Tag Archives: NIMBY

Awesome NIMBY this week…Dennis K. Smith

picture-6Who’s Dennis K. Smith?
You might know already, but I didn’t have a clue.

Dennis is a painter, teacher, and quite simply…one of the most fantastic people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

Not In My Backyard required another interview this week. February being Black History Month finds the city alive with events and shows highlighting the local black community and their history. With these events prevalent and in the greater-public eye, I stumbled across this event called Threads Through Time, presented by The Artists of Colour.
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It takes place at Mackenzie Hall and The Common Ground Galler (same building) from February 6th until the 17th. Friday the 6th is the date of the opening party. I am, without a doubt, going to this, and I’m bringing my father, his wife Eileen, and possibly some other family member.

This exhibit will be hosting WORLD-CLASS artifacts from the underground railroad. To be more specific, they are quilts that were used to signal to the holder of the quilt details about the underground railroad…ensuring safe passage to Canada.

Apart from these quilts, there will be several works of art from Dennis K. Smith, his daughter Nicole Talbot, and several other professional and amateur artists of colour. And having been into Dennis K. Smith’s studio, I can tell you the quality of work he is producing is phenomenal.

Trained in fine art, Smith’s painting are all about stories. His affinity for history, personal and otherwise, is infectious and unavoidable when experiencing his work. A certain piece that he’s done, which was unfinished at the time of our interview is a mural of famous local and Canadian people of colour. The first black doctor, lawyer, The Real McCoy, and his own father are all featured prominently in this piece. It’s gorgeous. A who’s who of pioneering black Windsorites and Canadians is a patchwork of pride unmatched in any other painting I’ve seen.

Sitting with Dennis in his studio (gorgeous teaching space, by the way), drinking a fresh cup of coffee that he brewed up for us, we made an instant connection and spoke about the black community, the Artists of Colour community, and the importance of these showcases.

Here’s a HUGE video of the conversation I had with Smith, in his studio. TO see some of his unfinished works, and studio space, skip to the last two minutes of the video.
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In the meantime, have a listen to our show from yesterday by CLICKING THIS LINK.
Our show is, as usual, 30 minutes long.
Did I mention that Adam’s interview was stellar as well?
Enjoy.

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NIMBY on CJAM for January 13th, 2009

picture-71Adam and I had a great show today.
I had to record my interview very last minute (yesterday), and edit it very late last night.
Maya Ruggles from FedUp Windsor Community Gardening, came to Phog last night so I could interview her, as she had knee surgery this morning, when I might have been able to do a phone interview. She was game for a phone interview, from home, no less than two hours after her surgery, but having had two knee surgeries (including something very similar to her procedure today) there is no way I would expect ANYONE to talk to me for 10 minutes after that gruesomeness.

The piece was maybe one of the best I’ve done since Adam and I started recording Not In My Backyard. I just got a real sense of groundbreaking, up-and-coming buzz around the work that Maya and FedUp is doing. It was great to talk with her and to get a greater appreciation for what they’ve done and for what lies ahead. I think I see some volunteering in Jhoan’s and my future with FedUp.

Adam interviewed Chris Mangin of Artcite over the phone, and discussed Art’s Birthday. No, not the dude, Art…but art, the expression. It’s having its 1,000,046th birthday this year, and is being celebrated at Phog Lounge. During the interview, I was surprised to learn that The Situationists (Socialist Parisian artists in the 60s) had a hand in how this event is celebrated. For those of you paying extra-close attention, The Situationists were the “originators” of psychogeography, something I’ve been involved in locally a bit, and would often travel through Paris with a map of London, TRYING to get lost in order to see the city from different eyes.

If you missed the show and you want to listen, go OVER HERE!!

Barry Furlonger, David Dubois: This week’s NIMBY

picture-44Well, we recorded another show, and again it felt as though Adam and I are finding our timing. It seems to be getting smoother and smoother with each show. Again, we produce/host NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) on CJAM.

We both remarked at how much we enjoy producing and airing the show, to the extent that we want to carry on this project as far as possible.

This week, Adam interviewed David Dubois of the band The Locusts Have No King. Dave has also been a massively proficient singer/songwriter for quite some time, and this interview was centred around the release of a new full length CD due out in January. The bits I heard on the show today were fantastic!

Me…I interviewed Barry Furlonger, executive director of The Downtown Mission. My interview with Barry was MUCH longer than the edited version on the show, which left a lot of usable, viable content on the digital cutting-room floor. So, I will first post the archived version of today’s Not In My Backyard, and then I will post the full, unedited interview I did with Barry for those of you who want to know/hear more about the Downtown Mission.

Thanks to all those who listened to the show live today!

Here’s the link to the extended interview with Barry Furlonger of The Downtown Mission!

Here’s the link to today’s NIMBY!

Urban Gardening

picture-5I recently interview Barry Furlonger of The Downtown Mission.

The interview will show up on Tuesday, on this site, after the shorter (by half) interview airs on Not In My Backyard on CJAM 91.5FM at noon.

I tried to stay away from questions of donation amounts and holiday hardship. I think it’s pretty well-known that charities get a lot of help during the holidays. People are in the giving mood, or at least they get into the giving mood after watching It’s a Wonderful Life or Secret Millionaire. The charities get a heap of help in one or two months, and then run a deficit for the remainder of the year. They struggle month after month, hoping people will run food drives and collect goods they are in need of for the other 10 months they provide food and shelter.

I asked Furlonger about the usefulness of a garden. An urban garden, downtown, on dead Windsor land (of which there’s a ton) could keep a steady supply of fresh vegetables to supply the kitchen to feed those in dire need. I have been reading/listening to Michael Pollan talk on google videos, ted.com, NPR’s Fresh Air, etc., etc. and he is all about food education. Teaching kids where food comes from, and having them keep a garden at school, understanding how valuable real food is. When they see how much work it is, they understand that it is not something to be thrown away or wasted.

I guess I was channeling this line of thought when talking to Furlonger. I brought it up because he said the Mission is unable to accommodate for more than 100 volunteers. This surprised me greatly, because I thought, “The more the merrier.” Not so. You can only fit so many people in the kitchen. You can only have some many jobs for them to do. I began thinking that a garden, located downtown, donated temporarily by a land owner or the city, could be operated, maintained, and serviced by volunteers. More than the 100 could get their hands dirty. In fact, it’s possible that the people being taken care of could be taught how a successful vegetable garden is run, yielding healthy food.

Furlonger seemed interested in this, but with his hands as full as they are, it is likely a project that someone else would have to take on in order to A) find the land, B) find a land owner/city willing to donate the space C) get the administration of the Downtown Mission informed and educated on how to take “possession” of the land and how to cultivate it properly. It would be a big project, and maybe something that Fed Up Windsor could make a great deal of impact with along with the other foodies in this city. There is no shortage of organic food experts and locavores in this city, and there is no dirth of HUGE garden-keepers who could share their ideas also…like Steve Green and Scotty Hughes…Mark Buckner…tons of others…

Anyone got any thoughts on what roadblocks one could encounter, and overcome?

Anyone know of any realistic ways this could take place?

I just think it is important for The Downtown Mission to have a project that HELPS them become more self-sufficient rather than “hoping” for steady, weekly support from people who are just trying to make ends meet during the year. Only good things could come from something like this. Heck! They could even sell the surplus to local restaurants or locavores (local food conscious eaters wanting to know where their food is grown).

I know that there is something like this on Vimy (I think it’s Vimy or Lens) near Howard Avenue, just east of Dayus Roofing and Windows, east of Angilari Lumber. There’s a huge clinic complex there…and two sets of railroad tracks. My father lives on Louis Avenue, between Ypres and Vimy (I think it’s Vimy or Lens) and Louis ends on the north side at this LARGE garden. The garden is closest to the (directly south of, and almost touching) the trackson the North side of Lens or Vimy. I believe it is run by a native co-op, but I’m not sure WHO runs it. Likely one of my readers does. Help us out.

Gets my brain ticking.

Broken City Lab on NIMBY

picture-41In what will likely be one of many posts about Broken City Lab, I will simply leave you with the content I have collected.

What is Broken City Lab? Well…

A collection of artists/activists who see a broken city in front of them, and use their creativity to interact with the people, groups, bureaucracy, items, places, and mediums necessary to make things less broken. It’s art-through-action. When speaking to Justin Langlois, the guy who decided to get this group together, I was astounded, amazed, proud, and appreciative of the concept and eventual action this group represents. Langlois said something like, “I began to realize that my art could be this…this action…this sharing of concepts to make things better instead of making paintings…” I’m paraphrasing. But if you watch the videos below and listen to his interview on this week’s installment of Not In My Backyard (Tuesdays at noon on CJAM 91.5FM in Windsor/Detroit), you will hear him communicate this clearer.

Here’s the CJAM interview on Not In My Backyard (NIMBY)!

And as usual, there is a TON of extra content on the videos where Justin is able to talk about some of the other projects Broken City Lab is looking at starting.

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To find out more, go to brokencitylab.org where there is a regularly updated blog with awesome info.

As a further added bonus, check out the blog post that Justin made after taking part in the Big Walk.

Another Saturday Knight on NIMBY

picture-4Adam and I finally got back into the swing of recording Not In My Backyard for CJAM.

Again, we are live to air every Tuesday at noon on 91.5FM in Windsor/Detroit, or you can stream it to your computer, OR go to the archives and check it out.

I interviewed Chad Howson of Another Saturday Knight. His band released a new CD (their first) and I felt it was worth asking what it was like to do such a thing…being a non-musician. I strayed away from the “What does your music sound like?” kind of questioning, because you an go to his website and listen for yourself (I’ll post the link). I wanted to delve into the excitement, worry, and thoughts of someone releasing something new.

For your benefit, I recorded video of the interview, in two parts. The batteries in the recorder died, so I had to kill the video until I located some new batteries.

Here’s the radio interview link, and the videos are below.

I love how, as soon as the audio recorder is off, we get relaxed. We start speaking less formally. I think I like that feeling more than the feeling of the interview. I will begin trying to speak loosely DURING interviews instead of only on EXTRA FOOTAGE which is not on the interview.

By the way, there’s about 4 minutes of relaxed (extra content) that would not fit on the CJAM interview. Well worth seeing.

Also, you should listen to the CJAM version because Adam’s interview with Dianne Clinton (participant at the upcoming Made in Windsor Craft show). It’s a great connection to someone who conveys the importance of spending money with local artisans.

Click this link to hear the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) version on CJAM.

Turn up your computer volume to hear the audio from the video. It’s a little quiet.

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www.myspace.com/anothersaturdayknight