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Happy Creativity Thursday – 2/21

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am celebrating the power of creative community. Being around like-minded creative people inspires me to open my heart more to all forms of creativity. It also helps me to express my creativity in unique ways.

Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com
Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com

On February 8, I attended Live Unchained’s Anniversary Celebration and launch of its “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign at Local 16 in my U Street neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Live Unchained is an international arts organization for women across the African diaspora that was established by Kathryn Buford. Click here to read Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project’s profile of Kathryn.

Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com
Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com

Live Unchained’s “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign is preparing to bring London-based Somali poet, Warsan Shire to Washington, DC for a “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” series and awards ceremony in 2014. The campaign’s name “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” is taken from a line from one of Shire’s popular poems, “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love.”

Kathryn Buford on video
Kathryn Buford on video
Kathryn Buford at event
Kathryn Buford at event

During the February 8th celebration, I had a chance to hug and chat with Kathryn about her amazing work. I hung out with one of my favorite digital sisters and creativity accountability partners, Jessica Solomon, Live Unchained’s Connectivity Director. We chatted about the powerful images Live Unchained has been able to share with its online community for the past several years.  In addition, I had some great conversations with my digital sisters Nae Carter, founder of I Choose the Sun blog, and Adrienne Burke, a media curator, as we posed for photos.

Adrienne, Ananda and Nae
Adrienne, Ananda and Nae

My creative heart was thrilled to pieces when I viewed the video introducing the “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign on indiegogo.com. Click here to watch the video. And if you are like me, you will make a donation to support Live Unchained. For more information about the fundraising campaign, click here to read the press release.

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Happy Creativity Thursday! – Celebrating the 100th Birthday Anniversary of Photographer Gordan Parks

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am honoring Black History Month by celebrating the creativity and 100th birthday anniversary of Gordan Roger Alexander Buchannan Parks (November 30, 1912 — March 7, 2006), an African-American activist, composer, film director, journalist, musician, novelist, poet, and photographer. What a Renaissance man!

Gordan Parks
Gordan Parks

Parks made history in 1948 when LIFE magazine hired him as their first African-American staff photographer. Another history making moment occurred in 1969 when he became the first African-American artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, “The Learning Tree.”

Photo Credit: Gordan Parks for LIFE Magazine
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks for LIFE Magazine

I discovered him through his LIFE photo essays and work as the director of the 1971 film “Shaft.”

Gordan Parks' Shaft film
Gordan Parks’ Shaft film

I fell in love with his photographs of D.C. street scenes in the 1940s, the Black Muslim women from the Nation of Islam (1963), and Malcolm X.

Photo Credit: Gordan Parks - Street Corner, 7th Street and Florida Avenue, Washington, D.C., 1942. (Courtesy Library of Congress/ICP)
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks – Street Corner, 7th Street and Florida Avenue, Washington, D.C., 1942. (Courtesy Library of Congress/ICP)
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks - Ethel Sharrieff, daughter of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. Chicago, 1963
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks – Ethel Sharrieff, daughter of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. Chicago, 1963
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks - Malcolm X in Chicago, IL in 1963
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks – Malcolm X in Chicago, IL in 1963

In 1997, I had a chance to see Parks’ work when the Corcoran  Gallery of Art mounted a career retrospective, Half Past Autumn: The Art of Gordon Parks. Click here to watch a video of the Half Past Autumn (1 hour 29 minutes).

Photo Credit: Gordon Parks
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks

To learn more about Parks, read his memoirs, A Hungry Heart: A Memoir  and To Smile in Autumn.

Gordon Parks memoir
Gordon Parks memoir
Gordan Parks' memoir
Gordan Parks’ memoir

For additional information check out the Gordon Parks Foundation and Gordon Parks Center.

Next week, Macy’s, the Gordon Parks Foundation, and American Black Film Festival are honoring Parks’ 100th birthday anniversary with an in-store celebration, art installation, and discussion about his work on February 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Macy’s Metro Center (lower level in Furniture Gallery) in Washington, D.C.

DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s Black History Month event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

 

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Happy Creativity Thursday!

Ananda celebrating creativity at the Mickalene Thomas exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum
Ananda celebrating creativity at the Mickalene Thomas exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Museums are great places to go for creative inspiration. The Brooklyn Museum is one of my favorites!

Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum

In December, I visited the Museum to see the Mickalene Thomas’ exhibition. She is one of my favorite artists. Her mixed media paintings and installations set my creative heart on fire. Click here to read about my visit.

Where do you go for creative inspiration?

Do you enjoy museums?

What are your favorite museums to visit?

Any plans to visit one soon?

For more Creativity Thursday inspiration, follow me on Twitter @anandaleeke and look for the #CreativityThursday hashtag. Also, visit my Pinterest board dedicated to creative inspiration. Enjoy!

Have a creatively inspired day!

PS: Click here to read all about the launch of Creativity Thursday.

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Happy Creativity Thursday!

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Last week, I had so much fun sharing articles, quotes, reflections, web links, and videos about creativity that I decided to dedicate one day per week to celebrating creativity. So join me for my first Creativity Thursday celebration. It’s something new I am trying out on my blog and social media platforms. So far, it is keeping me focused on my own creative expression. Thanks to HootSuite I have been able to schedule many posts for today, February, and March. My hope is that my sharing inspires you to be more creative!

So what’s cooking in your creative life today?

How are you celebrating creativity this week?

What are you planning to do in February to keep the creativity energy flowing in your world?

Here are a few highlights from my Creativity Thursday.

One of my favorite creativity books
One of my favorite creativity books

1) I shared how Gail McMeekin’s The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women has been a source of inspiration for my creative process especially with my books. Her book is currently helping me finish my Digital Sisterhood memoir. I even quote her in the memoir!

Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher

2) A Facebook friend posted a photo of Eileen Fisher, one of my favorite creative women entrepreneurs. The photo included a quote that made my day! See below.

“I want to encourage women entrepreneurs and firmly believe that business can be used to create social change, even if the economic climate is uncertain.”

PS: I have been wearing her clothes since 1994! I still have one of the first black silk sweaters I purchased back in the 90s! Vintage EF!

Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas
Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas

3) I tweeted how much I adore my digital sister Leah Piken Kolidas’ Creative Every Day and Art Every Day Month celebrations. They helped me move through writer’s block during my novel and memoir writing days. PS: Leah was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Creativista!

Photo Credit: Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
Photo Credit: Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

4)  Spelman College Museum of Fine Art posted a great photo of its upcoming exhibition, Multiple Choice: Perspectives which opens February 7. It features the work of ione rozeal brown, a Washington, D.C. born and bred artist I simply adore! Seeing the photo got my creative juices flowing about my own painting. I need to get back to the paint brushes and canvas.

That Which Awakens Me - my creative memoir
That Which Awakens Me – my creative memoir

5) I shared several links to videos that feature me sharing reflections during my book launch for That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir in 2009. Seeing the videos really made me proud of my work. See video links below.