The major thrust of my Patreon is to help support the work that I do in the community. Normally I’d share the things that I’d been up to in the last month. However, I’m just going to share what happened in one week in May:
Mo*Con: This is a mini-convention that I host built around food, community, and conversations (typically around the topics of spirituality, art, and social justice). Basically imagine a barcon that’s the focus of an entire weekend. Sunday was essentially a day long dead dog party as our Mo*Con guests departed. This was the culmination of a few days’ worth of work….
THURSDAY: The Kheprw Institute hosted a pre-Mo*Con event, a conversation with Mikki Kendall and Chesya Burke. Basically, I introduced these two powerhouses and then got out of the way.
FRIDAY: We have a reception dinner for our guests (the “Alethea Kontis Welcoming Dinner”), then had a performance from local hip hop great, Diop + Mandog. 
SATURDAY: We had three signature conversations (one on the artistic practice of our worldviews, one on the business of valuing ourselves as artists, and one that was a Q&A on being/having an agent). Having a panel of three black guests not talking about any diversity related issues was a real highlight for me.
Even though there was a competing convention which drew off about a third of our regulars, this still ended up being our most attended Mo*Con. With the theme of “Intersection,” I hoped to weave different areas of my life together (church, family, and community work).
Creative Writing Club: For the previous nine weeks, I’ve been running an after school Creative Writing Club with some of my middle grade students (some of my 8th graders convinced me to do it). We’ve covered plotting, brainstorming, voice, dialogue, beginnings, middles, ending, scenes, and revision, culminating with our celebration event. We did readings of work produced during this time (me included). To my great delight, they were just talking and goofing off over the weeks. Basically, I taught for a little bit and then got out of their way to let them write. Not only had they paid attention, but they took their stories to a whole new level. I was soooooo in my feels during the readings (then they remembered they were middle schoolers and weaponized the whip cream). 
Asante Children’s Theater: The mission of the Deborah Asante Children’s Theater is to foster artistic, personal and professional growth for artists everywhere to succeed. They use acting, singing, dancing, and storytelling to build life skills. Partnering with the Indiana Writers Center, I did a world-building workshop with them. We used an Afrofuturist lens to create new worlds rife with vibrant ideas (basically, I provided the prompts and then got out of the way). Three generations of writers in that room and listening to what they created made my heart full.
Afrofuturism Friday: I didn’t think that we’d top our Black Panther discussion. However, this proved to be a very intense, very personal conversation that centered on ideas about faith (especially for those folk who had given up on aspects of faith while trying to hold onto others) and expanded out to strategies for people doing community work. I posted the outline for what we talked about on my site. 
Open Bite Night: Runways and Reels: Open Bite Night launched by my sister and her husband to encourage local businesses and artisans. Held outside, block party-style at and around the Flanner House and Watkins Park, it showcases the gifts and talents of neighborhood poets, artists, and local entrepreneurs. The proceeds go toward GRoE, my sister’s non-profit which provides after school meals to children in the neighborhood. This was the fifth Open Bite (and I am now the Director of the Open Bite Board).
Thank you so much for your continued support.