tanya Fields, the veggie mobile market will offer fresh produce to neighborhoods that don’t have access to them or have access to poor quality produce. Check out the video below to find out more information and how you can help make this a reality!

 

Pictures from South Bronx Unite’s Will Sing for Food fundraiser event for The Veggie Mobile Market will be up on my Facebook soon!

Advertisements

The Spotlight: Chief 69

This month’s Spotlight is on Renaissance man, Nelson “Chief 69 Seda: 

Chief 69

You were born in Brooklyn, what brought you to the Bronx? What neighborhood do you represent? :
I was Born in Brooklyn yes, then moved around from Fl. back to NYC and as a young child moved all over from the Bronx , Harlem , Lower East Side , and then ended up back in the boogie down Bronx. I like to say I don’t just represent one neighborhood of the Bronx but I am from the Fort apache area..I consider myself a beacon of light to all of the greater South Bronx being I am  in many ways a product of the environment as a whole.
You wear a lot of hats – emcee, bboy, graffiti artist- how do these roles complement each other? Do they all serve as different ways of promoting a similar message or theme? 

I practice most of the HIP HOP elements mainly because of my knack to envelop myself truly into things I am drawn to , also in many ways the elements in my eyes at least have no real separation , you see when I do writing or graffiti it is comparable to the dynamic feats of the Dance I do , When I emcee it is the same poetic flow I place into the creation of Burners on a wall or in a blackbook. In many ways being I am in different circles I get to have different ways to stay inspired I realize people who only Emcee or only do Graffiti can easily become bored with HIP HOP because they are mentally so boxed in and don’t have a much broad perspective on what is really beneath the surface.I try to have all my work on a basic level to be straightforward for the most part in addressing social ills and bringing forth substance and clarity to a misrepresented , diluted Culture…I like to think my work is a tool of reminding my audience of what HIP HOP not only was because I don’t live in the past but what HIP HOP truly IS…

What are your top three favorite places in the Bronx?

My top 3 favorite places in the Bronx in no particular order are…

  •  MY HOUSE – I like to be home around my work and in my creative space.
  • Crotona Park – in the summertime I love to attend the events to hear good music and rock out , meet a  child and show them REAL skills It brings me a lot of joy to teach kids and make new friends in the park jams …this has always been a common denominator in many peoples lives who are involved in HIP  HOP
  • My neighborhood and really all of the Bronx around me because I feel the people have a specific walk , talk and demeanor about them that I find comforting , I feel at home here and when I go downtown or travel out of NYC I miss The Bronx , there is NO PLACE LIKE IT
Are there any upcoming projects you’re working on now that we should look out for?

Well, I have a lot in the works …still working on my Album project  “Knowledge of Self” , which had some setbacks due to my crazy agenda , I am also planning on doing a lot more work in the South Bronx along the lines of Community Murals , Youth Programming , Showcases and Performances and creating opportunities for my friends and HIP HOP family around me so we can all prosper and get QUALITY HIP HOP out there.

…BIG UPs go to all my crews , TBB,UZN,FRC,SSB,WOTS,MW…… I would also like to note my inspirations on a last acknowledgment that my work would be Impossible if not for a few KEY individuals below:

– Rock Steady Crew – all members past and present gave me the foresight to what I could manifest.
– James Brown – keeps me FUNKY.
– Bruce Lee – keeps me focused.
– EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF USA. – even with its many faults the teachers and students created the person I am today… THANK YOU….
PEACE AND ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE !!…

The Spotlight: Miss Bronx 2013 Pageant

This month’s Spotlight is a bit different than the Spotlights of the past because it focuses on an event rather than an individual. Nevertheless, keep reading to find out more!

Vonni & Walter Newsome

From co-Executive Director, Vonni Newsome:

The Miss Bronx Pageant is a member of the Miss New York Organization.  The winner of the pageant will go on to compete for the Miss New York title as well as receive a full scholarship to Future Star Studios and an educational scholarship.  It will allow women through an open forum to express their talents, and opinions and achieve their professional and personal goals. All contestants are women from the 5 boroughs which include students from NYU Graduate School, Pace University, Wagner College, Fordham University and local High schools. Musical and dance performances by award winning dance troupe “Glorious Warriors” and a complimentary cocktail hour will also take place.

This event is being organized to help young women pay for college and prepare for a career in the field of their choosing. It also is helping to provide an opportunity to gain additional life experience by working and speaking on issues that affect their communities.

Walter Newsome is a Bronx City Council candidate who is organizing and sponsoring this event. He took on this venture because of his strong beliefs in Women’s Rights, Education and Community Service.

The event will be held Sunday, March 24th, 2013 from 7pm-10pm at the Bronx Museum of the Arts 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456.

Miss Bronx Pageant 2013 is open to the public and ticket prices are $40.00.

To RSVP: www.facebook.com/MissBronx2013

Ticket Sales: www.eventbrite.com/event/5832728849/efbevent

The Spotlight: Morgan Powell

This month’s Spotlight is on Morgan Powell, a writer, landscape designer, and founder of Bronx River Sankofa.

MorganKristopherPowell

Are you originally from the Bronx? If so, which part? If not, where are you originally from and what brought you to the Bronx? 

I’ve lived in the Bronx since I was 1 year old.  I’ve now lived in three apartments between Gun Hill Road and Pelham Parkway since 1974.

What might Bronxites be surprised to learn about African American history in the Bronx?

Some of the less expected Black Bronx research revelations include over 50 historically important 20th century figures buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, unsigned African burial grounds within public parks, a much richer civil rights heritage than most people seem to have ever considered, numerous business people of note making their stamp on society in these parts and a vastly deeper pre-WW II community profile and journey than most had ever hear of.  My favorite story is of the Jamaican-American Vietnam War Veteran who founded the orchid collection at the New York Botanical Garden and worked there for 19 years.

You chose to include the Akan word ‘Sankofa,’ which means “go back and get it,” describing the journey of drawing on the past for wisdom and strength, to describe your organization. How can Bronxites get involved in this movement? 

Bronx River Sankofa is an environmental and cultural spinoff from a larger effort that will make big news this year.  2013 is the 10th anniversary of the Bronx African American History Project for which many public programs are upcoming. Also, there are great videos, transcribed interviews and more which all may search on the web wherever they geographically.  I encourage all to type our project names in quotation marks into any search engine!

What are your top three favorite places in the Bronx?

It’s hard to isolate just three however I offer: a) hiking trails in Van Cortlandt Park, b) the Bronx Walk of Fame on the Grand Concourse, and c) Feeding Tree Jamaican restaurant on Gerard Avenue just a few storefronts north of 161st Street!

Are there any upcoming events or projects we should look out for?

What’s Good in My Hood?  Beginning time and location: March 9, 2013 11:00 a.m.  Zimmerman’s Park (Barker to Olinville Avenue off Allerton Avenue; 1 block from the Allerton Avenue train station).

This all new interactive walking tour is designed for all ages.  We will explore the joy of lifelong learning by looking at neighborhood parks and landmarks. How many flowers, bushes and trees in your local parks can you name?  Do you enjoy local wildlife like migrating butterflies and birds?  Is there a special building near your home you’ve always wanted to know more about? Great, this tour is designed to empower you to find answers! This program is co-presented by G.I.V.E. (Getting Involved Virginia Avenue Efforts) and the Bronx River Alliance.

The Spotlight: Intikana

This month’s Bronxite in The Spotlight is activist/poet/artist and 2010 BRIO Award winner, Intikana!

What part of the Bronx are you from? 

I was born and raised on the northeast side of The Bronx. Gun Hill area between the 2 and 5 train.
Your one man show, Penumbra, focused on your experience growing up in the Bronx and utilized different multimedia elements. What was it like preparing and presenting such a personal and complex story on stage?
Preparing and presenting Penumbra was a very transformative process for me. It took a lot of work, patience, and dedication. It also allowed me to share my story of growing up in the Bronx in such a way that was therapeutic and provided healing. The initial rehearsals were difficult because of the level of vulnerability I was exposing myself to. However, over time, I began to feel comfortable on stage. Through hosting talkbacks after the show where audiences were able to ask questions, I learned that there were many people who related to elements of the play and were moved to make changes in their own lives. That was very encouraging and made it all worth it. In 2013, I intend on releasing a published copy of the script and in the coming years, I will be turning Penumbra into a movie.
 A lot of your work has very strong political and cultural messages in it. How important would you say having access to creative outlets is for people, especially Bronxites, who want to get involved in their communities and voice their concerns? 
Having access to creative outlets is essential to both cultural survival and personal sanity. Art is a medium that grants us the opportunity to share how we see the world. Be it through music, film, theater, photography, painting, etc. Math, science, language, astrology…these too are all forms of art. We are often taught that art is separate from everything else and many times it’s not given the same importance. But it is extremely important. It enhances the human experience. I encourage all “Bronxites” to take advantage of all creative outlets available to us and most definitely get involved with community organizations that have our best interests at heart.
What are your top three favorite places in the Bronx? 
This is hard because I love a lot of places in the Bronx for different reasons. The following is in no particular order:
Friends of Brook Park
 Any upcoming projects we should look out for?
Currently, I’m working on completing a new mixtape entitled “Native Eyes.” It will be a compilation of songs that speak from the native-indigenous person’s perspective. I’m really excited about this project because I will be releasing Hip Hop music that intertwines both the personal and political. This one has been a long time coming and will be available on my website www.intikana.net (Sign up for the email list!). There is no release date as of yet but I will be releasing a new music video to promote the project before the end of 2012. Stay tuned!

The Spotlight: Ray Felix

I’m really excited to present a new feature on the blog called The Spotlight. Here’s where I’ll shine the digital spotlight on a Bronxite who’s doing awesome things in the borough. For the inaugural edition, I interviewed the Director of Bronx Comic Con, Ray Felix!

What part of the Bronx are you from?

I grew up on Carpenter Ave and 226th street in a private house. My dad was from Puerto Rico and lived in Spanish Harlem, then moved to University Ave with my mom who was Colombian. When I was born he moved to the North Bronx.

 How did the idea for Bronx Comic Con come about? What was the planning and launching process like?

The idea for heroes based in the Bronx borough came through my growing up reading white heroes that didn’t represent me as an individual and frustration with trying to break into the comic book industry after high school and through college, which led me to self publishing my own comics. The Bronx Heroes Comic Con came about through an art show in which I curated called, “Dream Sequence”. It was composed of both fine art and comics. Bronx Heroes followed the opening of that show as an extension of the exhibit featuring exclusively comic artists.

How was this year’s Comic Con different from last year’s?

This Year’s Bronx Heroes Comic Convention was more focused on careers in the comic industry even more so, because we just didn’t do workshops on drawing or technique, but we  included panels such as “Women in Comics” hosted by Regine Sawyer and “Making it Happen: How to get into the comic industry” hosted by Rob Taylor with guest Eric Battle and N.Steven Harris.
My assistant Vanessa also spearheaded a blood drive which was something we had talked about doing for about a year, since I had returned from Africa with Alex Simmons and Eugene Addams of Kids Comic Con.

 What are your top 3 favorite places in the Bronx?

My three favorite places to go in the Bronx are 1) Bedford Diner, 2) Bruckner Bar and Grill, 3)Home. Because home is where the Heart is. I also like hanging at the Longwood Art Gallery and the Bronx Museum.

 Any upcoming projects or events we should look out for?

I plan to be showcasing the Bronx Heroes at this years “Latin Mixx Conference” in Manhattan this July.(www.latinmixx.com) New York Comic Con in October and hopefully we’ll be cooking up with something for the fall, but I can’t say. It’s Top Secret. Stay tuned to our site for updates www.bxhcc.com

 

Know someone who should be in The Spotlight? Shoot me an email at Lisa@thebronxsocialite.com!