We recently posted on the fundraising push for Festival of the New Black Imagination, a new multi-media event set for Saturday, October 15th in Brooklyn, NY.

Billed as a “forward-looking showcase for the great creativity emanating from the arts, culture, media and business that’s helping to expand notions of blackness in the 21st century,” the day-long festival includes conversations, panels, and performances – including a screening of A. Sayeeda Clarke’s White, where our own Tambay Obenson will conduct the post-screening Q&A.

See the full roster of events after the jump:

2011 Festival Agenda: Talks & Panels

10am – 10:15am

Welcome Remarks

Rob Fields, Chief Curator
10:15am – 10:45am

Imagining The Future
What kind of world can we expect in 10, 20 or 30 years from now? What kind of opportunities and challenges will present themselves? More importantly, Dr. Irvin will tell us how to prepare.

Dr. Nat Irvin, II, futurist and professor of management at the College of Business at the University of Louisville.
10:45am – 1130am

The Future of Progressive Culture In A Capitalist Economy
The question before us is simple: How do we move progressive culture forward inside a frame that values mass-market, lowest common denominator appeal? Can capitalism be made to service culturally progressive goals? This panel explores the issue.

Marcus Dowling, freelance music journalist (moderator)
Sierra McClain, writer & publicist
Dominique Morisseau, playwright
Vernon Reid, guitarist & founder, Living Colour
Elon James White, comedian and creator, ThisWeekInBlackness.com

ringShout/The New Black Fest Reading

The literary group and the group focused on developing theatrical voices from the African diaspora combine forces to bring a selection of black literary fiction to life. A limited number of copies of each book will be available for purchase in the lobby area courtesy of Daddy’s Basement Bookstore in Crown Heights.

Axel Avin, Jr. reads an excerpt from “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Jabari Asim (A Taste of Honey, Broadway Books, 2010)

Shaolin Jazz and the 21st Century Remix

The creative minds behind Shaolin Jazz: The 37th Chamber talk about the inspiration that led to the project; what classic jazz artists like Pharoah Sanders and Ahmad Jamal have in common with the RZA, Meth and Ghostface; and why mashup/remix projects won’t run out of steam any time soon.

DJ 2-Tone Jones
Gerald Watson

Reimagining Poetry’s Form

Award-winning poet and Cave Canem fellow Tyehimba Jess is becoming known for pushing the limits of poetry’s form. In this short talk, he shares the spark of inspiration that set him on this path, as well as what he’s learned along the way.

Tyehimba Jess, poet

LUNCH BREAK (on your own)


Wangechi Mutu and Sanford Biggers in conversation with Greg Tate

These two celebrated young artists chop it up with the cultural critic and bandleader.


Going Hyperlocal: What We’ve Known All Along

Architect and designer Howard Duffy highlights the benefits of returning to a hyperlocal community approach and how it can affect job creation, health, education, nutrition, trade and entrepreneurship.

Howard Duffy, Founding Principal, HTDSTUDIO DESIGNOFFICE

ringShout/The New Black Fest Reading

Danielle Brooks reads an excerpt from “The Bridge Stories: A Short Collection” by Tiphanie Yanique (How To Escape From A Leper Colony, Graywolf Press, 2011)

Screening: White by A. Sayeeda Clarke

Developed as part of ITVS’s Futurestates series, which asks filmmakers to “imagine America in the not-too-distant future, when what we do, where we live, and who we are will all be dictated by the decisions we make today,” White is Clarke’s dystopian tale of a man forced into selling the world’s new currency in order to save his family.


A. Sayeeda Clarke interviewed by Tambay Obenson

Immediately following the screening Obenson, the founding editor of influential film blog Shadow and Act, will conduct a short Q&A with the filmmaker.




Art & Technology

This session explores the impact new technologies are having on artistic creation, especially in the areas of digital art.

Crystal Z. Campbell, multimedia artist
Sian Morson, CEO, Kollective Mobile
Other panelists TBA

ringShout/The New Black Fest Reading

Lynnette Freeman reads an excerpt from “The Land of Beulah” by Danzy Senna (You Are Free, Riverhead Books, 2011)

The Entrepreneur’s Mindset

It’s said that the future belongs to those who can create for themselves. Ali Muhammad is an example of this in action. In this talk, he will share the mental aspects of the entrepreneur’s game that have enable him to thrive on his own in the five years since he left an advertising sales position at VIBE Magazine.

Ali Muhammad, President, 21st Century Hustle, Inc.

Closing Keynote Conversation: How To Be Black

Toure, author of the recently published Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness in conversation about the state–and future–of the post-black world with Baratunde Thurston, politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future and author of the forthcoming How To Be Black.

Amanda Seales (formerly Amanda Diva), poet, MC, actress
Baratunde Thurston, co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics
Toure, author, journalist, cultural critic

For tickets and more information, visit the event’s website.