Recovering Harriet: An Interactive Evening of Arts and Action for Women of Color
Wednesday March 28, 5:30 PM
When you hear the name Harriet Tubman, what do you think of? Do you think of a woman who led hundreds of slaves to freedom? What about a nurse, spy, scout and tactician for the Union Army? Harriet Tubman was all these things and much more. However, much of her life was spent in dire economic straights working in White families’ homes to support herself and her family. Only after years of agitation was she able to receive a military pension to support herself. Yet, the pension was not given to her as Harriet Tubman, Moses, the Conductor of the Underground Railroad, the General, or an army medic, but rather as the wife of Private Nelson, a soldier in the Union Army.
On Wednesday, March 28, from 5:30-10pm we brought together 50 women of color of all ages for Recovering Harriet: A Interactive Evening of Arts and Action, a night of arts workshops led by AAPF's renowned teaching artists. Recovering Harriet connected performance to activism and history in attempt to reground Harriet Tubman's legacy in her heroism and devotion to justice.
Abby Dobson is AAPF's 2016 Artist-In-Residence. A Sonic Conceptualist Artist, Dobson’s sound is the alchemy of R&B/Soul, jazz, classic pop, gospel, and folk, forging a gem that erases musical boundaries. Abby has performed at venues such as S.O.B's, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Apollo Theater, Blue Note Jazz Club, and The Tonight Show (Jay Leno). Her debut CD, "Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On” was released in 2010 to glowing reviews. Abby received a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Political Science and History. An independent scholar, Abby’s research interests focus on the intersection of race and gender in the imagination, creation, consumption, and distribution of music. Passionate about using music as a tool for empathy cultivation, Abby creates music to privilege black female voices and highlight the human condition. She is committed to shining her artistic light - volunteering with the African American Policy Forum and the National Organization for Women, NYC Chapter. www.abbydobsonsings.com
Hazelle Goodman, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is a one-woman powerhouse. Her unique ability to transform into many different characters has propelled her to the forefront as a multi-dimensional actress. Featured in Vogue, People and Vibe magazines, her self-titled HBO Special received unprecedented ratings and was nominated for two Cable Ace Awards – Best Comedy Special and Best Performer. Among her many credits, Ms. Goodman starred opposite Woody Allen in the ground breaking role of “Cookie” in Allen’s Deconstructing Harry, as the diva, drug lord, “Georgia Rae Mahoney” on NBC’s Homicide, and as Evelda Drumgo in the block buster film Hannibal. Recently Ms. Goodman appeared in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close starring Tom Hanks. People magazine calls the actress "sinfully good," and Time Out New York declares her "a memorable comic gem."
Afia Walking Tree, M.Ed is a world-class cultural ambassador, spiritual activist, empowerment guide, leadership development advocate and trainer. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. Walking Tree’s drum-songs are prayers of gratitude for the generosity of spirit. Her lyrics are evolutionary teachings, addressing present day issues of social justice, freedom, healing and self-love. For over 25 years, Afia Walking Tree has served her destiny as visionary director of her brainchild, Spirit Drumz, an international organization that prioritizes women and youth of all cultures to utilize African Diasporic song, permaculture, drumming, dancing, storytelling to activate empowerment and healing. Afia's work has always been rooted in liberation of the global Black Family and in the last two years, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Afia has created new spaces for Black healing and activism through the Jamaican Drum Retreats for Womyn, and #BlackPowerDrumMedicine. Afia's continued evolution is supporting the growth of the drumming arts as a tool for activism, healing and community building through partnerships with One Billion Rising, Echo Valley Farms, Open Meadows Foundation, and many others. Afia has been blessed to bring her powerful work to Bioneers, Northern California Permaculturre Convergence, TEDWomen 2016 and numerous, festivals, non-profit organizations, and universities across the globe.
Dina Wright Joseph, Program Manager of Purelements: An Evolution in Dance, began her dance training at the age of five at Adele’s Creative Dance Center in Queens, NY. With the loving support of her parents, she continued her training in classical ballet until her audition and acceptance to the dance program at the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music and the Performing Arts. During her freshman year at LaGuardia, Dina turned down a partial scholarship at the School of American Ballet to accept full scholarships to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the Martha Graham School. Dina’s training and dance vocabulary expanded triple-fold when introduced to West African dance and music while apprenticing with Forces of Nature Dance Theater Company in 1989. For the next 12 year, under the tutelage of directors Abdel Salaam, Dyane Harvey-Salaam and Dele Husbands, she toured both nationally and internationally as a principal dancer and dance captain with the company until 2001. Theater credits include: The Wiz, For Colored Girls…, St. Louis Woman, and Dance Captain for the New York Shakespeare Company’s production of Measure for Measure. Dina is the proud recipient of the FON Artistic Acheivement Award and has graced the cover of Heart and Soul magazine, and Instyle magazine’s featured article entitled, Dina Wright: A Force of Nature. Dina’s television credits include: PBS' "Free to Dance" and VH1’s "Divas Live" with Aretha Franklin. She co-choreographed VH1’s "Hip Hop Honors" tribute to Afrika Bambattaa and is featured in the Smithsonian Museum's multi-media instillation, "Black Dance in the 20th Century". In addition to her performance career, Dina’s passion to inspire youth and future artists was emboldened as her focus intensified in the areas of dance education and teaching artistry. Dina began her teaching career in Mexico City, New Mexico and between years 1999-2006, Dina served as Dance Program Director at Eastside Community High School as well as choreographer for Mindbuilders’ Creative Arts Center’s youth theater company, Positive Youth Troupe. From 2003-2005 she served as guest lecturer for Lehman College's City and Humanities Dept. as well as lead teacher for NYCDOE's Summer Arts Institute in partnership with Roundabout Theatre. Dina currently sits on the faculty of Professional Performing Arts High School, Alvin Ailey’s Fordham BFA Program and on a team of master artists of Arts In Motion: Africa. Her most rewarding position to date is as founding member and Program Manager for Purelements’ Project AIRE arts-in education program leading a team of thirty-four Teaching Artists and Art Educators inspiring upward of 10,000 NYC students per year.