Ebony Payne-English is a writer, performer, educator, and human rights activist. Ebony established the Jacksonville chapter of Black on Black Rhyme. She was the first woman to establish a chapter of the organization. Originally founded in 1998, Black on Black Rhyme is a forum for innovative poetry, hip hop, and visual arts. Through community outreach efforts, Black on Black Rhyme engages diverse audiences and encourages volunteerism and personal development.
Ebony mentors youth through Black on Black Rhyme and Jax Youth Poetry Slam. As a result of these programs and the opportunities they create for youth, over the last five years, 100% of Ebony’s mentees have enrolled in college after graduating from high school. Ebony also serves as the Program Director for The Performers Academy.
I’ve received a generous amount of positive feedback in regards to my article “Five Steps to Become a Working Artist,” which I posted to the Cultural Council’s blog in September. The article was also printed by EU Jacksonville in October’s Arts Issue. In that article I outlined a series of steps an artist can take to positively impact their career.
I’m a systematic individual. I have a tendency to analyze projects as a series of sequential steps. Because of this, I am able to break down large projects, which as a whole can feel overwhelming, in to manageable pieces.
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s annual State of the Arts luncheon was held on Thursday, October 13, 2016. The event occurred in downtown Jacksonville at the Jessie Ball duPont Center. Paula Wallace, President and Founder of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), was the keynote speaker. The PNC Foundation also named the 2016 recipients of the PNC Arts Alive grant, with awards totaling $75,000.
Five Points is a character filled section of Jacksonville’s historic Riverside neighborhood. Park Street cuts through the center of Five Points and the street is lined with unique shops, restaurants, and bars. Based on geographic size, Jacksonville is the largest city in the Continental United States (sorry Jacksonville, there are four cities in Alaska bigger than you), and because of that not all areas are pedestrian friendly. That’s not the case in Five Points, however, and as you walk down Park Street its easy to feel nostalgic for small town “Main Street.”
Nestled in the middle of Park Street is Sun-Ray Cinema, a historic two screen movie theater. Tim Massett and Shana David-Massett opened Sun-Ray in 2011. 85% of the movies screened at Sun-Ray are blockbuster films shown in modern day megaplexes. However, the Massetts carefully select what films they show to maintain the integrity of the theater. Sun-Ray oozes charm and audiences can watch movies in a setting that creates a cinematic experience, which is something that suburban megaplexes simply cannot offer. By showing blockbuster films Tim and Shana are able to fund their passion for screening independent films and organizing unique events, such as 2014’s 26-hour nonstop “Twin Peaks” marathon or live commentary/Q&A’s with independent film Directors (Richard Kelly, Todd Solondz, and John Cameron Mitchel, to name a few).
The Discipline of Repetitive Practice Will Elevate Your Game: 10 Questions with Abstractionist Rob Middleton
We, as a society, sometimes have an unhealthy, or at the very least an unproductive, response to the success of others. Social media, which certainly has its benefits, is riddled with examples of this type of behavior, which includes destructive criticism, unjustified public shaming, and passive aggressive commentary. Online networks can be a black hole where individuals can lose their sense of time, civility, and the impact of their words.
That isn’t always the case, however, as was recently illustrated through a post made by abstract expressionist painter Rob Middleton. Rob’s entry, which was posted to Facebook on October 5th, was titled “Two Artists Went to Bristol… And I wasn’t Invited.” In his post, Rob congratulates artists Overstreet Ducasse and Mal Jones for being selected to participate in the JAXBRS cultural exchange program.
The Art in Public Places Committee met on October 12, 2016 at 12:00 PM at the office of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. All Committee meetings are public noticed in advance and the general public is encouraged to attend.
For the purpose of transparency, meeting minutes can be downloaded HERE.
John Lumpkin II was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. John’s mother is a Juilliard-trained opera singer. His late father, John Lumpkin Sr., was a Principal for a Duval County public school and a Minister. When you learn about John’s parents’ background, it is easy to understand why John so highly values his faith, education, and music. The church was then, and still is today, a beacon and source of community in John’s life. It is also where John first learned to play the drums after his mother encouraged each of her children to pick an instrument to learn.
John graduated from the University of North Florida (UNF), where he received a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies. While enrolled at UNF, John studied under Professor Danny Gottlieb, a prominent session drummer who has performed on over 400 albums and has been nominated for nine Grammy awards, of which Gottlieb won four. John continued his post-secondary education by obtaining a Masters Degree from Florida State University (FSU). At FSU, John followed the leadership of Associate Professor Leon Anderson, who is also the Director of Jazz Studies.
A Willingness to Work Harder Than You Ever Dreamt Imaginable: 10 Questions with Marjon Van Grunsven, Artistic Director of Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix. Through the assistance of a grant received from The Canada Council for the Arts, the troupe debuted “Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil” to the small town of Gaspé, Canada. What began as a production with 20 street performers has grown to become the unchallenged leader in circus arts. Since its formation, Cirque du Soleil’s team of approximately 5,000 employees has inspired awe in more than 155 million spectators in over forty countries on six continents.
2006 was a milestone year for Cirque du Soleil. “DELIRIUM” premiered in Montreal as the company’s first arena production. Prior to “DELIRIUM” Cirque du Soleil shows were performed in either custom-built tents or as permanent shows inside specially designed theatres. In April 2007, Netherlands born Marjon Van Grunsven joined Cique du Soleil and toured as Artistic Director of “DELIRIUM.” A year later in 2008 Marjon was hired as the Artistic Director of “OVO” and took the show on tour in 2009 until its closing in 2015. From 2015 until 2016 Marjon worked as the Artistic Director for “QUIDAM.”
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