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Friday, August 21, 2009

Wake Up World

Well Pittsburgh here is the Living Proofe interview that we have been anticipating. Turn your volume all the way up, it taped kinda low. Wise Malik and LP flowed well together and discussed many things. Please hit Living Proofe up on his Myspace page to listen/purchase his music. Also, please comment below to SLP and tell us your thoughts. As always, thank you for your support.

Look to the bottom of this page, if you can not find it on the blog go to

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


SpotlightPittsburgh is a blog of course, a brand indeed, and a place to transfer information. Yet in alot of ways this all is an extension of myself. So, like myself SLP likes to have people come and visit, and stay awhile, listen to some music and chill. Sometimes, when people come to Malik, Jordan and my home, they like it so much that they want to keep coming back. SLP has had the same experience. Kristin Renee is a blogger in her own right. She writes a popular blog for She is am enormously talented artist as well. Soon I am sure she will formally introduce herself to the SLP audience. For now, enjoy the local artist blast that she has written for us.

Finally, please also read and comment on the other posts below. More guest blogger introductions in the near future. For now, enjoy the music. New music added, old music taken away. Tell people about how sick the playlist is! A great alternative to the radio if I say so myself.

Artists to watch: Pittsburgh Edition

Thanks to the constant inspiration of greats like Andy Warhol and August Wilson, new generations of visionaries emerge in the city of Champions. Using Hip Hop as a vehicle, they promote messages of empowerment through entrepreneurialism. Transplants from cities like New York and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh natives alike all find this much less saturated market a gold-mine for independent and creative invention.

Your browser may not support display of this image.Though small, this city is filled with DJs playing everything from bhangra to samba. DJ Vex spins every Friday at the Ava Lounge in East Liberty. Creating his own following, Vex mixes Hip-Hop, House and Reggae. Originally from Virginia Beach, DJ Vex also produces eclectic instrumentals that blend R&B and Alternative music with the smoothness of a southern gentleman. Visit to hear The Launch promo mix.Your browser may not support display of this image.

Veteran vocalist Gene Stovall has been characterized by his peers as our generation’s George Benson. Co-Founder of Seriendipitty Ent., he has performed with countless acts like the Pittsburgh Trip-Hop Band Glory Box, Hip Hop/Rock group Eviction Notice, and is currently hosting an Open Mic Series in Erie, Pennsylvania while traveling and performing his signature vocal style with The Audible.

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Your browser may not support display of this image. Pittsburgh is not short of talented female artists either. Groups like the duo SolSis made of poet and dancer YahLioness and activist and comedian Ma’Ve, mix the soul of Hip Hop with R&B and a rebel yell. As headliners for the August Wilson First Voice Festival, SolSis has collaborated and inspired other artists. They are currently focused on their debut record.

Your browser may not support display of this image. Other women like Kellee Maize are embracing their femininity and voicing strength through Rap. Seeing Hip Hop as an outlet for activism, Kellee began an all female operated marketing and event coordination company, Nakturnal, which specializes in providing a platform for Pittsburgh women to promote their craft. Following her first release “Age of Feminine”, Kellee plans to release new work highlighting her mystical side. She believes “music and art will usher in the peaceful revolution we need,” and continues to promote this message through everything she touches.

While Top 40 is lots of fun, seeking out independent artists is vital to truly seeing the evolution of Hip Hop over the last decade. Take a chance to find out what local artists are creating near you by visiting an open-mic or music festival. Support the arts in your community and keep an eye for these artists; I’d love the opportunity to say “I told you so!” – Written by Kristin Renee

Monday, August 10, 2009

What Happend? This weekend...

This was another busy, fun, and productive week end. SpotlightPittsbrugh is really making connections and making this Spotlight concept better and better. Thanks to everyone for spreading the word! You keep riding, I will keep driving :-)

If you live in Pittsburgh then chances are you have heard of the Waffleshop. If you have no idea what I mean, then go to . SLP had the pleasure of being interviewed at the waffleshop by Butter for her show, Random Balances. Our interview is not posted yet, but go to the site and see others. Most are funny, some are informative, others are plain silly. Nevertheless, I had a blast! Nothing wrong with some free publicity. SpotlightPittsburgh knows that well. Thanks to Emmai Alaquiva for the spontaneous idea! Thanks to Butter for the informative interview.

Thriller proved to be a cool party! Of course I had no doubt. DJ Vex was refreshing. The crowd felt good, and the atmosphere was charged. Style and Steel has done it again. Go to to find out about up coming events.

The Afrikan Arts Fest took place in west park on the north side this week end. I was there on Sunday, and had an awesome time. As usual it was good to see all of the beautiful people out and about enjoying summer and one another. Thanks to all the vendors for showing up in a big way. For everyone that follows SLP on twitter, I hope you enjoyed the photos that I tweeted along my day in our fine city.

While we are on the twitter subject, if you follow then you also saw the exchange of words between myself and Binkie of Electirk Red. Some people feel as if I should have let it ride, that she was only joking (twizzy) but I had to say something. If it was a joke,then cool, but just in case it wasn't I felt that I have a responsibility to my/our city to make people respect it. I know some of you may have dis respected the city yourselves before, but its still not OK. I believe its all good with PGH and the Electrik Red peeps. I just needed to speak up.

Moving on, there is alot of new info in the following posts. Absorb it all and support! Please post comments people! Let me know how you feel.

Iyana Tennon is an amazing woman. Having a vision and executing that vision are two different things, but she has managed to do both. Please read along as Iyana shares with us some important facts about Virtuous Academy, a school that she has not only envisioned, but is building into a nest for fostering the minds of the future.

SLP: What is your educational background?
Iyana: I have a Bachelor in Science Education from Clarion University and completing a Master's in school leadership this fall.

What does the name virtuous imply about the academy?
We are setting a standard at Virtuous academy where we work together as a family to bring the best out of one another. We are all teachers and learners; we respect one another and work to provide a pleasant and productive environment. We have a zero tolerance for violence and a high standard for academic achievement. We strive to change our surroundings instead of allowing our surroundings change us.

Is the Academy an elementary, middle, or high school?
We teach elementary and middle school grades (4-8) but we are an ability level school, where we challenge students from where they are to build a foundation that can get them where they should be. Unfortunately, our students have been 2-4 grades behind, unable to do grade level work with a "swiss cheese" foundation. However, our goal is to serve grades K-12 as the school grows.

What are the hours of operation?
The school day lasts from 8am-2:55 and we have an after school program called Backstage that is in operation from 3pm-6pm

What positions are you looking to fill at the school?
I am in search of passionate, firm and dedicated teachers in the areas of math(elem/MS), science (elem/MS), Social Studies(elem/MS), English Language Arts(elem/MS), Health/PE and Art of all genres. I am also seeking an administrative assistant, para-professionals and custodian.

Prospective work candidates should send their resume to where?
All candidates should have update Act 33/34 and FBI clearances, documentation of a recent physical and all resumes should be mailed to:

What area of study do you teach at the school?
The students learn Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Health/PE. Special subjects include: Computers, creative writing, spanish, photography, and gym. In art we explore: painting, drawing, photography, drama, dance, music and look to explore all that art has to offer. And art is explored every day of the week. Music and drama were covered the first year and we are looking forward to expanding our art department this year.

What is the enrollment process for perspective students?
Parents fill out an enrollment form and according to class size and enrollment of particular grades students are selected. An acceptance letter is mailed out and additional information is requested in the acceptance letter.

How is the school funded?
Churches, private donors, foundations, corporations and organizations are being sought after for funding. We get some funding from the Dept. of Education to purchase books and food. A lot of hard work is being put into this area. As a start-up this is unfortunately a struggle at the present time.

How should people, companies, and foundations contact you in order to contribute?
All donations can be sent to:
Virtuous Academy
PO Box 29 Duquesne, PA 15110 412-330-0596

We encourage donors to come and see what's going on so they can play a part in breaking cycles of poverty and ignorance.
You can check out Virtuous Academy myspace page at:

Join New Voices Pittsburgh

Join New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice as we celebrate the lives of LGBTQ Women of Color and those who love them!

We're presenting the 2nd Annual LGBTQ Women of Color Reproductive Justice Series 2009.
This year
New Voices Presents: The Power of Voice and Visibility!
Check out our events below, hope to see you there.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reproductive Justice Allies Roundtable

This space is open to all people of color and allies. We will discuss and share strategies for being supportive allies and how to work cooperatively to support Women of Color organizing for reproductive justice. Join as we learn more about reproductive rights as Human Rights and challenge ourselves by looking at our privilege and learning how to redistribute and share power.

6pm – 8pm

New Voices Pittsburgh Office

Liberty Building
6101 Penn Avenue, Suite 302
Pittsburgh, PA 15206 – East Liberty

Please RSVP at or call 412.362.7927

Friday, August 14th, 2009

A Night of Fun and Games at Dave & Busters!

Join us for a great evening of fun, laughs and shenanigans as we enjoy outrageous games, good people and great times!

8pm: Meet, Drink, Mingle and get ready to Play!

9pm: Game Time - Let the fun begin….

Dave & Busters

180 E Waterfront Drive Homestead, PA 15120

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Celebrating Audre Lorde, Celebrating Ourselves!

Enjoy a special film screening of “A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde” presented by New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice. Discussion to follow with filmmaker Ada Gay Griffin.

An epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher and activist, Audre Lorde, whose writings - spanning five decades - articulated some of the most important social and political visions of the century. From Lorde's childhood roots in NYC's Harlem to her battle with breast cancer, this moving film explores a life and a body of work that embodied the connections between the Civil Rights movement, the Women's movement, and the struggle for lesbian and gay rights. At the heart of this documentary is Lorde's own challenge to "envision what has not been and work with every fiber of who we are to make the reality and pursuit of that vision irresistible."

Delicious food and refreshments provided by Hoi Polloi Vegetarian Café and Coffee House.

Doors open 6pm | Film starts at 7pm
Donation $10 – universal sliding scale pay what you can, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

937 Liberty Ave. 3rd Floor

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Call to reserve your tickets and RSVP at or call 412.362.7927

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

ONEChurch - This is the service where everybody gathers as ONE in worship. Join New Voices Pittsburgh on Sunday as ONEChurch continues to cultivate a spiritual space inclusive of all people right here in Pittsburgh.

Service starts at 1pm

937 Liberty Ave. 3rd Floor

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

For more information on any of these events please call us at 412.362.7927 or email

Pass it on folks!

SAT help for our Students

Gina Quintana has been an educator for many years, and has a true passion for feeding knowledge to those who are hungry for it. If you have any questions email Gina. Better yet email her to sign your high schooler up! Its all about community OK people! Many of you SLP lovers know some high schoolers that could use this close attention during this SAT preparatory time. In order to be ready for the SAT you must be prepared. Please read over the info below, and do pass it on. This is very valuable info for a critical time in the lives of our students.



Review basics and learn techniques that will enable your student to work effectively.

In these five 90-minute small group sessions, we will review basic SAT math concepts.

The format will be 30-minute review (with handouts);

40 minute problem session; 20 minute student questions.

(Class limit 5 students.)

Saturday, August 29th: Number Operations; Number Properties; Powers and Roots

Saturday, September 5th : Ratios and Rates; Percents

Saturday, September 12th : Algebra; Word Problems

Saturday, September 19th : Lines and Angles; Triangles

Saturday, September 26th : Quadrilaterals; Circles

Time: 11 AM – 12:30 PM

Cost: $95

Location: Point Breeze


There is an unbreakable umbilical cord between
Black Americans and Black South Africans
Both are also children of Africa

A Belated Birthday celebration
To Honor Our African & Global Icon

Rolihlahla Mandela, President of ANC



Also announcing establishment of Pittsburgh chapter

Wealth Empowerment Resources

Black Wealth Creation Strategies and Development Sustaining Modalities



We are creating an energetic investment in our people and physical
infrastructure for creative development of productive forces with an effective
purchasing power of a living wage to buy durable goods.

As we continue to celebrate the birthday of Nelson Mandela, we clearly
understand that his vision is a call to action. A call to make an imprint that
will last forever.

We hope that you can join us from 5-8 PM on Wednesday, August 12 at Tana
Ethiopian Cuisine, 5929 Baum Blvd. We request that you place a reservation
by calling (412) 665-2770.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Great Weekend in the City

Well, this past weekend the 31st,1st, and 2nd was a great weekend! There were many events happening in and around the city. If you chose to stay in, well that wasn't too smart this time. The family was definitely in attendance on Saturday and Sunday for the annual Black Family Reunion. The performances both days were great. The hosts were great. I am already looking forward to it again next year. SpotlightPittsburgh was out networking and making many new and exciting connections. Continue to support us and take this journey with us! Too many exciting things to list right now, but stay locked in!

OK, don't forget every Sunday in august is jazz in the park at Highland Park. For anyone who loves jazz, this is delightful environment to enjoy good music, and like minded people (bring a basket and chairs to really set it off).

A few new songs have been added to the Playlist. New interviews coming soon. Thanks for the support Pittsburgh!

Lastly, Thriller will be this Saturday the 8th @ AVA Lounge. This is a Style and Steel event so you already know it will be HOT! Come out and enjoy music produced and inspired by the legend himself, MJ. Omg, do I sense another great weekend in Pittsburgh? If I see YOU out and about then it will be! So, soak up these last weeks of summer and appreciate each day. See you later!