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FACE FORWARD Fall 2013 Newsletter

TABLE of Contents Meet the Face Forward Fall Team!

Essential Sessions

Let’s Talk Dialogues

Face Forward at Hip Hop Harambee




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FF Summer 2013 Newsletter

Artist Spotlights

Face Change/ Face Forward Take FF 2014- 17 Art Attack Over at Public What’s Happening/ Functionary Connect with us

Trung Nguyen 10 14 Pearll Warren See More Perspective 15


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Amanda Leaveck Founder and Executive Director

Ilya Natarius

Photo Manager

Shahar Eberzon

Artist and Community Development Representative

Marcos JuarezGosselin Video Manager

Team Members & Interns

Nadia Honary

Kiah Zellner-Smith

Neel Sharma

Matt Utecht

Media Team Member

Strategic Development

Social Media Intern

Media Team Member

Ready to Face Forward with us? Face Forward depends on our donors to help sustain our organization. If Face Forward has inspired you, don’t hesitate to join our family, and contribute what you can. Our goal is to get 50 partners to donate $10 a month. Help us get there?

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FF Fall 2013 Newsletter


In the past year, Face Forward has teamed up with the local recording studio, Essential Sessions Studio to produce a series of three song EPs featuring Face Forward artists. All of the reocrding, mixing and mastering time has been generously donated by Brad Matala and his crew at Essential Sessions Studio. This opportunity has been an incredible experience for newer artists in the Twin Cities to get professional recording and mixing work done in order to jumpstart their career.

This eight-week program was created to encourage open and meaningful dialogue between Face Forward community members. Discussions will range anywhere from race and ethnicity to gender and sexuality, all focusing on how art can be used for social change. All participants are committed to creating a safe space for each other. By exploring these social issues, the AFSC Dialogues allow participants take their artistic practices to the next level.

Hip Hop Harambee is a local festival that celebrates and supports local artists and performers in the Twin Cities community. Hosted by local hip hop artist P.O.S. and poet and emcee, Tish Jones , the festival is to last from 1 pm to 10 pm. This week I got the opportunity to meet with one of the founders of Hip Hop Harambee, Manuel Levins Holden (aka Manny Phesto) to gain a bit of insight on the purpose of the festival, and to learn more about how it all began. We met at his studio space, which is also used on Saturdays for a free yoga class. Manny has a very calm demeanor and an easy going smile, but he admitted to having some serious nerves with the festival that he and co-founder Jake Heinitz have been planning since January,


FF Fall 2013 Newsletter

just days away. Harambee is a Swahili term that means Come Together, and that is exactly what this festival embodies. A block party that started last year to celebrate the local hip hop community, Hip Hop Harambee was inspired by Manny and Jake’s desire to find a way to celebrate life through music. Last year’s event brought in a crowd of 1600 people. “That day at the Nomad World Pub parking lot, you could feel the support through the beats, as the music could be heard from miles away. It was more than just a block party. It was a creative collaboration, and the chance for community artists to get together through a shared passion for music.” While last year was like a giant party,

Hip Hop Harambee 2013 will be formatted like a festival. This year there’s going to be more action, more art, and more people. It will feature various local artists who support the Twin Cities community. Face Forward will be selling merchandise as well as having an interactive FACE CHANGE photo shoot booth, where people get their photos taken with a paragraph written about how they want to change in the community, and how to approach this change within their art.

Harambee this year. True to the meaning of Harambee, Manny and Jake want to include as many different people as possible, from all walks of life, to celebrate community in one big end-of-the-summer event. “Harambee is an opportunity for different types of artists and performers to network with each other, to get to know new people, and to just kick it. We don’t get to do that often.”

The goal for this year is to make the event As an organization dedicated to celebrating and accessible to people of all ages. supporting local artists, Face Forward booked the Insphyre Fire Performers and body and “If you want to do an event for the community, face painter Gretchen Pearson for Hip Hop you have to make sure all of the community can

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Artist Spotlight:

Trung Nguyěn Trung, a recently joined (and dearly loved) Face Forward Illustrator, immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1992. As a child his parents strictly monitored his media consumption so he never saw comic book superheroes like Batman or Spiderman on TV. Instead he discovered these characters at the library, and as a child developed a liking for illustrated books. More specifically, he enjoyed French and Belgian comic artists due to their lighthearted drawing styles. Besides being of great influence for his artistic development, reading library books also helped Trung learn English. “I used to like to draw pictures of superheroes from, like, the 1930s, and I remember being really surprised that none of my friends knew who Buck Rogers was. Even though I really liked to read about superheroes and how they came to be created, I never took an interest in actually reading superhero comics.” Trung developed a special inclination towards books with pretty illustrations, which frequently turned out to be fairy tales. Inspired by 20th century book and poster illustration at a critical point in his artistic development, much of Trung’s work now reflects these styles of illustration. Ironically, often disguised in these beautiful images were euphemisms for more serious commentaries.

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Over the past year, Face Forward hosted a series of community photo shoots that asked artists and community members how they FACE CHANGE in their lives and art forms. All images taken by Ilya Natarius, Nadia Honary, & Rita Kovtun. We will be adding 2-3 photos every day for the month of November in hopes of inspiring others to reflect on how they can actively stir positive social change in their own communities.


n order to FACE CHANGE one has to examine the current landscape and figure out what they want that change to be. One has to be honest, and realize it is not easy to change history. Art can stir change. I will use my art to inspire and motivate those that don’t have a voice//\\ The first step to FACE CHANGE is to imagine what that change would look like. One of the greatest obstacles to peace is our mental block - our inability to imagine change, to imagine our identity and our world changed and transformed into co-existence. As an Israeli, I’ve witnessed how pain and fear cloud my people’s vision of peace, causing change to seem threatening and confusing. Many Israelis want peace, but they are unable to imagine what that peace would look like and how they can fit in it. I try to face change by bridging the gap between fears and ambitions, and by trying to raise awareness about the practicability of peace. And to do so with the greatest empathy for those who live in fear, because I too grew up with that fear in my heart//\\ Every day I work towards changing the culture of the arts and entertainment industry in Minnesota. I’m helping FACE CHANGE in the community through inspiration and education, by performing and teaching//\\ I FACE CHANGE with an open heart. Change is the only way I will grow as a human being, and the performance artist I am. In the community, I want to see growth and sharing with each other. We will greatly improve as an artist community//\\ I FACE CHANGE with optimism and an open mind. I aspire to use my talents to bring a new perspective to others. The change I wish to see in my current community at college is a change in people’s attitudes towards those who are different than them. I believe using art can create a conversation that will introduce new ideas and make people see another side.//\\ I FACE CHANGE in my life by working on my communication skills. It is a skill that can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life. I FACE CHANGE as a musician by embracing change, trying new things, and being open minded. I FACE CHANGE in my community by creating more relationships. Relationships teach me the most about myself, others, and the mysteries of the Universe. “Less communication leaves us less room to grow!” ~Hendricks//\\ I FACE CHANGE with optimistic, thoughtful contemplation. Within my St. Thomas community, I want the student culture to change towards greater acceptance and equality. To approach the change, I will encourage an honest exchange of personal expression and dialogue to build a stronger sense of understanding between people.//\\ I FACE CHANGE as a poet by allowing myself to become a conduit, or channel emotionally. This ability, I believe, let’s me speak spiritually to those who will feel and hear me. For me, facing change is also the gift of being able to teach and educate young people in the community. I hope that through my ability to FACE CHANGE, I can help to nurture other’s need for positive expression; and this is one way to create change //\\ Sometimes it’s not just about making changes happen. It’s simply letting them happen. Learning how to FACE CHANGE is something I am working on right now. Music is a coping tool and is also a reflection of how I have changed. Coming from Hong Kong, I want to just start by being more involved with the art/music community in the Twin Cities. But one thing I also do wish to see back home is more governmental support for the independent music scene. //\\ How do you FACE CHANGE in the land? In yourself? We start by changing our philosophy into one of action. To FACE CHANGE positively, one must be at balance outside and within. We act to spread that balance to others through the means of our chosen communication - our art. If we balance ourselves, the rest will follow. //\\ How do you FACE CHANGE in the land? In yourself? We start by changing our philosophy into one of action. To FACE CHANGE positively, one must be at balance outside and within. We act to spread that balance to others through the means of our chosen communication - our art. If we balance ourselves, the rest will follow. //\\ I FACE CHANGE with poetry and the art of spoken word. The face of this change becomes self reflective and a medicinal element of healing. Speaking up and speaking out gives me the chance to FACE CHANGE through empowerment of words, giving life with breath and verbal energy. That’s how I FACE CHANGE //\\ I FACE CHANGE by being mindful of my impact and my input into the things I believe in. I think that change is actually a constant outcome of our ideas and actions that we can always steer. By putting my life into an art form, I can share the experiences and ideas with anyone.//\\ To FACE CHANGE is to be active in your community through motivation, education, and inspiration //\\ I FACE CHANGE TO empower fictions. Our lived realities are so strongly informed by our collective fictions. If we can imagine ourselves and our neighbors in our fictions, we can begin to build a more inclusive and empowering reality. I FACE CHANGE by engaging the community thro



Pearll Warren

“I am a arts humanitarian, so my art form has become my ministry to humanity. I feel obligated to upli and inform through spoken word.” I first came in contact with Pearll Warren, through Face Forwards weekly Let’s Talk: Art for Social Change

Dialogue. I immediately noticed her positive energy, and the way she valued and validated everyone’s ideas and experiences. She is a natural at making spaces comfortable for difficult dialogues and is always prepared to lighten the mood with a silly joke when things get too somber. I spoke with her recently about her position in Face Forward as a teacher and artist and her role in the Twin Cities art community as a spoken word artist. Pearll, originally from Chicago, Ilinois,

started writing in the 4th grade while attending Field Elementary school. As her love for poetry continued to develop she began performing pieces in Junior High School. In 2004 she began regularly sharing her work at the Blue Nile, which hosts open mic nights. Around this time she emerged as Twin Cities spoken word artist Da Black Pearll. Her inspiration strongly stems from her family (her cousin Toki Wright is another prominent Twin Cities artist) and from authors and activists such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Terry McMillan. She also finds inspiration in life itself. e many experiences she has lived through continue to powerfully direct and shape her work. Pearll can barely remember how she came to be such an important part of the Face Forward community, “a lot has happened in that two year time period…” she says.

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Artist Spotlight

see more See More Perspective, a twin cities Native, has been greatly influenced by both the time he spent in Mexico with his father’s family, and a decade exploring and participating in the Chicago art scene. When I asked See More Perspective to briefly talk about how he identifies as an artist he explained the inherent pluralities of that identity. See More Perspective does visual art, photography, spoken word, produces music, and engineer’s audio. While he considers himself a hip-hop artist he is always trying to move further than that.


“I’m constantly trying to do funky collaborations across genres. I try to expand what hip-hop is and can be. There’s a point where you become hiphop and hip-hop becomes you.” See More Perspective’s involvement with Face Forward began about a year ago while he was perusing for communities and networks to be a part of. He has participated in dialogues, artist gatherings and also led a creative development workshop. He explained that the similarities between his devotion to social justice and Face Forward’s emphasis on a creating a socially conscious artist collective peaked an immediate interest for him.

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As if summer 2013 at Face Forward didn’t go by fast enough, once again we find ourselves grappling with the conclusion of another season. With darkness setting in at 6:00 o’ clock and holiday lights visibly glimmering on leafless trees, it cannot be denied- Fall is winding down without any hesitation or apprehension. This Friday we invite friends, family, and community members to join us at Public Functionary as we celebrate the ending of 2013, another vigorous and lively year in Face Forward’s ever-expanding history. As the summer interns began to bid their farewells to Face Forward, we accepted three talented new team members for the Fall season: Public Relations intern Kiah Zellner-Smith, Media Team member Nadia Honary, and Neel Sharma, head of Strategic Development.

Different than the hustle and bustle of our summer work in the art community, the Fall of Face Forward was filled with moody black and white FACE CHANGE photo shoots, warm evenings at Powderhorn for Let’s Talk Dialogues and a crisp September afternoon spent ....

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-Monthly Artist Gatherings -Montly Artist Dialogues in collaboration with Instructions for Peace Plus more exciting collaborations with local social enterprises

Spring Internship Starts Up! Read more about differe nt internships opportunitie s with Face Forward Here!



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Face Forward Fall Newsletter 2013  

Our fall newsletter for 2013!

Face Forward Fall Newsletter 2013  

Our fall newsletter for 2013!