For The Love Of Black Culture
Tuesday, February 28 • 8pm
@ Motor House
Often, when discussions of artistic voices in Black Culture occur, we tend to immediately consider the biggest names from yesterday and today. Kehinde Wiley,, Basquiat, Larry “Poncho” Brown and many more are artists who have had a great impact on Black culture. In addition to famous names like theirs, there are others who are fighting to be heard. They, too, have a story full of merit and fresh perspectives. Motor House is proud to offer four Black creatives the platform to publicly discuss their art and all things Black at “For The Love Of Black Culture” on February 28th at 8 pm. Everything (even the most controversial) will be up for discussion with the aim to: educate, inform, debate, and evolve our understanding of Black Culture.
Ashley Lakayla Yates, also known by the stage name of ‘Black Assets’, the queen of the soulful bounce; is a dynamic queer vocalist/singer-songwriter from Baltimore, MD by way of Itta Bena, Mississippi, whose art is committed to reflecting the experience of Black people in the United States. She is an international artist who brings soulful vibes to over 20 different countries around the world, most recently Algiers, Taghit and Bechar. She is the creator of The Living Room Social (TLRS), a platform for musicians and music-lovers in the Maryland area to make and experience music together. For the past 3 years, TLRS has curated over 75 shows boasting loyal audiences of over 200 people per show. A natural leader, Ashley’s music is directly rooted within her community, love and life as she knows it, the good the bad and the indifferent.
Genifer Fraser is a Maryland-based community artist and educator who uses a multitude of mediums and expressive colors to create paintings, installations, and immersive experiences. In 2016, she graduated with a B.A. in Art History, a second major in African American Studies, a minor in History, and a certificate in Community Engagement from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has always sought out ways to marry her passion for the arts and affinity for learning with conscious social engagement. In 2021, she earned her MFA in Community Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art and completed two terms in the Community Art Collaborative AmeriCorps Program as the Community Artist in Residence at Port Discovery Children’s Museum. In addition to creating public art and exhibiting in shows, recent projects have included programs developed with the EYL365 Project, The Greenmount West Community Center, and Jubilee Arts to name a few. She hopes to continue to expand her craft, pushing the themes of her work with the goals of meaningful social engagement and empathy building in mind.
Keyarra Johnson is a 24 year old community artist who is currently working as the Program Manager for the Jubilee Arts: Youth in Business program. In her spare time, she works on developing her skills as an animator and further developing her art with a huge focus on women and POC.
Rhea Beckett is a curator and fifth generation educator whose practice centers knowledge sharing and collaboration.In addition to teaching at MICA, Rhea is also an adjunct professor of African American art history at Fisk University (Nashville, TN) and Trinity Washington (Washington, DC). She is the Founding Director of Black Artist Research Space (BARS), a hub for creativity, scholarship, and imagination located in Baltimore, MD. Rhea received her BA in Art from Fisk University and her MFA in Curatorial Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art. She is a classically trained pianist and vocalist who sings in four languages, and was a member of the Grammy Award-winning Fisk Jubilee Singers from 2009–2013.