Jamela Asha: Performer

Jamela


Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay?
Jamela: Yes. Born and raised in San Francisco.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Jamela: I started on my creative path when the San Francisco Ballet gave me a full scholarship at the age of seven. This I enjoyed for seven years, until I decided I wanted to explore other artistic avenues. That led me to the vocal department in my middle school (Everett, holla!) And then to Wajumbe, who took me to dance in Nigeria, while I attended the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts for voice and dance.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Jamela: I find my inspiration, mostly, from the lessons I’ve retained from various teachers/events in my life. To name a few:

My Mom and Dad who taught me the importance of play.

My experience with the Ballet, that taught me self discipline is one of the most important traits you can possess.

Malonga Casquelourd, who didn’t care if I got mad when he picked on me in class. As long as I continued to go above and beyond what I thought I could do, that was all that mattered.

These inspirational teachers/events are really just to name a few.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Jamela: I’ve yet to purchase a piece of vinyl. Lol!! Go figure.However, the first piece of music I purchased was a new release on cassette tape of Kool Moe Dee’s, How Ya Like Me Now. Lol!!!

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?
Jamela: A modest quote: Never stop. Haters are just doing their job. Keep. Going.

Cissy Barrios: Dancer, Teacher, original member of Malia Movement Co

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Cissy with her Husband Daran, supporting my children’s book “Mixed Heritage”

 

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Cissy: I grew up in L.A. county, in a very small city ironically named Hawaiian Gardens. Ironic because I grew up in this city which does not resemble anything close to Hawaii or a Garden. It’s a small barrio where everyone knew you. I’ve lived in the Bay Area since 1987.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Cissy: Honestly, I was at Cerritos Community College in So.Cal. That’s when I knew that I wanted to be a public school teacher and loving nothing else but dance, it was an easy decision. I wanted to be a dance educator and I took the necessary steps to make my goal a reality.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Cissy: From all over and everywhere. The last big piece I did was about the 10 women I trained with to complete the Na Wahine O Ke Kai Molokai Challenge. The training experience was extremely emotional Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? and I wanted to convey the insanity of the year long commitment and the magic we made in the process of training and completing the race. I find inspiration in my students all of the time.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Cissy: Wow! I think it was That’s the Way of the World by Earth, Wind and Fire. I remember sitting by my record player listening to that album over and over again. Wooo, I’m dating myself.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Cissy: Yes, the majority of kids today have very little experience with dance. If you love dance take the opportunities to go into the schools and teach what you love. As crazy as it can be to work with kids, they are the future of dance and only when they have been exposed to the possibilities of movement will we receive new and innovative art that speaks to all of us.

Mini Interview with Lillian Castro, creative spirit

LBoogie

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? LBoogie: Oakland Native.. Born at Highland Hospital..

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? LBoogie: Been a creative soul forever.. We listened to everything in my household growing up: Al Green, The Supremes, Crosby Stills and Nash, Creedence Clearwater, Marvin, all of the old school Salsa greats. I always kept a journal since I was about 9 years old. I love to decorate and create beautiful spaces.. My mother would come home after work when I was about 11 or 12 and the whole living room would be rearranged and she would keep it because it was usually better than before.. I love beautiful spaces.I love dancing and the arts period..

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? LBoogie: I find my inspiration when I am sometimes emotionally at a loss for words.. I have to write, draw or do something creative because sometimes the spoken word is just inefficient for me but it’s still my therapy. I also am at my best spiritually when I am at any body of water.. an ocean or the river. Oshun. Inspiration is all around us, so I always keep my journal in my purse. .

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased?LBoogie: First piece of vinyl purchased- Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall, purchased at T Wauzi’s at the Eastmont Mall.. the favorite hang out spot for young teens in the 80’s.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? LBoogie: A Warrior reads the messages in many of the wo/men she meets. Never taken in by appearances, she makes it a point to remain silent when people try to impress her. She uses these occasions to correct herself of her own faults. For others make excellent mirrors.. – Paulo Coehlo

Kweli Tutashinda: Holistic Educator

Kweli

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Kweli: I’m not a Bay Area native. I’m originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Left there in ’74 to attend Fisk University. Transferred and finished at U of Arkansas in ’78. Lived in Atlanta and New Orleans and then moved to Bay ’81

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Kweli: In terms of Political Consciousness.. ’72 after reading Autobiography of Malcolm X in 11th grade. Started writing my Freshman year at Fisk in ’74 and publicly or professionally since ’76. Wrote first book in ’85 after editing community based magazine, Foresight: a Holistic View of African American Struggle from ’81-84.
I’m also in my 25th year at Imhotep Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Berkeley.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Kweli: I find inspiration in nature, cosmos, and complex interactions of systems and patterns of organizations, movements and Indigenous Peoples.


Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased?

Kweli: For the love of Money by the O’Jays for album and maybe something by James Brown earlier.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Kweli: I just think it is important for each person to ascertain and do their best to fulfill their life purpose. If we all do our best at that, we will be operating from our higher self and do what’s best for our communities, indigenous people, the planet as well as ourselves and families.

http://www.ImhotepChiropractic.com

Mahealani Uchiyama: Kumu Hula

Mahealani


Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay?
Mahea: No. I was born in Washington, DC. I have lived in the Bay Area for 32 years, after about 7 years in Hawai’i.


Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on?
Mahea: I have been teaching dance since arriving in the Bay Area 32 years ago.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Mahea: Music and nature.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Mahea: It was actually purchased for me as a four year old because I loved the song so much: “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers.


Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?
Mahea: http://www.mahea.com

Angela Louie Howard: Executive Director of Lotus Bloom

Angela

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Angela: Yes, since 1979 in SF.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Angela: When I turned 18 years old (about 20 years ago).

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Angela: Inspiration = What feels good and has a good vibe! I was finally able to tap into my own feelings (something I was taught to withhold).

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Angela: First piece of vinyl was Donna Summer’s She works hard for her Money

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Angela:

“Risk”
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and
dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because
the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing, is nothing.

– William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)

Mark Wright: Jazz Trumpeter

Mark

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Mark: Oui… B-town forever baby… 45 yrs now. lol

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Mark: when I was 18yrs old and I’ve been on my creative path to be the best musician & human being that I can be ever since.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Mark: from my Ma,the Ancestors, and Musicians who are here and who have passed on.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Mark: I can’t remember my age (teenager I guess) but SUPER RHYMES by JIMMY SPICER,who happens to be on FB, and COUNT COOLOUT were my first. I bought them at Reids Records owned by Ms. Betty Soskin, a Rosie The Riveter who is 92 or 93yrs old and currently works as a tour guide. I bought them with a $10 dollar row of quarters lmao…

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Mark: “you can’t please everybody….it’s death if one tries to do so” AND “You are never as good as you think you are nor as bad as people say you are” both by drum roll………..SAMMY DAVIS JR 😉