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Art Is Bonfire Video (created by BRIJ Fund)

AWARENESS of the people, places, and things that are happening everyday in our communities is critical  for our stakeholders to make an informed decision on how to allocate their time, money, or resources. Through our weekly web-series #giveblack, we introduce you to change agents doing progressive work with strong solutions in, and for, African-American communities across the country.  Tune in every Monday at 7pm CST to follow the work of grassroots initiatives and the businesses that support them. Subscribe to our Awareness Portal by way of You Tube and check out past episodes! 


BGC October (Halloween theme) Book

We will be discussing Fledgling over one the best bloody mary's in town in early November. Location and exact date TBA.


BGC Summer Reading: The Warmth of Other Suns

Join us September 30th at Harold Washington Library, 400 S State, for... 

Congo Square presents "The Warmth of Other Suns" reading.

Starts at 6pm. Followed by discussion and cocktails downtown, TBD.


Art Is Bonfire: The Seattle Cypher (Fundraiser starts next week)

I'm so excited for everyone to have an opportunity to contribute to our efforts to bring Art Is Bonfire to Seattle. Our kickstarter page will feature a phenomenal promo video created by Leslie Monique visuals. The kickstarter will be only place to check that out but in the meantime here's a preview to the kickstarter fundraiser description:

Kickstarter goal: $1,000

Thank you for visiting our kickstarter page and welcome to the Art Is Bonfire family!
I am Pyro Poet TIff Beatty. Among many things, I am a spoken word artist and founder and host of Art Is Bonfire. Art Is Bonfire is a fire-inspired poetry and rhythm cypher that takes place around a fire pit in a public park. 
We have been hosting Art Is Bonfire at Promontory Point on the South Side of Chicago since 2011. In 2013, we are taking Art Is Bonfire on the road for the very first time ever! First stop, Golden Gardens Park in Seattle, WA. 
It seems only natural the Pacific Northwest host this event since it's my first and only true "home." Although, Chicago has developed me into the artist I am today, Tacoma, WA, where I grew up is the place that made me the person I am today. I have so much family and so many friends who want and deserve to experience what I consider my greatest contribution to my community thus far.
I have been so honored to have such strong support for this event in Chicago and am looking forward to the opportunity to experience that same love and community with my "first family." Since this event is completely unique and one of a kind in the world (as far as I know) here is a short description:
Each event includes a social hour of roasting marshmallows and making s'mores, a performance cypher in which poets, emcees, singers, drummers all get down around the fire and a burning ritual that gives everyone an opportunity to burn something that they want to give to the fire.
There is no line up or featured artist for this event. It's simply a time for diverse artists and creative souls to come together in a public space to celebrate self-expression and the healing power of art, fire and other natural elements. The cypher "goes down" with the sun as the creative souls in attendance take turns receiving and giving energy to the fire. 
Some bring instruments, original work, or memorized poetry; some bring something they've waiting to burn; some just write down a word or phrase that symbolizes the thing they would like to burn. As we let fire die out around the time the park closes. we say peace until next time. 
Art Is Bonfire is always completely FREE and open to the public. Because of the public park location, the event is accessible to everyone. People walking by can stop for as long as they are intrigued, some may even choose to join the cypher. Unexpecting park-goers are exposed to spoken word and other forms of tribal expression and ritual and many urban poets and performers have an uncommon opportunity to be inspired by fire, nature, community and the opportunity transform a public space into a safe space for creativity and expression of passion.   Poets and their friends and families come because this experience can be spiritual and inspiring but many times, the people who have the most powerful experiences are those who just happen to be walking by when they see or overhear the magic of the cypher.
We are extremely excited about the potential of bringing this ritual to the Pacific Northwest. But of course, WE NEED YOU to help us make this happen.
If you've ever been to Art Is Bonfire or have a strong enough imagination, I don't have convince you of the potential of this event and surrounding movement. If you're not completely convinced, this fundraiser and the rewards we are offering are designed to engage you with the movement. The gifts are either personalized, promotional or directly connected to what makes the event a success, the artists. 
The artists who participate and support this event are apart of a network we call "The Pyro Circle." These artists are some of the most talented, passionate and inspiring, yet underexposed artists in the country. By donating to this movement you are fueling the kind of artists we need more in this world and encouraging authentic expression of all human beings. 
Please join us in The Pyro Circle, where The Fire is the Cypher and Art Is Bonfire!


Art Is Bonfire Chicago: June 23rd at Promontory Point

Poets, performance artists and our friends from all over the city are coming together once again at Promontory Point, where for one night ART IS BONFIRE and THE FIRE IS THE CYPHER.

There will be no list or featured artist for this event. It's simply a time for artist and art-lovers to come from all around the city to a public space to celebrate self-expression and the healing power of art.

Here are the general guidelines for the event:

1. On this evening we will be acting as one with nature so the "cypher" will go down as soon as the sun does.

2. We take turns receiving and giving energy to the fire. Bring an instrument, an original or memorized poem, something you've been waiting to burn!!!

3. When the fire dies out we will say peace until next time...

The event is completely FREE and open to the public. 

Donations accepted.

Hosted by Yours Truly Pyro Poet Tiff Beatty!


BGC May: I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings

Discussion and goodbye party for Katie will be: 
Wednesday June 13th @ 7pm.

Parrot Cage, 7059 S South Shore Drive.

Cocktail: Yellow Bird

•1 cup light rum
•½ cup Creme de Banana
•¼ cup Tia Maria
•3 cups orange juice
•¼ cup pineapple juice