Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tim'm West Celebrates the 1st Anniversary of the Front Porch at Busboys and Poets in DC

Live in the DC/MD/VA area? Or are you going to be in the District on Thursday Dec. 1 (like me)? Then come hear/see/experience one of the best hip-hop artist around as Tim'm West celebrates the 1st anniversary of the "Front Porch." Tim'm has been recognized by everyone from Keith Boykin to Newsweek magazine for his fantastic talent. Normally held on the first Thursday of each month at Cafe Mawonaj in DC, the show will take place instead at Busboys and Poets.

Here are details followed by a word from Tim'm:

December 1 , 2005
Front Porch at BusBoys and Poets
Celebrate Our 1st Anniversary Show!
As Tim'm presents "The Front Porch"
family, flow, friends, funk
Busboys and Poets
14th and V Streets, NW
(near U Street Metro/Green Line)
Washington, DC
9pm FREE!!!!
December (World AIDS Day)
Monica McIntyre (Philly) with Marcia McIntyre
Ayanna Muhammad (Chicago)

Monica McIntyre is a talented cellist, vocalist, and lyricist who started playing the cello at the age of 7. Ms. McIntyre is originally from Hyattsville, MD where she studied classical cello for 11 years. Monica came to Philadelphia, PA to study Fashion Design at Drexel University. Her debut album Blusolaz was released in October 2003. Monica has performed at The Black Women's Art Festival 2003, Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2003, Soul Sista's Jukejoint GA 2004, The Philadelphia Underground Music Phestival (PUMP) 2004 and Women Against Abuse 2005. She was also featured in BInformed Magazine 2004, The Writer Blocks 2004, Philadelphia Arts Writers (PAW) 2004, MagnaPhone Magazine 2004 and The City Paper, PA 2004. Look out for Abuse, Monica McIntyre's newest project to be released in the Fall of 2005. She will be joined on December 1st, by her sister violinist Marcia McIntyre!

Ayanna Muhammad is a Chicago native who has become very active in the LGBT community. She is a model, actress, dancer, writer and performance artist who uses her talents as a platform to entertain and inform. In her latest and dearest venture as a spoken word artist, Ayanna has traveled the country sharing her words and experiences with her national LGBT family. As an educator, she has worked with groups of gay, lesbian and trans teens building a network of resources and providing safe spaces and activities. Her students have volunteered with HIV/AIDS organizations doing community education/ outreach projects and providing direct services to HIV/AIDS positive patients and their families. This spring, Ayanna’s first collection of poetry, Raw Sugar, will be published with a national tour scheduled for the summer of 2006. Ayanna is a member of a lesbian performance group, POW-WOW Poets, in Chicago.

And now an open letter to you from Tim'm:

Dear Front Porch Family,

Spirit moves in remarkable ways. Something was bugging me while teaching at school on Tuesday and I came home earlier than normal with a fatigue I couldn't explain. Soon after arriving home, I started getting word from several sources that Café Mawonaj, the site where I've been holding the monthly soul/spoken word/hip hop showcase "The Front Porch", experienced a fire over Thanksgiving weekend, leaving the equipment and kitchen damaged and the space, generally uninhabitable (details at the very end of this message). Please show them your support as they try to rebuild their space in a community that much needs their presence and sense of awareness.

I immediately thought about the relevance of celebrating one-year of the "Front Porch", a safe space where people embrace the intimacy and fellowship of "family", friends, and sharing, much like I grew up experiencing as a kid on Arkansas front porches. I thought about the Ayanna Muhammad and Monica McIntyre traveling from Chicago and Philadelphia, respectively to honor one-year of this tradition. The show would have to go on. Being a pretty resourceful guy who has performed in a variety of venues in DC, I thought about alternative locations in the NW area that would be just a few minutes away, in the event that people don't get this notice and have to rely on signs posted at Mawonaj.

I called Andy Shallal, owner of Busboys and Poets www.busboysandpoets.com, who I had the good fortune to meet on several occasions during poetry or literary events there. Busboys and Poets seems an ideal space for the event because of their teaching and activist bookstore, their excellent restaurant, as well as their dedicated space called the "Langston Room", named after Langston Hughes, who himself was a busboy and a poet while he lived in DC. The Langston room has been a inspirational repository for cutting edge performance, film, and literary showcases. Andy Shallal was incredibly understanding and sympathetic to the crisis at hand and permitted me to advertise our move to Busboys and Poets for the December Anniversary event!!! We begin the event at 9 pm rather than the usual 8 pm, so it is important that people get there promptly. The space is open so you are even encouraged to eat or grab a bite at the usual 8 pm and enter the space as soon as it becomes available. This will undoubtedly mean a shortened open-mic session, but you'll certainly have an opportunity to hear Chicago's Ayanna Muhammad, Philly's Monica McIntyre (who will again be joined by her sister, Marcia), and your host, that Tim'm guy. December 1st is also World AIDS Day, so I've asked that the features bring at least a piece of work that honors the occasion and our commitment to the cause beyond this date.

I ask that you spread the word to as many as you know about the change in location. Upon your arrival, I also encourage you to let the staff at Busboys and Poets know how grateful you are that they've opened their doors to us. I had already pitched moving the "Front Porch" to their space, but they couldn't, at the time, secure every first Thursday. Perhaps a strong show of support can help them reconsider that decision-- help them realize that there's no other space like the "Front Porch" (anywhere) and that supporting and preserving it, in a space committed to activist arts and education, is a match made in heaven.

Thank you for your indulgence, and I look forward to celebrating one year of the "Front Porch" at Busboys and Poets with you on Thursday evening!

Tim'm T. West

And from the Fratman1906, shem hotep!

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