Archive for February, 2013

February 21, 2013

Arts in the Valley, Saturday, February 23, (8 pm), and Sunday, February 24 (2 pm), 2013, 1480 KYOS AM, Merced, CA

by arthouseflower

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tune into Arts in the Valley this Saturday, February 23rd at 8 pm, and Sunday, February 24th at 2 pm. Arts in the Valley host Kim McMillon will interview Colby, a volunteer with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, who helped organize the Chowchilla Freedom Rally on Saturday, January 26 to call attention to overcrowding in the Central California Women’s Facility. Mary, a former inmate at CCWP, will also be interviewed.
The information below, and the photos from the rally were taken from journalist Wanda Sabir’s blog,

Click onto the link to listen to the interview on overcrowding in the Central California Women’s Prison in Chowchilla: prison overcrowding

Women, incarcerated as young as 16 serving life without the possibility of parole sent statements to be read, while youth advocates and recently released women spoke about what it was like for the families and loved ones of incarcerated mothers, sisters, wives, daughters.

What made the Freedom Rally so powerful was the shared support – men, women, children, some too young to stand on their own – Tulare County residents, school teachers, students, plus buses and carloads from throughout California – Youth Justice Coalition traveling from LA on a bus without a toilet. Debbie Reyes, California Prison Moratorium Project, Krys, survivor of Valley State Prison, Oday Guerro, Dream Team, Primero de Mayo Comite spoke followed by Thao Ngyuen of “Thao and the Get Down, Stay Down” (“We the Commons”), who shared a lovely song with us, composed for a woman behind the walls we stood in front of.

At one point in the song, the chorus which we all sang sounded like a bird call. Julio Marquez and Leslie Mendoza, youth organizers from Youth Justice Coalition, spoke, followed by an impassioned high school teacher with a law degree, Ralph Avitia, Fresno Brown Berets, California Prison Moratorium Project. Cerrita Wilson, advocate against injustice everywhere, and Alisha Murdock, peer mentor in Project WHAT, whose mother spent time behind the walls of CCWF, spoke about what changed in her life when she lost her mother to prison for four years. Her mother needed a treatment program, not prison, she stated.

As we stood close together, ignoring the police patrolling the street in front of the prison, solidarity statements were also shared by Critical Resistance, Occupy 4 Prisoners, represented by Kevin Cooper, Global Women’s Strike and Melvin Dickson for the Black Panther Party.

When Samantha Rogers read a statement from an 81-year-old woman transferred to CCWF, I just had to shake my head after I realized I hadn’t heard Samantha wrong – 81 one years old in prison?! When she visited a doctor, he said: “You’re old. You’re going to die anyway. You don’t need any tests.” That day, those at risk were paired with those with minimal risk – no strikes with one-two strikes – the goal Manuel La Fontaine, All of Us or None, stated to the Peace Keepers during their briefing was to make sure that everyone left at the end of the day. Bright pink armbands on to indicate their status, they kept us out of the street and interceded with the police when needed to keep the march safe and without incident. When night fell and the Liberation Brass Orchestra had played their last tune outside VSP again, Manuel was standing in the street directing foot traffic.

February 20, 2013

Arts in the Valley, Saturday, February 16 (8 PM), and Sunday, February 17 (2 PM), 2013, 1480 KYOS AM, Merced, CA

by arthouseflower

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tune into Arts in the Valley as host Kim McMillon interviews David Hilliard, a founder member and Chief of Staff of the Black Panther Party, and UC Merced’s Producing Manager Gail Benedict about this Saturday’s production of Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men.

To listen to David Hilliard, Click onto the link:black panther
David Hilliard, a founding member and Chief of Staff of the Black Panther Party, is an incomparable authority on the life, legacy, and intellectual history of Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton. Indeed, no other scholar of or direct participant in the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s offers a more intimate understanding of Newton’s activism and ideas. First as childhood classmates and later as young adult comrades in the African-American freedom struggle, Hilliard enjoyed a close association with Newton that endured throughout the Black Panther leader’s lifetime.

Hilliard is author of the book, This Side of Glory, a compelling personal narrative and electrifying eyewitness account of the Black Panther Party, which highlights Newton’s fearless crusade against police brutality and other examples of social injustice. Hilliard’s life story dramatically illuminates this revolutionary movement and explains much of the U.S.’s present racial and political troubles. Hilliard’s thoughtful, well-balanced insights into Newton’s complex personality dramatizes the contradictions between the revolutionary icon and the private citizen.

By the early 1970s, the Black Panthers were a nationwide/global organization providing free food, medicine, and legal services to the inner city poor. Hilliard’s book provides a first-hand account of Huey Newton’s shoot-out, the killing of Fred Hampton, how money was raised and spent, the sexual mores of the Panthers, and how illegal activities erupted and were controlled. The Panthers, once labeled, “the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States,” by FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, began to dissolve as police raids, gun battles, IRS investigations, trials, and prison terms decimated their ranks. Covert tactics turned Panthers against each other. What the government had not destroyed, the Panthers finished themselves.

Hilliard is currently at work on the first ever biography of the Black Panther leader, Huey, the Spirit of the Panther, to be published in 2005 by Thunder’s Mouth Press.

Since 1993, David Hilliard has directed the activities of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, a grass-roots community-based non-profit organization committed to preserving and fostering Newton’s intellectual legacy. The Foundation has collected Newton’s writings covering the Huey P. Newton Reader, (Seven Stories, 2002), and his early work, To Die for the People, in addition to reissuing Newton’s autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide. A photographic history of the Party, The Legacy of the Panthers, has also been published. Hilliard’s work with the Foundation has been featured in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times, as well as on National Public Radio and the Pacifica Radio Network.

Now an internationally recognized authority on Newton and the Black Panther Party, David Hilliard teaches at Merritt College, Laney College, and New College, and lectures frequently throughout the United States. He was an advisor on the feature film, “Panther,” and on the Spike Lee-produced, “A Huey P. Newton Story.”
For more information, visit

To listen to Gail Benedict discuss the production of Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, click onto the link:uc merced

“Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men”
BY | Dael Orlandersmith
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 7:30 pm
UC Merced’s Dr. Lakireddy Auditorium
GAIL BENEDICT, Producing Manager
DUNYA RAMICOVA, Artistic Manager
“Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men”
runs 90 minutes with no intermission.
Audience members are invited to stay after
the performance for a discussion with the
artist and a panel of experts.
Not suitable for children under the age of 16
Dael Orlandersmith previously collaborated with the Goodman on “Stoop Stories”
during the 2009/2010 season. Orlandersmith first performed “Stoop Stories” in 2008
at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series;
Washington, DC’s, Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009.
“Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men” was developed as a co-commission between the
Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May 2012. Her play
“Horsedreams” was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage
and Film Company in 2008. It was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in
2011. “Bones” was commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum where it premiered in 2010.
Orlandersmith premiered “The Blue Album,” in collaboration with David Cale, at Long
Wharf Theatre in 2007.
“Yellowman” was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production
with The Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer
Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding
Actress in a Play for “Yellowman” in 2002. “The Gimmick,” commissioned by McCarter
Theatre, premiered in its Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and went on to great
acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Orlandersmith won
the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for “The Gimmick” in 1999.
Her play “Monster” premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in November 1996. Orlandersmith
has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry)
throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. “Yellowman” and a collection of
her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service.
Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the
recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for
Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award
for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights
Fellowship and an Obie Award for “Beauty’s Daughter.”

KIM MCMILLON, moderator
KATIE BROKAW, professor of literature
LINDA CAMERON, professor of psychology
DAVID LOCKRIDGE, founder and executive director, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
Overcomers Program

February 15, 2013

Arts in the Valley, Saturday (8 PM), and Sunday (2 PM), 1480 KYOS AM

by arthouseflower

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tune into Arts in the Valley on Saturday, and Sunday, March 1 and 2 to listen to host Kim McMillon interview James Smethurst, associate professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, discuss his book The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s.

To Listen to James Smethurst’s interview, click onto the link:James-Smethurst-The-Black-Arts-Movement

James Smethurst

Emerging from a matrix of Old Left, black nationalist, and bohemian ideologies and institutions, African American artists and intellectuals in the 1960s coalesced to form the Black Arts Movement, the cultural wing of the Black Power Movement. In this comprehensive analysis, James Smethurst examines the formation of the Black Arts Movement and demonstrates how it deeply influenced the production and reception of literature and art in the United States through its negotiations of the ideological climate of the Cold War, decolonization, and the civil rights movement. Taking a regional approach, Smethurst examines variations in the character of the local expressions of the nascent Black Arts Movement, a movement distinctive in its geographical reach and diversity, while always keeping the frame of the larger movement in view. The Black Arts Movement, he argues, fundamentally changed American attitudes about the relationship between popular culture and “high” art and dramatically transformed the landscape of public funding for the arts

“A richly insightful and informative account of the often occluded racial dynamics of early modernism.”
–Journal of American Studies

“The most comprehensive work published to date on the Black Arts Movement, painstakingly detailing the movement’s national thrust. . . . This book is a monumental achievement and will serve as the definitive text on the movement for some time to come.”
–Journal of African American History

“Smethurst… has written a tour-de-force that will quickly become the definitive analysis of the sprawling and internally contradictory entity known as the Black Arts movement.”
–Against the Current

“Mapping important connections and offering a cornucopia of information, The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s is a truly valuable contribution to the study of American letters. Smethurst gets it right! His thorough research and astute analysis overcome two decades of deliberate critical misrepresentation to help us examine a tumultuous era when visionary leadership and nationwide grassroots participation created a dynamic, paradigm-changing cultural renaissance.”–Lorenzo Thomas, University of Houston-Downtown

About the Author
James Smethurst is associate professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is the author of The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946 and The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s, winner of the Organization of American Historians’ James A. Rawley Prize.

February 11, 2013

Arts in the Valley, February 9 & 10, 2013, 1480 KYOS, Merced, CA

by arthouseflower

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Saturday, February 9, Arts in the Valley Host Kim McMillon will interview Poet Laureate of California Juan Felipe Herrera and award-winning musician and poet Avotcja. The show will air on 1480 KYOS AM at 8 pm on Saturday, and 2 pm on Sunday. You can also listen to the show on Arts in the Valley on Facebook.

To Listen to Juan Felip Herrera’s interview, click onto the link:juan-1

Juan Felipe Herrera is the author of twenty-eight books and currently serves as the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. He was a professor and chair of Chicano and Latin American Studies at California State University, Fresno, from 1990 to 2004 and a teaching assistant fellow at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa from 1988 to 1990.

‘Herrera’s work has received wide critical acclaim including numerous national and international awards. In a 2008 review of his work, Stephen Burt of the New York Times wrote, “All life, all art, involves boundaries, if only those of birth and death. Some poets keep us conscious of those boundaries; others, like Herrera, discover their powers by defying them. Many poets since the 1960s have dreamed of a new hybrid art, part oral, part written, part English, part something else: an art grounded in ethnic identity, fueled by collective pride, yet irreducibly individual too. Many poets have tried to create such an art: Herrera is one of the first to succeed.”’

To listen to Avotcja, click onto the link:avotcha-1
Avotcja has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe, and in more Anthologies than she remembers. She is an award winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist who has opened for Betty Carter in New York City, Peru’s Susana Baca at San Francisco’s Encuentro Popular & Cuba’s Gema y Pável, played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobi & Luis Cespedes, John Handy, Sonido Afro Latina, Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Poets With Attitudes, Bombarengue, Nikki Giovanni, Los Angeles’ Build An Ark, Dwight Trible, Diamano Coura West African Dance Co., Terry Garthwaite, Big Black, The Bay Area Blues Society & Caribeana Etc.

Shared stages with Sonia Sanchez, Piri Thomas, Janice Mirikitani, Diane DiPrima, Michael Franti, Jayne Cortez, & with Jose Montoya’s Royal Chicano Air Force & is a Bay Area icon with her group Avotcja & Modúpue. She Avotcja was the opening act for the legendary Poet Pat Parker the last three years of her life. both composed & performed the film score for the Danish documentary MuNu. Her Poetry &/or music has been recorded by Piri Thomas, Famadou Don Moye (of The Art Ensemble Of Chicago), Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Ensemble, & performed by The Purple Moon Dance Project, and was the 1st Poetry performed by New York’s Dance Mobile. She’s appeared at The Lorraine Hansberry Theater in S. F., The Asian-American Jazz Festival in Chicago, as well as The Asian-American Jazz Festival in San Francisco.

February 2, 2013

Arts in the Valley, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 (8 PM), and Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, 2 PM, Merced, Ca

by arthouseflower

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tune into Arts in the Valley this Saturday, when host Kim McMillon interviews UC Merced Graduate Student Marco Valesi on the upcoming student conference From Monadism to Nomadism, homegrown Merced filmmaker Don Starnes, and the Merced Shakespeare Festival founder Heike Hambley on her upcoming production of Hamlet.

To listen to Marco Valesi discuss the conference, click onto the link: mark
The Annual Center for Research in the Humanities & Arts Graduate Students conference will be held at the campus of the University of California, Merced on April 12-13, 2013. From Monadism to Nomadism: A Hybrid Approach to Cultural Productions will focus on the intersection and interplay of cultural studies, the social sciences, and the humanities, encouraging the exploration of various theoretical frameworks, case studies and fieldwork, and research. The conference will explore constructed worlds in all their visual manifestations and encourages submissions that deal with the idea of a world that is not preexisting and fixed, but constructed, or in the process of creation.
The working languages are English and Spanish. There is no registration fee for this conference.

To listen to Don Starnes discuss filmmaking, click onto the link: don
Don Starnes grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California, where he learned lighting from cirrus clouds on summer days and winter tule fog. He received a degree in film production from San Francisco State University, made many short films and worked in most areas of film production before becoming a Director of Photography in 1985.

Don has photographed commercials, several features and music videos and lots of corporate, documentary and television shows for many big name companies.

One documentary that he photographed won an International Documentary Association award. Another was nominated for an Emmy. Short films have won prestigious festival awards. Several of the corporate pieces have won CINE Golden Eagle, Telly and ITVA Golden Vision awards. Commercials have won regional ad awards. Features have screened in festivals and been distributed theatrically and on cable.

For more information on Don Starnes and his work, please visit
To listen to Heike Hambley discuss the Merced ShakespeareFest, click onto the link: hieka
Merced ShakespeareFest opens its 12th Season with William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy!

February 22nd – March 3rd, 2013
at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center

TICKETS AND INFO: 209.723.3265

NOTE: There will also be two performances in Mariposa, CA. The dates of these performances are Friday and Saturday March 8th and 9th at 7:30 p.m. inside the Mariposa County Park Aphitheater.

%d bloggers like this: