Taking the Middle Seat next to Lady Ace Boogie

On Episode 38, I’m talking to Lady Ace Boogie (Facebook, Instagram). She is a hip hop artist, musician, community leader, collaborator, storyteller, and all around inspirational, incredible human. Can you tell I adore her? She is a deep well of experience, wisdom and love that is all rooted in her history and path. If you haven’t checked out her music, you are absolutely going to want to follow her. The video you need to watch IMMEDIATELY is You’re Magic. It is impactful for absolutely every age and stage and person.

UICA event Off the Wall is coming up on May 23! Lady Ace Boogie will be performing along with other area artists at this fundraising event for UICA programming. There will be food and drinks and eclectic arts. You should go!

Check out another event on July 20 at The Pyramid Scheme, Lady Ace Boogie Presents: A Dope Ass Lineup.

Lady Ace Boogie has another cool event coming up in August, 2019, Michigan Framily Reunion.

Lady Ace Boogie talks about her wife and…. oh my goodness. The way she speaks of the love she has for her wife will have you all up in your feels. I could not stop smiling hearing about her relationship and connectedness and safety within her marriage. She mentions the Blue Bridge and Love Wins.

This episode taught me yet again… you’ll never be disappointed by taking the middle seat. There is connection and wisdom and magic right there.

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Taking the Middle Seat next to Monica Stegeman

On Episode 29, I’m talking to Monica Stegeman, an artist at Little Shrines (Facebook and Instagram). Monica calls her art “found object assemblage.” You can see a piece we talk about here. She talks about how she’s always been an artist, even in childhood. From coloring with crayons, to collecting beautiful treasures in her closet, to finding her confidence. From creating one-of-a-kind valentines, to helping people heal through her found object art. You’ll hear how Monica has gone on a journey with her art and how’s she’s now ready to invite you to do the same.

Monica says, “Today my shrines are out of my closet and lit from within. They are kindled with my longing to give credence to feelings and needs. They’re a quest for order and meaning.”

Monica has created a space in her home to host workshops. You guys. The energy in that space is so peaceful and full of possibility. She has bins and boxes and buckets of found objects. It is like a playground for processing and healing. Follow her to sign up for her workshops.

Her favorite things include Embody GR, a veggie smoothie that includes celery, cucumber, green apple, lemon, ginger and kale (YUM!), and the Cascade Peace Park (this is a repeat guest favorite so I need to go there!).

People and movements where we can pay privilege forward (these are my favorites but there are many many many more. Find what resonates with you, challenges you, activates you and pay for it):

Lesle’ Honore’ - author of Fist & Fire

We Are Lit- multicultural bookshop

Bellamy Shoffner - writer and founder of Hold the Line Magazine

Leesa Renee Hall - author, facilitator, social historian, and creative word artist. Join her Patreon group here.

So, if Monica’s work and story resonates with you, sign up for her workshops, commission a piece of work from her, connect with her art. I loved taking the middle seat next to her. There was absolutely magic and healing there. I’ll be back soon with another episode of Taking the Middle Seat.

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Taking the Middle Seat next to Steffanie Rosalez

On episode 13 of Taking the Middle Seat, I'm talking to Steffanie Rosalez, Director at the Cook Arts Center which is part of Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities.  She is a visual artist, a musician, a leader in her community and she has a machete tattoo.  Basically, she's the freaking best. I know her from her leadership at Girls Rock Grand Rapids which is the transformative summer rock and roll camp my daughter has been involved in for the past few years.  Steffanie and a group of other totally rad and powerful women run the camp.  We talk about community and joy.  We talk about tokenism and privilege.  We talk about art and self care.  

The Audre Lorde quote Steffanie mentions is this... "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."  Powerful.

Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association page gives you lots of great information about things happening along the whole Grandville Avenue corridor.

Steffanie has also been involved in the Cultura Collective.  We didn't talk about this during the interview but you should check it out! 

Steffanie loves contemporary art and she's loving the PBS series Art 21

She also loves the UICA.  You should go there on family day or catch a movie.  It is such a cool space.  You get a gold star if you can find the picture of my family and I on their website.

Follow Steffanie's band How to Live Together on their Facebook page.  You'll hear her light up when she talks about her music.  She's a multi-tasking musician.  T-shirts coming soon. ; )

If you're wondering how to help or get involved in protecting immigrant families, I love the organization Together Rising.  

Thank you for listening and I hope you'll spend time Taking the Middle Seat this week.  

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