On Friday December 16, Monica Haslip-Founder and Executive Director of Little Black Pearl(LBP)-launched a quarterly series featuring live poetry, arts and music entitled-Black:Unplugged. The inaugural event was headlined by human rights activist-Dr. Angela Davis, Grammy Award winning artist Dianne Reeves, legendary songstress Nona Hendryx and musical director Terri Lyne Carrington.
A very impressive list of accomplished African-American artists, community leaders and friends of Little Black Pearl-have come together to bring their unique set of skills and experience to build awareness and revitalize the youth and community at large-by using art as a catalyst for dialogue and change. And this quarterly series is set to take place in the atrium of the beautiful Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center.
Every year a very select group of 300 distinguished individuals will be invited to participate and attend Black:Unplugged-and it will be open exclusively to LBP Black Card Members. The inaugurating press conference on Friday offered insight on the vision driving this project's mission. Here's a glimpse of what was said.
Monica Haslip-On Becoming one of the 300 Black Card Members
"Over the last 17 years-the advertising for the organization has been through word of mouth. Through our special events people have learned about this place by coming here. Word of mouth has been incredible and has allowed us to build strong relationships. So most of the members have been with individuals we've had strong contact with already-either through a program or an event we've had here.
Membership is open to the public-until we reach the 300. We are quickly reaching this number and once at this number-membership enrollment will close until the following year."
Dianne Reeves-On Getting Involved With LBP & Black:Unplugged
"Well, my introduction has been by invitation through Terri Lynn Carrington-the musical director for many of the programs here at Little Black Pearl. That's what I love about her-when she finds something good-she really wants to share it. The very first time-it's been about four or five years and I thought that this is exciting-I really wanted to come back, continue to be a presence in all of this and give whatever I can give."
Dr. Angela Davis-On Her Interactions at LBP
"I'll say very briefly, how wonderful it is to be here. This is an incredible space and I've had such a wonderful time meeting with students-who have such vitality and such imagination. And it's an honor to be here with the great Dianne Reeves. I was just saying to Terri Lynne Carrington…do you remember the benefit we did in 1992? Which was the 500th anniversary of Columbus-which we called "Unified Against Genocide." So, it's great to be back with this institution with all of these incredible people.
As a person who has been organizing political events for the vast majority of my life. I'm accustomed to being the one who invites the artists to participate-and this time I'm the one being invited to participate in their world. It's really a wonderful experience for me to be here."