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Who Yo People Is

Hosted by Sharon Bridgforth, this series features intimate conversations with artists whose work and artistic practices are rooted in serving our communities through healing/creative/Spiritual and cultural traditions - centered in Love.

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Episode 14 - Daniel Alexander Jones Pt. 1

Daniel Alexander Jones exemplifies the artist as energy worker. Daniel’s wildflower body of original work includes plays, performance pieces, recorded music, concerts, music theatre events, essays, and long-form improvisations. Energy is his true medium. The Herb Alpert Foundation wrote that he “creates multi-dimensional experiences where bodies, minds, emotions, voices, and spirits conjoin, shimmer, and heal.”  This is part 1 of a two part interview. https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/season-2 http://www.danielalexanderjones.com


16 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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Episode 16 - Alexis De Veaux

Alexis De Veaux, Ph.D, is one of a stellar list of American writers highlighted by LIT CITY, a public art initiative of banners bearing their names and images in downtown Buffalo, New York, in recognition of the city’s renowned literary legacy. Co-Founder of The Center for Poetic Healing, a project of Lyrical Democracies (with Kathy Engel), and of the Flamboyant Ladies Theatre Company (with Gwendolen Hardwick), Alexis De Veaux is an activist and writer whose work in multiple genres is nationally and internationally known. In this interview Alexis talks about: reaching back to bring it forward; Black Diasporic ways of being; and growing up with elders deeply steeped in re-imagining while making due. Alexis talks about being from New York, and her recent return to a family home place - New Orleans. She says that she learned early on that if you are going to survive, you have to be creative... and that if you tap that source/you’ll be tapping back and you’ll be tapping forward. She names some of her mentors and speaks about her RedBone Press book Yabo and Warrior Poet, A Biography of Audre Lorde. http://www.alexisdeveaux.com http://whoyopeopleis.com

1hr 6mins

30 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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Episode 15 - Daniel Alexander Jones, Pt. 2

A critically acclaimed, award winning artist, Daniel Alexander Jones is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow. In this interview Daniel speaks about: some of his mentors; his gender being a constant unfolding/and revelation; becoming a vessel for Jomama Jones; everyday acts of family making/being in community and more. Daniel exemplifies the artist as energy worker. Daniel’s wildflower body of original work includes plays, performance pieces, recorded music, concerts, music theatre events, essays, and long-form improvisations. Energy is his true medium. The Herb Alpert Foundation wrote that he “creates multi-dimensional experiences where bodies, minds, emotions, voices, and spirits conjoin, shimmer, and heal.”  This is part 2 of a two part interview. https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/season-2 http://www.danielalexanderjones.com


23 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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Episode 29 - Sangodare

Sangodare speaks of learning how to sermonize, study, have critical analysis, deep thinking about sacred texts/and how to have integrity as a spiritual leader - from her preacher father, and other preachers in her family. Creating energy and vibrational fields to open space for people to be more of who they are, Sangodare makes connections between the vocality of Black preaching styles, and Ifa oriki traditions and tonalities. Sangodare and her partner, Alexis Pauline Gumbs are actively visioning building an intergenerational assisted living, residential space. In addition to investigating sustainable models for collective economic practices and re-imagining collective wealth and investing - they are asking: what are the cultural practices, the sacred texts, the strategic plans, the songs, the welcomes and goodbyes - and how do we build trust. Sangodare creates media and art for healing and transformation. Sangodare is an artist, filmmaker, composer and preacher. Along with primary collaborator, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Sangodare co-created Mobile Homecoming (a national intergenerational experiential archive project that amplifies generations of Black LGBTQ brilliance) and Black Feminist Film School (which facilitates access to and discourse about Black Feminist films and provides film production opportunities to those most under-represented in film and media fields). As artist in residence at UMN (2017-19) and visiting faculty in Film Studies at Lawrence University (2017-18), Sangodare shared Black Feminist Film School approaches through teaching, events and exhibition. More about Sangodare and all dem Guests at: https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/season-2 Sangodare's website https://www.sangodare.com Black Feminist Film School https://blackfeministfilmschool.wordpress.com Mobile Homecoming https://www.mobilehomecoming.org

1hr 7mins

30 Mar 2020

Rank #4

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Hosted by Sharon Bridgforth, Who Yo People Is features conversations with artists whose Work and artistic practices are rooted in serving our communities through healing/creative/Spiritual and cultural traditions - centered in Love. Season 2 of Who Yo People Is drops December 16!! Meanwhile check out this BONUS TRACK in which Leigh Gaymon-Jones takes the seat as guest host and interviews me. We talk bout family, art, Divine service and Love. Leigh Gaymon-Jones is a people-centered creative -- she is a mover, a maker and a grower. She is committed to ecology and land-based movements, and has worked in farming and sustainable food systems for a decade AND she is my daughter YAYYYYYY!! More about Leigh at: leighgaymonjones.com The podcast that I mentioned loving is Jesus and Jollof Stay tuned for more/and please subscribe and share  whoyopeopleis.com

1hr 10mins

9 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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Episode 04 - Samia Abou-Samra

Samia Abou-Samra creates music as Wailing - the cry, the longing prayer to inspire the deepest love. Samia os founder of Whale Wonder: a playspace that incubates incubators for the elevation of consciousness. Samia and is co-founder of Turtle Tank: an incubator for Radical Love and Freedom that supports radical creators, entrepreneurs and leaders in creating wealth and well-being. In this conversation Samia talks about civil unrest, Arabic Jazz, the evolution of consciousness, land and stories of land, and music that comes from revolution, political satire and longing. At the end of our conversation Samia Wails for us. More about Samia HERE.


15 Apr 2019

Rank #6

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Episode 05 - Adelina Anthony

Originally from San Antonio, Tejas, Adelina is the eldest daughter of eight. She grounds her work in Indigenous tenets, especially the practice of story as medicine.  Adelina is an award-winning and critically acclaimed artist working primarily in the areas of acting, writing, producing and directing in theater/television and film.   In this raw, open conversation Adelina talks about Breaking cycles, healing trauma, and reclaiming medicine…by looking at the roots of wickedness and sacredness. She considers the realities of help from the other side in her Journey of being an artist/carrying her Mama’s medicine. More about Adelina and all our guests at: http://whoyopeopleis.com More about Adelina at:  http://www.adelinaanthony.comhttp://www.aderisaproductions.com

1hr 17mins

22 Apr 2019

Rank #7

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NiJa Whitson Episode

In this episode Ni'Ja talks about forgiveness, Love and healing…finding home on a cellular level…the functions of nomadism….and the work of exploring Ancestral stories - centralizing dark matter, dark energy and Blackness as everything. An interdisciplinary artist and writer - Ni’Ja is and Creative Capital, MAP Fund, Bessie-Award winning artist currently teaching experimental choreography at the University of California, Riverside. http://www.nijawhitson.com https://vimeo.com/nijawhitson #whoyopeopleis #nijawhitson #crossroadsleadershiplab

1hr 5mins

6 May 2019

Rank #8

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Episode 25 - Rebecca Mwase

Rebecca speaks about: coming from deep connection to Spirit; growing up African in rural Arkansas; navigating belonging; finding fortitude through literature and the arts; and the work of crafting ritual in performance. Rebecca is Creator of "Vessels" a seven-woman harmonic meditation on the transcendental possibilities of song during the Middle Passage - that asks, “What does freedom sound like in a space of confinement?” Junebug Productions production of Vessels, co-shaped by Ron Ragin, opens  March 26, 2020. Rebecca is a Zimbabwean-American theater and performance artist, consultant, and cultural organizer working at the intersection of art and social justice. They craft performance, processes, workshops and curriculum that investigate possibilities for embodied revolution. Rebecca's work creates spaces to reckon with and release the impacts of oppression while deepening connection, healing and belonging. More about Rebecca and all dem Guests: https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/season-2 More about Vessels: http://www.vesselsperformance.com

1hr 12mins

2 Mar 2020

Rank #9

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Diane Rodriguez

As a long time fan of Diane Rodriquez's work, grace, tenacity, generosity and passion driven service/I am thrilled to share our conversation. During our conversation Diane shares some of her experiences growing up in San Jose - during which she learned early on/from her parents how to serve in community...she talks about her history with Teatro Campesino, her experiences as a Chicana actress in Hollywood, her more than twenty years of work on artistic staff at Center Theatre Group, and much more! Be sure and listen to the end, so you can receive the gold that drops throughout our conversation. Diane Rodriguez is an anthologized writer, regional theatre director, and Off-Broadway Obie Award winning performer. For over twenty years,  she was on artistic staff of one of the largest regional theatres in the country, Center Theatre Group,  where most recently she served as Associate Artistic Director.  Under her tenure, she commissioned and developed over one hundred theatre artists to create new work for the theatre. Currently, she helms her own company, Rodriguez Projects, in which she directs, writes and produces artistic endeavors and projects for and with other companies.  In 2016 President Obama appointed her to the National Council on the Arts, a body to which she still serves.  This season she directs  productions in Los Angeles, Provincetown, R.I. and San Francisco. Special thanks to Alex Meda and Teatro Luna West (in Boyle Heights) who was kind enough to open their space to us.  And shout outs to Minerva Jazmin Zapata for connecting me to Tatiana Gutierrez who edited out some of the background happenings that lovingly surrounded us during our talk (thanks Tatiana). More about Diane Rodriguez at: https://www.diane-rodriguez.com More about Diane and all dem Guests at: https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/season-2 More about Alex Meda & Teatro Luna West at: https://www.teatrolunawest.org/about #whoyopeopleis #dianerodriguez

1hr 2mins

13 Jan 2020

Rank #10

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Episode 24 - Stephanie McKee

Stephanie speaks about: being from singers and medicine people; growing through self-doubt imposed by the public school system;  creating life-long friendships in art making spaces; her determination to make and hold space for Black creatives; and being part of a second generation of connection and partnerships between Junebug Productions and Urban Bush Women. Stephanie is a performer, choreographer, educator, facilitator and cultural organizer based in New Orleans, LA. She is the Artistic Director for Junebug Productions Inc., the organizational successor to the Free Southern Theater (FST), which was formed in 1963 to be a cultural arm of the Civil Rights Movement and was a major influence in the Black Theater Movement. Stephanie is a member of Alternate ROOTS, a New Voices emerging leaders alumnus and has been a faculty member and facilitator for the Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute for over 10 years. As an artist, Stephanie believes art is for everyone and is deeply committed to creating art that substantively reflects disparate conditions, and leveraging that art as a powerful tool for change. More about Stephanie and all dem Guests: https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/season-2 Junebug Productions: https://www.junebugproductions.org

1hr 3mins

24 Feb 2020

Rank #11

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Episode 23 - E. Patrick Johnson

I am proud to share my conversation with one of the most Beloved artist/scholar/community members of our times - Dr. E. Patrick Johnson! Patrick talks about growing up in North Carolina in communities where everyone made sure everyone was taken care of. He says that he owes who he is/how he moves in the world/how he theorizes/and what is possible in his life to his mom, her side of the family, and the sacrifices they made. Patrick says that in these perilous times, he feels art is the thing that is going to save us and keep us sane...and so will grace. All who know him know - he not only is one of the hardest working/fiercely advocating/ground breaking/door openers...Patrick is the embodiment of Grace. Patrick Johnson is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. A scholar, artist, and activist, Johnson has performed nationally and internationally and has published widely in the area of race, gender, sexuality and performance.  He is the author of several books, including, Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women. His stage play, Sweet Tea—The Play, premiered in Chicago at About Face Theater in 2010.  He is also the co-executive producer of the documentary film, Making Sweet Tea. More about Patrick and all dem Guests: https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/season-2 Patrick's website http://www.epatrickjohnson.com Patrick's award winning film https://sweetteafilm.com Patrick's newest book https://www.dukeupress.edu/honeypot

1hr 4mins

17 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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Episode 19 - Omi Osun Joni L. Jones

"Who Yo People Is" jingle sanga, episode editor, season 2 producer - my daughter - Sonja Perryman is Guest Host for this episode!! Sonja interviews my wife/her other Mama - Omi Osun Joni L. Jones!!! Omi talks about growing up in Chicago's Southside suburbs - the youngest in a Black middle class family/raised by folks that migrated from the South - and their protocols. She shares about what initially moved her towards her long term/ongoing connection to Yoruba spiritual practices; she names her gratitude to the Ancestors as a source of Inspiration that she leans into when she is afraid or overwhelmed by her work and goals. And after 40 years of teaching (28 of which was at University of Texas at Austin) Omi speaks about walking with herself post retirement/discovering and activating her work now . . . and her role models for how to be an academic without being connected to (one) institution/which include: Alexis Pauline Gumbs (https://www.alexispauline.com), Celeste Henry.   Omi Osun Joni L. Jones’ work is committed to exploring strategies for promoting healthy communities through personal Joy. She is an artist/scholar/facilitator who employs Black Feminist aesthetics in her performance work, her pedagogy, and her consulting. She has performed at The New Black Fest (NYC), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), and Links Hall (Chicago), and has served as a workplace facilitator with Thousand Currents (Oakland) and NoVo Foundation (NYC). Her scholarship has appeared in The Drama Review, Obsidian, and Theatre Journal as well as solo/black/woman and Blacktino Queer Performance. Her most recent book is Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Àṣẹ, and the Power for the Present Moment (Ohio State University Press). She is Professor Emerita from the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. https://www.theatricaljazzbookparty.com https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/caaas/faculty/jij2555 Guest Host: Sonja Perryman is a screenwriter, producer, performer, and facilitator, with an MPH from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. She has a passion for telling female-driven, diverse stories that explore socially relevant issues in unexpected ways. Her work includes: Director of Research & Development at Wise Entertainment, where she also served as associate producer on Hulu’s six-time Emmy-nominated television show, East Los High; associate producer on Time 2 Surrender, an award-winning short film written, directed, and starring actor Elvis Nolasco and executive produced by Spike Lee; and season 2 staff writer for the Facebook Watch show, Five Points, executive produced by Kerry Washington. Sonja serves on the board of FYI Films, a non-profit that teaches filmmaking to incarcerated youth, and has been a guest lecturer and keynote speaker at institutions around the country. More at: https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/jingle


20 Jan 2020

Rank #13

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Episode 17 - Ananya Chatterjea

Ananya Chatterjea is Ananya Dance Theatre founder, artistic director, choreographer, dancer. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Choreography Fellow, 2012 McKnight Choreography Fellow, 2016 Joyce Award recipient, 2019-2020 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Fellow, and a 2019 Dance/USA Artist Fellow. In this interview Ananya speaks of growing up in Kolkata, India learning about transnational feminist & women’s movements, urban beats, social justice and the drum beat of women's daily life in dance. She speaks of coming to the US to study at Columbia university (NY), and later temple University where she received her (Ph.D). Ananya shares her Journey with what it means to make a dance and the how her commitment to social justice taught her to choreograph. With Social Justice roots learned in India Ananya  speaks of balancing the weight of loneliness and work as a young working single mother by building her own company - teaching dance to women of color, making work, and building community - while creating space for WOC to share their stories and histories of colonialism, violence and resilience through dance.  More about Ananya at:  http://www.ananyadancetheatre.org/bios/ananya-chatterjea More about Ananya and all dem Guests at: https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/season-2


6 Jan 2020

Rank #14

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Episode 06 - D'Lo

In this episode, D’Lo and I are joined by Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones (my wife). The three of us talk about shining light on queer narratives and the work of growing into our rolls as elders too soon. We revisit some of my back in the day craycray that D’Lo witnessed me grow through, and we speak on the power of staying in it with each other/finding our messy way forward with patience and kindness and Love. D’Lo is an actor/writer/comic who in addition to touring his own solo works, has been in many films and series including: TRANSPARENT (Amazon), SENSE 8 (Netflix), Mr. ROBOT (CW) \ BRUISING FOR BESOS, DYKE CENTRAL and his own web series PRIVATE DICK. Omi is an artist/scholar whose work focuses on performance ethnography, theatrical jazz, Yoruba-based aesthetics, Black Feminisms, and activist theatre.  More about D'Lo and all dem Guests at https://www.whoyopeopleis.com/guest-artists D’Lo's website: https://www.dlocokid.com More about Omi at: https://www.theatricaljazzbookparty.com

1hr 14mins

29 Apr 2019

Rank #15