Showing posts from 2010

A Time for Celebration...

 Gourd Ornament  As the last day of the year starts to fade, I am reminded of sand in a hourglass that seeps slowly to the bottom to rest until it starts a new journey falling in a different pattern than before.  As this year transitions to a new twelve month cycle, it is fitting to advise those submitters whose work will have a home in aaduna.  Starting later this afternoon, I will continue that process throughout this first new year weekend. I am sure each of us has an annual tradition that puts away the old and marks the start of yet another new year.  Enjoy whatever that activity is for you, and have a festive start to 2011, and a joyous New Year.      

Celebrations and Festivities

   Cleopatra & Cairo- The Berry-Brennan Family Cats "Peace & Joy on Earth"  Based on the local Christmas Eve street traffic jams and   full parking lots, there are many people who are tossing away the winter blues and getting ready to herald Christmas Day, Kwanzaa, and the coming new year.  For me, it is a time for reflection and being thankful; a time to embrace the riches in my life and what is really important.  A time to take a break from negative moments and those day to day hassles of life that tend to weigh us down.  I know the key is to maintain this type of holiday spirit on a daily basis and not just for a few days each year.  I also know that is easier said than done.  But, we can try.   Lisa and I, and our children, wish each of you a Holiday Season that is wrapped in joy, love, festivities, and contentment.  May happiness fill your heart and home, and may blessings ride each snowflake that lands on you this season.  Enjoy!!!


Maybe I did not mention that besides being the publisher of Olive Trees , Ron Van Nostrand is a poet, musician, and editor.  A few minutes ago, I sent him the Memorandum of Understanding that seeks to create a viable working partnership between his print publication and our online initiative.  At our meeting last week, we agreed in principle on the tenets in the MOU.  Lisa and I will be in Rochester the evening of January 7 for a reception for the artists and curators involved in the current exhibition at the Baobab Cultural Center located at 728 University Avenue.  Titled "NeoAfrican Expressions - a photographic exhibition of the African Diaspora in Everyday Life", one of the co-curators is Rockland County resident Collette Fournier (close friend and colleague) and other members of the Kamoinge Workshop.  Collette specifically requested that I come ready to talk about aaduna and bring promotional material.  While we have been at Baobab before, I suspect that evening will

aaduna Grows

Last Thursday, Lisa and I had a very enjoyable, relaxed, and productive luncheon meeting with the publisher of Olive Trees.   We reached a tentative agreement for the two entities to collaborate and partner.  Basically, aaduna will provide an online presence that will maintain and support the legacy of Olive Trees while aaduna will be able to broaden its outreach to a community of authors and readers via a presence in the ongoing Olive Trees print publication.  I hope to get the Memorandum of Understanding to Ron early this week, and bring it to the BOA at its initial meeting.  I suspect this endeavor is one of those win-win situations.

The Holiday Season

This past Saturday evening, Lisa and I participated in a candlelight tour of the historic Seward House Museum.  A new initiative of Billye Chabot, the museum's executive director (and an aaduna BOA member), the tour was a trip into "holiday elegance and artisic expression", as well as an opportunity to appreciate how contemporary creativity can easily imbue historic grandeur.  Hopefully, this Victorian era costumed actors event will become an annual gift to the community.   

An aaduna/Olive Trees Update

Developed in the summer of 1984 as the newsletter  Re-connection Revelation , the publication sought to keep the members of a disbanded theatre company in contact with each other.  Two years later, the name was changed to Olive Trees and opened to the general public for submissions.  Currently, there are subscribers in 20 states.  Around 2002-03, one of the publisher's colleagues, who conducted poetry workshops at the Auburn Correctional Facility, convinced him to publish a special issue featuring the work of Auburn inmates.  Since then, the print edition keeps three pages available for incorporating the poetry of inmates statewide.  Needless to say, Olive Trees  is available at most correctional facilities in NYS.  It is commendable that for a few decades, that publication has developed and maintained a diverse and wide audience of submitters and readers.  I am arranging to meet with the publisher, Ron Van Nostrand, later this week or next.  aaduna's mission states, It will

Expanding the Support and Network...

For the premier/winter issue, a few guest readers from around the country have been invited to comment on the submissions.  Their opinions will be valued as key supporters of aaduna, and help transition this blog from limited and private access to a more open private access.  In time (probably pre-Spring 2011), I suspect this blog will be available to published submitters, as well as those individuals who become partners in aaduna's sustainability.     Good weekend folks.

An interesting possibility...

Olive Trees is a locally based publication featuring the work of poets and writers.  Some of you may be familiar with it since it can be found at Burritt's Cafe in Weedsport, Peace Dreamers, and The Center in Auburn and other locales.  The publisher has expressed an interest in aaduna taking over an online version of the printed magazine.  I have reached out to Ron Van Nostrand, and will keep you posted on developments.  (Glenn Churchill of the Auburn UPS Store facilitated Olive Trees' interest in aaduna.)     

Change and Moving Forward.

During the past few weeks, my attention has been focused on an administrative issue that has finally found appropriate resolution.  And this was just in time to use the Thanksgiving holiday period to find additional promotional avenues for aaduna. MOVING FORWARD - Thanksgiving Trip to Virginia & Washington DC   Washington DC, November 26, 2010   Lisa and friend, Sandra Miles Bus Boys & Poets Cafe  Bill & Sandra Miles Busboys & Poets Cafe  Last Friday, I placed Call for Submission cards at Busboys and Poets, a socially conscious restaurant that has become a haven for artists, supporters of the arts, art exhibitions, and spoken word events.  Named in honor of Langston Hughes, Lisa and I visited the location at 14th and V Streets, NW in Washington, DC where we brunched with a very dear friend and supporter of the arts.  (There is a location on 5th Street in the District, as well as one in Shirlington in VA.)  On Thanksgiving morning

How Time Flies...when you are having fun.

Bill Berry with Glenn Churchill, Franchisee/The UPS Store Auburn, NY who exhibited at "Market Cayuga" trade show held at the Holiday Inn on November 10, 2010 Last Wednesday, November 10th, I represented aaduna at the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.  I met several "influencers" who have already provided valuable network info, as well as access to artists and leaders of local cultural institutions.  Before leaving, I had the opportunity to meet and chat with the Superintendent of the Auburn Enlarged City School District, J.D. Pabis.  He encouraged me to reach out to a contact at the Auburn Education Foundation in case teachers want to write grants to support the aaduna literacy initiative.  I will provide more about this initiative in the coming weeks. This past Friday, November 12th, I took Lisa and my Mom for lunch at The Bellhurst Castle, located  in Geneva, NY along Seneca Lake.  I posted several "Call for Submissions" flyers.  Late

A Season of Vitality, Reflection, and Focused Directions

The start of fall routinely signals the start of a new cultural/artistic season.  Amidst new exhibitions, premiers, special issues, tours, and openings, there is the behind the scenes drama that challenges creative minds to challenge one another, compromise, negotiate and quite possibly re-direct individual energies towards different paths than previously planned.  In this type of vortex, it is often wise to rise above the process, view it with a certain ease of detachment, seek clarity, and re-enter the "fray" with a singular sense of purpose.  As aaduna experiences such a process, I am reminded of the various temperments when I interned at The Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts/National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston; directed the BFA/MFA program at Antioch; mounted a cultural arts performance program at Stony Brook; experienced the affects of political interference on academic freedom associated with artistic performances, exhibitions, and speakers at Rockland Commu

Submission Deadline approaches for the Premier Issue...

November 13th is the date.  Please encourage folks you know to submit unpublished works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or a visual artwork for consideration.  If they have questions, they should send an e-mail to The aaduna Call for Submissions postcard has been redesigned.  While the changes are subtle, the revised card captures the eye better than the start-up version.  These cards are normally left at cultural venues, and some commercial establishments that support the arts.

Simply food, a circus, and conversation...

Lisa, Carrie, and I left Auburn at 7:37 this past Saturday morning, and returned around 6:40 yesterday evening.  We had dinner (including my Mom, younger sister Ronnie and her partner Allen, oldest daughter Isis, and her cousin Jasmine) at Sequoia in DC (Georgetown area).  Afterwards, we all went to Cirque du Soleil's show "Ovo" at the National Harbour in MD, and had fun comversation at my Mom's place in Arlington, VA to cap the evening.  And while it became an unplanned aaduna free-weekend, the creative juices flowed in that direction.  aaduna will benefit  from ideas on the next trip down  in November around "Thanksgiving" time.  And my Mom is in Auburn until that return trip.  I will get aaduna info to a few bookstores in DC next month.  Kramerbooks and Cafe, and Politics and Prose are top on the list, and there is at least one other (I can't recall the name) in the Dupont Circle area.  Please recommend others .  I'll also visit the Borders on Le

A quickie...

Poetry from New Jersey, and fiction, in standard script format, from Toledo, OH are recent submissions.  Off to VA/DC tomorrow morning; back in Auburn Sunday evening.  Wishing a gracious weekend to all.

A Nice Vibe...

Existed at The UPS Store reception at Turning Stone this past Monday evening.  I met and had good conversations with store owners, as well as Sean Brown, Director of SavOn Operations (the Oneida Nation's convenience stores), who first thing Tuesday morning put me in contact with the Nations' VP of Human Resources.  It appears HR may have an interest in supporting and working with aaduna.  Sean felt aaduna's mission speaks to several concerns that the Nation is trying to address. After dinner, Lisa and I rejoined her colleagues at the Casino's Sports Lounge.  Met Stuart Mathis, President, MBE (Mail Boxes Etc., a UPS Company).  We were in e-mail communication Wednesday morning, and at another point in time, I hope to parlay that meeting towards a value added relationship for aaduna.  I was also able to talk about the publication with company officials form Atlanta by way of Reno, Nevada.  Much thanks to Lisa for opening these possibilities.    You never know where ne

Another Networking Opportunity.

Lisa arranged the invite so I'll attend the Northeast Regional Quarterly Network UPS Store Meeting convened at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY.  The meeting starts today (with a golfing event and I don't golf even though my Uncle Lou was on the PGA tour...way before Tiger).  It ends tomorrow.  I will pitch aaduna at the main Reception this evening.  I need to identify the corporate folks who handle philanthropy, and establish a relationship with area store owners.  Corporate officials will be in from San Diego, and some other officials are coming up from Atlanta to join their regional colleagues. What else should I be doing to build readership, solicit submissions, and lay the ground work for a revenue stream????  Let me know.

aaduna - spreading the word

Left the house at about 4:00PM today, armed with aaduna "Call for Submissions" postcards First Stop:  The Cayuga Museum of History & Art  203 Genesee Street, Auburn, NY An outside photo of The Cayuga Museum - believe it or not, this photo was taken in the pouring rain today with a cell phone! Lisa and I met with Lauren Chyle, the Cayuga Museum Curator, who agreed to post and distribute aaduna's call for submissions postcards.  This evening, from 7PM - 9PM, the museum will host an adult poetry reading.  Check out their website:   NEXT STOP TODAY  Auburn Public Theater 8 Exchange Street at Genesee, Auburn, NY Unfortunately, Auburn Public Theater closed at 3PM.  We'll stop back tomorrow.  Noticed the above sign in Auburn Public Theater's window.  APT hosts "Poetry Night" the last Wednesday of every month.  Check out for history and ev

SOHO Syracuse 2010

While the Small Business Presentations were too much product pitching, the SUNY Oswego Metro Center presentation on "Five Characterisics of Effective Teams" (by Dr. Kimberly Armani) was informative and validating.  I was able to esablish networking contacts with, and provide "Call" information to the following: CNY Latino...from the latino community for everyone in Central New York, a monthly publication; the rep will get info to the 27 or so contributors who routinely write for the paper. International Center of Syracuse (Vikki Smith), a non-profit organization that provides services that facilitate cross-cultural and international exchange in Central New York, and serves as a regional hub for cross-cultural and international exchange through networking and partnership with institutions/organizations in the U.S. and abroad, and Jake Horvat, Business Marketing Group Account Representative for Wegmans, which is a six-state supermarket/lifestyle operation.  Jake

Expanding the team

Finalized the bios for the creative/publication team and hope to share with the Board of Advisors on October 15.  The official appointment letter is ready and just needs to be fine tuned.  Will represent aaduna at SOHO Syracuse 2010, a small business show at the Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter, Syracuse, NY.  Left "Call" postcards at the Seward Library and Downtown Books and Coffee in Auburn yesterday, and did a similar task at The Center at High Falls/Fine Art Gallery, and LJ II's, a Jamaican restaurant both in Rochester.  My contact at LJ II's will get them out to folks this week.