Virtues Half-Day Workshops
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By: Marvin Roxas

Last week, we spent Tuesday and Wednesday working with students from UMBC, Loyola University, The Choice Program, Peaceworkers, and The Shriver Center by leading a Virtues Project workshop incorporating the TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation) framework. Students and participants (including some Wombworkers) joined together in healing circles, one-on-one interviews, and open discussions regarding the issues of talking about race and equity. 

Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Implementation Guidebook 2016

Participants in these two half-day workshops started the process of channeling their energies into tangible strategies that would allow them to utilize the universal language of the virtues to enhance their ability to communicate with their peers regarding their stories and racial healing.

 Meeting with the President and student leaders at UMBC for a planning session

Meeting with the President and student leaders at UMBC for a planning session

 Frank reflecting with a student

Frank reflecting with a student

 Mama Kay talking with a possible long-lost relative

Mama Kay talking with a possible long-lost relative

Marvin Roxas
Permission Tour
Lightcity

Permission.  Nu World Art Ensemble has tackled the issue of sexual assault in a 45 minute production filled with honest stories about rape culture. The cast members use dance and music to tell the story of alcohol and drugs, misogyny, victim blaming, blurred lines, and myths about rape and sexual assault. Our piece also sheds light on the male survivors, and the survivors in the LGBTQ+ community, voices that are not always heard.

 Stella, Sis. Mothyna, Ola, Parrish and Louis at Mount Vernon Place Square Take Back The Night

Stella, Sis. Mothyna, Ola, Parrish and Louis at Mount Vernon Place Square Take Back The Night

LightcityLabs

Nu World Art Ensemble would like our audience to remember that rape and sexual assault is about power and control. Survivors are never responsible for their assaults.

Our first performance was on April 18th at Light city Health Labs. We presented a five minute presentation of the larger performance. The Health Labs topic was health disparities in depressed communities and the untreated trauma of a sexual assault has lasting mental and physical health issues for survivors.

On April 19th we performed Permission at Morgan State University. We have performed there for several years but this performance was the most well attended and best received. After the performance several of the students wanted to know more about our company and work with us in the future.  

TurnAround Inc. invited us to perform a short excerpt of Permission for the Take Back the Night Vigil and Rally on April 26th. We performed outside in Mt. Vernon Square and were honored to share the space with survivors that presented their stories.  

We did not stop in April. Mama Rashida Forman-Bey, our founder and an Urban Arts major at Coppin University, directed our Permission show for her final project on May 15th and the directors of the program gave glowing reviews.

Nu World will continue our tour with upcoming dates in June so check our social media pages and website for time and venue. 

 Stevanie, Tobais, James Brown and Jabari at Coppin University

Stevanie, Tobais, James Brown and Jabari at Coppin University

 Mama Rashida and Ola at Coppin University

Mama Rashida and Ola at Coppin University

Rising Up Performance at The Modell Lyric
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By: Marvin Roxas

Since February 13, art instructors at WombWork Productions, Inc. partnered with BLSYW (Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women) and The Modell Lyric to produce Rising Up! Exploring Your Own Lyric. After 8 weeks of drumming, singing, dancing, storytelling, and script-writing 40 6th grade girls donned West African attire and performed their script on stage at The Modell Lyric on April 18th. The production involved original WombWork Productions, Inc. songs such as Heshima na Umoja, Take Me to the Water, Who Can I Talk To?, I Got to Love Myself, and Virtues Roll-Call. During the 8 weeks, the students kept journals where they wrote their personal reflections and answers to writing prompts concerning their personal perspectives and home life. 

The transformation was evident on April 18th, when students who were shy and did not want to participate back in February, were now speaking on the main stage. Students were leading group choreographed dances, performing solo dances, leading call-and-response chants, and presenting script lines based on memorized cues. This whole production demonstrated the WombWork methodology, that incorporated the virtues process into a healing process conveyed through art instruction. By the end of the program, the every student on the stage had their moment to share their words and share their personal stories both good and bad.

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Marvin Roxas
Ella Baker Day 2018

By Mama Kay and Mama Ola

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In Collaboration with Loyola University WombWork Productions hosted the second annual Ella Baker Day, on April 5th, 2018. We hosted the event at our Black Box theatre in West Baltimore. Next Generation Art Ensemble our youngest company ages 5-12 performed their original Ella Baker presentation; Loyola University alum Queen Earth performed and it was so awesome. Ella Baker Day is an  annual event that occurs at various locations all over the country as a way to honor and celebrate Ms. Baker’s lifetime of community organizing and civil rights activism on behalf of communities (and especially women) of color. Ella Baker Day started at Loyola in April 2017, and is an annual event held each April. Ella Baker Day allows Loyola to increase its contact and partnership with youth in our community. There was also a social justice-themed art contest from local middle and high school aged youth with two categories for submission middle and high school submissions were shown and judged. The work was brilliant and moving. The four contest winners were awarded at the end of the night. “It was so exciting to support the creative development of the youth in our community” stated the coordinator of the Emma Baker Day Emalee J Quickel, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in Department of Psychology. @ Loyola University she said, “Ella Baker Day is a great opportunity to learn from the life and experiences of Ella Baker and to better understand and connect with our own neighbors, all in the spirit of Ms. Baker’s legacy.  Well, Dr. Quickel got just what she was looking for by collaborating with WombWork Productions Inc. We pray that it will become an Annual event.

Dr. Quickel knocked on the right door.  It truly was an amazing evening with the help of our phenomenal WWP Team:

 Baba Embu head of WombWork’s Technical Team, Mama Sallah Jenkins Artist in Residence, Cheryl Hinton Performance/Visual Artist and WWP Board Member, Drummers: Charles Watson, Jumoke Ajanku, and Tobias Johnson

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Assistant Director: Stevanie Anita Williams,

 Assistants: Olayinka Lawal and Christian Harris, Donilyaha Dorsey-Green

Operation and Development Manager: Marvin Roxas

Consider WombWork hosting your next Culturally Relevant Event.

Love Always,

Mama Kay and Mama Rashida

WombWork Production Directors

www.wombwork.com

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Rising Up - In the Middle of Things

By: Marvin Roxas

It is the second half of week 5 of the 8-week Rising Up project with BLSYW (Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women). Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, WombWork Productions, Inc. instructors spend two hours working with two classes of 6th grade girls to prepare them to create, share, and eventually present their stories in the form of a script onstage at The Modell Lyric. Thus far WombWork Productions, Inc. instructors, dancers, drummers, and singers have facilitated classes that introduce students to theatrical skills, virtues engagement, and storytelling. This week marks a pivotal stage in the program, because now a script based off of the students' work must be created, incorporated, and brought together before being presented at The Modell Lyric.

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Marvin Roxas