Saturday, June 21, 2014

Salon Lounge at Dixon Place - June 21 2014

Dixon Place presents...

"Salon Lounge at Dixon Place"

a monthly showcase of performance/literature/film-video by women

an International Women Artists’ Salon series

Saturday, 21 June 2014 ~ Host: Candi Sterling

Historical Honorees: Women Poets throughout history

Poetry has often been an outlet and means of expression for women who often experienced constraints by society. One of the earliest women poets Sumangalamata expressed this sentiment through her poetry…

“A woman well set free! How free I am,
How wonderfully free, from kitchen drudgery.
Free from the harsh grip of hunger,
And from empty cooking pots,
Free too of that unscrupulous man,
The weaver of sunshades.
Calm now, and serene I am,
All lust and hatred purged.
To the shade of the spreading trees I go
And contemplate my happiness”

Literature – Free Verse Magazine of poetry and prose
with teaching apprentice Yasmine Lancaster and poets Sheila Nahomi, Tahara Lilly, Cheryl Brown

Poetry from the waiting rooms of New York City’s Probation Offices

Yasmine B. Lancaster - reading from Free Verse Volume 3 Magazine, ‘Called Rich and Lazy’

She will like to leave with a quote about the power of Art from Daisaku Ikeda The President of SGI, "Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of the humanity inside yourself."

Sheila Nahomi – ‘Phantom of My Innocence’, is a reflection of Sheila trying to be the catcher in the rye, wanting to save that innocence she couldn't hold on to due to having to grow up and mature too quickly in such a violent and unkind environment.

Cheryl Brown – ‘My Father’s Ashes’ and ‘I’m Sorry’

Tahara Lilly – ‘How I Came to Be’ and ‘Fancy Doll’

Yasmine B. Lancaster is an emerging writer born in El Barrio east Harlem raised in the Bronx she considers herself a citizen of the world. Attending Graphic Communication Arts High-School to Study Creative writing .A Winner of The NAACP ACT-SO award for Poetry and Essay. After High-School she stopped writing and got heavily involved in activism creating an Amnesty International Award Winning News Letter. She stopped writing consistently until she began to practice Nichiren Buddhism with The SGI, since making that choice her writing and opportunities began to manifest. In 2011 she received a writing scholarship with Carolyn Butts African Voices 2012 she spoke at the SGI Artist for Peace Series performing a poem called Freedom Roll Call. In 2013 she was a part of the groundbreaking cheropoem Sidewalk Sisters that sold out to standing room audience for the 3 day run of the play. In 2014 she joined Free verse as a Poetry Apprentice. She will like to thank Heidi Russell and The International Woman Salon for this Opportunity.

Sheila Nahomi is 16 years old and currently lives in the Bronx borough. Sheila began writing at a young age, as well as doing Art, in order to cope with difficulties she was going through. Poetry soon became her heroin and she was loyal to it. Not too long ago Sheila found out about Free Verse and everything changed. She began writing again and found herself as well as some amazing lifetime friends such as Yasmine, who's helped her become a better poet.

Tahara Lilly was born and raised in the Bronx. She is currently in school for her GED. She joined Free Verse about 18 months ago. She works her way up to become a paid writing apprentice. She has been in the newspaper a few times. Now she is working on her first chap book, About (how I came to be).

Cheryl Brown was born and raised in the Bronx. She has one son name Dont'ye and a husband named Victor. 
She became involved with Free Verse when she saw Dave Johnson, the teacher of Free Verse, sitting at a table asking for poems. He was in the Office of Probation NeON, at 198 E.161st street. She never knew that Probation was involved with poetry and she was very impressed. Cheryl was at NeON because her son got in trouble with the law. She decided to volunteer her time at NeON and it also allowed her to be a part Free Verse. She has been a Free Verse Poet for two years now and in May of 2014, and was hired full time as a Probation Office Assistant.
“Free Verse has allowed me to express myself in ways I never could imagine. I never wrote poetry before and now I feel I am a true poet.”

Film – Luanda Farinha
Excerpt from ‘Pieces of Me’

Luanda Farinha is 33 years old and a movie lover. She received a BA in International Relations and did a post-grad in diplomacy and media in Spain. That is when she became a little more involved with media, and specially on following her dreams. During the last 6 years she has worked in a huge multinational company, went to film school, had her first short movie accepted in Cannes Festival. Last year she decide to leave everything behind and follow her dreams. After a short second film called 2 Minutes, her third film is a medium-length film, ‘Piece of Me’, which just went to Cannes 2014. Now her film company Monoeye Films, which she co-founded, is promoting it at festivals around the world. To learn more about the film, ‘Piece of Me’:

Theater – Qurrat Ann Kadwani

Excerpt from, ’They Call me Q’, an Off-Broadway one-woman show
This award-winning play is the story of an Indian girl growing up in the Boogie Down Bronx who gracefully seeks balance between the cultural pressures brought forth by her traditional parents and wanting acceptance into her new culture. Along the journey, Qurrat Ann Kadwani transforms into 13 characters that have shaped her life including her parents, Caucasian teachers, Puerto Rican classmates, and African-American friends. Written and performed by Qurrat Ann Kadwani, THEY CALL ME Q speaks to the universal search for identity experienced by immigrants of all nationalities. Best Play - 2013 Maui Fringe Festival, Best Actress - Variations Theatre Group’s 2012 Harvest Theatre Festival, "A winning tale..." - The Village Voice, "A theatrical experience to remember..." - Broadway World, "Rewarding on a life-size scale..." - Stage Budd

Qurrat Ann Kadwani is the first female South Asian to have her solo show produced Off Broadway. Her one woman show They Call Me Q received the Best Actress Award at the Variations Theatre Group: Harvest Festival 2012 in NYC and Best Play Award at the Maui Fringe Festival 2013. To date, she has performed her solo play over 50 times. In December 2013, United Nations Unicef invited Ms. Kadwani to perform. Non-profit charity organizations have presented her solo play as benefit fundraisers. Colleges have invited Ms. Kadwani to perform her solo play as part of their diversity programming, alongside discussions and workshops on diversity. She has received an award by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.

Comedy – Affirmative Action
Improv, with comedians Milly Tamarez, Kimberly Young, Glorilis Tavarez, Dominique Nisperos, Tahlia Robinson, Tawn Lee, Tiara Francis

Affirmative Action sees the value of being the "other," and we use our differences to our and your advantage. Our wide variety of experiences with the white, straight, liberal elite fetishizing us makes for great improv and fun times. Sure, life isn't always about race, but when it is, Affirmative Action will be there.

Milly Tamarez comes from the beautiful beaches of Miami, Florida. She is an aspiring comedian/administrative assistant who resides in Brooklyn. She currently studies at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and performs with two improv groups, Affirmative Action and No Safewords. However, her true passion lies in interpreting interviews with the great prophet Kanye West.
TWITTER: @Millyisabunai FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM: Milleh Tea TUMBLR: MirryTamalez

Kimberly Young is an American actress, comedian, and community activist. She graduated NYU for Musical Theatre. She founded the Movement Theatre Company to create opportunities for diverse performers and to reshape the image of peoples of color in the media. She has completed the Upright Citizens Brigade improv program and is currently continuing her studies with UCB's sketch program. Kimberly is one of the original members of No Safeword improv team and is a proud addition to Affirmative Action improv team. Kimberly has performed in Off Broadway theaters, short films, web-series, and has self produced many different media projects. For more information visit

Glorilis Tavarez…Glo is from Florida. Does improv with cool peeps.

Dominique Nisperos is a doctoral student in sociology who has been performing comedy since 2001. Her studies in politics greatly influence her comedic work.

Tahlia Robinson is "Straight Out of Charleston!", South Carolina where she is a company member of THEATRE 99. In New York City she is a UCB student, part of the improv indie team Affirmative Action, involved In sketch life, a great prop-maker, and producer of numerous parody songs - her favorites are about FOOD!

Tawn Lee is originally from Texas and now works in the tech industry in NYC. While she's corporate by day and making the man a lot of money, she's an improviser by night and is currently with Affirmative Action. Twitter/Instagram: Thinh_Tawn

Tiara Francis is a writer, actor, comedian and improviser living in New York City. She has studied improvisation and sketch at The Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC and performs with Affirmative Action improv around town. You can find her nerding out about everything from feminism to pop culture on Twitter, @tiarafrancis, and her blog,

International Women Artists’ Salon is a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural global organization of women making art in the world today.

Music+Dance+Video+Film+Comedy+Theater+Writing+Visual Arts+Fashion+Architecture+Design+et al.

Twitter: @womenartsalon
Facebook Fan Page: International Women Artists’ Salon

For more information about membership, collaborations, sponsorships
contact founder Heidi Russell at

Thank you to Dixon Place and staff, Maggie Cousins (logo), IWAS volunteers