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Voices Rising
Southside Commons
Seattle, WA
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Voices Rising
The May 29 show features performances by Mami Watu and Avery Young, Storme Webber, Chad Goller-Sojourner, Malkia Cyril and Mikeya Jackson-Harper. Voices Rising is an ongoing series of peformances by LGBTQ performers of color. Voices Rising has emerged as the leading showcase for queer performers of color.

Mami Watu & Avery Young

Mami WatuIt was while serving on the panel: Pot Calling Avery R. YoungKettle Black  Heterosexism in Homo-Hop, at the 2009 Fire & Ink 3 Festival for GLBT Writers of African Descent, that these two poets came together to answer questions  about the present & future of Hiphop.   Is homo-hop at its core supporting or combating homophobia, misogyny and violence through its music?  Is it the responsibility of the homo-hop artist to be more socially conscious?  Should homo-hop be considered a separate genre?  Were but some of the issues tackled by panel & audience members.

Storme Webber

Storme Webber is a spoken word, vocal, and visual artist with extensive experience in multimedia arts production. Her work spans film, stage, tv, radio and cultural production/arts activism, and has focused on marginalized communities. Storme is a Writer in Residence at Richard Hugo House and is also the Founder/Artistic Director of Voices Rising: LGBTQ of Color Arts & Culture. She has led workshops and organized many art events in various countries over the last 25 years, including the UK, USA, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany & Brazil. She has been a City Artist with the Seattle Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture; a Jack Straw Writer's Program Fellow; and a member of Artist Trust's Literary EDGE program. Storme is now a Writer in Residence for Seattle Arts & Lectures, and a CD Forum Creation Project artist.

Chad Goller-Sojourner

Chad Goller-Sojourner is a Seattle based writer, solo performer, and recipient of a distinguished 2008 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Performing Arts Fellowship. In 2007, he was selected to participate in the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas: Creation Project, which was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In July 2008, his highly anticipated solo show, Sitting in Circles with Rich White Girls: Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy, debuted at Seattle's Brownbox African-American Theatre. Chad's work has received overwhelming support from various arts communities and organizations including: Richard Hugo House, Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Artist Trust, The Bent Writing Institute, Seattle Poetry Slam, King County: 4Culture and the National Performance Network.

Additional works include publishing a chapbook entitled Born One Thousand Years Too Early: Fat, Dark-Skinned, Gay and Adopted by White Folks A Fragmentary Journey Towards Alignment which has been described as poignant, chilling and prophetic. Chad also served as the creator, artistic director and executive producer for People of Color Against Aids Network's: Standing In The Gap  And Speaking Their Names  Black Gay Poets Honor Their Ancestors  A Spoken Word Requiem. Currently Chad is working a coming of age memoir based on his life.

Malkia Amala Cyril

Malkia Amala Cyril's first poem was written at the age of 6 about the deportation of Haitian migrants in the early 1980's.  Since then, s/he has won poetry slams at the famed Nuyorican Poet's CafĂ© in NYC, spent time as a writer-in-residence at the Brooklyn Academy of Music working under performer Laurie Anderson, and performed in the company of and for noted writers Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith, Kevin Powell, Willie Perdermo and others.  Published in such anthologies as "Afrekete," "In the Tradition," and "Aloud"  Malkia's poetry explores safety and belonging at the intersections of identity and power. She has performed at Aaron Davis Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Knitting Factory and many other venues. "Behind the steel bars of invisible black men/there is a pile of brick butches/invisible to them/hand carved to stone lies/stone mouth and stone thighs/the best part of me/illogically/is the way that i cry"

In the Voices Rising show on May 29th at Southside Commons in Seattle, malkia amala cyril aka "mac" will explore the tender places where Brooklyn black meets queer butch meets violence in the dark. With song inspired poetry, her creative work tells the story of a black family touched by sickle cell anemia, the legacy of child abuse, and the dreams of black masculine women born in the fire of the 1980's, hip hop, and the aftermath of the Black Panther Party. Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice, and keynote speaker at the 2009 Butch Voices Conference, mac believes in the power of stories to transform the future. Malkia is the Executive Director and founder of the Center for Media Justice located in Oakland, California.
Mikeya Jackson-Harper

Mikeya Jackson-Harper
Activist artist Mikeya Jackson-Harper from the Ladies First Collective, Youth Speaks Seattle, and The Kaytalist Project, brings her slam champion verse to the Voices Rising stage for the first time.


Southside Commons
3518 S Edmunds Street
Seattle, WA 98118
United States



Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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