Tea Time May 23rd: Bree Stallings, Using Art As A Vehicle For Social Change

Photo of Bree StallingsArtist, Poet, Model, Art/Social Activist are all words that describe Bree Stallings. Armed with her BA degree from Queens University, Charlotte, NC, in Studio Art and Creative Writing, Bree is well on her way to raising awareness in the areas that she regards as a high priority. I first met Bree in 2012 or 2013 at a Project Art Aid event that she helped coordinate with the program’s founder, Rosalia Torres Weiner and we have been friends ever since.

Stallings’ works of art, poetry, and mixed-media collage have been covered and published in various print and online magazines including Creative Loafing, Charlotte Viewpoint, Indigo Rising, My City Magazine, MAYO, The Borgen Project, Society Charlotte, Charlotte Magazine etc. Recently Brees’ partnership with the Mecklenburg County Health Department and students at Behailu Academy have provided the opportunity for 3 large-scale public art murals in designated “food deserts” to highlight the pressing issue of food insecurity in our communities.

Currently, Bree teaches adults and children drawing, painting, comic book illustration and animation at Community School of the Arts, and is the lead teaching artist at Behailu Academy, a free non-profit after school program for students in low socio-economic scoring neighborhoods. Through programs, curated art shows and fundraisers she has helped organize, Bree, alongside her creative team and partnerships with Project Art Aid, Behailu Academy, the Mecklenburg County Health Department, the Disappearing Frog Project, Pearls for Creative Healing and many more, Stallings has helped to raise over $50,000 for furthering development in Charlotte’s art and humanities scene.

I think we will have quite a bit to discuss, so please tune into my last, LIVE Tea Time with Tenya talk show on Charlotte Community Radio,Tuesday, May 23rd, as I chat with Bree about art and activism. Show starts at 6:30pmEst.

Image for Tea Teme with TenyaTea Time, hosted by jazz musician Tenya Colemon, airs every other Tuesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadi.org or use the Mixlr app where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike.

Tenya Colemon ~ Tea Time

Southern Wonder May 17th: Black Girlhood Celebration with Dr. Janaka Lewis

Janaka Lewis

Dr. Janaka Lewis is an Assistant Professor of English at UNC Charlotte who is teaching a course on Black Girlhood Celebration this spring. Her research statement elaborates on the kind of work this study encompasses: 

Dr. Lewis’ current research project, “Freedom to Play,” looks at narratives of girlhood in African American literature (19th through 21st centuries) and the ways play is both embraced as a tool of liberation and means of negotiating identity and used to restrict the spaces in which black girls are able to move.”

“Using authors that include Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Huton, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison, she discusses narratives of games that mimic the roles that young girls are expected to embody as adults, stories that are passed down from elders, and lessons that are taught about and through play in formal and informal educational settings. Along with scholarship about these narratives, Dr. Lewis is also planning to create a black girlhood studies reader with excerpts of literary experiences in black girlhood and to incorporate the narratives as interactive experiences for a broad audience.”

Join me on May 17th for another engaging conversation on Southern Wonder as I sit down with Dr. Lewis and two of her students, Sara Eudy and Maria Lignos, to talk LIVE on Charlotte Community Radio about Black Girlhood Celebration. We’ll dig into the ways they’ve used to explore what a celebration of Black girlhood looks like today.

Got questions? Use the Mixlr app while listening at 6pmEst to the Southern Wonder talk show.

Image for Southern Wonder ShowSouthern Wonder, hosted by Allison Braden airs LIVE every Wednesday from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, celebrating open-mindedness and the spirit of asking why via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadio.org or Mixlr.com/CLTCRadio where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike. Keep up with all things Southern Wonder on Twitter and Facebook.

Allison Braden ~ Southern Wonder

Tea Time May 9th: Sam Wazan, Building Bridges in Business and Basketball

Photo of Sam WazanSam Wazan wears many hats; he is a successful author, business consultant, a sought after speaker, and you should see his moves on a basketball court. Though Sam juggles many balls, his passion for peaceful and harmonious co-existence is where he excels.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Wazan attended a Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic school until he finished tenth grade. In 1975, the Lebanese civil war broke out forcing Sam and his family to live in the combat zone for fifteen years. Sam was surrounded by snipers, indiscriminate rockets, and religious massacres, one of which was only a half a mile from his home. In spite of the elements, Sam earned a Bachelor of Science and immigrated to the United States where he earned an MBA and founded an ‘information technology services company’.

Before becoming an author, before his MBA, before his success in the business world, Sam made his mark on the Basketball Courts in Lebanon. The first time Wazan laid eyes on a basketball was during the war in Lebanon. He was fifteen-years-old, six-feet tall, absence of skill (his words not mine) and coaching. As chance would have it, he found a training program in an American sports magazine and threw himself into the game. In 1985, during his first year in college, he was selected to represent Lebanon in Japan, where he played on the Lebanese Universities National Team. He was selected again in 1987 and 1988 to play in the Former Soviet Union in regional championships.

Join us May 9th on the next Tea Time with Tenya as we chat with Sam about creating harmony in the middle of conflict, business, and basketball (find out about Monster Vertical Power), LIVE on Charlotte Community Radio at 6:30pmEST.

Image for Tea Teme with TenyaTea Time, hosted by jazz musician Tenya Colemon, airs every other Tuesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadi.org or use the Mixlr app where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike.

Tenya Colemon ~ Tea Time

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Southern Wonder May 3rd: Charlotte’s Social Challenges with the Urban Institute’s Mary Newsom

Mary NewsomFor over four decades, UNC Charlotte has been home to the Urban Institute, an applied research and community outreach center focused on social, economic, and environmental challenges facing Charlotte, North Carolina. The website sums up the Urban Institute’s role: “Founded in 1969, it provides services including technical assistance and training in operations and data management; public opinion surveys; and research and analysis around economic, environmental, and social issues affecting the Charlotte region.”

Mary Newsom is a longtime print journalist and the Urban Institute’s associate director for urban and regional affairs. Her expertise includes journalism, urban and suburban issues, and politics and government in the Charlotte region. Lately, she’s been working on the Institute’s City Walks initiative.

There will be 21 City Walks taking place in May. From the City Walks website: “Charlotte neighborhoods have stories to tell – stories many residents have never heard. Explore some of the city’s neighborhoods and hear those stories during a month of City Walks in May. You can meander through McCrorey Heights and the area near Johnson C. Smith University, learning about the Charlotte civil rights movement and the neighborhood where many of its leaders lived. Or you can hear the histories of those statues scattered along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway near uptown – whom they honor and how the statues came to be.”

On May 3rd at 6pmEST, Southern Wonder host Allison Braden will sit down with Mary Newsom to discuss the City Walks initiative as well as talk about some of the social challenges facing Charlotte today. The Urban Institute’s work is far reaching, and we’ll learn about how the Institute uses research and community engagement to address these challenges.

Got questions? Use the Mixlr app while listening to another engaging conversation on Southern Wonder.

Image for Southern Wonder ShowSouthern Wonder, hosted by Allison Braden airs LIVE every Wednesday from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, celebrating open-mindedness and the spirit of asking why via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadio.org or Mixlr.com/CLTCRadio where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike. Keep up with all things Southern Wonder on Twitter and Facebook.

Allison Braden ~ Southern Wonder