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port of harlem magazine
December 10 – December 23, 2015
port of harlem gambian education partnership
On The Dock This Issue:
quest skinner   Introducing Quest Skinner
In her words, being a mixed media artist means “complete freedom.
    How Dutch Activists Are Fighting a Christmas Blackface Tradition
The campaign to ban a minstrel-like figure named 'Black Pete'
    Gambian Youth Group Talks Domestic Violence and Tradition
The group will make its second anniversary celebration a platform for sensitizing and dissuading domestic violence.
    Facebook Friends Scandal
Just a e-mails get hijacked, so does Facebook pages.
    Stage Kiss
Round House Theater admirably puts together a color blind cast.
Interesting, diverse things to do
    Readers' Trends
Port Of Harlem, Pinterest, and Facebook

Introducing Quest Skinner

catherine abrams
quest skinner You may have caught a glimpse of her at Washington’s Eastern Market - - exhibiting her boldly colorful art and regaling both new and old friends alike, with her quick wit and amicable demeanor. Or, perhaps you have seen her works around the District of Columbia on a mural, at an art gallery, or featured in the Washington Post. Whenever you met Quest Skinner, including at DC’s Holiday Market this holiday season, it will be a memorable occasion.

Skinner is a talented mixed media artist based in the Brookland arts community of Washington, D.C. In her words, being a mixed media artist means “complete freedom.” She further explains that mixed media is having “the ability to take nothing and always being able to create something - - it is repurposing and restructuring, seeing things that would end in a landfill, and making them into a heartfelt gesture to the world.”

I recently visited with Skinner to view her latest collection, “Exit Default World,” on display at the Brookland Artspace Lofts. Typically, Skinner is compelled to create a new collection following a life changing event or recent travel and “Exit Default World” was born out of her recent experiences at Burning Man. The event takes place annually at Black Rock City - - a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. 

Skinner told me that family and friends are always excited when she experiences something new like Burning Man, an event that organizers bill as a community “united in the pursuit of a more creative and connected existence.” And accordingly, she says she shares her journeys with family and friends via her art, “mixing colors where words cannot go.”

Born into a family of artists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Skinner never lacked family support. She enjoyed a childhood bolstered by her mother’s staunch support and understanding of her child’s artistic needs.

“You can always do something for the spoiled and the royal, but to do something for someone who has never been seen as worthy and give them a possibility to understand that (life) is a playing field (and that) they can restructure their life any day that they are ready (is a good feeling).”
She has also garnered support in the arts community. In 2014, Artspace awarded her their first Steve Kramer Award for Community Service.

Regarding community services, she explained, “You can always do something for the spoiled and the royal, but to do something for someone who has never been seen as worthy and give them a possibility to understand that (life) is a playing field (and that) they can restructure their life any day that they are ready (is a good feeling).” 

Svelte and healthy, after eliminating flour and sugar from her diet, Skinner has been busy in her studio creating 200 pieces for DC’s annual Holiday Market. She will be there, outside the Verizon Center, at 7th and F Streets, NW, DC through Monday, December 14, 2015.
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advertise in port of harlem
How Dutch Activists Are Fighting a Christmas Blackface Tradition

The celebration of the feast day of Saint Nicholas on Dec. 5, known as Sinterklaas, is the biggest children’s holiday in the Netherlands, one that can even overshadow Christmas. Key among the festivities is a character from from Jan Schenkman’s 1848 children’s book, Saint Nicholas and his Servant — a minstrel-like helper called Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete.

In the days leading up to Sinterklaas, actors playing Saint Nicholas visit towns and cities throughout the Netherlands accompanied by revelers in black face, dressed in servants’ costumes, complete with enlarged red lips and wooly wigs. Although the imagery harks back to a time of overt racism, the holiday is so popular in the Netherlands – including candy, figurines, t-shirts and other products touting images of Black Pete – can reach 515 million euros.

Read the full story in TIME.

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Gambian Youth Group Talks Domestic Violence and Tradition
ebrima jallowThe Bakindik Youth Development Association will mark its second anniversary “as a platform for sensitizing and dissuading the prevalence of domestic violence within our homes, communities, country, and world at large,” says President Ebrima Jallow.

To amplify the group’s message, there will be speeches, dramatic performances, debates, and a quiz. They will also feature cultural displays, a football tournament final, wrestling, a live performance by up and coming artist Semes, and traditional site visits.

The site visits will include the location of the original village, the sacred traditional site where village forbearers gathered to pray for rain and another where there is a big log that believers believe that any prayer made there will be answered; thus many people drop money when they pass by it and no one dears to touch it.

Members of the village and the association are of various ethnic groups and practice various belief systems.

With a sense of inclusivity and historical reverence, the site visits, added Jallow, “will educate or refresh our memories of where we came from, who we are, and the way forward.”  The twenty-something-year-old Jallow says he wants to teach the young, “That our ancestors were leaders, determined, and success oriented people. So, these straits are expected of all current natives of the village.”

The celebration is Friday, December 25, 9a to Saturday, December 26 at 4a in Lower Niumi District, North Bank Region.
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Facebook Friends Scandal
facebook friends scandelIf you have a Facebook account and someone asks you to “friend” them, you probably won’t question them about their intentions. However, if you “recognize” their name and photos, the person begins to ask you “dumb” questions, and tell you how to get money and products for free, you have the right to be very suspicious.

Just a e-mails get hijacked, so does Facebook pages. And, they often look “real,” even with the pictures of someone you know well.

As with any bogus phone call or snail-mail delivery, it’s best to ignore the information and to “unfriend” the person. To unfriend a person:

1. Click their name in a message box to go to their Facebook page.
2.  From their Facebook page, click the down arrow in the “Friends” box.
3.  Click the “Unfriend”option.
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Stage Kiss
Stage Kiss, now playing at the Round House Theater in Bethesda, Maryland, admirably puts together a progressive cast without racial boundaries or with color blind casting.  Making Stage Kiss even more intriguing was that the two female African-American members had natural hair. Now, that has less to do with the plot or the acting, but part of theater is to stretch the audience - - and Stage Kiss did that wonderfully.

The story is a play within a play. It centers on former lovers who are casted into a play playing lovers.  I must admit, I really did not catch on to the story line until I read the playbill and did not find much in which to laugh, but the acting was superb. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the audience consistently chuckled though out the play until its less dramatic ending.
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Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's new
Robert Battle's Awakening

Washington, DC
The Apple Family Circle
Studio Theater
14th and P Streets, NW
Now through Sun, Dec 13, $

Gasali Adeyamo and Mildred Baldwin Trunk Show
1524 U Street, NW
Sat, Dec 12–Sun, Dec 13, 1p-7p, free

25th annual BZB Gift Show
Shiloh Baptist Church
9th and P Streets, NW
Sats, Dec 12 and 19, 10a-7p, free

29th-Annual Winter Festival of Lights
Watkins Regional Park
301 Watkins Park Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD
Fri, Nov. 27-Fri, Jan, 1, 5p-9:30p
$5 cars or minivans; $10 multi-visit pass;
$15 minibuses (13-24 passengers) and limos; $25 buses
(25 or more passengers)
free on Dec. 25; cash only

The Gospel of Lovingkindness
Staged by Jennifer L. Nelson
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street, NE
Sat, Dec 12, 2015-Sun, Jan 3, 2016, $15-$25

Twelve Years that Shook and Shaped Washington: 1963-1975
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place SE
Mon, Dec 14, 2015-Sun, Oct 23, 2016,
Daily 10a-5p, except Dec 25, free

Free Food Giveaway
Free Medical Checkups - Free Lunches
America’s Islamic Heritage Museum
2315 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE
Sat, Dec 19, 10a -2p, free

Family Day at the Douglas Center
7-85 N Lake St
Gary, IN 46403
Every Saturday, 9a-3:30p, free

Bakindik Youth Development Association
2nd Anniversary Celebration
Bakindik Lower Basic School
Lower Niumi District, North Bank Region
Fri, Dec 25, 9a-Sat, Dec 26 at 4a in UTC, free

Miami Shores, FL
Dr. Angela Y. Davis
Barry University’s
Shepard and Ruth K. Broad Performing Arts Center
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Thu, Dec 17, 6p

New York
Celebrating the Music of Ben E. King
Interchurch Center
475 Riverside Drive
Entrance on Claremont Avenue and 120th Street - 1 block west of Broadway
Thu, Dec 10, 7p, $30

Soul Nativity
Harlem School of the Arts
645 St. Nicholas Avenue
Fri, Dec 11-Sun, Dec 20, times varies, $15-$25

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
2015 NY Winter Season
New York Center
55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues
now through Sun, Jan 3, $

Target Free Sundays
at The Studio Museum in Harlem
The Studio Museum in Harlem
144 W. 125th St.
Every Sunday, free
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Readers' Trends
From the Last Issue   On Pinterest   On Facebook On Website
bzb 2015

BZB Holiday Gift
& Art Show
Celebrates 25th Year
  michael walton,  raven goodwin, and kenny lattimore

DC Comes Home
(1st consecutive)
  wendell pierce

If every Black male
applied for a
conceal &
carry permit . . .

c r gibbs

C R Gibbs
(1st consecutive)

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