Thank you to everyone who showed up for our first premiers!! I am very grateful on so many levels for all of of the support and love that continues to be shown. To each of the artists, Vida Landron, Ang Bey, and Niki Gee, I say that each of you walked into The Solo Project with an idea or ideas of what the experience would be like. You were open to the possibility of "what if" and "what could be." And that is what contributed to the creation of amazing and nuanced content. We re-learned what it meant to "collaborate" and develop a "nurturing community" and be "accountable."
To each member of the creative team, Lisa Strum SHE GON' LEARN, Marquis D. Gibson, Stephanie Malson, and Ariel D. Taylor you came into this project with open minds, hearts, and spirits. You brought all of your expertise and gifts into the unknown, and pushed and stretched yourselves for each artist. From Day 1, there was an instant sense of community and excitement without any of the usual mess that comes with some creative spaces. Each of you made this space sacred and divine.
Thankful for Leeway Foundation, Black Lives Matter Philly, Juniper Productions, Philly Hub For Liberatory Academics and to all of the many donors small and large who made this possible.
I continue to be amazed at the fact that The Gumbo Lab was just an idea on paper July 2020. During a pandemic when everything was going to shit in a hand basket and many of us were just trying to figure out each day as it came. And in 6 months, there have been lessons learned in order to make the 2nd Solo Project even better than the 1st. There were necessary lessons learned about what it truly means to create art and a space for art with a sense of integrity, a work ethic, and more importantly from a space of love. Grace and Love! There is also joy. The joy of seeing the words come to fruition and to actually get the funding to make all of this possible.
The Solo Project will now be every fall until forever, and it will continue to be a space for Black women, Black femmes, Black queer women, and Black transwomen to discover what is possible. (Fall 2021)
Workshops and Video podcasts about media and the business hosted by industry professionals on our YouTube channel (Spring 2021)
Readings of new work written by BIPOC artists (Spring 2021)
And an exciting new festival to be announced soon for Spring 2022
So yes, Gumbo Lab is simmering and ready to "nourish your spirit and soul." There is also an opportunity to get your work produced and seen by a national and international audience. Because this is what it means to put the work in. This is The Gumbo Lab.