Brownsville Anti-Violence Project

b91b695fd3e210ca365b366edea6591d6ba00b5e7b24e4d721f0beeac7e874b63773ce21c467db0612560b034c0b4abf1The Arts against Violence: Changing the Narrative of Brownsville community-wide project
 at the Van Dyke Community Center on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 8pm, the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project (BAVP) and its’ advisory boards have planned a grand summer finale.
Tatu from Xmental inc invited me to join in on the opportunity to help.
Many kids now a days, don’t have an outlet to escape from their harsh surroundings,
Art is one of the ways you can express yourself in a positive manner.

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Xmental is a coalition of community organizers, artists, and teachers committed to mentoring and educating urban youth.

We are an organization devoted to creating a safe space for our youth to practice creative self-expression and develop positive mindsets, self confidence, and self awareness.

3I arrived with my photographer for the day, My Mr.Minx 🙂 and got to work right away.4I loved how all the staff and the kids of the community center were all representing wearing purple for anti violence.

It made me think of my cousin Jasmine, but for some reason, I smiled instead of getting all down on the dumps.

She would be proud of all the work that’s being into put into the awareness of anti-violence.

Anti-violence from not only a domestic standpoint, but from bullying, gang related incidents etc.5This was my colorful palette, I couldn’t resist taking the camera from Q and snapping a quick pic.6

There was speakers, raising awareness, poets, photographers. kids displaying work, dancers….

like these cute girls from a local church.

I loved how graceful they will spin, plus no vulgar dancing!!!

Just like girls their age should be dancing, no twerking please!

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This pretty lady here is also a talented poet, and though I failed to get her name( booooo me),  I made sure I complimented her on her great hair.

I thought she was simply beautiful.

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Patty Eljaiek ‘s canvas. She’s so talented. Her watercolors are on tissue, like bounty tissue paper! Who even thinks of that?

She also used picture clippings, markers and others…talk about mixed media.

Plus her faces turn out amazing!10

↑This baby right here will be made into a mural soon, I can’t wait to see the end result.11Now, this ↑ wall right here, what a story.

I had the pleasure of falling in awe with these works by an 8 year old talented little girl.

8 years old, can you imagine?

The use of space is on point, she covers everything, and has a great eye for color.

If her age isn’t enough for you, she is also diagnosed with autism.

I’ve never had the chance of meeting a future artist, let alone in her early years.

She seemed really shy, but I couldn’t help but give her compliments.

Her mother explained, they barely can afford art materials, but no worries because  Xmental inc. will make sure she has supplies to keep the art coming!

121314

This gorgeous little beauty, and noooo I’m not talking about Q…haha ( you cute too boo) blew my mind away.

This 11 year old mc by the name of Tayahna is waaaaaaay too talented for her own good.

Not only did she have bars, writing her own songs, she captivated the audience like I never expected.

The crowd was clapping to her beat, singing along with her, and to top it all off, she burst into some killer dance moves and had everybody on their feet.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I see her on t.v. or hear her in the radio in years to come.

I was lucky to meet her and I wish her nothing but success in her future endeavors.

You can find her on Youtube here.15

↑ Photographs that were displayed.

↓These awesome fellas displayed their colorful work and were all smiles =]

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It was a great event and I was so happy to be part of something good.

Not but not least, here is my canvas, which I had no idea on what I wanted to do, but then again, when is that new?

haha.

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Hold the Ball

basketball1a

Last year 2012 there were 25 shooting and 6 deaths associated with summer basketball alone.

In May 2013 organizations came together to form a think tank to address this dimension of gun violence. Some organizations became involved because they were inspired by personnel stories others said enough was enough, and others said let’s be about doing something. 2

The XMENTAL way is to mentor through the power of art, and there’s no better host than Tatu himself.3The mission is to empower the community with the tools to keep parks safe, incorporating games, positive hip hop, and the sharing of information.

A tribute and community project to raise awareness on violence.

Keep the kids focused on the arts, not the crimes.4

Everyone involved donated their services and talent to make the week long event a success. Along with the live painting. There was a sound system set up , young performers and other org’s working with XMENTAL . 5

Other org’s had stations set up and spent their time community outreaching.. There was also a  DJ playing music in between acts.6

Tatu did such a great job getting everyone together, helping out and being involved.

Being surrounded by so many talented individuals who care about the children and the way they live their lives is such a great feeling.

It just makes you want to do more, reach out and help 7

Not only were there talented people of all different types of ares, singers, poets, dancers, painters..

there were different organizations who wanted to help in many different ways.8

For those who were having a hard time finding a job, for those who haven’t and still need to get their GED, for those who need help with childcare, for those who want to know more about their rights, especially what they should know if they ever get stopped by the police,

What you should carry, what to say, what not to say, what to expect.9 1012 13

Q and I .

14 15This station was set up for the kids so they were able to design their own t shirts, using black tees,q-tips and bleach…

under adult supervision of course. 16

The Dj’s mixing it up.17 18 19Kyle rocking out the guitar.21Patty at work.22 23Rep Davinci going in on a Trayvon Martin piece.24 25Zulu Nation in the house!26 27 28 29

Poet.30

I really like the comic style of this piece.31 32Black Angel the Poet33

Face painting for the kids34 35 36 37 38OBT. Opportunities for a better tomorrow.39

The talented Marthalicia.40

Once it hit 5:01pm the cops were already trying to shut us down. We had until 5pm.

Give us a little break..

which they did. We wrapped up around 6pm.41 42 43

I swear, I never have sketches…

I don’t even know how I end up saving myself half of the time.  I surprise myself.

I’ll keep looking at it once it’s done like:

I did this?44 45

Sien Ide’s Trayvon Martin piece.

He actually left it tied up to the tree, We all wonder how long it’s gonna last.4648 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59

I joined in on the fun with the kids and made my own t- shirt design.1

Live Performances by:

Black Rose Rebels

Nene Ali

Ceddy Jay

Hip Hop Catz

Black Angel the Poet

and Starski the Poet 60Live art by:

Marthalicia Matarrita

Sienide

me, Minx Inx

Rep Davinci

Tori Harris

Patty Eljaiek61Think Tank Organizations:

Black Men Who Care

Silver Truck Music inspired by the death of Antoine Wilson

Mothers Empowered.

XMental,

Feared Voices LLC,

National Action Network63Photographs by Q… which you all should know by now.

You did good boo, Thank you.

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Thank you Tatu, for including me in this great project.

Continue doing all the great things that you do to mold a better tomorrow.

Proud of you bro.

Welcoming 2013

titleme

Christmas was a blow, work all day, yet getting that time and half money, oh yeah!

So for New Years Eve, I knew I had to celebrate with family, and  I was excited. Family quality time has been long over due.

Elijah and CiaraQ and GJ=]

After work ( I got out at 8pm ) I dragged Q along with me to meet my Abuela, Uncles, cousins and Aunts. As soon as we walked in Q immediately gravitated towards my cousin Eric and it was laughs and booze from then on.

GJ and I Lidia Tio Maximo Tio Rafael Tio Luis

GJ looked so cute in her frilly pink skirt and as was such a flirt! She kept going to Q, touching his knee and laughing.

We started off watching a concert on TV that was  being held in Dominican Republic, and of course, they are an hour ahead of us…. so we counted down to 12am to them ( 11pm to us ) and cheered. While my abuela  ( grandma ) called D.R. sending her congrats.

=]cousin SashaChase

After many beers and catching up with everyone we finally counted down to our New Year… It’s officially 2013 and we all gave each other hugs and kisses, running back and forth from room to room.

Tio JuniorScarla and Chad

This year has given me the opportunity to grow as a person for the better. Change my living situation and even have a different outlook on life. I see myself how I was 9 months ago, and I feel like a different person.

I was living ( or should I say residing ) in a crowded small place with people I just really didn’t get along with. It’s such a horrible feeling knowing you’re just in someones way all the time. Just being a burden.

Worse when that horrible tension is coming from immediate so called blood.

Clara and Elijah=]Q

I wasn’t working and focusing on my artwork full time, having gigs and building up my clientelle. Which I loved to do, but having no money made things extremely difficult. Supplies were limited and transportation was hell.

abuela magaly

I didn’t find myself very happy at times, I was unmotivated and uninspired.

I was mostly angry all the time. I think it had a lot to do with the passing of Jasmine. The confusion of constantly asking myself why her. It especially triggered me mostly, because I too, which many don’t know… was in an abusive relationship. The last year of that two year relationship took a toll on  me and was a difficult rut to get out of.

=]cousin Ericme Scarla=]

From that point on until now, I have a decent job, which I know I can do better, and will in time. I have my own place. No burdens but the bills… adult life blues. I find myself genuinely happy and grateful. I am surrounded by great people, friends who stick by me through many ups and downs and family who appreciate me for who I am. No lectures of who I need to be, or what I’m doing or what I think that may not go with their expectations of what’s right.

lightsconfetti

I’m in a great relationship, with a man who values me, not only as a woman, but as an actual human being.

I am for the first time in love, not only with him.. but with myself.

I wake up happy, grateful and feel whole. I am extremely blessed and I cant wait to see what life has in store for me next.

Because baby, I’m ready.

Madrina

title                     judy me

I invited Judy to come along with me and go visit my madrina, godmother for all you English speaking folks out there. I haven’t seen my Titi Margaret in months, bad me I know.

me

What better excuse than a birthday, let alone hers. I showed up with wine of course and was eager to see my cousins.

judy .mejudy.me

Because of family bullshit it’s been a good about 8 months since I have spoken to any family. The only person I somewhat keep in touch with is my cousin Sasha. So I was happy to be there celebrating her mom’s and my godmother’s birthday.

madrinakisses

My gorgeous Titi with her new haircut… aooow!

jusy.daphne.sasha.lidia.meAbove: Judy, Sasha’s bestfriend Daphne, my cousin Sasha, my cousin Lidia and me.

gjme

I was also happy to see my cousin Lionela, ( above ) especially because I haven’t seen her since her babyshower.

And even better I finally got to meet her precious daughter GJ, short for Genesis Jasmine.. she was named after our cousin Jasmine, ( miss you darling ).

sasha.medancing

After Judy’s 6 cups of vodka and cranberry, my 9 glasses of wine, hookah with the cousins, dancing with my cousins it was time to sing happy birthday to the birthday girl.

singing happy birthdaycake

familia family

Titi, te deseo lo major del mundo para siempre.

Te amo mucho.

Tatu’s Blackbook Birthday Surprise

Remember when I posted that I was painting in Queens. and couldn’t show you what I was working on?
Well, here goes…
Xmen started off as a graff crew but has expanded into so much more. From helping the youth with many art programs, charities, donations for Kids who don’t have supplies for school, toy donations for foster kids for Christmas and so much more. Xmen is just a “feel good” community filled with many talented artists. Running the show is Tatu, who’s birthday has just recently passed.

Though I wasn’t able to make it to the birthday celebration, Zacto the sweetheart that he is was planning a heartfelt gift for Tatu which required help from the whole team.
A black book, first 4 pages with Tatu’s graff life story. How he started, how he got his name, people he’s met, spots he’s hit. The rest of the book filled with stickers from the team. ( Which we all had to mail t to Zacto ) I of course mailed a few, but I also had the chance of sketching something out for him.
The lovely Sabrina recorded the special moment for me and for all of you to see.

Here’s the whole book for you guys to see.( click on any image to make larger )
See more of Sabrina’s work here.