and the poet would show up and begin reciting. So there you are, sitting in the laundromat, bored to tears, and suddenly a poet walks in the door and begins reciting. Poets who are associated with the project will have an opportunity to promote their poetry, collections, and publications, and encourage the community to attend local poetry readings..
Another part of the project will be “SendAPoet.” Leah is constructing SendAPoet.com, a freemium social expression website that puts a twist on celebrating special occasions and national causes. Users of the site will be able to share their favorite poem and poet to inspire family and friends and that special day of the year. The first phase of her venture is slated for April, as part of National Poetry Month. Another component of the venture will include podcasting Live Poetic, Leah’s live poetry show on the website.
The Commission on the Arts grant from the National Endowment for the Arts was about "business unusual" and how arts entrepreneurs could create bold new ways to reach the community through the arts. Entrants had to partner with a non-profit or educational institution and then present a proposal for new and innovative ideas about how artists could turn creativity into income. After all the proposals were screened by the Commission, the proposals which were innovative, unusual, and advanced the arts were invited to make a pitch at one of four sites around the state before a panel of artist judges and a live audience. The Commission established four levels of grants, and the audience voted to award an additional $500 to their favorite.
A native of Phoenix, Leah is a product of ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and an inaugural member of the Seed Spot Community Venture Program. When she isn't performing, she serves as host and senior producer of The Bungalow Show on Radio Phoenix (7-10pm Fridays; repeats at 6 AM, Thursdays). She also hosts Live Poetic, a weekly program on the station that spotlights the poetic lives people lead (6-7pm Fridays; repeats at 8 AM Tuesdays). Leah is co-founder of the Valley-based performing arts company BlackPoet Ventures and a two-time Phoenix National Poetry Slam Team member. She was a 2013 finalist for the Phoenix New Times Big Brain Awards. She currently works in the administrative staff at Herberger Theater Center and is a freelance graphic designer.
Leah was one of six presenters at the Chandler event. The panelists included: Lisa Barnes, Commissioner for the Arizona Commission on the Arts; John McComish, Arizona State Senator, District 18; Sophie May Hook, Events Manager for Scottsdale Public Art; Steve Potter, Contracts and Facilities Manager, ASU Gammage; Cherie Scott, Community Liaison for Free Arts of Arizona; and Hamid Shojaee, founder & CEO of Axosoft, a technology company located in Scottsdale.
The other winners were: School of Art, ASU - $10,000; Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship, ASU - $7,500; City of Mesa Department of Arts and Culture & Neighborhood Economic Development Corp. - $5,000. The Black Mustache Old Fashioned Melodrama Co. at the Tuscany Theatre took home $500 for the Audience Choice Award.
Four competitions took place around the state in Chandler, Peoria, Prescott and Tucson, for successful applicants to pitch their innovative arts-based entrepreneurial ventures. As many as 32 presenters participated. Ventures were evaluated on their impact, responsiveness and visibility.
For more information about Arizona Art Tank, visit http://www.azarts.gov/azarttank.
Studio B Presents:
Exclusive Medea Benjamin Interview, July 31, 2012
Medea Benjamin -- radical activist, feminist, cofounder of Code Pink and Global Exchange, and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, was in town at the end of August to talk about her new book, "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control." She had a chance to stop by Studio B at Radio Phoenix where she was interviewed by Victor Aronow. The discussion ranged from her awakening to activism, through mom and kids in an activist family, to President Obama and her hopes for the future. More on Medea Benjamin and Code Pink HERE.
Radio Phoenix is becoming a favorite spot for US State Department tours by progressive journalists from around the world. After the visit by the South African delegation a few months ago, we thought that our straight talk about media, money, and monopoly would have made the State Department think twice before sending us more journalists. But on July 2, four progressive journalists from Morocco spent two hours at the studio learning about the realities of American radio, then tried out Mexican food and tequila with Board members.