Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #46

October 12th, 2007  |  Published in Kay Bourne Arts Report


by Kay Bourne
(pictured: a Bobby Crayton leather handbag)

410 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46 9th ANNUAL ROXBURY OPEN STUDIOS, OCTOBER 13-14, Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 6pm both days, puts out the welcome mat for you to enter the studios where Roxbury artists make their work. With the artist on hand to answer questions, you’ll see recent work from photography to paintings, to quilts, jewelry, sculpture, home décor, and much more. Free shuttle buses will take you to all the studios, if you desire.

Among the 150 artists ready to welcome you are DIANNE ZiMBABWE with her intriguing textiles and BOBBY CRAYTON with his fabulous leather pocketbooks that he paints on. His designer bags define the word “unique.” (I bought two of them last year as holiday gifts).

This will be the sixth year running that JOHNETTA TINKER has opened her studio at 195 Brunswick Street, Roxbury.

“I love the repeat visitors,” she comments. “They see a work in progress one year, the next year it’s complete. ‘Wow!’ they say. ‘You’ve finished it.’ And you think, ‘hmm, I wonder if I have finished it because like all artists you ponder that question until finally you sign your name and that’s that.’

The director of Community Outreach at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on the Fenway, Tinker paints on paper, then layers the pieces. She derives her subject matter from “the world around me and what appears in my dreams; I’m realistic and surrealistic in my work.”

There’s children’s art at Hawthorne House and inventive photo montages from established arts photographer, REGINALD JACKSON, retired professor of photography at Simmons College.

You can visit Boston’s renown gallery for African Art, the Hamill Gallery at 2164 Washington Street, stop by the School of the Museum of Fine Art on the Fenway. There are locations from Dudley Square to Egleston Square and Walnut Park to Grove Hall, Mission Hill, Lower Roxbury, and Fort Hill. Visit the Roxbury Open Studios website by clicking the image above or the link below, for a map of all the artists locations. Program guides with maps are available at all the locations during the weekend and at ACT Roxbury’s office at 184 Dudley Street. The 9th Annual ROXBURY OPEN STUDIOS is one of a number of events produced by ACT Roxbury and sponsored by local businesses. For more information call ACT Roxbury at 617-541-3900, option 2, extension 327.


(pictured: Sam Cooke)
401 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46 Independent filmmakers have been at odds with the Hollywood Studio system for as long as there have been movies. From Oscar Micheaux to Melvin Van Peebles, Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, all stood their ground to make films that they believed in, films that told the stories of their culture.

On the heels of these filmmakers came Spike Lee, Leslie Harris, Kasi Lemmons, Robert Townsend, Reggie Hudlan. And many others will follow in their footsteps to tell the stories of people that Hollywood does not seem to have an interest in.

The Color of Film Collaborative, Inc. supports these truly independent, up-and-coming filmmakers through its “Mini-Grant Fund” as they also seek individual contributions in order to complete their projects. The documentaries, shorts and movies created by The Color of Film’s ‘MINI-GRANT’ winners will be in full view, as you get A TASTE OF FILM next Saturday, OCTOBER 20, at our 2nd Annual fundraiser to benefit TCOF’s “Mini-Grant Fund.” With stories about the life of Sam Cooke; to four key days an American and European camera crew were allowed to film inside Libya-since the US renewed ties in 2004; to a 20-yr. documenation following a Boston family dealing with the affects of AIDS; to the story of a group of people who met on-line through a music website, who’ve formed their own unique “family,” you will be captivated by these filmmakers’ creativity.

A TASTE OF FILM also features the diverse array of dishes donated by area restaurants and caterers such as IRIE Jamaican Restaurant, Poppa B’s, berries caterers, Ethnica Catering, Haley House Bakery & Cafe, Le Foyer Bakery, Discerning Tastes, Garden Girl and others.

Proceeds from A TASTE OF FILM will also benefit this newsletter, The Kay Bourne Arts Report, now in it’s second year of connecting “those who love The Arts to the arts they love” in its goal of launching the KBAR website to move its presence to the on-line arts and entertainment forum.

We invite you to join The Color of Film, The Kay Bourne Arts Report and the “Mini-Grant” winners on OCTOBER 20 for A TASTE OF FILM. You will be inspired and tantalized by what you see and Taste!

Ticket info for A TASTE OF FILM

by Kay Bourne
408 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46 When six foot, three comedian BILL BELLAMY made his DVD “Bill Bellamy Back To My Roots,” the pedigree he looked at was how he got started as a comic, not the ancestry of his family’s unusual height. The Rudgers University student had entered a male beauty pageant, which he won when he showcased his previously hidden talent for making folks laugh.

Yet, “I am taller than damn near everybody,” Bellamy notes in a recent phone conversation prior to his appearance this coming weekend at the Comedy Connection in Faneuil Hall. (Actor) Will Smith is about my height;” otherwise, “I am tall, and I wear it as a plus, and I do refer to it in my stand-up work. It’s nothing you pick, however, and finally it’s that you’re funny that kills everything. That’s your trump, being a funny person.”

So even though he hasn’t done one of the National Geographic DNA searches to track his heritage, “tall” is obviously a hallmark of his family. A cousin of Miami Heat center, Shaquille O’Neal as a notable example, Bellamy observes, “I come from a long line of strong, Black people. My mom and dad are tall with big personalities. My uncles. It’s in my genes. I got a pair of tall genes on.”

Bellamy is happy about the OCTOBER 18, two-show gig in Boston. (Click on his image above for ticket information.) “I love the vibe of the city,” he remarks; “the people. All the bar and colleges. The hospitality. The Comedy Connection is famous and intimate, a really nice club.”

The 8th Annual Boston Comedy Festival is currently underway. A number of comics of Color are prominent, including Deb Farrar-Parkman‘s pack of female comics of color, Color Struck who performed at Nick’s Comedy Stop, October 9.

Roxbury’s Hibernian Hall saw the ‘Fun Room Urban Comedy showcase’ with host Corey Manning and a line up of J.L. Cauvin, Orlando Baxter, Erin Jackson, Vanessa Graddick, Greg Howell, and Chris Tabb. This Saturday night, it’s the Comedy Finals at the Cutler Majestic where eight comics vie for $10,000 in prize money and other awards are bestowed.

The Boston Comedy Festival calendar

by Kay Bourne
(pictured: Marcia Fearon and Raidge)

406 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46 Boston actor, MARCIA FEARON, who hails from Jamaica, plays the lead in a new play from Trevor Rhone, which she says parallels her life. “TWO CAN PLAY” directed by Michael Rogers, opens the new theater season for the Providence Black Repertory Company, 276 Westminster St. in Providence, R.I. and will run through NOVEMBER 11.

Rhone, one of the founders of the Barn Theater in Kingston, Jamaica, is best known in Boston for the 1972, now classic film with the memorable and ground-breaking reggae score, starring actor/singer Jimmy Cliff, “The Harder They Come,” about a country boy who dreams of making it as a singer in Kingston.

The movie played for several years without interruption at the Orson Welles Cinema in Cambridge, and was followed by a literary coup when Michael Thelwell wrote a novel, “The Harder They Come” (Grove Press, 1980), based on Rhone’s screenplay, which won plaudits from both scholarly critic Harold Bloom known for boosting the staid literary canon and social activist Stokley Carmichael (aka Kwame Ture), as well. The popular Jamaican dramatist and screenwriter fascinates theater and moviegoers alike for his insights into the complexities of African Diaspora life in the Caribbean and the U.S.

The role of Gloria is Fearon‘s professional debut. Busy raising three sons, Fearon has “always loved theater,” she says. To this point, however, she has tried her acting wings only in plays which she wrote, as part of one of the ministries at Roxbury Presbyterian Church, 328 Warren Street.

Fearon found the story of “TWO CAN PLAY,” set in Jamaica, in the 80′s with reference to Miami as well, has a familiar ring. A tale of the perils of love, marriage, and the American dream, the opening finds Gloria and her husband Jim fantasizing about leaving the violence of Kingston for what they believe will be a more peaceful life and one with more economic opportunity in the U.S. However, dreaming is about as far as Jim gets, while the more practical Gloria works out the ways they can make their move. “She does everything, while the husband sits back, and in the end takes credit for any accomplishment that’s made,” notes Fearon.

She says that, “it’s not until Gloria has the courage to speak to him” that matters change. They may have a future in America but not together “until we learn to communicate and find out what’s going on even in the bed where he thought he was satisfying Gloria, but he wasn’t.”

Fearon has found the traveling to Providence for rehearsals “bearable, except for the time “there was a (football) game in Foxborough and that was stressful. But I’m having a wonderful time.

“I absolutely will try out for more plays, which are hopefully not as far away as Providence. Gas prices are so high. But sometimes you have to make sacrifices for things close to your heart,” she said.

The Providence Black Repertory Company was founded in 1996 by native Rhode Islander Donald W. King, who continues as the artistic/executive director. For more information visit The Black Rep’s website by clicking the link below.

Providence Black Reperatory Company website

by Kay Bourne
407 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46As hurricane Katrina lashes New Orleans, and the flood waters rise, blues singer Joe reflects on the love he lost years back when he refused that time, too, to leave his home. Playwright RENITA MARTIN returns to Boston with a new play “BLUE FIRE ON WATER”, a story of love and betrayal with a bow to the real life travails of jazz artist BILLY TIPTON who lived as a man, although she was a woman.

Martin’s new play opens the 16th annual Out On The Edge Festival of Queer Theater in a playlab of readings, Theater Offensive’s ‘Plays At Work’. Also on the docket is a drama from Theater Offensive Artistic Director ABE RYBECK, “HELLO GOODBYE PEACE.” For exact scheduling of the OCTOBER 20 & 21 performances, visit Theatre Offensive‘s website. “BLUE FIRE ON WATER” is being directed by VINCENT SIDERS. The festival takes place at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End where the Theater Offensive is a resident company.

Martin‘s award-winning dramas produced in past years in Boston have included “Five Bottles in a Six Pack,” which went on to a run in New York at the Cherry Lane Theater. She also recently completed graduate studies in theater at Brandeis University. The rewards of scholarly endeavor for a dramatist are multiple, she says. “Networking is one of the biggest benefits,” she enumerates; “meeting other artists doing similar work and meeting more professional theater artists than you did before.

“For me the structure of grad school was a good thing. Having deadlines, and also having the luxury to read books I had wanted to read. Also having to constantly create new work without the pressure of it going public, immediately,” she said.

Martin has also made a name for herself as a director of programs for troubled youth. She is soon to receive an ‘Unsung Hero Award’ from Ebony Magazine for her work with Rhythms Vision Production Company which she started here in Boston and which continues here, as well as in Brooklyn, where Martin now resides. One of its projects is the Heritage Arts Workshop, an 8-week program for incarcerated girls which culminates in their displaying their art and doing a play.

The Out On The Edge Festival continues with the New England premiere of the Off Broadway smash hit “Oedipus At Palm Springs”, and continues with John Kelly in “Paved Paradise: The Songs of Joni Mitchell,” “Out of the Box: Twisted Tales,” and concluding with the return of “Nut/Cracked.”

Official website of Theater Offensive

by Lisa Simmons
(pictured: Joyce and George Wein)

409 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46 An amazing night to honor an amazing woman. “A Celebration of Jazz and Joyce”, the gala concert that kicked off the Beantown Jazz Festival on September 28, directed by Joyce’s husband and Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein, was truly a magical evening. Playing to a sold out house at Symphony Hall, musicians Brandford Marsalis, Esperanza Spalding, Geri Allen, Roy Haynes, Regina Carter and Herbie Hancock and many more performed from the heart to honor the legacy of Joyce Wein and help establish the Joyce Alexander Wein Scholarship Fund that will benefit students who attend Berklee College of Music.

Joyce Wein, a biochemist by training, was born and grew up in Roxbury, MA. A Girls’ Latin School Alum, (she entered at 15 and graduated at 19) Wein began her career close to home at Mass. General Hospital. It was during her time writing the jazz column for the Simmons College newspaper, that she met George Wein backstage when she was covering a performance by saxophonist Sidney Bechet at the Boston Opera House. George was an aspiring pianist and pre-med student at Boston University. Instant connection, the two were married in 1959. She gave up her career as a bio-chemist to became an advisor, confidante and partner with Wein in the creation of Jazz, Opera and Folk festivals they produced all over the world. A founder of the New York Coalition of 100 Black Women, creator of the Joyce and George Wein Professorship Fund in African-American Studies at Boston University, and the Alexander Family Endowed Scholarship Fund at Simmons College, she has long been a philanthropist.

The gala celebration in her honor and the development of the scholarship in her name is a testament of how beloved she was, not only by the musicians who had the opportunity to play for her, but by the audiences she enjoyed creating for and a loving man who honors her to this day.

As the Calderazza keyboard lit on fire and the Marsalis trumpet sounded to the farthest seat and the beat of Roy Haynes‘ drums vibrated through Symphony Hall, you could feel the love and joy throughout the room. It was a beautiful tribute from a husband to a wife.

Beantown Jazz Festival website

402 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46Tantalize your taste buds. Drink in the excitement and Celebrate the voices of independent filmmakers at our 2nd Annual TASTE OF FILM fundraiser for The Color of Film Collaborative’s Mini-Grant Fund and the Kay Bourne Arts Report.

We hope you all will come out and support the work of The Color of Film and The Kay Bourne Arts Report and if for some reason you won’t be able to make it down to this fabulous event, consider making a donation by purchasing a ticket on-line, just the same.

The First Annual TASTE, last year, was a great success and we anticipate this year’s TASTE OF FILM to be as equally exciting, and we want you there to enjoy it.

Tickets for A TASTE OF FILM, on OCTOBER 20, at Roxbury Center for Arts at Hibernian Hall, are available on line now at www.brownpapertickets.com.THE COLOR OF FILM website

(Photo credit: Monique Rogers)
411 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46A Bostonian of many generations, PRINCE TAJ performs at ROXBURY DAY which was September 22, at Fort Hill in Roxbury. He sang songs from his soon to be released Ep – “Black and Still Ain’t Free.”

412 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #46Some of the 150 ROXBURY OPEN STUDIO artists Top row: Earl Fields (painter), Kevin Porter (painter), James Canales (painter), Cullen Washington (painter), Renford Reid Jr.(illustrator), Bobby Crayton (artisan), Daniel Dougherty (painter), Chandra Dieppa Ortiz (painter), Arthur Birkland (painter) Bottom row:Terri Brown (ACT Program Manager), Denise Matthews Turner (artisan), Lydia Polanco (Mission Hill coordinator), David Mynott (photographer/painter), Derek Lumpkins (photographer), Michelle Green (artisan), Sheila Hoyt (painter), Wendy Ellertson (artisan), Ekua Holmes (painter), Percy Davis (painter)

Three Films by Shyam Benegal October 19-21 Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts. The MFA Film Program and the South Asia Initiative at Harvard are proud to host a visit by one of India’s most respected filmmakers, Shyam Benegal, October 19-21. This distinguished historian and film director will be present to discuss three of his films: Zubeidaa, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero, and Manthan. Shyam Benegal will be present at all three screenings.

EXTENDED UNTIL OCTOBER 28 TRINITY REP‘s season started SEPTEMBER 14 with a restaging of the bold political drama ALL THE KING’S MEN by Adrian Hall, adapted from the Robert Penn Warren novel, and directed by Brian McEleney and runs until OCTOBER 28. For tickets or more information contact the Trinity Rep box office, by phone at (401) 351-4242.

Nathan Warren Lane’s,”THE DEVIL’S TEACUP” runs Thursdays-Sundays, OCTOBER 18-2. Die-hard New Yorker Max Fletcher is back in the small, southern Baptist town where he was born and raised – Calvary, Arkansas. Faced with a funeral and the sale of the family’s moneymaking saloon, The Devil’s Teacup, Max has got some decisions to make. For ticket information call

Take a Closer Look at La bohème. Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) will offer several different educational events leading up to Puccini’s La bohème to enhance the experience of attending a performance. These events are part of BLO’s continuing commitment to engage and educate the opera novice, the aficionado and everyone in between. For more information call (617) 542-4912, ext. 239. ·Single tickets to La bohème are on sale now with prices starting at $33. They are available at telecharge.com, (800) 447-7400, or in person at the Citi Performing Arts Center, 270 Tremont Street in Boston, Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm. ·Group discounts available by calling Audience Services at (617) 542-6772. ·Student Rush Tickets (50% discount) are available at any time at the Citi Performing Arts Center box office.

COMPANY ONE presents Toni Morrison’s THE BLUEST EYE a play adapted by Lydia R. Diamond, OCTOBER 26 – NOVEMBER 13, at Boston Center for the Arts Click here for more information.

Rhythm at the Regent featuring Barbara Duffy and Company’s “Stages” Saturday, OCTOBER 27 at 8pm, The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington Center, call 781-646-4849 for information. Comprising New York City’s fleetest female feet, Barbara Duffy and Company showcases the power, sensitivity, and grace of tap with emotionally driven choreography that celebrates life through the universal power of rhythm.

Black Theater in Boston: A Director’s Roundtable airs OCTOBER 25 at 7:30pm on WGBH 2, Encore: November 22 at 7:30pm on WGBH 2. For many years, Boston’s black theater community has been committed to presenting works that reflect the African American experience Basic Black is proud to present a roundtable of acclaimed directors Jacqui Parker, Robbie McCauley and Lois Roach. The episode will also present scenes from Jacqui Parker’s ‘Dark as a Thousand Midnights’, a play that resonates with the universal themes of race, identity, history and redemption.

It will be a Night of Celebrations at the 8th Annual High Hopes Gala to Benefit Joslin Diabetes Center, Saturday, NOVEMBER 3 at The Westin Copley Place, Boston, to honor Joslin doctors Martin Abrahamson and George King, as well as revel in its new relationship with Boston Red Sox Fan Favorite Kevin Youkilis. Tickets now available ($400 each); please call 617-732-2513.

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About The Color of Film

The Color of Film Collaborative is a non-profit organization that supports and fosters the individuals and organizations in the creation of diverse images of people of color in film, video, theater and other media, by providing artists with opportunities to exhibit, distribute and find funding for their work, as well as provide a supportive environment where they can share and develop their ideas, their vision and their work with their peers. About Us

Roxbury International Film Festival

Join us July 29th - August 1st, 2010 for the 12th Annual Roxbury Film Festival. Incredible movies will be playing and other events will be happening and more. Find out more

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