WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE


From the mouth of the POTUS (#45)

“WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?”

Making this as short as possible realizing the urgency of the moment. Travels have taken me a long way from here, Kinston, NC. Those same travels have afforded me to see / meet a lot of things and people and experience a lot of things, mainly in the Performing Arts. Today like the City of Kinston at the cross roads and trying to determine the best road to travel the current Mayor Don Hardy and the City Council must decide IF it is to take on the Woodmen Center. You might ask, why I post this to FB as opposed to forwarding to James A Perry as he has requested. I don’t think there Is time for my request to him to arrive back to me before the CC vote takes place as we’ve communicated. This is NOT about bashing anyone. I voted for the last two elections, all winners. Hopefully, this along with my email will serve part of that purpose… Like Mr. Perry I am not connected financially with all of my eggs in this one basket (community) so ”I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO LOSE” My baby New Voices/New Visions has already suffered dearly. Not to mention myself and my friends and family own personal assets as exposed and laid out in this post for which we all have taken responsibility for. You see I came back home to in 1993 with a vision and a dream of starting a summer camp within my community after doing so for other artistic organizations with great success. Ones that have even been brought into our community by the local Community Council For The Arts for which we have no desire to compete with. Quite the contrary as we have only supported this organization in the past [see pic] like many others…. Now I won’t dare say that we haven’t received any support from the Arts Council, we have as we have been under their umbrella since then. Our first summer camp was funded with a $500 sub-grant and in-kind services from Charles Hannibal (Set design and construction), Celestine Davis (Costumer) and I personally directed the production of Purlie Victorious It include KHS students Holly Berry, Damien Moye, Kyra Berry and Camille Braxton to mention a few names. I will try to stick to facts and not my opinions. I would suggest to all concerned about the Woodmen issue read his very detailed report in the KFP here.

 

1.      We were approved by the Community Council of the Arts Board of Directors as an umbrella organization and given access to space and use under conditions that we used the space during operating hours and if we used outside those hours we would have to pay as any other entity a fee for rental.  Even until this day, there has been no other communications coming from the local Arts Council though we as protocol have sent emails and made phone calls to the Executive director Sandy Landis with no return calls or response. She we have heard many in the community who say, “I wouldn’t want to do business with them anyway”. Well that is NOT how business should or does work. As a former Board member and downtown business owner we know it is on their Board of Directors to communicate any change that has taken effect.

2.      Our last attempt in 2014 to submit grant application to the state Arts Council was not allowed. This grant was worked on by several people (Artist) and Dave McKenna as well. (THE EXCLUSION) We believe that the local Arts Council conspired with Clay Raines KHS theatre teacher  to sabotage our then production of For Colored Girls (FCG). As communications that was privy to only us was communicated to him to be given to us. (Not protocol) and with the sudden refusal to work with us and hijack the cast (lesson learned).

 

A.      In an effort, to have the issue mediated we have taken our concern to top community leaders including CC council members, State officials who have said that our issues rest at the local level.

B.      With that information we turn our focus on our Mayor! Being the case that we were in the middle of a highly contested local election with no support from the previous Mayor (BJ) some of our advisors felt we needed to involve ourselves in the election. Thus, we launched the “Artist Against Exclusion Video Rally” We take no political sides, and invited all of the candidates that we had access to via Facebook. We do believe that the support of our elected officials is critical to our success. Our past support has included Mayor Buddy Rich and Johnnie Mosely for which we feel honored.

PS. To those who may think we will haunt you on Facebook (no worries) we have moved on and our hope would only be to see our local officials make right, what we see as an injustice. My objective with this post has been accomplished and the rest as with the Woodmen center is in the community and others hands.

 

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Got friends or family in town, need a short term or long term stay?

To hear Charles Hannibal read from the UNC Civil rights report

 

 

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