Charlotte Street Foundation identifies the needs and fuels the evolution of an ever-changing multidisciplinary arts ecosystem, acting as its primary provocateur. We cultivate the contemporary, the exceptional, and the unexpected in the practice of artists working in and engaging with the Kansas City Art Community
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Sheri Purpose Hall A.K.A. Arsyn (that’s my pseudonym), A.K.A. Shaolin Ninja Da Illafiga (my Wu Tang generator name which I take very seriously but you can just call me Shao for short). I am a spoken word artist, published author, and community organizer. I am also a 2017/18 Charlotte Street Resident WOOT.
YES, it’s December.
YES, the residency started in September.
YES, I am all kinds of late with this blog post.
Why, because stuff … and things.
Stuff and things is not an acceptable response?
Especially not for a writer?
Dag! Okay. Here’s the skinny (also perfect way for you to get to know me).
What had happened was ….
In September I was so excited to start my residency here at CSF I phoned Oprah Winfrey. Oprah said, YAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSS let’s celebrate! She flew me out to her villa and we had the perfect mix of soul food and high class pairings: cheese and wine, kool-aid and hot fries, beef wellington and collard greens, hot water cornbread and caviar, etc. Ohhhh and she gave me a famous pair of her diamond earrings.
Op and I (that’s my nickname for her) sat together and sipped coffee in the morning. We had a real mentor/mentee conversation regarding my career and my books. She said she loved “Black Girl Shattered” but still felt that there was more in me. She wanted me to dig deeper into the black experience and well as the experience of womanhood in America. She felt like my latest book was just the tip of the iceberg and that with this residency opportunity I should take the time to dig, create and craft along with my community word.
On the jet ride home I reflected on where Op started and where she is now. She is a wise and successful woman. I was grateful to have the time with her as always because it had been so long since the last time she was able to take time out of her busy schedule to do so.
Wow, I’m so glad I had the opportunity to spew blatant BS in a public forum. But, being with Oprah is a much better excuse and is sooooooo much more interesting than me just saying I was working on the residency goals but didn’t have furniture so I didn’t officially move in until November.
PS – The lovely luscious woman on the wall in the studio is known as the Patron Saint of all Black Girl Magic Writer Divas. She watches over the space and protects us all.