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Explore Your Truths

Saturdays, April 16, 23, and 30, 2022, 11 am–1 pm

Albright-Knox Northland

This three-part workshop series, presented in conjunction with the special exhibition In These Truths, gives participants the opportunity to explore their opinions, beliefs, truths, and more through writing, craft creation, and performance. Sessions will be facilitated by Marquis “Ten Thousand” Burton and various artists of color from throughout Western New York. These workshops will build to a public Community Share event on Friday, May 6, from 5 to 7 pm.

What Moves Your Pen?
Saturday, April 16, 2022, 11 am–1 pm

In this session, participants will use inspiration from an artwork in the special exhibition In These Truths and a series of writing prompts provided by the instructor to create an original piece of literature such as a poem or a short story.

How You Want to Express Your Work?
Saturday, April 23, 2022, 11 am–1 pm

In this session, participants will learn how to turn their written pieces from session one into other expressive forms of art such as piece of spoken word, a song, and more.

Share Your Truths
Saturday, April 30, 2022, 11 am–1 pm

In this session, participants will learn how to embrace and perform their work through a series of performative activities that build confidence with speaking their truths. Such activities include performance in front of a mirror, head-to-heads, and more.


This three-part series is limited to 20 participants. Please register online.

About the Teachers

A Black man wearing glasses and an argyle vest over a white long sleeve shirtMarquis “Ten Thousand” Burton is a poet, visual artist, writer, and educator. He has partnered with Shea’s Performing Arts and countless other non-profit and educational institutions to teach young adults and children to not only discover their voices but also the power within to use them for over a decade. He has coached the Buffalo poetry teams at the National Poetry Slams to Top 10 finishers in two out of four years. Burton has also held the position of curator of poetry talent for the Music Is Art Festival for the past several years. Since 2016, he has partnered with artist Tara Sasiadek to create visual art installations for events such as Play/Ground and partnered with Naila Ansari to create immersive interactive dance and poetry experiences that explore joy in play, resistance, community, and self.

Profile of a Black woman wearing sunglasses with long hair in braids and a ponytailJillian Hanesworth was born and raised on the East side of Buffalo. She began writing at the age of seven, when she would write songs for her mother to sing in church. She later took a break from writing to successfully pursue educational goals, and worked to obtain a BA in criminal justice and law focusing on reform. Currently, Hanesworth is the Director of Leadership Development at Open Buffalo, a non-profit organization focusing on racial, economic, and ecological justice, and a teaching artist with the Dunbar Project at Ujima Company. She is the recipient of the 2020 Alt-imate Activist award presented by the WNY Peace Center, as well as a 2021 Buffalo Business First 30 under 30 awardee. Hanesworth is also the first ever Poet Laureate in the history of Buffalo.

A Black woman with long curly hair smiling and wearing a gray-blue jacketKimera Lattimore is a graduate of the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Art in vocal and musical performance. She established a professional music career fresh out of high school, becoming a national recording artist as the lead singer in a group named 4Love. During her seven years of touring she shared stages with artists such as William Murphy, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, James Fortune, The Walls Group, and many more. Returning home in 2013, Lattimore had a passion to teach music so she founded Echo International School of Music, teaching vocal, writing, and instrumental lessons to youth and young adults first locally, then internationally. In 2015, she was ordained as an elder of the gospel and received a Bachelors' degree in theology in 2017. 

A Black woman with long curly hair wearing a colorful shirt and beaded necklaceBianca L. McGraw is an international practicing multimedia installation/performance artist, poet, higher education advocate, community development and engagement facilitator, and diversity presenter. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. Completing her Masters of Fine Arts degree encouraged her to continue her education and research on the importance of how art, advocacy, and communal/cultural environments intercept. Her artistic exploits has allowed her to showcase her artistic messages nationally and internationally. Her passion is an interchangeable balance between art, design, diversity, poetry, community development, and personal engagement.

A Black woman singing into a microphone, wearing a black head wrap and large circular earrings

Vonetta T. Rhodes is a mother, educator, poet, and spoken word coach from Buffalo. She has been writing poetry since age 10 and sharing spoken word since 1992. Rhodes was a member of many spoken word poetry collectives: Poetic Voices, Njozi Poets, Soul Aviation, I Am, and Eyesis. Her work has been featured in Go, Tell Michelle, NPR, Dear Kamala, The Challenger Newspaper, and The Buffalo News. She was also cast in three spoken word plays. Rhodes utilizes her voice to tell messages from her ancestors, family, community, and life. She believes spoken word poetry must have passion, meaning, emotion, spirit, and connection from the core of one’s being. (Photo: Urban Legend Filmworks and Photography c. 2014)

Black and white photo of a smiling woman with short dark hairVerneice Turner—Artie Awards and Buffalo Spree Best Actress Award winner and a director—started out at the African American Cultural Center of Buffalo. She continued her study of the performing arts at the University at Buffalo. Having performed in many productions here in Western New York and beyond, including Off Broadway. Turner has also performed as a dancer, singer, and poet. She ran the art space Buffalo East from 2009 to 2013, along with salons at 1410 Main until 2019. Turner is thankful to and for all who contribute to her growth and development as an artist, a person, especially Heavenly husband Douglas H. May and their daughter Jasmine L. May.

About the Exhibition

In These Truths is an exhibition of works by Black cultural producers, co-curated by two of Buffalo’s most influential, charismatic, and insightful artists, Edreys Wajed and Aitina Fareed-Cooke, in collaboration with Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott. This invitational exhibition focuses on Black artists, emerging and established, who, through a wide range of mediums, provoke and reconsider, defy and embrace, test and talk about our shared reality. 

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