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March 2018

the beginning

Issue #2

March 2018

"Can you imagine a world where everyone was expressing themselves and engaging in things that they love?" ---Joel Bassin



March 2018


Over and Over Again If you have ever tried to do anything for the first time, then you have failed

at some point in your life. If you think that you are one of the rare people who doesn’t fail at anything, then you must not have attempted anything big enough to scare you. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With every failure, comes an opportunity to embrace something new. Embracing the new can be freeing if you let it. You get to lose control for a little bit, and just let life happen to you. Your awareness is heightened a bit as you try to take in as much of the experience as possible because your body is prepared to fight or flight even in the smallest of experiences. Beginning something new means you are taking yourself from familiar to unfamiliar, and that’s a scary thing sometimes. In spite of how uncomfortable beginning can be, you shouldn’t ever let that keep you from getting there. You are worth the risk so take a chance on yourself, and never stop beginning!

Best wishes,

Avian Mills Publisher

Who we are Founders

Avian Mills and Joi Donaldson


Evincive Magazine is a free monthly online TM publication. Evincive Magazine is a trademark of Evincive Media, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

March 2018

14 Features 14

On Display Feature


Center Stage Feature

Departments 06

Editor's Note


On Display


Center Stage





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The Beauty of Beginnings The beautiful thing that happens at a beginning is an ending. An old way

of thinking, doing, creating and behaving is tossed away and we make room for newness. Change is inevitable and brings with it a new set of views if we allow ourselves to change our line of sight. By expanding our perspective, we allow the truth of a new beginning to take root. Every step on this journey is a new beginning, even if we’ve been here for a while. Remind yourself it’s okay to start over; it’s necessary to begin again. In this issue, we explore the many layers of new beginnings.

Joi Donaldson Editor-in-Chief

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March 2018




March 2018

Matthew Dennis is a painter,

photographer, a Richmond native and a product of VCU Arts. He has a passion for detail and enjoys what light does to an object. His medium of choice is acrylics.


Visual Ashley Robertson is a

Richmond native who primarily works in graphite. This photography print is one of her first.


This image represents the stages of falling in love. The freefall into love is invigorating and maybe even a little scary. The impact of the water onto the rocks creates a burst of energy into a different direction. This is the moment that feelings become real and serious; the start of a new purpose where you are a part of something bigger than you.


March 2018

Kizzie is a painter, collage artist, and Richmond native. These are some of her first photography pieces. Distracted

A photo print of a log that was found in the woods. Someone had obviously cut the log and put it together in the shape of a cross, but while walking by it, the thought of a distracted Jesus came to mind. What if He had gotten distracted by some worldly thing and just left His cross there on that road? The beginning of Christianity would have been a lot different because His end would have been a lot different.


A digitally altered photo print of the James River. This is what I imagine the beginning of time looked like; beautiful, tranquil, and flowing with energy and light.




Author: Unknown

You make my heart sprout wings Stained with the blood of my rib cage As the music notes of your laughter Wrap their cords around arteries Slowly extracting veins from Hemophiliac finger tips and toes Making room for hopes and dreams to flow out And I watch helplessly as the core of my being Perches gracefully on your tiny index finger You kiss it, and with big bright eyes You whisper to me, I love you I would cry but the senses in my brain Are so preoccupied with trying to comprehend your beauty That they overlook my pain As I realize I no more pain You are the most magnificent manifestation of God’s glory Standing right before me And I have the audacity not to bow down Your smile dispatches a miniature militia That surrounds and captures every fort of thought And worry that my mind constructs Leaving me no other choice but to surrender To peace treaty tea parties and coloring sessions And every morning your eyes open commanding the sun to rise I feel how God must have felt when Jesus declared “It is finished.” Overjoyed by fulfilled destinies I scoop you up into force field arms Momentarily reuniting heart with empty chest cavity As you dig your nose into my collar bone Attempting to inhale the smell of my soul To take with you as your guardian angel Stopping my heart that 18th day of the beginning My new life, forcing me to live on the grace of your existence And the beauty of your smile. You are more than an angel My savior, come again, the keeper of my heart There on your tiny index finger, every day of your life. 12

Inspired words

We understand that sometimes it's hard to get your creative juices flowing, so here's a couple of prompts you can use to get your wheels turning. Use either of the prompts below to craft some genre of creative writing and submit it to us to be included in a future issue. Make sure to indicate the prompt number in which you are writing from. Prompt #1: Tell about the hardest thing you have ever had to let go of in your life. Prompt #2: Everyone daydreams, what do yours look like?

March 2018

SWEET SPOT BOOK OF THE MONTH MASTERPIECE BY: ELISE BROAH You think it’s a book about art – but really it turns out to be a book about friendship. Marvin is a beetle. A cockroach? Maybe. But he lives with his family in the Pompaday family’s apartment in New York City. Marvin and his family are wise and observant even as they store tales of relatives who have struck out on their own with beetle wanderlust. Marvin manages to strike up a relationship with the human boy James. Marvin also turns out to be an talented artist and this discovery leads to the layered plot of Masterpiece. Marvin and James make their way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and somehow get embroiled in an arcane scheme to catch art forgers. That may all sound complex – and it is a little. But Masterpiece is really about discovery. Marvin and James discover the art of the European artist, Albrecht Dürer. They learn about the four virtues – prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice. Most importantly, they learn about the mysterious and enduring power of friendship. Students and their families learn all this, too – that is the magic of Elisa Broach’s Masterpiece. It conjures the atmosphere of E.L. Konigsberg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It is a book – in length and theme that may appeal more to older elementary school children – but just as in Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – even younger children will be carried away by empathizing with tiny Marvin as he tries to make his way and negotiate and survive in the world of humans.

Read to Them® is a 501 C (3) non-profit organization promoting family literacy. Our mission is to create a culture of literacy in every home. We do this by helping schools implement our One School, One Book® and One District, One Book® programs. Our programs encourage and enable reading together at home by providing every school with tools, resources, guidance, and support. Read to Them educates families and schools on the benefits and importance of reading aloud at home. A growing body of research describes the complex and permanent effects of reading aloud. Children who are read to learn to read more easily and become better readers. Literacy skills provide the basis for a lifetime of learning and productivity.

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And all that art? Well who wouldn’t benefit from learning that a masterpiece is “a painting that can be interpreted a hundred different ways?” As a great children’s novel should – Masterpiece will leave your students and families curious about art – and wiser about the true bonds of friendship.

Visit them! 13


Amanda Eaddy Oliver


March 2018

Some people just have a light about them that cannot be extinguished, and author, Amanda Eaddy Oliver, is definitely one of those people. As I walked up to her, sitting outside Lift Coffee Shop and Café here in Richmond, she looked up and simultaneously stormed me with her big beautiful smile and warm hug. Her small stature is no indication of just how enormous and vibrant her personality can be. From the moment we sat down together, until the final goodbye, she smiled. Eaddy Oliver has been captivated by words for pretty much her entire life. She recalls writing poems and stories as far back as the third grade. Having teachers who encouraged her by posting her creative writings on bulletin boards and entering them in school contests, made it easier to stay steadfast in her passion. “My dad asked me at 17 years old, what I wanted to do with my life and I said I just want to write,” says Eaddy Oliver. Without any real idea how to make that happen, in the beginning, driven by passion alone, she set out to accomplish her goal.

“It’s something about stirring people’s emotions…I want people to feel something when they read what I write,” says Eaddy Oliver. She is truly passionate about what she does and it radiates out of her with every syllable. She is passionate about empowering and encouraging young girls to be great. “I’m always trying to get people to think better, feel better…as writers, we can either hurt or heal,” declares Eaddy Oliver. You are a powerful source of dreams, as a writer, and choosing the voice you want to speak in is a very important part of your responsibility to your audience. Eaddy Oliver’s voice reflects her own life and the things she witnesses around her. “What I notice about my writing is, the more I experience, the better my writing gets,” says Eaddy Oliver.

Eaddy Oliver is a mother of two beautiful children as well as a published author, speaker and teen girl advocate. She published her first book in 2010, Cheyenne the Cat, which was a children’s book about a cat, her friends and the importance of love and acceptance of one's individuality. She now has six published works and is already working on the next one. She writes books catered to women and girls and their life experiences. The lack of encouragement, as a young girl, is what motivates her to push so hard now to be a light for teens girls. “If you don’t get creative people, it’s difficult for you to foster creativity in someone else,” she said. Being able to give a teen girl a constructive outlet so that they want more out of life and themselves is her biggest goal. Just letting them know that “I see you,” is enough sometimes, and that’s what Eaddy Oliver is doing with her works.

According to Eaddy Oliver, the key to being a great writer can be summed up by two words; “just write!” Finding time to write every day is so important for the new aspiring writer. She encourages anyone with that dream to set aside a mere thirty minutes a day to write and practice your craft. It is easy to dream, but “it will stay just an idea if you don’t do anything,” concludes Eaddy Oliver. She recalls, kicking everyone out of the house one day to really push to finish writing 15

“I want people to feel something when they read what I write.�


March 2018


Cheyenne the Cat, and it made her feel even more empowered. It was at that moment that she realized that no matter how certain anything else was in her life, if she wanted to make it as a writer, she was going to have to write as often as she could. All the other logistics of publishing are not as important in the grand scheme of things. At 37 years old, having just published one of her most successful books to date, Eaddy Oliver finds herself in the middle of a separation from her husband of ten years. “Who wants to really start over at 37,” she belted. Sometimes you will go through really crappy things in life, but how you react to them is the real gauge for who you are as a person. She feels that thrives on writing during or just after difficult times in her life, so she is excited about what this experience will yield in her writing. Never letting the smile leave her face for a second, she confidently said, “I feel like my best work is going to come out of this season.”


March 2018

When asked where she saw herself in the next 10 years, she quickly answered, “out of Virginia,” as she giggled. She wants to go out and explore the world and create in other places. All of her creativity has been filtered through a small but phenomenal lens up to this point. “I want to see what happens when I go live in, maybe the Northwest, or just go to different places…how is the creativity stirred up by those different experiences,” she says. She also hopes to have her organization for teen girls running all over the East coast and maybe even have a school for the arts where children can come to create on their terms. “Who knows what ten more years will bring,” she says as she smiles even bigger. If you haven’t had a chance to read any of Eaddy Oliver’s books, now is the time to change that, and for parents of young girls, we highly recommend you gift them Denise Bradshaw and the summer of Tuna. Story and photography by Avian Mills Here’s a list of her current titles: Cheyenne the Cat The Lessons of Life No Girls Aloud Love Don’t Live Here No More Chains Denise Bradshaw and the Summer of Tuna Look out for amazing new updates on Eaddy Oliver’s website and Facebook page!

Visit her!


Like her on Facebook!



March 2018


Henrico, VA 804-477-1819 21

What is the experience like, working with the cast and production crew? It's great! One of the attractions to theatre is that you get to work with a lot of really smart people, making something beautiful, that then disappears." So it really is like a bunch of Do Quixotes In Richmond as opposed to NY, there's not as much external noise around everything so that makes it different, some parts sort of healthier and better and other parts, maybe not. But it's all a balance. What makes Firehouse Theatre different? "On one level, what makes us different is that we own our building, so we have a permanent home, and that changes everything. Also, it's an old fire


The Firehouse Theatre Joel Bassin, Producing Artistic Director Interviewed by: Avian Mills AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAA A little over three years ago the Firehouse Theatre Board ushered Joel Bassin down from his New York home to become their Producing Artistic Director. Bassin had toured the world as Managing Director of the Wooster Group and worked with Mabou Mines and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. With a Master's in Directing and a Ph.D. in Theatre, it's easy to say that he is well versed in his craft and knows a good show when he sees one.


March 2018


station so it has a pretty unique and specific history that makes everything that happens in here organic. Not completely understanding what he was walking into when he accepted the position with Firehouse, Bassin waltzed in, head held high; ready to push forward in his creative legacy. Unfortunately, the fallout between the board and the Founding Artistic Director, in 2012, had left an aftermath much like what you would find "wandering the streets of Pompeii after the volcano..." There was no plan or instructions for Bassin to follow or build upon. "It looked like it used to be a theatre, but no one could confirm or deny it," Bassin said. He was able to start over and create a new Firehouse. How has your beginning here differed from the Firehouse Theatre we know today? I’m not really good at looking back, says Bassin.

Being overly familiar with the process of creating brilliance and then watching it slowly fade from the forefront of your conscience makes it commonplace to just keep looking forward. “But I will say that I think I’ve started to embrace my inner Kermunchin,” chuckles Bassin. When he first arrived in Richmond, everything was about just wanting people to like him and working really hard in that way. There was even a conscious effort to not seem like a typical “New Yorker” to everyone he met here. Though his intent in coming here was not to just go along with things, he didn’t intend to try to shake things up either. He simply states, “I just came down here to do work I like doing, with people I thought I would like doing work with, and now I’m really starting to see the things I want to take form.”


MARCH 2018 Happy Hour Poetry Tue, March 13 @ 6pm $5 suggested donation at the door Now with more mic time! Break out of the work week routine with a dose of hot verse at Firehouse! Featuring showcase performances by local poets, an open mic sign up for those with a verse or two to drop themselves, and a cash bar with happy hour specials, it's a great way to make the most of a long day. Come catch the night on fire with us! PERFORM an interactive dining affair Thur, March 15 @ 7pm All food is performance art and with no food is this more true than bacon. As Jim Gaffigan once put it, "even the frying of bacon sounds like applause." Bacon is the fulcrum upon which our entire identity pivots. This single food item forces us to grapple with questions of health and indulgence; morality, ethics, and environmental impact; the quality of artisanal foodstuffs vs. the availability and affordability of cheap breakfast meat. Perhaps more than all of these questions, bacon forces us to take a gamble on the painful sizzle of grease popping onto our bare hands before we can experience that pleasurable, melt-in-your-mouth "snap." Bacon is the edible practice of calculated risk and reward. We'll be sharing a multi-sensory, 5-7 course dining experience with about 30 guests on the stage of Firehouse. Join us as we share an experience where the interactive "performance" of food elevates an activity we tend to take for granted, into an encounter we won't soon forget. Tickets to Perform are $93, which includes all craft cocktails, wine pairings, plated courses, surprises, and gratuity for the evening. This ticket price also includes a $10 tax deductible charitable donation to E.A.T. Foundation for use in our ongoing culinary/nutritional education programs. #MeToo Monologues Sun, March 18 @ 6pm in partnership with YWCA Richmond and Safe Harbor $10 suggested donation In response to the galvanizing, empowering #MeToo social media movement that erupted late last year, Firehouse will be offering an evening of #MeToo Monologues featuring victims of sexual harassment and assault recounting their experiences as part of the ongoing effort to expose the insidious nature of sexual coercion and to help continue the culture-changing conversation that the #MeToo movement has inspired. Click here for the full calendar of events! 24


Firehouse Theatre puts on a whopping 211 shows desire…can you imagine a world where everyone from year to year. That amount of shows for the size was expressing themselves and engaging in things of this quaint theatre is unheard of. Fire house that they love,” says Bassin. strives to be a "hub" for community engagement. They don’t only put on plays and musicals, they No great thing can continue to be great for very host burlesque shows, spoken word shows, modern long without great new ideas and fresh support dance companies, magic shows, and so much more. surrounding it. They are truly a house of fire with a heart for the community. “Our patterns of perception Firehouse has a unique are determined by the things atmosphere and pushes the envelope when it comes to Firehouse needs the support of that are most significant to “new and weird” on a the community to continue to us and the different stage. Engagement is their be the powerhouse that they environments that we product and they do it with have proven to be during it’s experience,” says Bassin. an beautifully intentional lifetime. Bassin asks for but drunken grace that passionate people to come get involved with what they are creating to lend their passion and talents to help progress the vision of Firehouse Theatre. “We need people to come tell us what they want us to do or either come make it happen themselves,” declares Bassin. Whatever the commitment level, meeting new people who can engage with their vision allows them to continue to make great things happen. “Theatre is 98%


makes you question what you were doing with your life before encountering it. Firehouse Theatre 1609 W. Broad St. Richmond, VA Visit them! Like them on Facebook!

Young Word Wielder of the Month Sothex


By: Gbari Garrett, 17 years old

Behold! You gaze upon a man With skills no mortals understand I am, to some, named Sothex, yet I am called ‘lord’ by those unmet For those who know not of my life I’m son of Thesobse, and his wife In my presence, death relents, And the heavens, I cometh whence

Of his crimes, one can list fear “Change”, he pleads, “Come hither, near!” Words of greatness, great ones say If it worked, he stays away I have swords from metals fine He, however, cuts more lines Out of books, he tears each page Claiming foul with unjust rage.

I am Conquest, holy, wild, Gems are mine, my gold is piled Power is for what I yearn, Influence all can discern. With envy all else will stare As I don my fabrics rare I, Sothex, can never fall Challenge me, none have the gall

He says “We have shifted us!” He says, “We have had enough!” “Of the lies and of the cheats, Of promises no man meets!” To him, I say, “Foolish dreck!” “Wherefore fix what’s not a wreck?” “He responds, “We must improve! Old should find no foul in new!”

In this fashion, I insist In my ranks all life enlist Men and women, girls and boys Chant for war, make righteous noise. Our opponent bears no name Yet has horrors none can tame Hoards fall dead per seconds done Ours shall be the separate one.

Dear friends, you hear my prowess loud This change is one we've gone without I am strong, stronger than love Tradition's what I'm not above We people are a body well Perfection will put us in hell This monstrous fiend says lives have worth What about our nation's birth?

I call upon you, every soul Forgo the pieces for the whole Nevermind your scraps and rags Empty stomachs, empty bags Listen, I have coins and wealth He says he'll care for your health I'm the best, my life is yuge Rejoice as he’s drenched in rouge

Richmond Young Writers introduces kids ages 9-17 to the joy of creative writing through workshops taught by professional writers in the community. Like them on Facebook!


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March 2018



evincive Magazine: the beginning  

Literary and arts magazine showcasing Virginia creatives.

evincive Magazine: the beginning  

Literary and arts magazine showcasing Virginia creatives.