Monday, November 11, 2013

News & Info for Nov. 12th, 2013

Interview with
Anita Wills,

author of "Notes and Documents of Free Persons of Color", being republished this year as a revised edition, whose original title when originally published 2003 was "Full Circle: Tri-Racial Groups in Virginia;
1700-1850-A Comparative Study of Urban & Rural Virginia", reffering to Anita's ancestral heritage with African Slaves, Welsh Settlers, and Indigenous Nations, the book containing The Chronicles of family members including Mary & Patty Bowden, Anita's ancestors eight times removed, who were Indentured Servants to George Washington's Family. She also collects the stories of Charles and Ambrose Lewis, who were Free Blacks and brothers who fought in the Revolutionary War. Then there were the Pinn's, Rawley, Robert, and Roberts son's Billy, Jim, and John (Natives), who fought at the Siege of Yorktown (Revolutionary War). Anita describes The Chronicles as "This is way back history, of those who participated in the formation of America, against a backdrop of racism and slavery."
There is also a section on DNA Testing, for those who want more information, and a Genealogy Glossary. []

Anita Wills is also the author of "Black Minqa: the Life and Times of Henry Green", available at []. The author relates:
"The name Black Minqua was given to Dark skinned Natives who Europeans encountered in what was then known as the Great Valley. The book Black Minqua is about the struggles of a community founded by Natives and African Americans in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The Chronicles include a pivotal moment in history, left out of History books: The Christiana Resistance. This event took place on 9/11/1850 in Lancaster County. That is when a community of Free Blacks rose up against a Slave Owner and Posse who were attempting to find escaped slaves. The event is usually depicted as one in which Whites led Blacks into fighting back. The leader and hero of the Christiana Resistance was William Parker, a Free Black who lived in Lancaster County. Purchase Black Minqua and find out about the History that is not taught in school!" 

Anita and her grandson, along with others from "Their Lives Matter" held conferance in Washington DC to meet with the families of Murder victims from Newtown Connecticut and Chicago and to appear before the Senate, because, as Anita Wills describes it, "Our children are being murdered by guns that are dumped in our community. Someone is profiting from the Gun Sales. Our young people are caught between the police and the thugs in the community and this is Not FREEDOM!"

Interview with
Sophia Othman,
Cosmic mosaic muralist with the Moonfish Artworks studios
[723 Marin st., Vallejo CA 94590] [510-415-3916] [] [], in beautiful downtown Vallejo, which has held many public free mosaic making sessions out on the sidewalk where the public to make mosaics on tables set up outside. Moonfish Artworks is preparing for the official grand opening event, which will have a community mosaic art project for kids and adults to contribute during the grand opening, 11am-4pm on Saturday, Nov. 16th. 

Sophia Othman also covered three huge downtown planters with beautiful mosaic at Sacramento and Georgia st. and volunteered her time and materials and design.

Sophia designed a 17' mosaic mural for Hogan Middle School, which featured their school motto: "Knowledge is Power". Students during spring break Cool School participated in making the mural.

She is working agains with Hogan Middle High School for a second mosaic mural. During a recent student survey, Hogan Middle School students said they want their school to be more beautiful (when surveyed about what they would change about the school grounds).
Another major project Sophia has worked on is The CommuniTree, a huge community mosaic mural for the Vallejo Art Windows project, 10feet wide and 6 feet tall, a huge tree with birds, fish, stars, moons, and ocean waves, installed in September of this year at 420 Virginia street, Vallejo. This mosaic installation will be there a year.              

Sophia Othman writes:
i grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, and lived two years in Britain before coming to the states with my parents.
tile and mosaic are used extensively to decorate homes and floors in the middle east, which, as an art, is ancient and began 3000bc in Babylonia using small square shaped pieces of colored stone to make enormous murals depicting mythical stories and characters. 
it has a venerable tradition. mosaic has been practiced as a fine art among throughout history since greek times in europe, north africa, and the middle east, and the art of tile making using glazes was perfected by the persians during the height of the islamic empire 1000 to 1492 AD.
i see a lot of beautiful graceful swirly intricate nature based forms and patterns in my mind's eye and i attempt to translate them to mosaic but i have enormous faith and trust in my chosen art form in that i let the materials speak through me, so my designs are allowed to shift as i handle and see new materials, colors and as i move along in various stages of completion of a project. i am not rigid in my execution of the image, i let it transform as it is being rendered. it's more like playing live improv music than an artist  sketching a portrait who tries to be faithful to the original subject. i can stick to a design but if i don't have to i let it shift. 
when i do work on commission i stick to an agreed upon design and color scheme but given the freedom to do so i prefer to let the art simply flow out and do what it wants to do.  a lot of the art i make that is my own inspiration comes from what is on hand, i design based on what is available for me to work with, if i have green and white tile i go from there to make a design, i don't come up with a design that needs another color.  art materials have a creative voice of their own and it's my role to listen to them and be their instrument, after all, i'm the one with hands.

Interview with 
Orna Pascal, 

[] [] [707-647-7518]
Some of the quotes made into art: []

Orna Pascal writes:
As a child I always wondered how art was actually made and this is my primary artistic interest. Of course I am thrilled when something I make is lovely to look at, but it truly is the materials and process that keep me going. My all time favorite tools are pencils & I particularly love the scritch scritch scritch sound they make. Over the years they have been joined by papers of every kind, pens, inks, brushes, paints, needles, cloth, all sorts of fibers, found objects, words, cameras, computers and whatever else appeals to me. Trying new things and getting to play with different materials and tools is just so much fun!  Although I am interested in, do use & have fun with new materials & methods, it is the ancient which speaks to my soul. The transformation that happens with raw materials, simple tools, tried & true methods, intention, skill & time is powerful and never fails to thrill me.  Being inspired by the materials themselves and allowing my hands and mind to be free, I become part of all those who have come before and all those who will come after me as the creative process brings into being that which did not exist before.  My paintings are vibrant, using many contrasting colors simultaneously. This technique is always surprising & delightful. Believing in the power of color and wishing to contribute harmonious and beautiful art to the world, I offer my work for the benefit of all beings.  After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Conservation of Natural Resources from U.C. Berkeley, a job as a college counselor presented itself. While helping others, my secret desire to be an artist emerged & that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

On today's edition of the Northbay UpRising morningshow, we feature the poetic prose of Peter Bray, longtime Benicia poet, with a ditty titled:
"Train to the North Again..."

That train came north,
around the Richmond bend
across the old train bridge
and headed east and north again.
My mother sang to me,
never knowing where we would be –
Somewhere in the Utah snow,
to meet the ravages of war again,
across the bridge and headed north again...
“Don’t Fence Me in,” was what I learned,
not so bad for a boy of three,
was just the beginning
of what she’d teach me,
across the bridge and heading north again.
Train smells now blow across the Strait,
and I can feel the weight
of the years since then,
the Utah snow against my mind,
we never leave too much behind,
a Veteran’s hospital and so began
our travels to the north again.
©Peter Bray, 10/19/12
from the...
Benicia's Poem Homes (more info here [link]), a program of the Benicia Poet Laureate, with the Benicia Public Library, project manager Jady Montgomery, and volunteers of the First Tuesday Poetry Group, which meets monthly, 6:30 to 9pm at the Benicia Public Library, Welcome To All. Submit Poems to []!

Food Empowerment Project, with the Vallejo People’s Garden, asks you to join up with the
Local food justice issues workshop  
Join us on Saturday, November 16, in Vallejo 
Food Empowerment Project, along with Vallejo People’s Garden is conducting a training session for volunteers to help us survey Vallejo retail food establishments regarding healthy foods. 
When:  11am – 1pm Saturday, November 16  
Where: Global Center for Success 1055 Azuar Avenue Mare Island, CA 94592 
We will show you how to fill out the survey, explain what to say to the store employees, and answer any questions you might have. We will also give you copies of the survey with locations on them to go out and start surveying.  
We encourage people to do this work while you are in Vallejo though more than likely additional trips to Vallejo will be required to do more.  
Doing it in pairs is ideal but not required. Completed surveys will need to be mailed back to us. 
The work entails filling out surveys to indicate what types of healthy foods grocery stores, convenient stores, etc., offer for sale. We will give you the surveys and locations to survey. 
After all of the data is collected and analyzed, we will release a report with our findings. Our goal is to change the fact that there is a lack of healthy food options in these areas.  
You can see the report of our work in Santa Clara County here: []  
Light refreshments will be available at the training. RSVP by November 14 to

Community Culture Calender

The Empress Theatre Presents...
Soulshine with "Groovemasters" and special guest Ed Earley

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 7pm-10pm
Empress Theatre [330 Virginia Street, Vallejo, CA  94590]
All Ages Venue
Cover $7/advance and $9/door
Beer-wine-martini bar
tickets and information [707.552.2400] []
Trombone Player Headed To Historic Downtown Vallejo Theatre -
Soulshine, the newest Empress experience, turns up the heat in a pro-jam style concert focused on funk, soul, blues and R&B music. The house band for this series is Timm Walker's Groovemasters featuring Charles Spikes, Wilson Brooks and Lorenzo Hawkins. The house band will welcome special guest blues trombone player, Ed Earley, to the latest musical offering of the historical Vallejo Theatre. Ed Earley is a "trombone player's" trombone player. The charismatic player has played with just about everybody in the blues world from Albert King to John Lee Hooker.  In addition to his own band, The Ed Earley Band, Ed is currently performing with blues legend Elvin Bishop, as well as teaching and writing music.
Soulshine comes on the heals of the theatre’s very successful Wednesday Night Ramble focusing on Americana, roots, blues and funk music. Soulshine will bring the same spirit of “organized chaos” with a slightly different flavor of music relying upon Soul, R&B and funk sounds for the stage that is fast becoming known for it’s innovative musical offerings. Previous special guests have been funk guitarist Don Caruth from The Joint Chiefs; Michael Jeffries, former lead singer of Tower Power, blues guitarist Kenny Neal, Lady Bianca, Pat Wilder, Will Russ, Jr., Rhonda Benin, Sista Monica and funk flautist Kymberly Jackson.
(photo by Tom Dellinger)

Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center and Friendly Favors present...
DAVID KORTEN ~ Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth
Potluck dinner followed with a presentation by the publisher of YES! Magazine and the author of: When Corporations Rule the World.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to late addition of this event it will take place at the Lub residence at 61 Los Cerros Place, Walnut Creek
Potluck at 6 p.m. Presentation at 7 p.m.
Korten is a leading critic of corporate globalization and a visionary proponent of a planetary system of local living economies. His international best seller, When Corporations Rule the World (1995) helped frame the global resistance against corporate globalization. The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (2006), illuminates the significance of this resistance by placing it in the historical context of 5,000 years of Empire and the organization of human relationships by dominator hierarchy. His latest book, Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth (2009), offers bold economic proposals that address the underlying cause of the current economic collapse, not just its symptoms.
In addition to an active schedule of writing and speaking on global issues, Korten serves as President of the People-Centered Development Forum, Chair the board of YES! Magazine (, Board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (livingeconomies .org), and Co-chair the New Economy Working Group (
Cost: $20 suggested donation and a dish to share

The Empress Theatre presents...
Danny Click and the Hell Yeahs!

Friday, November 15, 2013 8pm
The Empress Theatre [330 Virginia Street, Vallejo]
tickets and information [707.552.2400] []
General Admission:  $15/advance and $18/door
Danny Click and the Hell Yeahs! Return to Empress Theatre Stage -
Austin transplant and chart-topping singer/songwriter Danny Click and his band, the Hell Yeahs! return to the Empress for an evening of Roots Rock, Americana, and Blues. Danny is a favorite at the Empress. Until a few years ago, Danny Click was one of Austin’s best-kept secrets, a musician’s musician who’d won the respect of some of alt-country’s biggest names but hadn’t yet found widespread recognition. That changed when Click's latest CD, Life Is A Good Place, was released in April, 2011 and spent more than 12 consecutive months on the Country, pop, and Americana radio charts.
Danny Click's sound is a refreshing return to smart, sassy blues-inflected rock and roll. Think Tom Petty crossed with John Mellencamp, spiced with the southern tradition of Lucinda Williams and John Hiatt. Add to that Click's searing guitar, reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan and David Lindley, and you've got a winning mix. Yet Click doesn't just pay tribute to his musical heroes, he offers up his own emotionally compelling vision, one that puts him comfortably in their company.
Danny has released four albums, including his most recent, Life Is A Good Place, featuring wide-open songs with a dose of hope for all the people who hear them. The new album remained on the country, pop, and Americana radio charts for more than 10 consecutive months, with the first single, "Wait my Turn," reaching #1 on Nashville’s Indie World Country Chart.
(Photo by Tom Dellinger)

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