[[ what’s coming up ]]
[[ what’s coming up ]]
hello beautiful people,
especially in these times, it is so necessary for us to remember why we do the things we do. to reach out, to stay loving, to stay shining beacons- of hope, togetherness, ferocity, bravery, gentleness, gratitude, wildness, inclusivity, wonder.
this has been so helpful to me:
and every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, ‘this is important! and this is important! and this is important! you need to worry about this! and this! and this!’ and each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, ‘no. this is what’s important.’ -iain s. thomas
it is up to YOU. it is up to US.
i wanted to invite you to some opportunities to do just THAT, going forward…
* i am officially director of public programs at my beloved socrates sculpture park! our 2017 season will be announced in early april and i am beyond excited to welcome you to- or hopefully, BACK to!- this exceptionally special wonderland on the LIC waterfront. FREE public programs from concerts to yoga to art-making to festivals to dance to making and learning- for ALL.
* i am hosting and curating an event that is extremely close to my heart next month, featuring a bunch of brave souls i know and love.
HOW WE CREATE & HOW WE COPE:
intersections of art & mental health/mental illness
fri february 10 6:30-8:30 at queens council on the arts in astoria
Queens native and poet/curator Audrey Dimola hosts a panel and performance evening aiming for safe space, honest talk, and open presentations about the too-often stigmatized topic of mental illness, particularly in connection to the creative experience.
Throughout our cultural history, many of the legendary artists we know today grappled in this way- yet it becomes a passing line in their bio, a tragic footnote; and their brilliant work remains. In the present day, an increasing number of individuals of all ages are struggling in similar fashion, frequently in silence and shame, for fear of judgment and unanswered questions.
How much of how we suffer makes us who we are and results in the art we create? How much of these feelings are the natural experience of the artist, and when is it time to seek help? What do those forms of help look like?
A variety of local featured artists will present their stories, poetry, visual art, and more, in addition to facilitated discussion, Q&A, and sharing of resources/experiences on these topics.
* a deeply personal piece of mine in the vein of poetic theatre debuted at the end of last year at the LIC-A winter gala, and was thankfully captured on film. it’s called reliquary: the body and if you’re so inclined, you can watch it HERE.
* also coming up…
2/2/17 – Featured artist on City World Radio on International Women Artists’ Salon’s Salon Radio program discussing HOW WE CREATE & HOW WE COPE, listen LIVE online at cityworldradio.com, 8-8:55pm EST
2/11/17 – Featured poet at Cyrus Second Saturdays Poetry Series in Bay Shore, Long Island
2/14/17 – Performing “a memory is altered everytime you recollect it” with Alvin Ailey dancer Artemis Stamouli at LIC-A’s Valentine’s Night opening of their Feb/March exhibition, 8 Loves. 6-10pm at the Plaxall Gallery in LIC
3/9/17 – Hosting Queens’ longest running reading series, Boundless Tales, at The Local NYC in Long Island City, 7-8:30pm
3/10/17 – Featured poet at the 2nd annual Celebrating Queens Women Artists event curated by Joan Willette at Queens Council on the Arts in Astoria, 6:30pm
3/18/17 – Featured poet at MDAD presents 5th Annual Women Empowerment Event in Harlem, 6pm
3/24/17 – Performing at Inspired Word NYC’s Pre-Queens Lit Fest Open Mic at COFFEED in Astoria/LIC, 6:30-9:30pm
4/1/17 – Featured poet at Line Break Reading Series at Q.E.D. in Astoria, 3pm
4/30/17 – Featured poet at Inspired Word NYC’s annual Queens Lit Fest in Long Island City, 6pm
you can always check the events page on this website for more details and the latest.
i am setting off on a very long bus ride to chicago tonight to explore, visit some old friends, and see a band that helped me instrumentally in continuing to fight for my journey and return to my purpose in the darkest moments i have lived through thus far. in fact, sometimes his voice was the only voice that was able to reach me.. if you’ve never heard of NAHKO & medicine for the people, please look them up. i first heard this song played on acoustic guitar while i was living on growing heart farm in summer 2015, the summer i chose to change my life- and immediately it fused with my heart. it has comforted me immensely, and i hope, if you listen to it, it comforts you too.
MAY ALL BEINGS STAY CONNECTED TO THEIR INNER FIRE,
BURNING AWAY IMPURITIES, ADDING TO THE COLLECTIVE FLAME,
AND STAYING CLOSE TO WHAT MAKES THEM FEEL MOST ALIVE.
loving you all with brightness, fierceness, and
thanking you for what makes you, you…
some wonderful, wonderful, wonderful things:
i took one of the lil wild ones i babysit to a park in ravenswood i spent so much time playing in when i was little.. most of it has changed but some things remain, like those concrete tunnels. what a trip it was to crawl through them again, see the same vantage points, lean my back against the cool surface in the shadows. // i am an intensely, heartquakingly nostalgic person, to the point that my present is consistently affected by my past. ‘everything i’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.’ // yet i realized- our task is not to forever mourn the innocence and precious discoveries of childhood, always looking backward, tears in our eyes. but to recognize that we are eternally children in the wake of the world’s wonder. we must STILL learn to use our bodies, expand for new thoughts and ideas, new questions, new perceptions. tear down everything we know to start again with something new. the wonder isn’t over once we learn to walk or talk, balance or write. keep remembering to forget that just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re done learning and you can just relax into ‘this life,’ the day-to-day, the grind, whatever it is. we owe it to ourselves- past, present, future- to remember we are forever children, forever explorers, forever students of the word, the earth, movement, adventure, imagination.. light.
do your heart’s work! my heart is so full helping out for a cause i wholeheartedly believe in- creating a new space for literature and literacy in queens with my beautiful and kickass friends at the queens bookshop initiative. getting to play and read to these kids was so wonderful- i even got to share one of my own favorite books from childhood, ‘the land of many colors.’ stories are forever, creativity is forever. we have to foster it in our kids as young as possible.. if you want to support them in their effort to build a second bookshop in queens (we only have ONE in our massive borough right now) please donate to their kickstarter and stay updated throughout their journey!!
making. this. real. coming to the former wills building at 43-01 21st st, may 18-22, 2016 for the 6th annual LIC arts open festival // Known throughout Queens for her explosive poetry, performance, and curatorial work, this is LIC native Audrey Dimola’s first art installation. ‘go slowly, see miracles’ is an immersive amalgam of hidden treasures and alcoves of memories, a cross between a lost boy’s wilderness hideaway, a secret grotto in the mind, and the gritty intersections of love, identity, and nostalgia. It features a variety of never before seen mixed media art pieces, 3D poetry, found objects, sound and visuals, and more- exploring wild spirituality, descents into darkness, reclamation and annunciation. The work is specially presented in this form for LICAO 2016.
things like THIS happen in the promo video they shot..!
(video no longer exists)
and most recently…
after MANY years of wanting to do this, and running along with checking off bucket list items (like the polar bear plunge!) in my 29th year… i finished the five boro bike tour this past weekend!!! // i was so emotional at so many points throughout this trip. just remembering the darkest moments and feeling this, NOW. knowing there’s no limit to life, to the way it can surprise you, how things you dream of are even better when your sweat and hard work make them REAL. despite the rain & cold we didn’t back down from the challenge today.. here’s to riding hard, living wild, and renewed faith in my own strength. i let out a peter pan crow while whizzing down the verrazano to the finish. i will never forget this day & the one soul i had beside me the entire time.. love and eternal gratitude for this entire experience and my wonderful family for being our pit crew in LIC!
to survive in this world we constantly have to remind ourselves that wildly multitasking is not the goal, going faster than everyone else is not the goal.. being fully present** is.
also… i could not feel more blessed about working as the new public programs coordinator at my beloved socrates sculpture park!!!
30 years ago, this year, socrates sculpture park and i were born in long island city. i am so proud, elated, excited & inspired to announce that as of last month, i’m the park’s new public programs coordinator! socrates sculpture park has given me SO MUCH- for literally as long as i can remember i’ve spent days and nights playing, writing, observing, and seeking solace within its gates. its home has always been my home. now in its 30th year, which will also be my 30th year this august, i get to give back.. gratitude doesn’t even begin to describe.
never give up // never give up
[all upcoming events are listed HERE
keep the fire in your belly & the gratitude in your heart.. biggest big love!
it has been an interesting number of weeks for me. like tumblr once upon a time, instagram has become a safe space to document experiments with lots of different things- natural light, video, physical art pieces, minute moments.. (click on the videos to play them!)
things converge to create such a particular mood, moment, influence. spending time in emotional darkness, in physical sickness, days without blue sky. watching movies like gaspar noe’s ‘love’ and ‘to the wonder.’ returning to the proust chapter about memory (a memory is altered everytime you recollect it) in the ‘proust was a neuroscientist’ book.. walking over the triboro bridge to randalls island, again and again. looking at everything from high up. experiencing that particular feeling that hits me every year at this time- threshold. lingering light. possibility.
several things are on the horizon- i want to curate and perform in a different way, playing with poetic theatre hybrids, video editing, spatial exploration. i feel lucky to have new possibilities beginning with the incredible IDENTIFY show starting next week, and with my dear friend mwest this summer on SI.. it’s why everything has to fall out from under us, sometimes. sometimes seeing nothing, nothing at all, for awhile- is the only way to see things differently. to remember the vocabulary that exists in your hands, your body.
even thinking of ‘self-love’ in a different way..
wonder directed inward. inward(,)seeking wonder
my overwhelming need to build castles triumphantly is sabotaged because i don’t pay attention enough to not keep building them so close to the sea. one castle falls after another and i am enraged, heartbroken, impassioned, and blindly inspired to keep building, again and again and again.
you can still build the sandcastle. just be cognizant of the foundation. of where the tide comes in.
and that’s what i have to look at, now. the foundation. which comes with examining patterns without judgment.
what is the cure, the elixir of life?
having the patience- although part of me doesn’t want to use that word because it feels too conscious- to live through the days even when you are robbed of existence. even when you feel ‘you’re wasting your life’ – that is your life. right? it’s something you have to walk through.
i am a proclaimer, i love to feel strong and overcome and get to the end of something. but you don’t get to the end of this- it’s not neat, it’s fucking jagged and awful and meaningless and makes no sense. but it also just is.
we have to retrain ourselves to feel these things. accept them as whole, full, meaningful stimuli- instead of always seeking seeking seeking something more, something else. this is even about me, feeling myself. appreciation of the tiniest meaningful gestures- no one else can explain that to you.
i write these words while knowing in some days’ time they may be robbed from me but i guess that’s why we write, or create. not for continuity’s sake but to capture the feeling of a moment- i was here, feeling this.
every moment we can just stand here and say- this i what i am, right now- whether or not it is incongruous with our legend, what we want to be percepted as.
can i find the wonder in the small things? let everything touch me with profundity- the grace in what it is, not what i want it to be or wish it was?
birds outside the window, in the light. to take things as they are.
we are the only ones who can unravel our own illusions.
we are learning everything- painfully, by crashing into it, by watching it go.
i trust that i am supposed to learn from these golden moments instead of always “having what i want.”
because then everything gets numb. no wilderness, no sex, no recognition, no sunny days can fill you if you lose the ability to be filled.
gratitude is a word we all say so often. wildness, too- everyone is wild now. perhaps this is my journey to really uncover what they mean- by going slowly. seeing miracles. unravelling the dissatisfaction. and truly feeling again.
because from inside the gold of the moment- it just is. you are most grateful for your breath when you are breathing, fully, not thinking about it. you are most grateful for your life while you are just living it.
this week i will be standing onstage again. i’m hosting boundless tales on thursday and on friday i’ll be performing a brand new piece from this time at an event i’m so looking forward to- the wonderful joan becht willette‘s celebrating queens women artists event at queens council on the arts! it gets me thinking so much about history, HERstory, identity, perception. all themes running through my mind, my creative production at this time.. i want to explore this further and push past some edges i previously stopped short at. what does it mean to be vulnerable, to fully share? what about the space between the words? what about the power that comes from not always being the loudest or the most outwardly powerful or explosive? this is what i want to experiment with. how sensual, how gentle, how tender, how graceful. slow. nuanced. there is power in that.
after being in the dark you become obsessed with the light. physical light. feeling it on your face, the shapes it casts on walls, the way it warms bricks on sides of buildings, tied to some memory you can’t quite place, something from childhood, something sprang from goodness- something you somehow know- that even after all this– you believe in. you can remember what believing means. it is effortless, when real. the light. and even the light in the gradual fading of it to twilight and dusk, streetlights winking on, the sweetness of gradient. all the shades in between- we are.
i am easing up on the weight of the illusions- baudelaire, ‘to every man his chimera,’ stooped low, carrying.. i want to give my back a break. stand up and feel that light on my face. experience the gradients. not the violent highs and lows. the moments i have been too afraid, too restless, too impulsive to inhabit. i will be there.
springtime- in mind, in body. as always. so welcome.
to the wonder,
3/10/16 – Hosting for Queens’ longest running reading series, Boundless Tales at the Astoria Bookshop, 7-8:30pm [Facebook]
3/11/16 – Featured poet at Celebrating Queens Women Artists Event organized by Joan Becht Willette for Women’s History Month at Queens Council on the Arts, 6:30-9pm [More info]
4/7/16 – Performing for Queens Book Festival/Wendy Angulo Productions in Long Island City at the Q-Boro Lit Crawl! [Facebook]
4/16/16 – Poets from Queens reading with Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella and other distinguished local poets at Queens Library in Flushing (auditorium), 1:30-3pm!
And later that night… 4/16/16 – Featured poet at UNDER THE INFLUENCE: The Inspirational Legacy of a King from Queens honoring Astoria graff legend DON1 with Louie “KR.ONE” Gasparro at QNS Collective, 7-11pm [Facebook]
[all events, past & present, always listed HERE
tis the season for thanks and i’m grateful for new opportunities to STRETCHHH those creative muscles, especially as the fall & winter set in. don’t let your heart go cold! the photo above is from the first ever MASHUPS performance (an interdisciplinary experiment of artists collaborating on the spot!) at queens council on the arts which was a night i will NEVER forget- MASSIVE love to my collaborators & the audience we vibed with <3
TONIGHT! 11/12 7:30-9:30pm
NATURE OF THE MUSE reading & live writing show
by the FIRE in the carriage house at LIC Bar @ 45-58 vernon blvd in LIC
[facebook invite] *flyer by gianna ligammari!
feat: writers yi wu, tippy rex, sydney hartlove nichols, timothy bell & steven licardi with special musical guests janna pelle & luca difabio!
called ‘one of the most exciting literary events in the city’ by BORO mag, 5 writers will share their previously written work and then write LIVE from random prompts written by YOU, the audience! plus fantastic musical guests. ignite your MUSE with us!
NEXT WEEK! 11/18 8:30-10:30pm
THE RISE OF NEON REBEL/ a gathering of creatives
Q.E.D. a place to show & tell @ 27-16 23rd ave in astoria
my BFF & fellow rebel artist nick neon is returning from korea after 7 years and we’re formally kicking off our NEON REBEL collective of wild hearts making their own luck, supporting each other, and changing the world with their work and art. BE A PART OF THIS!! we’ll be partying at Q.E.D., sharing, inspiring, discussing, presenting, plotting future projects, and enjoying special guest speakers: sam from good.clean.fun, kenny from road to greatness, valerie from naked in alaska & monica from museum of impact PLUS music from spells & curses and other shenanigans!
if you are constantly dreaming of ‘somewhere else’ – FIND that somewhere else. i promise it’s out there. because when you take steps in the direction of those things or places that bring you joy, you realize it was never about locating that somewhere else on a map. it was about FINDING YOURSELF and thus unlocking one of the most precious gifts of all- being at home everywhere. with all people, all things. wandering, far and wide- it doesn’t matter. you realize you’re not running away from anything, like they said you were. you are endlessly seeking because you are seeking yourself endlessly and perfectly reflected in all things. yes, this is the journey that never stops. why should it? you find yourself- your true self- over and over again, in doing the things you really love. in daring yourself, shattering the ego, doing the work, taking the chances, pushing the edges. REALITY IS MALLEABLE, PEOPLE. and the more you purely push and investigate your mystery, the more you’ll see the rules bend until you forget what rules were in the first place…
‘ordinary life does not interest me’ ..
are you coming with? ;)