Forum Posts

Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Apr 19, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
The book “Bad and Boujee” centers on Black women’s experience, but critics said it was written by a white professor and was flawed in its execution. By Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth A. Harris April 15, 2022 The blurb for the book “Bad and Boujee: Toward a Trap Feminist Theology” says that it “engages with the overlap of Black experience, hip-hop music, ethics and feminism to focus on a subsection known as ‘trap feminism.’” But the book, written by Jennifer M. Buck, a white academic at a Christian university, was criticized by some authors and theologians as academically flawed, with deeply problematic passages, including repeated references to the ghetto. The project was also widely condemned on social media as poorly executed and as an example of cultural appropriation. In response to the criticism, the book’s publisher, Wipf and Stock Publishers, decided on Wednesday that it would pull the title from circulation. The incident touched on a larger debate in the world of publishing over when, how, and even whether, it is appropriate for authors to write about subjects outside their own culture. Wipf and Stock’s decision to pull “Bad and Boujee” was reported on Thursday by Sojourners, the website of a Christian publication. Buck did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. The theologian Candice Marie Benbow, author of “Red Lip Theology,” was “livid” to learn that a white academic had published a book about the theology of trap feminism — an emerging philosophy that examines the intersection of feminist ideals, trap music and the Black southern hip-hop culture that gave rise to it. “It matters that you have an academic text that would situate Black women’s lived experiences and Black women’s spirituality, and it’s not written by a Black woman,” she said. Sesali Bowen, a pioneer of the concept of trap feminism and the author of “Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes From a Trap Feminist,” also took issue with the author’s failure to properly credit or engage with the Black women who have been leading experts in the field. “Even if another Black woman did this, the issues around citation would still exist,” she said. “The fact that this is also a white woman, who has no business writing about this because nothing about the trap or Black feminism is her lived experience, is adding another layer to this.” Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/15/arts/jennifer-buck-bad-and-boujee-book-pulled.html?campaign_id=69&emc=edit_bk_20220419&instance_id=58903&nl=books&regi_id=100107591&segment_id=89660&te=1&user_id=74f57d363a8e70659139a5b0b29d13e5
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Apr 03, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Between the pandemic and the renewed calls for social justice in the past year, artists of all stripes and genres have been affected in unique ways from other professions. What was already a gig economy for us has turned into a need to become multihyphenates—skilled artists who pursue and hopefully excel in a range of creative endeavors. Sometimes, however, it can be a matter of refocusing an existing skill. One such example is the need for opera and musical theater performers to use their musical talents elsewhere, and what better way than through concerts, cabarets, vocal recordings, and even cruise ships. At the moment these types of opportunities are coming back in more places and with more frequency than live stage productions, so if you haven’t already it’s time to venture into the true singer’s life and broaden your opportunities. Now, whether you’re new to this world or have been doing it a while, it’s important to make sure your CV is up to date and shows off your talent and ability in the best light. This is especially true for theater folk who may not know the particular content and requirements of a singer’s résumé, because it has elements that will be both familiar and foreign to the stage actor. But what is universal to all résumés is that they should be concise and truthful. Claudia Friedlander, a voice teacher and fitness expert in New York City, says that casting directors and producers appreciate “clarity and brevity” as they sort through the many résumés they see on a daily basis. “They do not have a great deal of time to spend on every bio or résumé that passes through their hands and…while it may be natural to want people to be excited about your accomplishments, do not exaggerate or distort information on your résumé or clutter up your bio with superlatives.” So with that in mind, here are six elements you do need to include as you put your one-page singer résumé together. 1. Name and Contact Info No résumé is complete without this most basic of information. While the name should always be at the top, there is some artistic license of whether to put contact info directly underneath your name or at the footer of the résumé. Just make sure it’s accurate and easy to find. Sam Snook, an artist manager with IMG Artists, appreciates when singers list their height and asks that singers make it clear if they’re represented by an agent or manager. “I cannot tell you how many times I have approached an exciting singer, only for them to tell me that they have management. Wear it as a badge of honor; you’ve earned it.” 2. Vocal Range and Fach The vocal range simply lists your most comfortable low note to most comfortable high note. Don’t list the note you hit that one time in the shower because it needs to be one you can easily sing day in and day out. That German word, though, may be new to some of you. Essentially, Fach is a system for classifying singers by voice type used mostly in the opera world. But musical theater performers are familiar with these terms as well, and it certainly helps those behind the table know what to expect before you even open your mouth. It includes: Soprano Mezzo-Soprano Alto Tenor Baritone Bass 3. Performance Experience (or Repertoire) You’ll include the show/production name, your role, and the producing company and/or location. Listing music directors and conductors is also helpful, particularly ones with a noteworthy reputation. Again, there’s some artistic freedom of how you’d like to organize this information. You can separate it into columns (like the typical theater résumé) or use short sentences and bullet points (more like a business résumé). And though it isn’t necessary, you can also categorize your performances by genre. Just make sure to only list musically relevant experience like Opera, Musical Theater, Concerts/Oratorios, etc. Another important item to include here is the year of each performance and you’ll list them in chronological order, starting with the most recent. Mezzo-soprano Cindy Sadler says that while some administrators and casting personnel don’t care, “too many will see a red flag if you don’t list dates. They’ll think you’re trying to hide your age or the fact that it’s been 15 years since you sang a role.” So just put the year on your résumé, no need to include months or days, though. 4. Awards and Recognitions This is where you can brag a bit but still keep it relevant and notable. Please note, this isn’t a place for glowing reviews or honorable mentions. List only award nominations or wins as well as top three finishes in major competitions. 5. Education and Training It’s most important to keep this information both representative of your accumulation of knowledge and skill as well as applicable to your work as a singer, but it shouldn’t be exhaustive or comprehensive. Narrow it down to a handful of notable training programs, voice teachers, conductors, and music directors that would speak highly of you. Again, listing dates of study are helpful. When it comes to formal education, a degree in languages might be relevant, but a Master’s in computer science (while impressive) isn’t exactly pertinent to your singing ability. So keep this section concise and selective. 6. Personal Information Actors will know this as the Special Skills section, where a range of skills and talents are listed. The McCray Studio, an international vocal arts studio in the Netherlands, reminds its students that these should be useful skills that are related to singing, “but think long and hard before putting them in your CV. State only things that you are actually really good at cause it might come back to bite you in the arse.” One thing to note is that as your singing experience grows, this section can be reduced or even eliminated to make way for more credits and training. Final Thoughts As with any résumé, this should show off your work and experience but also represent you as an artist and a professional. So once you have all this information collected and laid out, proofread it again and again for typos and accuracy. The spelling of names and companies is especially important, and choose a serif font that is clean and legible for the entire document. Your name can be in a more stylized font if you wish, but make sure it is readable. Also, keep in mind that it doesn’t matter the number of your credits. Some will have to leave off half their credits, while others won’t even be able to fill up a single page. The important thing is to submit and audition for roles and shows suitable to your level of experience and skill. Lastly, keep in mind that different venues and producers may need specific or more detailed information, so always do your research and follow all submission guidelines. Good luck and happy singing! Link: 6 Important Elements of a Singer’s Résumé | Backstage
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Apr 03, 2022
In Audition Help & Tips
Many of my students are curious about theater opening up again and changes to the industry. More specifically, the audition process. With Broadway, television, and film resuming production, the question of auditioning in our new reality is increasingly becoming a hot topic among actors. I recently held a livestream where I brought on three different casting directors and directors. They shared their vision of a hybrid audition process with many first auditions by self-tape and further down the road, in person. Theatrical casting hopes to be in person sooner than later. So now that the world is opening up, how do you best prepare? Here are some tips 1. Vaccines and testing. The unions and productions are still figuring out how to open safely. Most sets will require proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test before shooting. Store your vaccination card on your phone or in Excelsior Pass if you live in New York state. If you’re traveling to and from certain cities, you may be asked to quarantine so research requirements and plan ahead. 3. Use the self-tape to your advantage. Self-taping allows casting to see many more actors and it provides many benefits to the actor. They can put their best foot forward by doing multiple takes and choosing the best one to send in. They have more time with the scene and more time to prepare. There are no excuses for memorizing their lines, understanding their scene, and making strong acting choices. Also, since actors may still be taping at home, parents should get savvy on being a good reader to increase their child’s chances of having a great audition. 4. Talk about the audition room. As casting progresses into callbacks, testing and chemistry reads, actors will be brought back into the live audition room. Since it may have been over a year that your child has been in an audition, remind them of new protocols like no shaking hands. Being around people may generate some anxiety or nerves, especially for those kids who have been worried about getting sick. Talk to them and assure them no one wants to get sick, and everyone is taking measures to ensure their safety. 5. Stay flexible, adaptable, and open-minded. Don’t keep your child so overscheduled and overbooked that they can’t take adequate time to prepare for the auditions that lie ahead. They may have become so used to taping in the basement that the thought of traveling to an audition or performing in a show again might stress them out. Have a family meeting where you talk to your children about their worries, fears, and excitement. What are they looking forward to most? What are they not? Give them space to share their thoughts and feelings. For me, teaching online this past year has been both challenging and rewarding. My students have been more disciplined than ever, with fewer distractions in their Zoom boxes but craving the connection with others. We are a strong community and will all do our part to ensure a safe transition back into the room, on set and onstage. Link: 5 Tips for Preparing Child Actors for Post-Pandemic Auditions (backstage.com)
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Apr 03, 2022
In Audition Help & Tips
We have all been there—in the sitting area, waiting to go in for the big audition, mind racing, hands sweating, obsessively reading over our sides, hoping and praying that we don’t totally mess up, pass out, get bad feedback, get dropped by our agents, and give up on the business. No? Just me? Here’s the thing. Everyone gets nervous. Even experienced actors get nervous. But it’s all about how you handle nerves that allows you to deliver a good audition. Here are some techniques I use for myself and with my students to get rid of nerves before an audition. 1. Make an audition playlist Put 20 songs on your phone that make you feel calm and relaxed. Listen to them from the moment you step out the door until the moment they call your name. Stay focused—avoid email, Instagram, and Facebook. Allow the music to simply quiet the mind. 2. Take 10 deep breaths It’s not weird. Just close your eyes, for four seconds each: inhale, hold, and exhale. With every inhale, repeat “relax” to yourself in your mind (or out loud, if you want to be weird). When you exhale, imagine all the stress leaving your body. If people think you are crazy, good. Let them be intimidated. 3. Be prepared Memorize the lines so well, in so many different ways, that they become second nature to you. It’s muscle memory, just like practicing a routine in dance. Practice with a friend or with an app (my favorite is “Rehearsal 2”). You don’t want the audition to be the first time you hear the words out loud. 4. Visualize the audition This one works wonders for people. After rehearsing the scene many times, close your eyes and visualize the audition from start to finish. Imagine walking in the door, fully prepared, slating your name, and then disappearing into the scene, completely forgetting about the fact that it’s an audition. Then imagine walking away and feeling great about it. This can be a powerful tool if used effectively. 5. Walk in with confidence You are an actor, right? Act like a confident person. It’s all about body language. Hold your head high, make eye contact, bring your shoulders back, and act like you already have the job. Even if you are nervous, you will make the casting director feel comfortable, and your nerves will dissolve. 6. Simply listen A lot of actors forget this. In the audition room it’s your job to fully immerse yourself in the scene and really listen as if you are hearing the words for the first time. In your mind, you should be thinking “What did that character just say to me? How do I feel about that?” instead of “God, I hope I don’t mess up. Did I put enough pomade in my hair?” Link: How to Get Rid of Nerves Before an Audition | Backstage
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 29, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Cliffs: - Find a solution to a problem + offer it up - Know more than anyone else in your marketplace - Start at the bottom, work your way up - Have a good reputation (Be mindful of what you post on your public social media pages) - Make money - Have a real opinion backed up by facts - Ask for responsibility - Deliver and keep your word - Dress sharp - Listen - Be the first to show up, last to leave - Act beyond your years - Surround yourself with people that are way ahead of you - Avoid drugs
How to be Taken Seriously as a Young Entrepreneur content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 29, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Video Cliffs: Almost quit the first year Trying to become a CEO too early Taking advice from too many people Not knowing how to ask for advice Forcing vs. Influencing Living the dream too early Trying to sell too many products Thinking I knew it all Partying too hard Acting like a boss instead of an employee Not having a schedule Not knowing the value of a business plan
12 Mistakes I Made My First Year as an Entrepreneur content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 27, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Richmond’s new addition, The Book Bar, highlights Black, Indigenous and author of color to uplift diverse voices. Founder and owner Krystle Dandridge, who considers herself an avid reader, said she considered owning a bookstore and felt it was imperative she find a space that allowed her to do so. “Essentially the mission is to center Black, Indigenous, people of color, authors and brands,” Dandridge said. “We wanted to allow it to have a space for a community to come together to see ourselves represented throughout the entire store.” Dandridge decided she was ready to fulfill her dream of establishing a Black-owned bookstore after strong consideration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Book Bar’s website. Dandridge said in order to keep her doors open, she needed to offer more than just books to be sustainable — along with a wide selection of books, The Book Bar also sells apparel, a subscription box and wine. “I knew I wanted a bookstore, but if we’re realistic, what it comes down to at the end of the day is books have a very low profit margin,” Dandridge said. “What goes best with reading a book and a glass of wine — that’s where the wine portion came in.” Tamanna Sohal, a VCU interdisciplinary studies alumna and first-time visitor to The Book Bar, loved the aesthetic of the inside of the bookstore. “It’s really warm and homey; I love the seating set up and the different displays of the books,” Sohal said. “It feels like a curated vibe.” Sohal said she stopped by because of The Book Bar’s effort in celebrating Black voices. “I’ve been wanting to have a bookstore for a few years, it’s always been in the back of my mind,” Dandridge said. “Last year I sat down and thought about it — there’s not really anything holding me back, so let me go ahead and do it now.” Dandridge is also a therapist specializing in sexual trauma survivors. She said she encourages her patients to read to help them cope with their experiences. She offers a quarterly subscription box to emphasize mental health’s importance which features items that focus on self-care, according to Dandridge. “For me, books have always been important for self-care,” Dandridge said. “It’s where I focus my energy, so for me I wanted to make this important piece of my life the focus of my [The Book Bar] project.” Dandridge said the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for self-care and paying attention to individual mental health needs, and she continues to focus on this aspect as a therapist. “There’s something in the box that speaks to all of our five senses so that we can promote self-care,” Dandridge said. “What we can do to focus on ourselves while stuck in our houses would be my offering of the quarterly subscription box.” Dandridge bases her selection off of its representation without specific advertisement towards one genre as the store offers a variety, according to Dandridge. “What I wanted to do was kind of go through and pick books that I thought would be interesting,” Dandridge said. “I didn’t want to focus on any one particular genre — it’s likely got some type of representation in the store.” Read more: Richmond’s new bookstore highlights Black authors, gives representation on shelves (commonwealthtimes.org)
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 27, 2022
In SCAM ALERTS!
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The war in Ukraine is thousands of miles away, but the stories of desperation and need hit close to home. “Times of crisis bring out the best in people, but it can also bring out the worst,” said Kevin Scally, the chief relationship officer at Charity Navigator, which evaluates and rates nonprofit organizations. “We encourage people to give with their heart, but also give with their head.” It’s a challenge when there is so much misinformation circulating on social media, including photos and videos that are not real or have nothing to do with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There is also the threat of fake fundraising efforts by scammers searching for money and personal information. “You want to make sure you’re supporting a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,” Scally said. “These are the only organizations where your gift is tax-deductible.” You should also avoid high-pressure situations. If someone calls or emails and asks for a donation, do not hand over your money immediately. “It’s OK to take some time to determine how and where you want to give,” Scally cautioned. Charity Navigator also has a warning about personal fundraisers that pop up on social media. “Unless it’s a personal family member or an individual that can confirm that they are who they say they are, it’s typically safer to give to nonprofits. There’s more accountability,” Scally said. Link: Scammers using crisis in Ukraine to steal your money (azfamily.com)
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 27, 2022
In SCAM ALERTS!
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – An Arizona man sold big promises of big profits to dozens of people across the country, but the paydays never happened. Now Robert Contreras and his companies are on the hook for $1.4 million in restitution and fines, 3 On Your Side has learned. Richard Worden, a missionary who lives in Long Beach, California, is one of the victims. He needed money for a project in Africa. When he was told he could make money by selling items online, he agreed to front cash for a new business venture. “Clothing and shoes. You could pick whatever you want, I was told,” Worden recalled. “I had no idea what it cost to build a website and get the products and everything else on there, so every time I turned around, they needed another $10,000.” There was technically a website, but it was not the money-maker Worden was promised. “I almost threw up when I saw it,” he said. “At that point, I had used all of our retirement money.” Worden’s loss totaled about $45,000. He filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He wasn’t the only one. “There were victims all over the country,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich told 3 On Your Side. According to a civil lawsuit filed against Robert Contreras and his companies -- Publishertech LLC, Publisher Wealth Corporation, and Upstarter, LLC -- consumers were solicited over the phone. The caller was “offering to sell a business opportunity claiming that consumers could earn a substantial income by selling merchandise online.” Basically, it was all junk,” Brnovich said. “It was a scam.” And it was costly. According to the complaint, more than 80 victims lost a total of about $500,000. “If someone contacts you, if they initiate the contact, that’s something you should be wary of,” Brnovich cautioned. “If someone doesn’t want you talking about it with your friends and family, that’s something you should be wary of. And always, if something is too good to be true, it probably is.” The defendants agreed to a settlement and owe $1.4 million --- $500,000 and another $900,000 in fines. “In addition, Contreras is banned from ever again selling business opportunities and internet marketing services in Arizona,” the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said. It means financial relief and peace of mind for Worden. “I was thrilled to death to find out we could keep people from experiencing what I experienced,” Worden said. 3 On Your Side reached out to the attorney representing Contreras and his companies for comment on the case but have not heard back. Link: Arizona man accused of online business scam to pay $1.4M (azfamily.com)
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 25, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Rebecca Hall’s research learned, despite dominant narratives, that women were firmly involved in slave revolts. The findings are documented in her graphic novel, “Wake.” By Julianne McShane When Rebecca Hall began researching the roles of enslaved African women in leading revolts against their enslavers while she was pursuing her doctorate in history at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the early 2000s, she found a recurring argument in many of her sources: Enslaved women didn’t revolt. The narrative persisted among historians even as evidence proved it to be false. Around the time Hall was conducting her research, a group of historians analyzed more than 27,000 slave ship voyages that took place over centuries and discovered that there were revolts on at least 1 in 10 of the voyages they analyzed — and that the more enslaved women who were on a ship, the more likely a revolt was to have occurred. But the researchers questioned their own findings about the role women played in revolts, calling them “counterintuitive” and noting that “women are rarely mentioned as leading violent resistance” in historical documents. Hall’s research unearthed a different conclusion: “I was finding women all over the sources,” she said. Cat PalmerWith her debut graphic novel, “Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts,” illustrated by Hugo Martínez and published in June, Hall has translated her academic research to a medium meant to reach the masses. She resurrects the stories of enslaved women whose resistance has long been excluded from history with the goal of inspiring activists fighting anti-Black racism today. “When you create a situation where a people’s history is erased, then that is an extreme form of violence,” Hall said. “That history of resistance is a threat to existing political order, and so it needs to be actively reclaimed.” The book tells the previously untold stories of female leaders of slave revolts — which occurred in West African villages before people were kidnapped and enslaved, on slave ships traveling from Africa to the Americas, and on plantations in the Americas, Hall said. Revolts included physical fights — in which enslaved people sometimes killed their enslavers — and other forms of resistance; sometimes people jumped off slave ships to drown themselves before the ships reached land. On slave ships, enslaved women were kept “mostly unchained, on-deck, and near the weapons,” Hall writes in “Wake.” While this proximity to the crew allowed for sexual abuse, it also created opportunities for women to initiate revolts. Hall says “the slave ship crews remained oblivious to the agency of the enslaved women,” who they didn’t believe would fight back against their enslavement. But “the women used their relative mobility and access to weapons to plan and initiate revolt after revolt after revolt,” Hall writes. Read more: New graphic novel reveals Black women’s hidden role in slave revolts (nbcnews.com)
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 25, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Shepard's debut solo show runs at CAM Raleigh through August 29, 2022. When Lakea Shepard was growing up, her father impressed upon her the age-old maxim for dealing with aggressors: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words should never hurt you.” The advice likely would’ve resonated more had she not been aware of the guns he kept in the house, which she was expressly forbidden to touch. This contradiction opened up questions about the meaning of protection, how it was to be brandished, and whom it was for. And as a Black woman raised in the South, it didn’t take long for Shepard to feel unprotected. Amid horrific gun violence across the nation, coupled with the tens of thousands of Black women and girls that go missing every year, these questions about protection morphed into the driving theme behind her work—woven mixed-media masks that utilize bullet casings, gemstones, and beadwork to arresting effect. The masks belong in the series Poppa Said Girls Don’t Play with Guns, which is part of Shepard’s first solo museum show, Malik: Sovereign of Faith, on view at CAM Raleigh through August 29, 2022. I spoke to the Winston-Salem-based artist about her process, turning pain into purpose, and what protection means to her now. INDY WEEK: I’m curious about your choice to focus on headgear as opposed to other forms of wearable art. What do you think is more resonant or powerful about headgear? LAKEA SHEPARD: Initially, I considered anything from the shoulders down to be “fashion” and I was so resistant to making fashion. I made up my mind that I was going to focus on the neck and above. But I’m also a Virgo, so I think a lot. I’m very analytical and everything revolves around my mind. I feel like something that Black people need to tap into more is accepting our thoughts and shuffling through our thoughts so that we don’t pass down those generational curses, trauma, and unresolved issues. For me, focusing on the head is a form of physical therapy. With masks, and especially with the type of masks that you make, it completely obscures the identity of the person behind it. That person can be anybody or they can be nobody. Why did you make that choice? I do that mostly because I feel like I’ve been given a very special gift and I don’t want people to focus on my skin tone versus my gift. People get so distracted by the skin tone of Black people that they can’t receive the message. I like to obscure the face so they can be focused on what I’m trying to present. I’ve noticed in your work, especially the piece Culture Vulture, that when you look at the masks from afar they can appear intimidating, but when you get closer and examine the details, you see a lot of delicacy and preciousness. Is the integration of those two concepts intentional? With the details, I wanted it to feel very luxurious. But the message behind it isn’t luxurious. That particular mask was inspired by the fact that so many Black people have gotten their ideas stolen, gotten their land stolen, gotten their physical body stolen, and we need to talk about it. Why is this happening and why are we letting this happen? I wanted to combine materials that will draw people in; then when they look at it they see little messages in there. For example, there’s a little hand that’s choking a little Black person, and there are some little legs that are broken off and bloody at the end. I wanted people to be drawn by the beauty, but then I wanted them to be exposed to the real story. A lot of the pieces date back to 2013. How has your relationship to them changed over the years? I’ve actually gone through several phases of that body of work. When I initially made it, it was extremely heavy on me, simply because I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into them. And then after finishing one of the first pieces, there was [the Sandy Hook] school shooting. So after that happened, it solidified exactly what I was supposed to be doing, which was trying to figure out how to protect myself as a Black woman in a world of people who don’t accept me. As I’ve grown into an adult, I’ve realized that the work was very necessary for me to sort out all the thoughts that I had about what it means to be protected from the people around me with my faith, with relationships, and with love. It makes more sense to me now and I feel like it’s current work. When I made it, it was way ahead of my time. How do you understand protection today as a Black woman? What does that look like to you? I feel like protection now means listening to my intuition. I feel like I’ve made a lot of mistakes because I’ve second-guessed my intuition, and I feel like as women, we were blessed with that sixth sense. Along with that is utilizing the wisdom that has been passed down and not being afraid to turn my pain into purpose. Then turning that purpose into wisdom that I can hopefully pass down to other women that will be protected from making the same mistakes that I’ve made. Link: Lakea Shepard’s Powerful Mixed-Media Masks Interrogate Ideas about What It Means to Be Protected - INDY Week
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 06, 2022
In YOUTH Auditions & Updates
Looking for Southeast based talent ages 6+ who can portray Native American, First Nations and Indigenous Peoples for a Disney+ TV Show. Filming will take place in or around Peachtree City, GA. Opportunities for MULTIPLE days of work. We would love to build a CORE of people we can establish and reuse. Filming takes place between Mid-April and end of August 2022. This production is requiring all cast & crew to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to be considered for work you MUST FALL INTO EITHER OF THE THREE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: (1) fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine INCLUDING a booster if eligible (2) fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine and not yet eligible for booster according to the CDC guidelines (3) have a disability or sincerely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. If you meet this criteria, only reply “YES” WITHOUT PROVIDING ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AT THIS TIME. If you are selected, you will be given separate information on how to provide evidence to the production that you fall within the two categories mentioned above. Any job offer will be conditioned on satisfactorily showing such evidence to the production AND testing negative for COVID-19. The production will collect your evidence, not Central Casting; thus do NOT send your evidence to Central Casting. Apply: Marvel Studios 'ECHO' Open Casting Call - Extra Jobs - Apply Now! | Project Casting
PEACHTREE CITY, GA - Marvel Studios ECHO Open Casting Call  (Native American) (Indigenous) (All genders) (Age 6+) content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 01, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Working in music is more than just a nine to five job—it requires a lot of commitment, often for not a lot of compensation or recognition. It doesn't help that there is so much misinformation out there about how to get into the music industry and what to do once you're there. So, here we have a few truths about the music biz. While intended for musicians, they are useful for those on the business side of things too. Some are encouraging, and some fall into the category of a reality check. They all, however, are pretty important to understand. Knowing Music Doesn't Mean You Know the Music Business Nailing the pub music quiz, going to tons of shows, being able to rattle off a list of labels—these sorts of things don't automatically make you able to book the shows, run the labels, and so on. There are practicalities, financial and otherwise, in the music business that are simply not apparent until you actually have to, say, make sure the CD run is on schedule and the review is really going to be published when promised. Even if you understand the relationship between labels, distributors, and retail, for example, you don't really "get it" until you experience the process from the inside rather than experiencing it as a fan. The two worlds are VERY different. Make no mistake: Loving music and knowing a lot about it is required if you want to do well in the music industry (well, not really REQUIRED; some people running music businesses don't know much about music and are just skating, but they eventually end up falling through the ice). However, don't enter the music industry with the idea that a lifetime of music nerd-dom has made you a music biz expert. Not only will you annoy people, but you'll also be dead wrong and miss out on the chance of really learning what makes things tick. Reviews Don't Translate Into Sales At least, not always. Getting reviewed all over the place may be good for getting your name out there, but even if you can point to 50 reviews that all say your album is the pinnacle of music-making and no one should even try to record again because it's so impossible to beat, the percentage of people who run out and buy your record based on those reviews is going to be surprisingly small. Radio play is much more effective at selling music than print reviews. Reviews are only part of the picture. You can use them to generate interest from labels and to book shows and so on. But even if you get reviewed in all of the top publications and sites for your genre of music, don't assume it's time to go out shopping for the fancy new car. If you don't work to leverage those reviews into something else, they'll just be a minor blip on the screen. You Can Still Make Money Selling Your Music Now, here's a controversial one. There is a big debate going on in the music industry about free music, and some people believe that all music must be free and that the only way to make money is merchandise and live shows. That's a little extreme. Yes, music sales are decreasing. Yes, free music is widely available. The fact remains that your fans want you to keep making music and they are willing to pay you for your services so you can keep it up. The trick is striking the right balance between enticing your fans with free goodies and offering them the chance to buy quality music at a fair price in the format that they want. There's no blanket answer here for what will work for you. Trends in terms of releases and release formats are different in different genres of music. If your fans want vinyl, save up your pennies and give it to them. If they're all digital, all the time, then give it to them. If they want CDs, give them CDs. (And, yes, people still buy CDs. Really.) You have to know your fanbase. It might take some trial and error to find out what works. The one thing you can do, however, is dismiss the idea that your music is nothing but a promotional item created to sell T-shirts, coffee mugs, and concert tickets. Merch IS important, and it should be part of your plan. It just shouldn't be THE plan. Read more: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/music-industry-facts-every-musician-needs-to-know-2460726
The Music Industry Facts Every Musician Needs to Know content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Mar 01, 2022
In Discover Their Talent
Creativity is a choice—and if children are going to choose to be creative then parents have to be careful not to stifle it. What kills kids’ creativity? Here’s what to avoid. Ten creativity squelchers are listed below. Parents who catch themselves inadvertently being an accessory to any of these ten inhibitors can take stock of their actions, otherwise they risk suppressing their child’s creative expression. (Fear not. Each point below is followed by a practical suggestion that parents can use as a starting point to foster children’s creativity.) In addition, sometimes kids lack something—such as preparation, downtime, or incentive—and concerns like these are noted as well. 1. SCRUTINY – Hovering and excessive inquiry can be detrimental and off-putting. No one likes it when others constantly peer over their shoulders. Foster Creativity: Give kids ample time and space. Quiet interludes, respectful privacy, and a show of confidence about what they can do without watchdogs can help kids feel energized. 2. RIGIDITY – Sometimes parents set constraints, or exhibit close-mindedness in relation to children’s efforts or choices. When this happens, children are less likely to be open to possibility and to engage in creative pursuits. Foster Creativity: Be flexibly responsive to children’s interests, frivolity, spontaneity, and enthusiasms. Think before saying, “No” or “Don’t” or “You must.” 3. IMPATIENCE – Do you push too hard? Creativity can be slow to take root, develop, blossom, and then come to fruition. Foster Creativity: Think of creative expression as a quest that requires time, effort, and patience. Rushing kids can be counterproductive. 4. DOUBT – Children can sense when their parents lack faith in them, or are pessimistic about their capabilities. Foster Creativity: Be optimistic, and convey a positive outlook, even when a situation seems trying. If you’re upbeat, children will be encouraged. 5. ISOLATION – Some kids enjoy working independently, and many actually prefer a peaceful spot to a crowded noisy one—but a solitary milieu can also be a potentially lonely and unproductive place. Foster Creativity: Encourage kids to connect with friends and helpful others who can offer them support, inspiration, and opportunities for meaningful collaboration. 6. FATIGUE – It’s tough for children to be creative if they’re weary. When people are tired they have difficulty focusing and getting down to task. Foster Creativity: Help children appreciate the importance of rest, a good night’s sleep, and a balanced way of life. 7. INDIFFERENCE – Apathy and detachment are downers. Without a sense of purpose it’s hard to spark creativity. Foster Creativity: Generating excitement, curiosity, and enthusiasm about something can inspire children to test-drive their creativity and push onward. Help them cultivate a sense of wonder about the world around them—and beyond. 8. LITTLE OR NO PROGRESS – Feeling as if you’re just standing still and going nowhere is discouraging. Foster Creativity: It’s beneficial when a child experiences some success. Offer constructive reinforcement, or perhaps some foundational information, or evidence of headway. This can be motivating, and springboard creativity. 9.UNFAIR EXPECTATIONS – Goals that are not manageable or attainable are not enticing. Out of reach, out of mind. Foster Creativity: Keep it reasonable. Let children have a hand in setting sensible, relevant, appropriately challenging, and achievable objectives for themselves. 10. COMPLEXITY - Lighting too many fires at once can be detrimental. Kids who have to juggle too much at once often become overwhelmed or immobilized. Foster Creativity: Simplicity is often a key to getting things done. (Not so easy as to be boring, but not too hard either.) Help kids find that comfort zone wherein they feel self-assured and creatively inclined. And Finally… What’s Lacking? Creativity can be jeopardized by factors specific to an individual, including a lack of what he or she needs. That lack might be difficult to pinpoint because different children have different needs. For example, kids may lack support, choice, solid work habits, familiar routines, models and inspiration, or a competitive edge. Any or all of those factors can affect a child’s creativity. Consider what your child requires in order to be happily productive and creative, and move on from there. So, for instance, if your child lacks preparation, try co-creating a step-by step plan, sourcing information, or reviewing instructional material. If your child lacks downtime, ensure that there are ample intervals set aside for breaks, fresh air, playtime, and exercise. If your child lacks incentive, why not incorporate music, art, or dramatic elements into activities? Or try injecting some fun, suspense, mystery, or controversy. Fueling creative expression in ways that personally matter or intrigue children will motivate them! Although creativity can be jeopardized by the 10 points listed—as well as others that are specific to what a child lacks—parents can watch out for all of the above-mentioned creativity crushers, and resolve to work through them by being supportive of their child’s efforts and individual needs. Additional Resources Beyond Intelligence: Secrets for Raising Happily Productive Kids by Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster; Being Smart about Gifted Education: A Guidebook for Educators and Parents by Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster. Or visit the authors’ website at www.beyondintelligence.net Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire, TarcherPerigee, 2015. “What Drives Children’s Creativity?” as described by author Joanne Foster and artist Rina Gottesman at The Creativity Post “Three Ways to Support Children’s Intelligence and Creativity: What To Strive for When Life’s a Whirlwind” at The Creativity Post Link: https://www.creativitypost.com/article/what_kills_creativity_in_kids
What Kills Creativity in Kids? content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Feb 24, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
From breathtaking portraits to comforting self-care staples, shoppers can’t get enough of these standout items from Black-owned Etsy shops. Photo by Morning Joy Co. From the journal that safeguards your memories and ambitions to the versatile accessory that’s the MVP of your time-tested hair-care regimen, we all have our own personal rituals that brighten our days—and the special items we swear by that make them possible. This Black History Month, we’re on a mission to help you find a few new go-to products—and support some incredible Black artists and creatives on Etsy in the process. To help you get started, we pored over hundreds of glowing reviews from Black-owned shops on Etsy to spotlight 22 gems that earned downright raves from shoppers—everything from fresh art prints to spectacular style finds to bath and body blockbusters that feel like they were made especially for you. Read on to discover some of your new favorite creators, and make supporting Black businesses on Etsy part of your everyday routine. Editors' note: This post has been updated with new products for 2022. Black-owned Etsy shop standouts: Eye-catching earrings Why we love it: Lightweight enough for long-term wear but bold enough to create a playful look that pops, these polymer clay danglers from jewelry designer Juliana Pache are a great reason to make statement earrings part of your everyday ensemble. What Etsy shoppers are saying: “These are even more beautiful in person! They're not heavy and are also a perfect size—not too large, not too small. I'm keeping the purchase for myself but would purchase to give as gifts as well. I cannot wait to wear them!” — AC A hanging home accent Why we love it: Knotted by hand from sturdy cotton cord, fiber artist Iola Lee’s gorgeous macrame plant hangers are a naturally boho-chic way to greenify any nook, cranny, or corner of your living space. What Etsy shoppers are saying: “These will look amazing on my back porch for my plant babies! They were beautifully packaged, the craftsmanship is perfect and the quality is great! Love them, thanks!” — DC A grab-and-go hair lasso Not just your run-of-the-mill elastic, this pretty ponytail holder from accessories designer Carolyn Conyers is made with an extra-thick band perfect for pulling back natural hair without breakage. Even better? The shiny bead embellishment looks stunning wrapped around your wrist until you’re ready to use it. What Etsy shoppers are saying: “I hated stretching out all my hair bands to do a quick updo with my locs. This loc lasso does exactly what I wanted it to do! The designs are even more gorgeous in person. I love that when I take my hair down, it can turn into a cute bangle or necklace. Super fast shipping too! Thank you so much!” — ER Read more: https://www.etsy.com/blog/black-creatives?ref=finds_e
5-Star Finds From Inspiring Black-Owned Shops on Etsy content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Feb 24, 2022
In Inspiring Posts/Videos
By Ashleigh D. Coren of the National Portrait Gallery, Meredith Holmgren of Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Anya Montiel of the National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Sara E. Cohen of Because of Her Story At the Smithsonian, we share African American history all year round. To mark Black History Month, here are eight objects and videos from the Smithsonian's collections. They represent 12 women whose stories you may not know. 1. Amanda Smith Photograph of Amanda Smith by T. B. Latchmore. Taken around 1885. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Orator and evangelist Amanda Smith forged a new role for women in the Methodist church in the late 19th century. Some of Smith's many accomplishments include establishing an orphanage for Black children outside of Chicago, Illinois. She was most well known for her powerful speeches and she ministered to many in England, India, and West Africa. 2. Lynette Youson Lynette Youson is a fifth-generation basket weaver from a Gullah community in South Carolina. The Gullah are a group of African Americans living in the Southeast who maintain cultural, linguistic, and artistic traditions from West African ancestors. Youson creates decorative and utilitarian baskets. Fanner baskets, like this basket from our Smithsonian American Art Museum, are used to separate rice from its hulls. Youson has woven baskets for more than 45 years, and she teaches her art. She also helps protect coastal habitats where basketry grasses grow, including native sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes). Read more: https://womenshistory.si.edu/news/2021/02/twelve-women-know-black-history-month
Twelve Women to Know This Black History Month content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Feb 24, 2022
In SCAM ALERTS!
RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Online purchase scams have skyrocketed during the pandemic with social media ads playing a key role in the ongoing problem, according to the Better Business Bureau. Online shopping scams have become one of the most profitable areas for criminals because they know that increased numbers of people are buying goods online. It’s estimated 91 percent of the country’s population will be shopping online by the start of 2023- that’s about 300-million people. A report by the BBB entitled “Theft On A Massive Scale” says losses from online shopping scams are huge. In 2021, the BBB says reported losses from online shopping scams totaled $8.4 Million. It could be much greater because many people do not report online shopping fraud. One way criminals obtain that money is by creating fake shopping platforms. “There’s an infinite amount of shopping platforms out there and not all are safe and secure websites,” said Alyssa Parker of the BBB Eastern North Carolina. The best way to make sure the website is legit is to look for the lock icon and the “S” at end of HTTP in the URL address to verify it’s a secure website. Another way criminals can hurt you is by posting so-called “shell websites.” “The website may be created by a scammer who sells a particular product but they’re not selling it, they’re trying to get your information,” said Parker. Scammers often create and shut down websites very quickly. The website Scamadvisor can often tell you how long a website has been in operation. Parker also says to be wary of reviews. “Reviews can be faked on a website where you want to purchase something, so look to see it’s a verified review.” The website Fakespot will do that. It analyzes thousands of reviews looking for suspicious ones. You can even add it as an extension to your browser. Before you make any online purchase at an e-commerce website you’ve never heard of, do some research. That research may take you 5-10 minutes more, but in the long run you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache and you won’t be throwing away money on a scam. Link: https://www.cbs17.com/news/how-to-protect-yourself-against-online-shopping-scams/
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Feb 13, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Mastering Spotify is crucial if you want to build a vibrant fanbase as it is the predominant streaming service. Every artist wants to be on a major official Spotify playlist. Unsurprisingly, a greater amount of plays comes as a result of being included on a playlist (or many). However, you must understand how the Spotify ecosystem works. It’s up to you to optimize your profile and drive fans to your profile. Let’s Start with your Spotify Artist Foundation. The first step is you need to get access from “Spotify For Artists”. Once you sign up there, Spotify will then confirm who you are and grant you access. Then you’ll be ready to go! (I assume that you are already ON Spotify yes?) If not: To Get Your Music on Spotify: Spotify does not do direct deals with artists, so you will need to make sure your distributor has enrolled you in distribution to Spotify. Here is the list of distributors who you can work with: AWAL CD BABY DISTROKID TUNECORE This is straight from their FAQs – because they explain it best… What is Verification? When you get access to Spotify for Artists, you’re automatically verified and your profile gets a blue verification check mark! Verification allows you to claim your artist page by merging it with your account. Once verified, you’ll get A blue checkmark to your artist page The ability to add your photo You can upload your bio (1500 words) The ability to create & post artist playlists The ability to brand playlists with images & descriptions Select an ARTIST PICK – this is any track you want to feature to the top of your profile – yours or another artist you collaborate with To get access just request access here to Spotify for Artists. Once your request is granted, your artist profile gets the verified check mark and you’ll have access to a dashboard of listening data! You’ll also be able to manage your profile’s images, story, and more. Here’s How To Update Your Spotify Bio (And You Should Do So Often!) From Spotify: You can write a bio, save it to your profile, and update it anytime you want. With 1500 characters to share with your fans, you can update this to whatever makes sense for you—whether that’s sharing your story as an artist or the inspiration behind your latest release. Your bio can include links to any artists, songs, albums, or playlists on Spotify. And you can throw in a link to your Wikipedia page for fans who want to dig deeper. When you have a new single, a tour or a news item you should update this bio as often as possible. Also make sure that you have all of your links filled out and photo gallery up to date with your latest press photos, as well as a branded profile photo and header. Here Are 5 Ways You Can Grow Your Followers on Spotify 1. Ask Specifically for Followers on Your Socials Your Spotify account should be connected to any and all social media accounts that you run. This includes, but isn’t limited to, all of the following: Post on Facebook (and BOOST!) If you use your personal profile for your music DM people and ask Create a post on Instagram and change your bio link for a few days – message individually and share Create an Instagram Story and Swipe Up (If you have over 10K followers) Make a graphic for Twitter asking to follow you – also use DM Post a short ask on your blog (if you have one) Ask in your monthly newsletter as a CTA Read more: https://www.cyberprmusic.com/indie-musicians-guide-spotify-part-one/
The Indie Musicians Guide To Spotify: Part 1 Build Your Foundation content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Feb 13, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Artists and members of the music industry alike have been hit from all sides during the current pandemic. TuneCore is no stranger to making artists lives easier via our platform, but as our artists are faced with a major challenge due to cancelled gigs/tours, part time jobs temporarily closing, and health concerns, we’ve drawn up some helpful resources that we encourage you to look into. Whether you’re struggling financially, worried about the coming weeks, or simply want to give back to the music community yourself, take a look below and spread the good word. MusiCares Under the umbrella of the GRAMMYs/Recording Academy, MusiCares strives to provide “a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need.” MusiCares has expanded its services to help members of the industry make up for some of the lost income as a result of cancelled tours/performances, and you can read more about their COVID-19 Relief Fund here. American Federation of Musicians With 80,000 members, the AFM is the largest organized union of musicians in the world, specifically made up of residents of Canada and the U.S. From unemployment information to state-by-state resources, AFM is stepping up its efforts to support its members. Read more about AFM’s COVID-19 resource offerings here. American Guild of Musical Artists Touting themselves as “The labor union that represents artists who create America’s operatic, choral and dance heritage”, AGMA is taking action to assist its members, including the cap expansion on their AGMA Relief Fund. Read more about AGMA’s COVID-19 response here. The Nomad Fundraiser The Nomad Fundraiser is a GoFundMe dedicated to assisting and relieving members of the touring industry, who no doubt were hit by the measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider giving or passing this info along to your tour industry friends, and read more about it here. Equal Sounds Equal Sounds is a non-profit organization that “brings together artists from diverse musical worlds to illuminate the threads between them.” During these trying times, Equal Sounds is accepting tax deductible donations to assist artists who’ve seen their livelihood dry up as a result of COVID-19, and you can find out more info about it here. Musicians Foundation Dating back to 1914, the Musicians Foundation is the oldest and longest-running non profit organization dedicated to assisting with financial support for musicians and their families during times of crisis. Their COVID-19 Fund application window is temporarily closed due to demand, but the organization plans to re-open it soon. Sweet Relief Musicians Fund Sweet Relief is a group that aims to provide financial assistance and support for artists and members of the industry facing illness, disability or age-related problems. As such, they’ve put together their COVID-19 Fund that will help raise money for vital expenses during this time. Learn more about their fund here. The Jazz Foundation The longtime jazz-centric organization continues to offer its Musicians’ Emergency Fund, to aid artists in the genre with housing assistance, pro-bono medical care, and emergency relief. Learn more about the Jazz Foundation’s fund here. Billboard – State-by-State Resource Guide The legendary outlet Billboard put together an extremely helpful state-by-state resource guide for artists and other music professionals in need of assistance due to the spread of COVID-19. While some of the groups above may be included, be sure to see what’s available in your state by checking it out here. Link: https://www.tunecore.com/blog/2020/03/resources-for-independent-artists-and-music-professionals-during-covid-19.html
Resources For Independent Artists And Music Professionals During COVID-19 content media
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Lakia M.
Next|Gen Member
Feb 13, 2022
In Artists-Authors-Entreprenuers
Get words on the page and meet other writers in this online creative writing workshop that focuses on writing fiction. About this event Add some creativity to your week from the comfort of your own home This long-standing in-person generative (est. in 2003), creative writing workshop, which took place in West Hollywood, CA, for 15 years, has switched to an online format so you can now join us from anywhere. Tap into your creative side, write work that will surprise you, and learn a few things along the way. This Saturday workshop focuses on writing fiction, but all writers are welcome and you can use the prompts to write any genre. Our Sunday workshops focus on personal writing such as memoir, journaling, and self-discovery. Generate new writings from original writing prompts every meeting Get writing tips and learn what's working in your writing and why Get excited again about writing Come away with new material Try your hand at different kinds of writing Meet other writers These workshops are not lecture-based. We get right down to writing. We choose your writing prompts based on either a theme of the week, education, craft, or creative value. There is no critique (as each piece you write is so new), only much-needed positive reinforcement around the potential of each piece you write. You will also receive tips and tricks for writing better narratives. Through original and surprising prompts and craft discussions, you'll write pages you never would have otherwise and learn creative writing tools along the way. If you are interested in receiving critique, please check out our Private Coaching. Skill Level: Anyone over the age of 18 Class Size: Limited to 8 participants Requirements: None Location: Online via Zoom How to attend our online workshops – it’s so easy! For more information on all our coaching programs and creative writing workshops in Los Angeles, San Diego, and online, visit https://www.lawritersgroup.com. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creative-writing-workshop-fiction-registration-112859921062
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