Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gumbo YaYa "Sista Circle" Continues with

"Mother. Ourselves" Interactive Workshop led by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and

Zachari Curtis (3:00-5:30)

Contact: Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative
Media Alert

Durham, NC- Jan. 28, 2009

The North Carolina Humanities Council and SpiritHouse-NC sponsor a creative healing and expression process for women and girls of the African diaspora Durham, NC. The 12-week process, Gumbo YaYa, began January 4 and will continue to March 29 with a creative performance. Now in its second month, Gumbo Yaya continues to incorporate methods for growth,expression, and community-building to actualize individual and artistic processes. The theme is "Love is Radical: Approaches to Mothering, Daughter(ing), and Sister(ing)".

Up-coming Sister Circles Include

Feb. 1, "Mother. Ourselves." with Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Zachari Curtis.
Feb. 8, "In The Beginning Was Her Word: Empowering Women One Story At A Time", with Dr. Anjail Rashida Ahmad.Feb. 15, "The Healing Practice of Dance"
Feb. 22, "Meditation and Creative Visioning: Building Intergenerational Bridges Among Black
Women and Girls"

The "sista circle" uses methods such as improvisation, dance, journaling, meditation, storytelling, photography, theater, poetry, and music to explore the intergenerational relationships between black mothers, daughters, and sisters. The "sista circle" series culminates in multimedia theater performance at the end of March.

All sessions, materials, performances, and discussions are free for participants and audience members. Gumbo YaYa will provide child care and dinner during every "sista circle". Participants do not have to be students, or affiliated with any particular institution to participate.
Ebony Noelle Golden, Creative Director of Gumbo YaYa thanks the North Carolina Humanities Council, SpiritHouse-NC, and Healing with CAARE, Inc. for their generous sponsorship. Nancy "Mama Nia" Wilson, Executive Director of SpiritHouse-NC said, "We are really looking forward to hosting Gumbo YaYa. This process will definitely help to continue conversations black women and girls are having about how we relate to each other. We hope this process helps mothers, daughters, and sisters strengthen their relationships with each other and the larger communities."

For more information about Gumbo YaYa visit, or email

Ebony N. Golden, MFA, MA
Creative Director

Hire Betty's Daughter for your arts consulting needs!
"creating radical expressiveness in community"

Check out...Gumbo Yaya/or this is why we speak in tongues
"Creative Healing and Expression for Women of the Diaspora"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Greetings Gumbo YaYa Supporters,

Last week's session "Brilliant Tomorrows: Sister(ing) as Communal Creative Performance" was a success! We had 20 women in attendance as we engaged diverse ways of practicing sisterhood.

This sunday features an extended gourd making and percussion workshop, HandWork to HeartWork" led by Connie Leeper of Kannapolis, NC. The session will begin at 2:30 and end 6:30. All programs happen at Healing with CAARE, Inc on 214 Broadway St in Durham, NC.

We are also pleased to announce that two of our youth, Nadirah and Bryonna, will lead us in a meditation and visualization activity to start the workshop.

As always, dinner and child care will be provided.

Additionally, please see the link to more pictures of the Everlasting Life workshop from our second week. Thank you sister Courtney Powell-X for the photography work.

Please visit and leave us a note!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Greetings Gumbo YaYa Supporters,

Below you will find upcoming Sister Circle information. Please forward to Black women and girls you think may be interested in coming.

As with all circles, refreshments and child care are provided.
For more information, visit or

Jan. 18. “Brilliant Tomorrows: Sister(ing) as Communal Creative Performance”
Ebony Noelle Golden

Workshop Description- How are black women taught to sister? What are the some of the rites, rituals, and performances of sistering? How can we honor the space and practice of sistering? In this session, participants will engage in poetry, performance, music, and movement activities that help us create a vocabulary for active, present, and radical sistering.

The workshop is informed by the work and scholarship of Alice Coltrane, Romare Bearden, Ntozake Shange, Augosto Boal, Anna Deveare Smith, Nina Simone, Zora Neale Hurston, Soyini Madison, among others.

Jan. 25 “HandWork to HeartWork” Gourd Making & Percussion Connie Leeper

On the surface, this workshop is about music and gourd making. On a deeper level, it is more about connection…connection to ourselves, playfulness, imagination, culture, health and community. No experience necessary. Must be willing to be open, welcoming & ready to learn and teach. This workshop only requires that you bring your whole self into a process of intentional creativity.

Feb. 1 “Mother. Ourselves.” Alexis Pauline Gumbs & Zachari Curtis What happens when a life’s work stretches to include many lifetimes and multiple bodies? What models of communication allow those of us living in the flesh on this plane to access the imperatives of ancestors and the unborn? This exploration of the practice of spiritual daughterhood demonstrates and investigates radical connection as a calling and a strategy for healing and action.

Presented by three spiritual daughters of Durham visionary artist, educator and now ancestor Nayo Watkins, “Mother. Ourselves.” is both a performative tribute to Mama Nayo’s life and energy and a model for communication across the presumed limits of life itself. Mama Nayo understood the necessity of the creative process to radical political struggle and healing. This is how she lives with us now; reaching forward and back, moving away and drawing us together.

Time, distance, dis(ease), death, scarcity if asserted as essential, linear, terminal, logical, confine individuals and disrupt communication across seemingly impermeable barriers. What we know already is that we already have everything we need in order to reclaim, remember, revision ourselves, together, free. As Nayo put it, “You already know all you need to know… It’s in your bones.”

Feb. 8 “In The Beginning Was Her Word: Empowering Women One Story At A Time”

Dr. Anjail Rashida Ahmad

Over the millennia, women have held societies together word of mouth, hand to hand and vision by vision simply by the words issued from their tongues. The word or the power of one’s intention spoken into existence is the essence of who we are and can be a force that drives the unfolding of our life experiences. This speaking often takes the shape of stories both narrative and poetic. It’s the power of one’s own story articulated and shared that can have a most transforming effect throughout our societies both private and public.

In this workshop, Dr. Ahmad will lead us in uncovering the essence of the words lying at the bottom of our own hearts and use them to formulate our stories/poems/womanifestas-what desires to be spoken that has not yet been uttered.

Participants should bring a photograph of themselves preferably from the remote past. Use black and white if you have it or copy with a black and white copier. Together we will write autobiographically/biographically, herstorically inspired poems. Come prepared to be reaffirmed, to search-out the words and images, to gather and shape them and to share that which has the power to make us whole.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Get Hip and Get Your Necessary Dose of Gumbo YaYa!

January 5, 2009 –A New Year and new process to get the job done
On this new show in the New Year, we talk about upcoming events and setting goals for 2009.
Phyllis Coley, editor of Spectacular magazine and Ebony Noelle Golden creative director of Gumbo Yaya gives us a lot of new information to think about. Phyllis shares info on the upcoming Jan 31 celebration of Martin Luther King in Durham. Ebony tells us about the weekly sisterhood circles that she is guiding. Each of my guests use a process unique to them that I know you will find interesting and can be used as a guide to strengthen your own goals in 2009. Join the conversation and send me your goals that you have set for 2009.

Visit at to listen to and download the podcast.

Visit Gumbo YaYa at