Greetings, Congregation! Taking a moment before the holiday frenzy is fully upon us to look back at an amazing 2018 and give you some highlights that are already on deck for the New Year!
NEW SOUNDS ON SOUL SANCTUARY RADIO
It’s hard to believe that what started as a live show on Penn’s student station WQHS has evolved into a podcast that has been attracting soulful music lovers since 2006! We were podcast pioneers LONG before the current boom in programming and podcast interest. We’ve outlasted so many of the internet radio platforms that we partnered with in the early years (Jazz Syndicate Radio UK, ProjectVibe, Live365) and a whole bunch of host contributors as well, but we’ve continued to reach out to new audiences like the growing community at Mixcloud. And we appreciate what a solid partner Tee Alford and Funky People Radio has been for us since 2012! We launched a new interview series this year, Building On A Theme, and thank Syleena Johnson and Will Downing for being our first guests. Timing for additional episodes of B.O.A.T. got thrown off over the summer, but we look forward to getting back to developing that show further in 2019. And we are always looking for new host/DJ contributors who can deliver consistent, high-quality content. If that’s you, holla at Your VibeMistress for more details.
EXPANDING FURTHER INTO THE VISUAL REALM
In June, we had the incredible fortune to collaborate with Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice and The Slought Foundation to curate our first-ever visual art exhibit, a retrospective on the photography of Maurice Sorrell titled PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY. In addition to the still images, Mike D of Reelblack put together a wonderful reel of interview clips looking at exemplars from the film, TV and musical realms. We also had the honor of engaging in dialogue with archival champions like Dr. Charles Blockson and Dr. Deborah Willis, as well as WRTI’s J. Michael Harrison and the gents of Reelblack, about how they all have contributed to the cultural canon and encouraged others to preserve our collective history in music, film and the visual arts. Two of the images from the show were donated to the Blockson Collection at Temple, and all of the Q&As were recorded for future review and study. If you missed it, please check the recap highlight video we’ve posted on the website’s Special Events page and our YouTube channel.
In 2019, PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY and its contents will live on in powerful ways. A slightly smaller version of the installation will premiere at the African American Museum in Philadelphia beginning on MLK Day, January 21 through March 30, in their auditorium space. The images will be on display for anyone who attends an AAMP event. And, as an expansion of their new Social Justice and Arts Integration Initiative, this spring The Slought Foundation will dedicate a permanent photo installation in their newly-revamped Vault space (formal name TBD). This permanent installation will feature 8 of the images from PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY alongside powerful photos from arts activist Devin Allen of Baltimore. Additional multimedia tools and curriculum will be developed around the themes of freedom, activism, archival preservation and more. Stay tuned for details on dates and features of this wonderful opportunity for Soul Sanctuary to double-down on our mission to uplift urban excellence and educate our multigenerational, multicultural audience.
YOUR FINANCIAL INVESTMENT
Because of changes to their platform and company priorities, we severed our iTunes Affiliate status and instead began an account with Amazon Affiliates. Every purchase you make through the links on the Soul Sanctuary website provide a small percentage of profit to our ongoing programming needs (web hosting, digital file storage and delivery, etc). While your holiday shopping may be done, we encourage you to check our Explore page regularly and click on the banner ads and links as you do your online shopping. Amazon suspends inactive accounts, so your consistent support is appreciated or we will lose the power of this income-generating tool.
2018 also marked Soul Sanctuary’s most prosperous year for personal giving in our 16-year history. Whether it was a modest $10 or a more significant amount, your contributions got us over the hump for promotional support at crucial moments throughout the year. And for that, we are deeply grateful. Please consider adding Soul Sanctuary to your charitable giving “Hot List” in the New Year. If you enjoy our podcasts, attend events where we’re giving away passes and tickets, and support the artists whose music and concerts we share regularly, then please keep us top of mind for some level of financial investment that pushes us to continue elevating the game.
On a personal note, 2018 was also a year of intense transformation for me. Making the decision to leave my day job in talk radio and refocus my energies on projects and goals that had languished because of my split focus was a stressful proposition. There are more announcements that are more appropriate for me to share on my own artist site and fan page, but know that the vibrance of our online and in-person network of artists and appreciators has been a vital resource for me in many profound ways.
From our #JoyousDancing videos, to new release and concert announcements, industry comings and goings, honoring our ancestors who have passed on, and other food for thought about what is art and who is making it, you all make this work so very rewarding.
Thank you for allowing me to persist as Your VibeMistress, and I look forward to polishing my magic wand and using it far more frequently in 2019 and beyond!
As always, wishing you plenty of love, peace and positive vibes!