BX1 Bronx Artist Festival

BX1 Bronx Artist Festival @ Downtown Bronx Café
(Corner of 149th St & Walton Ave)
Wednesday, June 1st 8:00-9:30 pm FREE!

Program:
No Imports – An evening of poetry with featured artist Bonafide Rojas. Additional readings from past BRIO – winners Elizabeth Bassford, Oscar Bermeo, Thomas Glave, Janet Kaplan, Mindy Matijesivic, Pedro Pacheco, and Rick Pernod.(8:00-9:30pm)

Purpose:
No Imports is part of the BX1 Bronx Artist Festival showcasing the talents of Bronx artists who are past winners of the borough’s BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Individual Artist Fellowship, a product of the Bronx Council on the Arts’ mission to support and nurture Bronx artists. The BX1 Bronx Artist Festival is a celebration of these artists’ continued dedication to excellence as well as to honor those who have continued to live, work and produce art in the Bronx.

Artist Bios:
Bronx native Elizabeth Bassford is a 2001 BRIO winner and author of Yard Song, a collection of poems about her experiences in Jamaica, where she lived and worked for several years. She serves on the board of Exoterica and Poetz.com, co-hosts the Bronx poetry/music festival WORD, and is an education consultant with Scott Foresman.

Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the founding curator and host of the Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase, a founder of the synonymUS experimental poetry workshop, and a member of the louderARTS Project. Oscar has been a featured performer at 13 Bar|Lounge, the Nuyorican Poets Café, the Bowery Poetry Club, St. Marks Church, Columbia University, Illinois State University (Normal), William Paterson University, Amherst College, Syracuse University, New York University and many others. His written work appears in the anthologies, I Just Hope It’s Lethal: Poems of Sadness, Madness, and Joy (Houghton Mifflin, 2005), From Page to Stage and Back Again (Wordsmith Press, 2004) and Parse (Friendly Fire Press, 2004) and can also be heard on the CD, 5 Past 13- A Little Bit Louder: Volume 1 (louderARTS Project, 2003).

Thomas Glave’s collection Whose Song? and Other Stories appeared from City Lights Books in October 2000, and was nominated by the American Library Association for their “Best Gay/Lesbian Book of the Year” award, by the Quality Paperback Book Club for their Violet Quill Award, and was named a Notable Book of 2000 by the Lambda Book Report. He has recently completed a second collection, The Trials of Taran J. and Other Not-Fictions, and is working on a novel, a collection of essays, and an anthology of contemporary Caribbean lesbian and gay writing. His awards include two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, an O. Henry Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a fellowship from the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown. Born in the Bronx and raised there and in Kingston, Jamaica, Glave was named a “Writer on the Verge” by The Village Voice in 2000.

Janet Kaplan’s two poetry collections are The Glazier’s Country, winner of the 2003 Poets Out Loud Prize from Fordham University Press, and The Groundnote, winner of the 1997 Alice James Books New England / New York competition. New work from Dreamlife of a Philanthropist, a book-in-progress, has appeared or is forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, Open City, and Sentence, among others.. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including fellowships at Yaddo, The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois. She teaches poetry and creative writing at Hofstra University.

Writer and actress Mindy Matijasevic grew up in the Bronx, graduated from Lehman College in 1978, and began working as a social worker in her childhood neighborhood. She currently teaches at Lehman College’s Adult Learning Center. She was in a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues at the Lovinger Theatre, and in A Chicken and Its Breast which was part of the 2004 Fringe Festival, and independent films Dancing with Kendra, Third Age, and Helen. She also appeared in David Byrne’s video Red, Hot, and Blue and in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever. Mindy gives poetry readings throughout New York City and has had her work published in numerous print and on-line publications (most recently www.doorway2themind.com and www.roguescholars.com). She runs the Hidden Treasure Reading Series at Johnny O’s on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx.

Rick Pernod teaches creative writing at City College. He also administers the National Arts Club “High School Writing Contest.” For twelve years, he was director of Exoterica, the Bronx-based, award-winning literary series in the Bronx. Rick’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications, most recently in the anthology Blues for Bill. He also had his work recently translated into Spanish for the Nicaraguan Journal 400 Elefantes.

Pedro Pacheco (Dro Golden) is an MC with a passion for social consciousness and a devotion to the honesty and integrity of his hip-hop roots. Dro Golden was raised in the Bronx, New York and began rhyming at thirteen, “The Bronx is the birthplace of both hip-hop and my love for hip-hop” says Dro. He teaches poetry to junior high school and high school students at the Nelson Avenue and Jackson Avenue Family Shelters. Dro has performed throughout New York City at such venues as CBGB’s, Nell’s, Jimmy’s Uptown, The Nuyorican Poets’ Café, The Baggot Inn, The Bowery Poetry Club, and in Los Angeles at The El Rey Theatre, as well as at many colleges, including Columbia University, NYU, Rutgers University, Temple University, Stoneybrook, Manhattan College, Baruch College, Hunter College and even The Bronx Zoo.

BX1: Bronx Artist Festival 2005 honoring the individual artists who have been acknowledged over the past 16 years by our Bronx Recognizes It’s Own (BRIO) Awards. Since 1989, more than 160 artists have been recognized for their BX1: Bronx Artist Festival 2005 will especially focus on the talents of Bronx artists working and growing in the visual, performing and literary arts (Acting, Choreography, Dance, Instrumental and Vocal Music Performance, Music Composition, Performance Art (non-traditional), Performance Poetry, Spoken Word and Storytelling, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, and Screenwriting).

The event will continue as a biennial tradition and target different neighborhoods in the Bronx in an effort to highlight the important of the arts throughout the borough.

The BRIO Awards began in 1998 and continues to target those individual artists living in the Bronx. Former BRIO winners include musician Ray Vega (“Boperation”), choreographer Merian Soto (Merian Soto Dance and Performance), and choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (Urban Bush Women).

Visit BCA’s website for updated information on BX1: Bronx Artist Festival 2005 as well as other of BCA’s programs & events

Author: Oscar Bermeo

Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of the chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest, Heaven Below, and To the Break of Dawn. He lives and works in Oakland, CA.

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