It’s important for us all to see a broad range of musical styles. I like doing something different that people haven’t heard. I’m a queer, indigenous, person of color playing guitar. You know there’s not a lot of people like that! When I’m up on that stage, I’m up there showing everyone that I’m not gonna be ashamed. I’m gonna be exactly who I am.
An hour goes by before there’s a pause in play. But eventually, we break into smaller groups to discuss our love of music – what ensues next is that intimate conversation about what you were raised on, and how it’s shaped your interests and understanding of the music world. Motown? Check. Weird country? Check. Folk? Check. Grunge? Check. 90s R&B? Double check.
Even now, it sounds crazy to my ears to compare Burning Man and the RRC. Yet, there are surely similarities. For both, community is at the heart. Both burners and the RRC realize that what makes an experience fantastic is the community. And more than anything else, RRC is about community. We know that we are nothing alone, and everything together. The art we make and the stories we tell are beautiful because they are created and celebrated by community.
Whatever your creative outlet, whatever gets you inspired, come check out one of the RRC's Creative Circles! We want to hear how you get inspired, where you find inspiration. Together, we want to establish spaces to foster our creative community. Check out any or all of the our Creative Circles getting started! Or, let us know which ones we're missing, and let us support you in getting a new Circle started!
Less than a month ago we met Shayla Breneé, a DC native poet who graced us last Creative Saturday with her amazing voice. After Creative Saturday, we sat down to learn a little more about who she is as an artist.
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Querida: The mission of STAYDRMN and the Red Room Collective is to inspire a life of cultivating untold stories. What does that mean to you?
Shayla: As a woman of color and a member of the LGBTQ community I've always found it important to give a platform for other women and girls to tell their stories because I didn't have that growing up. I'm extremely vulnerable and honest in my poetry because my goal is to spark the difficult and often uncomfortable conversations. Sometimes all it takes is for one person to speak up to get the ball rolling.
Querida: What is a favorite Red Room Collective or Creative Saturday memory?
Shayla: My favorite memory would have to be the first time I ever came to the studio. I was a bit nervous because I didn't know what I was going to be walking into but Marshall and Philippe (and Charlie) made me feel right at home. Philippe was making a beat and the rest of us in the room just started spitting bars or poems. The ambiance in the room was crazy. It felt magical.
Querida: Where are your creative spaces in DC? Where do you go, what communities do you take part in to tap into your creativity?
Shayla: Well being an alum of the DC Youth Slam Team my go to space is Busboys and Poets. I also frequent SpitDat, Floetic Fridays and Floetic Uptown. Some newer spots that I like to go to are the Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center as well as the Red Room Collective studio.
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This past week's Creative Saturday was a little different than previous ones. Instead of bringing just the RRC together for a community moment, the event coincided with the monthly Network Gathering at the Creative School (TCS). What is a Network Gathering? Read about it, and how it flowed into March's CS, in this week's blog post.
It was a much lower key Saturday than anyone planned for. Yet, it was perfect in it's own way: it was an example of how the communities the RRC builds and believes in act as systems of support, not just in times of joy, but in times of disappointment, too. he RRC believes that our community offers opportunities to breaks barriers, share truths, and create community. But we also believe that it exists as a system of support, one that helps members make the best of an unfortunate situation together.
It exists so that even when life gave our community lemons, we still ended up with lemonade. And tacos.
The magic happens when these part-time and full-time and some-time artists come together to work on their craft, to support each other, and to put some after-hours work into prepping for a show. When they they create together, share stories with each other, dream together; that's where the magic is happening.