Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our Newest Board Member: Arif Smith!

I can't believe that it's been since October 4th since my last post. I've thought that I needed to update the ol' blog, but I've been working (and playing) pretty hard for the past couple of months so the time somewhat slipped away from me! I was co-chair for the Paseo Artist Awards last Thursday and in charge of centerpieces, video intro's for each award recipient, music, the poet and whatever else I could help with, i.e. making calls and stuffing envelopes. It was a lot of work, but so worth it! Now that it's over, I am shifting my focus back to SixTwelve!

The most important thing that I have neglected to share is the fact that we have a new board member!!! I'm so excited to announce that Arif Smith will be joining us! Arif is the Programming and Special Events Curator at Urban Roots. Urban Roots is a community space located in OKC's historic Deep Deuce area and includes an art gallery, a yummy little restaurant and bar and performance space for some wonderful music, dance, poetry and whatever other great programs they decide to host. Here's a clip of one of their Culture Kitchen performances. I love it!

When I first started to visit Urban Roots, I was attending to support friends who were playing Jazz on a Friday night. Each time I have returned, I've been moved by the number of people who showed up to experience community and "conviviality." (That's Arif's word.) This wonderful place encourages people to come together and to learn more about history, art, music, spoken word and dance. Arif is passionate about dance and music, He has taught for over 15 years and is currently teaching an 8-week Rueda de Casino (Wheel of Salsa) class at the Metropolitan School of Dance. I wish I'd had the time go shake it with Arif in one of these classes! :) Here is an excerpt of him teaching the same type of dance a couple of years ago.

The main reasons that I feel like we are lucky to have him on the SixTwelve board are his commitment to community, his kind, kind spirit and his work ethic. He always provides encouragement and he knows his subjects! He is a huge asset to Oklahoma City. Whether it's through his work at Urban Roots, his dedication to programs for youth in neighborhood schools in the Douglas High School area, his public dance or art programs, or just a one-on-one conversation, Arif is always warm and giving. He is exactly the kind of person I want as a boss and leader for SixTwelve. Blessings abound!

Next Post: The Paseo Art Association's Sixth Annual Oklahoma Artist Awards!

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