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Young Inspirations launch this Thursday!

June 16th, 2009     by Megan Griffith-Greene     Comments

There’s a great new project from the amazing women behind the Medina Collective (which we’ve written about here and here) and the Art Gallery of York University: Ladies First. The participants are all girls from Brookview Middle School, and they have been working together to make their own magazine, using writing and visual arts to explore issues of social justice and representation. The magazine launches this Thursday, and it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic event! I hope you’ll join me to help them celebrate. Congratulations, Ladies First!

Here are the full details:

MAGAZINE LAUNCH: YOUNG INSPIRATIONS Bold, Smart, and Putting Ladies First! Thursday June 18, 2009, 5-8 pm Art Gallery of York University On Thursday June 18, 2009 the Art Gallery of York University and the Medina Collective present the launch of Young Inspirations, an urban arts magazine featuring articles and art work by Ladies First, a group of young women from Brookview Middle School who took part in a collaborative after-school urban arts mentorship program. The magazine launch will also feature an exhibition of recent artwork and a commissioned mural by Ladies First, music by DJ L’Oqenz, and spoken word performances by Rita Nketiah and Keisha Monique Simpson. Through visual arts and writing, participants explored how hip hop serves as a vehicle for self-definition, empowerment, and social justice. Mentored and taught by Tonika Morgan, Kemba King, and Sandra Brewster, participants learned to generate visual and textual content, which led to the production of their own urban arts magazine. In the largely male-dominated sphere of hip hop, young women rarely get to see their experiences and visions reflected back to them. The AGYU-Medina urban arts program addresses this invisibility by establishing a creative platform for Ladies First to give voice to their views, and by valuing and validating their perspectives and insights into urban art forms. Ladies First were introduced to the various streams of hip hop including: graffiti art, rap music, spoken word, deejaying, and emceeing which inspired them to write stories and produce artworks that are featured in the magazine. Collectively, Ladies First wrote three articles on hip hop as a cultural practice, the creative space and musical form of dance hall, a step-by-step guide on how to break dance and individual pieces on foster homes and civil rights. These emerging urban artists practiced their interview techniques and developed their journalistic skills by interviewing, videotaping, and photographing acclaimed choreographer and b-girl Lady Noyz. At the end of the program participants selected, interviewed and wrote a feature article on their favourite female urban artist. Working with Toronto artist Sandra Brewster, Ladies First experimented with a gel medium transfer technique, producing compelling portraits of notable African-Canadian historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, Mary Ann Shadd, Rosemary Brown, and Marie-Joseph Angelique among others. With Brewster’s guidance, these young artists collaboratively painted a hip hop inspired mural in the AGYU gallery that will be on view along with other artworks during the magazine launch. Art Gallery of York University Accolade East Building, room 116 4700 Keele Street Toronto, Ontario t. 416.736.5169 f. 416.736.5989 agyu@yorku.ca

Tags: event listings, media savvy

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