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World Music: Voices in Liberation with #notwhite collective

June 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

This June, we welcome back the #notwhite collective, a group of 13 women artists whose mission is to use non-individualistic, multi-disciplinary art to make their stories visible as they relate, connect, and belong to the Global Majority. After a stunning program last October as part of our 3rd Annual International Literary Festival, this program will feature the collective’s literary and musical artists, as well as a number of guest artists, who will be presenting their work in collaboration with one another—not unlike City of Asylum’s very own practice of Jazz Poetry. The featured literary artists will include Amber Epps, Liana Maneese, Madame Dolores, Maritza Mosquera, Maggie Negrete, Sara Tang, María Eugenia Nieves Escoriaza, and Fran Ledonio Flaherty.

Featured Musicians:

Carlos Peña: guitar

Jason Washington: drums

Denzel Chismar-Oliver: bass (electric)

Ini Oguntola: sax

About #notwhite collective:

The #notwhite collective is a group of 13 women artists utilizing their arts practice singularly and collectively to Excavate Histories, Expose Realities, and Exorcise Oppression. They are bi/multi-racial/cultural, immigrant or descendants of immigrants investigating the many ways they are seen or not seen, how they self-identify and how they seek liberation through sharing space and stories, research and art-making, discussing the history of imperialism and its effect on them and on the whole not-white world. They actively reject colonialism through their non-hierarchical process. The collective accepts cultural fluidity as a means of seeing and being seen, each member declaring their existence, individually and collectively, through their voices, bodies, and art.

Dr. Amber Epps (she/her) is a multi-/trans-disciplinary artist and author that creates using various found and discarded objects from nature and other unexpected places such as thrift stores. The work that she creates is inspired by spirituality, humanism, occult, social justice, and prison reform/abolition. Amber also creates sculpture, installation, word art, and more, developing pieces based on raw emotion, current and past life experiences, and the things she sees through her “other eyes.” In 2022-2023, Amber’s installation, “Homage” was on display at the Pittsburgh International Airport, and was the first time Black/African spirituality had been presented to the public in this space. In 2023 she published a book entitled Mushroom Logic, Vol 1: Doves Can’t Cry. That’s Stupid.

Madame Dolores (she/her) is a global majority, multi-platform cross-disciplinary artist, based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who employs sound, vision, text, and performance as storytelling tools to create radical, sometimes controversial, artistic experiences and cultural engagements. She utilizes her art to confront and excavate the root of societal ills. Her classical training in art began at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Tyler School of Art and Lehrer Seminar in Switzerland. After traveling for some time, she returned home and became a member of Women of Visions, created and co-ran Sun Crumbs, a transcultural arts non-profit, performed poetry, wrote plays, curated exhibitions, and sang in multiple music projects. All that came to a screeching halt when she was diagnosed with ME/CFS. It was at this time that she shifted course and began a career as an Arts Administrator at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. She would spend the next 15 years developing programs and services for artists such as the Art on the Walls program, the Teaching Artist Initiative, and Women in the Arts network, among many others. In 2021 she started her own arts consulting and coaching business. At that same time, she began a six month artist residency at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in collaboration with BOOM concepts, and became a member of Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the City of Pittsburgh’s Art Commission and Grantmakers in the Arts. She is the founding member of the #notwhite collective. 

Liana Maneese (she/her) M.A. Clinical Applied Psychology is a Brazilian born, Pittsburgh raised award-winning activist, visionary entrepreneur, doula, liberation psychotherapist, and catalyst for creative engagement. She is the founder of The Good Peoples Group’s: The Center on Interracial Relationships, where they use identity navigation as a key component and foundational tool toward building social justice and personal transformation; and the founder of Transitional Characters Liberation and Decolonial Psychology group practice. Liana holds degrees in Marketing (FIDM, Los Angeles), Cultural Studies (Chatham University, Pittsburgh), and clinical mental health and applied psychology (Antioch University, New England), and is also a certified doula. As a social practice artist whose work centers around interracial relationships and her experiences as a transracial adoptee, Liana has won numerous grants and awards that have allowed adoption narratives to be considered in the art world. Her current work is an experiment in art as identity navigation entitled, Adopting Identity: The Explorations of Lies, Luck, and Legitimacy. Always pushing her own boundaries of self-discovery, her story motivates many through speaking, creative projects, and her commitment to understanding people, processes, and pleasure.

Maggie Lynn Negrete is a storyteller and cheerleader of curiosity, available for commissioned illustration, lettering, divination and educational experiences. A proud Pittsburgh resident and Vassar college alumni, Negrete is the Art Director for Women in Sound and is a member of the #notwhite Collective. Negrete’s visual art focuses on hand lettering, portraiture and technical illustrations including infographics for freelance clientele as well as occult & botanical designs for individual merchandise under the brand La Mama Magia.

María Eugenia Nieves Escoriaza (she/they), better known in artistic circles as Geña, is an interdisciplinary international recording artist residing in Pittsburgh, PA. She’s a performing artist, singer, percussionist, dancer and teaching artist from Quebradillas, Puerto Rico. Residing in Pittsburgh after moving to New York City in 1997, Geña has been conducting residencies for children from Pre-K through 12th grade in the local school system, and facilitated adult and senior workshops and audience performances throughout the region with organizations such as: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts & Media and SOY Pittsburgh from the Latino Community Center, Gateway for the Arts, the Latin American Cultural Union, and more. Geña is one of the founders of Pittsburgh Stands with Puerto Rico, an organization created in response to the hurricanes Irma and Maria. Geña is the recipient of the 2015 Fuerza Awards. In 2018 she received the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Artist Opportunity Grant to study at Escuela de Bomba y Plena Doña Caridad Brenes de Cepeda. Geña is an original member of the #notwhitecollective. Geña’s many artistic and musical collaborations include Geña y Peña, Rumbón de la Calle, Machete Kisumontao,and many more. Geña is the proud mother of Alondra Inarú and currently is a resident teaching artist with the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts & Media and an independent teaching artist working tirelessly to enact positive change for the Latino youth in Pittsburgh.

Maritza Mosquera (she/her) is a visual artist, poet and cook whose creations often accompany dialogues with communities. Her visual works are installation/diaries about relationships and ideas referencing personal quandaries and public desires, such as Love, the Earth’s healing from fracking, intimacy in the body, the end of racism, natures’ justice, home recipes, and the power of voice. Maritza immigrated from Ecuador to the USA at age 10. She received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. She was granted a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture where she studied with Joseph Campbell and Agnes Martin. More recently she was a resident artist in Chile, S.A. at Taller 99 creating prints from copper plates about her body and their stones. She writes poetry. This and her visual work have been presented locally in Pittsburgh and regionally and nationally, as well as in Ecuador, Ireland, Costa Rica, Mexico and Chile. Her Teaching-Artist work in schools and organizations is activated with humans that are facing special challenges such as war, dementia, incarceration, poverty, sexual victimization, and regular life. Maritza currently works in her studio 9Pines in Natrona Heights, and Ice House Studios in Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She is a founding member of the #notwhite collective.

Sara Tang (she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist who is currently exploring the intersections of chronic illness, embodied change, ecopsychology, and the sacred in her process and work. You can find them glitching out between being present and dissociating in many of Pittsburgh’s liminal spaces. She is honored to be a part of the #notwhite collective, exploring a Culture of Care with Anthropology of Motherhood, and a member of AAPI arts programming cohort JADED.

About Your Visit: 

The in-house restaurant 40 North is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but a cash wine bar will be available.

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June 17
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Program Category:


Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh,PA15212United States
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