Make, Do, Learn
We are excited to share with you these fun activities so that you can be a part of the festival that honors roots, identity and resiliency through Black children’s books! Join the fun making these crafts created just for you. Take a photo of your crafts, show your moves, enjoy the performances, and share your creativity with us.
We invite you to be a part of amplifying the message that Black is beautiful!
Show Claw Slide – Dance
The Show Claw Slide is just one of the dances the birds in Ashley Bryan’s Beautiful Blackbird picture book dance to honor Blackbird and his beautiful Blackness. Learn the official dance of the Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival. Shake a tail feather and watch choreographer Veeva Banga teach the moves to the Show Claw Slide. Follow along with Veeva or feel inspired to make up your own moves. Please send us your homemade video, tag us on Instagram, and share with us on Facebook. FIRST download this form so that we have your permission to share it out.
Veeva Banga is a South Sudanese dancer and actress based in Portland, Maine. She has a passion for sharing african dance with people locally. Veeva has taught at local Portland studios like Hustle and Flow Studio, Bright Star World Dance Studio, Living Room Dance Collective, Portland Youth Dance and many more. You can find more information about her classes at www.veevabangadanceclass.com
Arts & Crafts
Aminata Conteh is a metalsmith and multidisciplinary artist. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Aminata draws inspiration from her Sierra Leonian heritage, the collapsing histories that exist between her lived experience and her lineage. At her college, Aminata has been involved in student life as a Resident Assistant and in student organizations, serving as the current Vice President of the Students of Color Coalition, which promotes inclusivity, equity and provides support for students of color.
Aminata is currently a senior at Maine College of Art, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Metalsmithing and Jewelry. She is also working as the summer intern at Indigo Arts Alliance, a nonprofit arts center whose mission is to build global connections by bringing together Black and Brown artists from diverse backgrounds to engage in creative processes as Artists in Residence.
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Just in time for the 120th anniversary of the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing”—this stirring book, Sing a Song, celebrates the Black National Anthem and how it inspired five generations of a family. Enjoy this original recording made especially for the Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival.
Chloe Jean Bermudez
Chloe Jean is an award-winning singer, songwriter, composer, and vocalist who draws upon pain and pleasure to create stories through music. Her low, gritty and soulful vocalizations are balanced by soaring falsettos, creating a unique combination of rock, jazz and soul. Her inspirations include old school crooners such as Robert Cray (whom she has had the great pleasure of opening for), Bill Withers, and Ella Fitzgerald. During the COVID crisis, Chloe has dedicated herself to uplifting the community through free public performances and donating her tip money to various non-profits.
Follow her journey here: www.chloejean.net And here: Insta: @chloejeanmusic
Atiim ChenziraProducer, Sound Environments
Narrator: Going Down Home with Daddy
Atiim is a multifaceted person who practices music; art; poetry; activism; marriage & family therapy, to both heal myself and the world he is in contact with. Everyday is close to good-bye, and he lives each day like it may be his last chance to give something special back in return for his life.
Atiim received a BA in Sociology with a minor in African Studies from San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA; a BA in Pan African Studies with a minor in Sociology from the California State University of Northridge, Northridge, CA, and a MA in Counseling Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
Jay Williams is jAswhO? (pron. Jase hoo), a multifaceted musician, accomplished producer, innovative performer, degree-certified engineer and, above all, a humble human being. Despite his calm aura, Williams ripples with energy on stage. Anyone whos seen his live house music sets, or heard his many superb singles knows that Williams brings it.
Jay Williams a veteran live musician whos toured the US, Japan and England with various bands, including as a keyboardist, guitar and bass player with improv experimental dance music ensemble Playground and Elektra records project Family Funk. His multi-instrument prowess has led to frequent collaborations with a range of producers and artists. His discography reads like a whos-who (or is that whos Who?) of dope underground labels.
“I dont care whom Im in front of young or old. When I play, I do it one-hundred percent”.