Art (Re)Defines Us: From the Host

Why is the topic of this event important to you?

Art exercises a tremendous influence over our personal identity and public values.  Learning to understand, appreciate, and strengthen that influence enriches our lives as individuals, but also and equally important, it helps us take greater responsibility for the character of our communities and determine whether and to what extent our public artistic and cultural spaces embody the principles we profess.

This is what initially sparked my interest in hosting a salon on art and community, but my interest has been spurred on by many of the fascinating, provocative conversations that have taken place in Jacksonville over the past year.  On WJCT’s Community Thread with Melissa Ross, for example, I saw some great conversations about downtown development and arts education.  This summer, I attended the opening of the Cummer Museum’s exhibit, LIFT: Contemporary Reflections on the African American Experience.  I also had the opportunity to attend several public conversations about the exhibit and the subject of race and art, most notably the conversations hosted by Nyah Vanterpool of UNF’s OneVoice.  All of these conversations generated such passion, such engagement, such thoughtful exploration of injustice and hope, inequality and courage, that I simply felt compelled to explore this topic myself.  Continuing this ongoing conversation about how art embodies our shared democratic values seems to me to be a kind of debt we owe to our forebears and fellow citizens, a great unfinished work requiring renewed dedication and engaged devotion.

I’m especially excited that TEDxFSCJ will be partnering with MOCA Jacksonville to host this salon.  This partnership signals the first in what will ultimately be many examples of collaboration between TEDxFSCJ and the wider community.  The spirit of TED and TEDx thrives when it engages real communities, real people, and real issues with passion, dedication, and rigor, and that’s what I hope this salon will help to further.


- Paul Hendrickson

Bio: Christina Parrish Stone

CHRISTINA WILL BE A PANELIST AT THE TEDXFSCJ SALON:
ART (RE)DEFINES US

Christina is a long-time advocate for Jacksonville’s urban neighborhoods, with significant experience in historic preservation and the use of arts and culture as tools for community development.  A resident of Historic Springfield, she recently retired from a twenty-year career as an attorney specializing in real estate law and now serves as Executive Director of Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council, Inc.  She is a founder of Jacksonville PorchFest, an annual music festival that brings thousands of people to Springfield to enjoy dozens of performances on porches and in parks throughout the historic district. A board member or chair of several other civic organizations, Christina recently completed her goal of visiting each of the fifty United States and believes Jacksonville is poised to end its reign as America’s most underrated, unappreciated, and misunderstood city. 

Bio: Tiffany Melanson

Tiffany is a poet, performer and graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars. An educator as well as artist, she teaches poetry workshops, magazine production and oral interpretation at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.  Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has most recently appeared in Compose Journal, Coda Quarterly, Bridge Eight and on Swamp Radio, a live radio and podcast experience celebrating the culture, art and history of Northeast Florida, where she is both occasional co-host, interviewer and frequent contributor. She recently completed an audio chapbook for Eat Poems and was previously featured in The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens' exhibit, Reflections: Artful Perspectives on the St. Johns River.

TIFFANY WILL BE
A PANELIST at THE
TEDXFSCJ SALON:
ART (RE)DEFINES US

Bio: Roosevelt Watson III

Roosevelt is a painter working in surreal, abstract, and figurative modes. A native of Jacksonville, he received his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art (now the Savannah College of Art and Design), and his work is currently on display at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens exhibit, LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience.  He was awarded the Savannah Individual Arts Assistance Grant and has twice placed first in the Jacksonville-area Beaches Fine Arts Series.  His work has been commissioned by the Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Museum in Jacksonville, the Emmanuel Church in Tampa, and the Boys and Girls Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and his paintings have been featured on the covers of Savannah Scene, Folio Weekly, and Contemporary Arts Today.

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ROOSEVELT WILL BE A PANELIST AT THE
TEDXFSCJ SALON: ART (RE)DEFINES US

Bio: Ebony Payne-English

Ebony is a writer, performer, educator, and human rights activist from Jacksonville, where she is a board member of The Performers Academy. She is the first woman to establish her own chapter of the international poetry organization, Black on Black Rhyme. Ebony is a 2015 Southern Fried Poetry Slam double finalist as well as the winner of Florida Urban Culture’s 2015 award for Most Influential Artist.  Her 12 years of professional experience include performances at the New Orleans House of Blues, Essence Festival, Nuyorican Café, and the Denver Mercury Slam. Her discography comprises three critically acclaimed poetry albums, and she is the author of a nationally accredited, artistically centered K-12 STEAM curriculum and children’s book series in use in some 48 programs nationwide.

 

EBONY WILL BE A PANELIST AT THE NEXT TEDXFSCJ SALON:
ART RE(DE)FINES US

Bio: Mal Jones

 Photo by  Ingrid Damiani

Recording artist, Founder of The Lyricist Live, emcee, award winning Jacksonville Hip-Hop/Folk artist, educator and documentarian Mal Jones hosts The Lyricist Live at downtown vision’s monthly “Jacksonville Artwalk.” A Bronx Born, 23 year resident of Duval County, Mal is a pioneer of the Jacksonville indie Hip-Hop scene and creator of Hip-Hop education based school programs that use hip-hop culture as an educational tool. In 2013 Mal became the first Hip-Hop artist in Florida history labeled a “Folk Artist” by The Florida Folklife Program and Division of Historical Resources for the traditional skill of improvisational freestyle rapping. In addition to hosting a number of Hip-Hop workshops that focus on writing and literacy, Mal runs a state funded apprenticeship program awarded by The Florida Folklife Program that teaches the traditional skill of freestyle rapping. He's currently in his 2nd year of curating the folk apprenticeship program.

Mal will perform at 5:30 p.m. before the next TEDxFSCJ Salon:
Art (Re)Defines Us

TEDxFSCJ Salon: Immigrants, Refugees, and Jacksonville's Muslim American Community

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Florida State College at Jacksonville Deerwood Center
9911 Old Baymeadows Road. G1709. Jacksonville, FL 32256

You see the headlines about immigrants and refugees daily, but what are their experiences really like? Join us for our first Salon of 2016 where we'll present a selection of TED Talks on the immigrant/refugee experience.

Panel discussion featuring local voices, including:

Ericka Curran
Professor of Law at Florida Coastal School of Law and Director of the Immigrant and Human Rights Clinic. 

Rosanna Barsati
Third-year law student at Florida Coastal School of Law specializing in international, human rights, and refugee law. 

Ranna Abduljawad
Palestinian American, vice president in finance technology, and member of Floridians Responding to Refugees.

Mohammad Bataineh
Managing Partner of Bataineh Palmeri, a business and corporate law firm, and executive board member of OneJax. Mohammad was born in the Middle East and came to the US as a young boy.