A Starry Night: Painting Workshop
with Artist Cindy Renteria
Thursday, April 7th 7pm-9pm
A Starry Night by Cindy Renteria

Join us for A Starry Night: Painting Workshop with Artist Cindy Renteria. Cindy will lead you in a fun painting workshop sharing techniques for creating your own beautiful scene. All ages & abilities welcome!
Materials:
Two 11" x 14" canvas or larger
One pack of acrylic paint with white, black, yellow, blue and red
One palette or area to place paint
One pack of brushes two small round brushes size 2, 4 and one fan brush and two flat pack brushes. Any pack of brushes from Michaels will do with round brushes.
One water cup 
Dance Forever After by Cindy Renteria
Peep's Starry Night by Artist Cindy Renteria
About Our Instructor

Brooklyn, New York is where Cindy Renteria was born. Her interest in art started early. Renteria was drawn to the trees in her neighborhood that were filled with color and movement. In fact trees and landscapes are the focus of many of her paintings. The area where she lived also had many beaches leading to water as another theme for her paintings.

She attended the High School of Art and Design. While there she took classes at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum.

After graduating from Buffalo State College with a Bachelor in Design. Renteria went to visit New Orleans. She was taken by the color, light, and the openness of the place. Renteria ended up moving there. She exhibited her paintings in many galleries and museums in the area.
After Hurricane Katrina flooded her home. She returned to New Orleans to recover her paintings and possessions.

Renteria then moved to the East Coast to be closer to her family. After her move she started painting in acrylics and she works almost exclusively in this medium. Her art has been in numerous exhibits. Renteria continues to paint, teach, and show her work.

Cindy K. Renteria Artist/Illustrator/Writer
www.cindykrenteria.com    Fine Art
www.cindypopdesign.com   Children's Illustrations
www.cindyartgraphics.com  Graphic Art
DC Go-Go: Ten Years Backstage
with Author & Photographer Chip Py
Thursday, March 24th 7.30pm-9pm
DC Represent!

There's a party over here, there's a party over there! In go-go the party never stops, and neither does the beat. The bands, the stars, the clubs, the spots, the sweat, the late nights and the passion are the sound of the city--all photographically captured and preserved right here. For those who know go-go, this book is a documentary celebration. Shout yourself out with a special photographic section dedicated to the fans. For those who don't know, this book is a peek into that world through the lens of photographer Chip Py. Once Chuck Brown's official photographer, his go-go collection is now part of the People's Archive at the DC Public Library. Discover the district's distinctive music, its artists, its culture, and why it has become The Official Music of Washington, D.C.


About the Author

Chip Py began taking photographs at a young age while he tagged along with his father, a reporter. He studied history at East Carolina University and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1988. An avid live music fan, Py has been shooting D.C. bands of all genres for more than thirty-five years. One of his photographs is on permanent display as part of Chuck Brown Memorial Park. His go-go portfolio was acquired by the People's Archive of the D.C. Public Library in 2020, and the Washington City Paper gave him the Editor's Choice Award for his work in 2021.
The 5th Annual Women in the Arts Panel:
Local Women Explore Creativity, Identity & Resilience
Hosted by Blues Artist Stacy Brooks featuring artist Pamela Betts, Blues Artist & Radio Host Ida Campbell, Filmmaker Erica Ginsberg, Kuchipudi Dancer, Writer & Storyteller Anila Kumari, Comedian DLo, and Artist Cindy Renteria
Monday, March 28th 7pm-9pm
Shadows and Light by Artist Pamela Betts
Join us for the 5th Annual Women in the Arts Panel: Local Women Explore Creativity, Identity & Resilience Hosted by Blues Artist Stacy Brooks featuring artist Pamela Betts, Blues Artist & Radio Host Ida Campbell, Filmmaker Erica Ginsberg, Kuchipudi Dancer, Writer & Storyteller Anila Kumari, Comedian DLo, and Artist Cindy Renteria Monday, March 28th 7pm-9pm.
STACY BROOKS
Blues Artist

Once Stacy Brooks took a deep dive into the Blues, she was quickly dubbed Queen of the Blues. Winner of the DC Blues Battle of the Bands, the Stacy Brooks Band has competed in a number of competitions, including the 30th Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis (2014) and the International Blues Challenge in Memphis (2012). She has been nominated for many other awards numerous times, including for Best Female Blues Vocalist with the Washington Area Music Association every year from 2009-2012.

January 5th 2020 Stacy fulfilled one of her dreams by joining the living legend Buddy Guy on stage and singing. Just recently on January 14th, another dream came true when she opened for him at his club in Chicago.

In 2014, Stacy spent a two month residency in Colombo, Sri Lanka at Club Qbaa owned by Cricket Star Sanath Jayasuriya. While there, she collaborated with musicians from Chicago performing as Stacy Brooks & the 11th Hour Band. Now with a new following in India and Sri Lanka, they plan to return for a command performance.

Among the highlights of her career was portraying her idols Etta James & Koko Taylor in the touring hit Broadway Musical, "Ghost of The Blues" 2013-2016.

Stacy started singing at the age of 5 in Zweibruken Germany at an Army show where she received a standing ovation and was on her way! With a diverse background, she brings toe-tapping, head- bobbing feel good music that crosses all barriers. She collaborates with other musicians bridging the age gap on the Blues circuit and engaging fans of other genres. In her short time singing the Blues, she has shared the stage with many Blues greats including Kenny Neal, Grammy Award Winner Sugar Blue, Guitar Legend Bobby Parker (R.I.P), Larry Mud Morganfield (son of Muddy Waters), Lil Dave Thompson (R.I.P.), Ronnie Baker Brooks, Grammy Nominated Billy Branch, Eddie Shaw, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (R.I.P.), and Biscuit Miller, just to name a few. Her arrangements keep the integrity of traditional Chicago, Delta Blues with a fresh spin.

Her album Love Peace and The Blues (2014) is still in rotation and continues to get rave reviews. Grammy-nominated Bluesmen Kenny Neal and Memphis Gold are co-producers of the CD with Stacy. Stacy wrote and arranged 12 of the 14 songs on the CD, which includes a duet with Kenny Neal. The CD also includes German lyrics to pay tribute to her German background. Her upcoming CD "German Chocolate" is full of songs in German--Funky Hot German Blues as only Stacy Brooks can deliver!

A versatile artist, Stacy Brooks performs with an acoustic guitar and or with keys in a piano bar setting. She is currently on tour of the East Coast. You can find her at Madam's Organ in Adams Morgan in DC every Sunday of the month. Look on the menu and quench your thirst with a Stacy Brooks Drink. Yes, she's on the menu too!
PAMELA BETTS
Representational Painter

Pamela Betts is a representational painter living in the Washington DC metro area. She began her early oil painting lessons as a child at a local artist’s farm in rural New Jersey and continued her studies at Moravian, a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania (recently turned University). Through her love of art, she discovered art conservation and undertook the long journey required to become a conservator, eventually earning a Master of Science in Art Conservation from Winterthur Museum/University of Delaware, and now works as a painting conservator in Baltimore. 
 
Pamela is inspired by the close study of the various methods and materials used by centuries of painters and by observing the natural world around her. She paints mostly with oils or gouache, and especially enjoys painting landscapes outdoors ‘en plein air'. She loves the thrill of being immersed in the landscape, observing and recording sensations of light, atmosphere, and mood through paint. She focuses mainly on the local environs of Maryland but loves to travel far and wide with her paints whenever possible. Through painting, she has found everything from intrigue and excitement to solace and hope, and she shares these discoveries in hopes of making new and lasting connections with her viewers. 
 
Pam is an Artist Member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters (MAPAPA), and has attended several Plein Air events including Annapolis, Ellicott City, and Catoctin Mountain in Maryland, as well as Great Falls, VA. In 2021 she was juried into the 'Paint it! Ellicott City' plein air event, and she participated as a public painter in 'Paint Annapolis' where she won second place for her painting 'Quiet Shimmer'. 
Top Left: Flowers from Leslie; Top Right: Feeling Alright
IDA CAMPBELL
Blues Artist, Radio Host & MC of the Silver Spring Blues Festival

Ida Campbell, born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and raised in Washington, DC, has been in a part of Wpfw Radio 89.3 since 2006. Ida has loved the Blues since hearing her father play this music of her US Navy Father and inherited all of his recordings of Nap Turner and Jerry the Bluesman BAMA on WPFW radio and including all of her dad’s distinctive Blues, R&B, and Jazz Albums, CD’s, and cassette music.. Ida finds her musical inspiration in her gospel roots in Quincy & Chicago, Illinois and with artists like B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, and ZZ Hill among others. In addition to the blues guitar masters, she also emulates the spirit and energy of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Barbara Carr, Denise LaSalle, Tina Turner and Betty Wright and other Rhythm & Blues Artist, and Jazz professionals. Ida really studies her artist and loves interviewing all of her legendary Blues and R and B icons that have left an everlasting impression on her. Ida has MC for the last 17 years the Silver Spring Blues Festival, College Park Blues Festival, Safeway BBQ Battle Music FEST just to name a few.

Ida also sings the Blues and brings a spirited, invigorating, soul shaking presence and masters the kind of sound of blues that will affect you to the bone. Her band Blues Nation is comprised of professional musicians from the District, Maryland and Virginia that have played with Grammy and Grammy-nominated artists and international acts.
ERICA GINSBERG
Filmmaker

Erica Ginsberg has more than 20 years of experience working both as a documentary filmmaker and helping other documentary filmmakers as a story consultant, artist services provider, cheerleader, and champion. She is the author of Creative Resilience, a blog and forthcoming book that helps artists across disciplines better navigate the emotional ups-and-downs of the creative process and creative careers. She co-founded the Silver Spring-based documentary film organization Docs In Progress where she also served as its Founding Executive Director for more than a decade. She is also on the steering committee for the Sundance-supported Mid-Atlantic Independent Media Coalition. She co-hosts the online filmmaker community The D-Word and is part of the team that is launching DocuMentality, an initiative to normalize a conversation about mental health and well-being in the documentary industry, and to provide best practice guidance and information for documentary filmmakers to become more resilient resources for themselves, their teams and the people who entrust them with their stories. Erica's films include Crucible of War about everyday life in the Balkans after a decade of war; Creative Feds about federal workers who moonlight as musicians; and California USA (currently in production) about the American Dream in small towns named California. She also works in the area of international professional exchanges, as a Program Officer at Meridian International Center. Learn more about Erica at ericaginsberg.com 
ANILA KUMARI
Kuchipudi Dancer, Writer & Storyteller

Anila Kumari is an eminent Kuchipudi dancer, writer, and storyteller who has had an international career in teaching and performing; on stage and television in the United States, India, Kenya, Iran, and Indonesia. She has trained under gurus Padma Shri Pralad Vedantam Sarma, Padma Bhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan, Priya Govind, Padma Bhushan Vempati Chinna Satyam, and the renowned scholar and dancer Nilimma Devi. She has studied Thang-Ta, a rare form of martial arts by Khilton Nongmaithem Singh facilitated by UNESCO. Her stories are told at the Smithsonian Sackler and Freer Gallery, where Goddess Ganga is a cautionary ecological tale, and deity of exuberant flight, Hanuman, is shared at the Olney Museum and Towson University Asian Storytelling Festival. Anila assisted Nilimma Devi in AIIS (American Institute of Indian Studies) to delve into the question of creativity in tradition with hand gesture in Indian classical dance. In 1994, she won the Individual Artist Award and the Master Apprenticeship Award in 2012 from MSAC (Maryland State Arts Council). At Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory, she taught the summer class: “Stories, Dance and Mythology.” Anila performed on television in Iran, Kenya and India, and is currently featured in a three series documentary on “World Dance” produced by the BBC and Channel 56.
Her story and dance recently was shared on a virtual stage for Towson University, Sackler Gallery and Silver Spring Civic Center 2021-2022. Anila’s article “From the Diary of Sita” appeared in a book entitled “In Search of Sita” published by Penguin Books ISBN 9780143068181. As Associate Director of the Sutradhar Institute of Dance & Related Arts and lead dancer of the Devi Dance Theater she not only teaches dance, but brings a unique perspective on gender, race, diversity and health modalities among teenagers. Her “Art & Storytelling” class at the institute has branched out into a “Youth Leadership Program,” as well as a virtual art gallery called “Pandemic Hues,” which highlights the work of young artists during the pandemic. Anila Kumari brings an innovative and evocative approach to ancient dance and storytelling traditions of India. The international press has praised her work:

“Anila Kumari was a feast for the eyes. With intricate hand movements, she wove a fantasy fabric of invisible threads across the stage.” - Alan Kriegsman, Washington Post

“A groundbreaking feminist work, Kumari’s work is poetry in motion… inviting personal artist statement as it transcends the bounds of culture.” - India Today

Her work with the African American spirituals “Long White Robe” was praised as “the most innovative and accessible… including staccato movements, graceful gestures, direct gazes and prayerful moments.” - Lisa Trager, Washington Post

Photo: Anila with her mother Nilimma Devi--both women are featured this month.
DANA "D. LO" LOLLAR
Comedian

Dana Lollar, aka Comedian D. Lo, hails from Baltimore MD. Always a jokester, DLo stumbled into the comedy world, in Nov 2015, after a leg injury had her out of work. 

In her short comedy career she has won more than 30 competitions, been a finalist in Magoobys New Comedian of the Year Competition, headlined various shows in Baltimore, DC, Delaware, Florida, Chicago, Milwaukee, Ohio, NYC, Alabama, Portland, Las Vegas, and Jamaica. She is a regular host at Magoobys Joke House and has been a finalist in Kevin Hart's "Hart of the City" on Comedy Central. She was a feature act in the 2019 Black Girl Giggles Festival, 2019 Baltimore Comedy Festival, the 2019 DC Comedy Festival, and was an integral part of the 2021 Black Women In Comedy Festival. 

She has  broadened her span of experience by performing at comedy clubs such as Magoobys Joke House, The Stand, Dc Improv, Riddles, and many more. In 2020 she became  part of a Baltimore based touring comedy team known as SheMoreFunny. More recently she has performed with the likes of Mark Normand. Sam Morrill, Roy Wood, Damon Williams and Gina Brillon. 
CINDY K. RENTERIA
Artist


Brooklyn, New York is where Cindy Renteria was born. Her interest in art started early. Renteria was drawn to the trees in her neighborhood that were filled with color and movement. In fact trees and landscapes are the focus of many of her paintings. The area where she lived also had many beaches leading to water as another theme for her paintings.

She attended the High School of Art and Design. While there she took classes at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum.

After graduating from Buffalo State College with a Bachelor in Design. Renteria went to visit New Orleans. She was taken by the color, light, and the openness of the place. Renteria ended up moving there. She exhibited her paintings in many galleries and museums in the area. After Hurricane Katrina flooded her home, she returned to New Orleans to recover her paintings and possessions.

Renteria then moved to the East Coast to be closer to her family. After her move she started painting in acrylics and she works almost exclusively in this medium. Her art has been in numerous exhibits. Renteria continues to paint, teach, and show her work.


Left: Rainbow Bird


Cindy K. Renteria Artist/Illustrator/Writer
www.cindykrenteria.com    Fine Art
www.cindypopdesign.com   Children's Illustrations
www.cindyartgraphics.com  Graphic Art
Follow Your Bliss: How Taking the Road Less Traveled Can Lead To Your Best Life
Hosted by Kim Levone with Sibyl Brown, Jannelle Cortes, Yukari Horiba, Chipp Jones, Adam Koons & Peter Tantisunthorn
Monday, April 4th 7pm-9pm
Photo: Husband & Wife Team Adam Koons & Yukari Horiba in Puerto Rico
Join us for Follow Your Bliss: How Taking the Road Less Traveled Can Lead To Your Best Life on Zoom Monday, April 4th 7pm. This is the fourth program of this series.

Panelists will share how the twists and turns in life have led to the journey they are on, and what they have learned along the way. Our host is Kim Levone with Improbable Comedy featuring community organizer Sibyl Brown with Shepherd's Table, choreographer & entrepreneur Jannelle Cortes, artist Yukari Horiba, comic Chipp Jones, anthropologist Adam Koons, marketing & communications consultant Peter Tantisunthorn.
Sibyl Brown is the Advocacy & Community Engagement Manager at Shepherd’s Table. She joined the Shepherd’s Table team in February 2020, and after serving as Development Associate for two years, was promoted to her new role to manage the new advocacy program at Shepherd’s Table. She has an undergraduate degree in American Government & Spanish from Smith College and a graduate degree in Nonprofit Management from Florida Atlantic University. Sibyl grew up in Silver Spring but moved away in 2010 for college and then grad school. She recently moved back to the area after spending 6 years working in development and community engagement for various non-profits in South Florida. She is passionate about effecting change for our neighbors who are suffering from food insecurity and homelessness.
Jannelle Cortes is a Dominican-American choreographer and entrepreneur that has been a contributing member of the Washington, DC and New York City dance, education, and health communities for 20 years. In 2001, Jannelle founded Groovefit, a dance and fitness company that promotes cross-cultural unity and wellness accessibility. As a certified Minority/Women Business Enterprise in New York, Groovefit has had the privilege of providing dance, mediation, yoga, and mental health services to public schools, churches, and hospitals.
 
For the past six years, Jannelle has been expanding Groovefit’s operations to include travel. Through its sister company, Groove Trips, Jannelle has taken travelers on dance and cultural journeys to destinations such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, Portugal, India, Egypt, and Turkey. Jannelle uses dance and rhythm as a portal through which migration stories are told.
 
During the summer months, Jannelle participates in outdoor events hosted by EmblemHealth and HealthFirst. In recent years, her companies have participated in events in her home state of Maryland. She volunteers at Hope Connections for Cancer Support by hosting Salsa Parties that serve as fundraisers for the non-profit. She has also taught at events for the Washington Sports Club in Silver Spring. Jannelle grew up in Montgomery County and has strong ties to the Silver Spring and Bethesda communities. She is a graduate of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, in Maryland, and Fordham University, in New York. She is grateful that her schooling instilled the importance of service. Her need to be of service and her passion for culture and community is what drives Jannelle's interest in serving on the board of the Silver Spring Town Center. 


Yukari Horiba is a Japanese citizen and has traveled extensively. She and her husband Adam Koons met in Khartoum, Sudan while she was working for the Japanese Embassy there. She has been living in the US, in Silver Spring, for 16 years and works at a private special education school. Yukari is an expert tiler and mosaic artist, and an excellent portrait artist. Yukari has been a board member of SSTCi since 2019.

Located out of the Washington. D.C.,
Chipp Jones is co-host of Pacifica Radio's Community Watch & Comment: Friday Edition. His take on topical news, Black life, & family has brought laughter to people on the east coast from SUNY colleges in upstate New York to Miami, Florida and all stops in between.

He's performed at Gotham, Standup NY and Caroline's in the Big Apple. The Music Box in The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ as well as The Wisecrackers Comedy Clubs throughout Pennsylvania. This past year he has performed online at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, CA., Villain Theater in Miami, FL., finalist in The Palm Springs International Comedy Festival, finalist in The Cheap Comedy Festival, finalist in NY Underground Festival and finalist in The Comedy Fringe Festival.

Chipp has performed with such comedians as Dave Attell, Joey kola, Tony Woods, Matt Kazam and Al Goodwin. He hosts the upcoming SSTCi Comedy Series Spring Fling!

chippjonescomedy@gmal.com   
chippj on Facebook
chippjones on IG
@chippj on Twitter


Adam Koons is a practitioner anthropologist specializing in disaster and humanitarian response and emergency management. He currently works for FEMA, and has worked for many international organizations previously. Although he has spent a large part of his career working and living overseas in countries such as Haiti, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and dozens of others. Outside of work he spends much of his time on bicycles or motorcycles. He is married to Yukari Horiba and they have two grown sons.


Peter Tantisunthorn, MBA is a DC-born Silver Spring resident and enthusiast. A curious individual, Pete has worked in marketing and communications since 2005 with a focus on small and medium sized businesses and nonprofits. Pete gets excited by books, music, cooking and community.
Kim Levone is the founder and producer of Improbable Comedy, a comedy production group based in Silver Spring, MD. When Kim was deep into her social work career and busy with her four kids, she had the bug to put on a show. In May 2022, she produced a comedy show called Improbable Comedy - the name a nod to the fact that with no theatre, comedy or business background, it was an unlikely venture. That first show at Vicino's in Silver Spring was a success and the name stuck.  

Improbable Comedy has produced over 150 shows since then, mostly in the DC area but also in Brazil where Levone lived for several years. The focus is on bringing people out for high quality shows and also highlighting funny performers for marginalized groups, with an emphasis on booking more women comedians, immigrant comics as well as performers with disabilities. Local shows include The MOTHER of All Comedy Shows, Comedy as a Second Language and Stand Up Silver Spring.

Comedy is still a "serious side hustle" for Kim and by day she runs an outpatient mental health clinic.  See a profile in Montgomery Magazine article here and upcoming Improbable Comedy shows here.