Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 12.

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5 women hit the road for an 8-city journey that will bring poetry, music, and transformation to living rooms across the country.

Four years ago, 50 friends gathered in a small living room in Washington, D.C. for a poetry event called THE REVIVAL. The host, Jade Foster, dreamed of building a safe space where queer women and allies could celebrate being black, women, and carriers of the word. In 2012, the event evolved into a nine-day tour that swept eight cities, touched thousands of lives, and connected five exceptional women. This documentary is the story of how that dream came to be.

Women and the Word chronicles the creation of an international salon-styled tour led and supported by women. It tells the story of how Jade Foster recruited a group of five dynamic poets and musicians to become stewards of a movement that builds community among queer women of color, upholds literary arts excellence, and occupies living rooms across the country.

Just as THE REVIVAL poetry tour was shaped by women, creatives, city sisters, volunteers, artists, allies, writers, funders, lodging hosts, and you, completing this film also requires your support! We are currently in post-production and are raising $15,000 to cover the costs of finishing the film.

Help us reach our goal of securing the following:

A Finishing Editor — We have logged and edited our footage, but now we need fresh eyes on our project to ensure continuity and to really bring the story home.

Additional Shooting Costs for Interviews — After we edit our behind-the-scenes moments, we'll need to interview our cast members once again to have them tell the story of the tour in their own words, giving our film a personal narrative touch.

Motion Graphics — To make the concept of “The Word” come alive on screen, we are using a style of graphics called kinetic typography. We want you to hear and see our poets’ performances to give each of their words the power they deserve.

Color Correction — We're using footage captured from four different cameras over the span of two years. Color correction will make all of our shots look seamless and magical.

Music Scoring and Rights — As we piece together our dramatic arcs, we'll need music to maintain the pulse and pace of the film. If you are a musician, and have tracks and instrumentals that you think may be a good fit, please let us know!

Photo Credit: Eli Turner
Photo Credit: Eli Turner

Women and the Word is told through the lens of THE REVIVAL, which toured Brooklyn, Toronto, Detroit, Oberlin, Chicago, Atlanta, Durham, and Washington, D.C. in October 2012. Through multi-city concert footage and candid conversations, the film watches the journey of five strangers who traveled 2,500 miles with nothing in common, except the word.

Community support? Check. Afterparties? Check. Women arriving from across the country? Check. Packing. Unloading. Sound problems. Missing lovers. Job Insecurity. Lesbian drama. A few haters, and a few groupies? Check.

Photo Credit: Eli Turner
Photo Credit: Eli Turner

Beyond the van, we also chat with leading black feminist thinkers including Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs (The Advocate magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40”), Chicago’s EARTHPEARL COLLECTIVE, Kim Katrin Crosby, Red Summer, as well as city sisters and community members across the nation.

Screenshot from Documentary Footage
Screenshot from Documentary Footage

Women and the Word is the first documentary of its kind to tackle the complex issues faced by queer women of color through lyric and song. Follow T'ai Freedom Ford, Be Steadwell, Jonquille "Solsis" Rice, Elizah Turner and Jade Foster as they reveal a segment of the LGBTQ community that is rarely seen.

Conversations on gender identity, sexuality, family, and black female visibility help amplify our story and experience. Each van ride presents a new topic of discussion. Each performance unveils a new layer of truth. Through this project, queer women of color will be able to carve out a special place in history that must be told.

Photo Credit: Be Steadwell
Photo Credit: Be Steadwell

T’ai Freedom Ford

t’ai freedom ford earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College in 2002. A member of the Bar 13/Louder Arts 2003 and 2005 National Poetry Slam teams, she has recorded three spoken word CDs, including The Raw Word Project, Prehistoric HipHop Futuristic and Rockstar Anonymous. In 2011 and 2012, she completed two multi-city tours with The Revival, a queer women of color literary salon. Her poetry has appeared in The Georgia State Review, Drunken Boat, The Good Apple, Velvet Park, Union Station, Sinister Wisdom and Wilde Magazine. t'ai is a Cave Canem fellow who lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches English and creative writing to high school students.

Screenshot from Documentary Footage
Screenshot from Documentary Footage

Be Steadwell

B. Steady is a songstress filmmaker inventing her own form of pop arts for queer people of color and folks with silenced struggles. B is a one-man acapella band specializing in elaborate vocal layering and harmony. She’s released two self-produced albums on iTunes, Sunday Morning and Malcolm X Park. An internet sensation, B posts regular weekly updates to her YouTube video blog and has garnered over 10,000 views of her original music and popular covers. In addition to her solo endeavors, B is a singer MC in the queer pop group, The Lost Bois. She currently attends Howard University in pursuit of an MFA in film. Some days she writes about love, and other days, racism but her music is always simple and sincere and for people like her.

See B Steady LIVE in NYC on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at le poisson rouge for this year’s Word*Rock*& Sword: A MUSICAL Celebration of Women’s Lives featuring Imani Uzuri, Invincible, Toshi Reagon, Tamar-kali, Joan As Police Woman, Martha Redbone and many more to come. Click here for more info: http://wordrocksword.toshireagon.com

Photo Credit: Eli Turner
Photo Credit: Eli Turner

Jonquille “SOLSIS & DAPPHO THE FLOW-ER” Rice

Solsis was born on August 4th and has been a Washingtonian ever since. Her love of music and expression stems deep to her childhood days of Casio keyboard compositions and singing in the church choir. A graduate of Bowie State University, Solsis is the host of Washington D.C.’s only Queer Women of Color open mic, Lyrics & Lace (L&L). Because of her extensive reach and commitment to arts, the bi-monthly event gathered hundreds of emerging singers, musicians, and poets in the greater Washington Metropolitan area to share their work. Singer, bassist, poet, audio engineer, educator and more, Solsis is a modern day renaissance woman. As the lead vocalist of all-girl Rock & Soul band, The CooLots, and as a poet in her own right, she’s performed with organizations like Human Rights Campaign, WOW Theatre Cafe’s Rivers of Honey, and Baltimore’s Hexagon Space. Her influences include Nikki Giovanni and Me’Shell N’Degeocello while her own infectious energy has been compared to the likes of Hanifah Walidah. An emerging community icon, Jonquille has also modeled for masculine of center women of color collective, bklyn boihood, as their December 2012 Calendar Boi. Continuously bridging the gap between artists and audience, and giving voice to the marginalized through her own creative spirit.

Screenshot from Documentary Footage
Screenshot from Documentary Footage

Elizah Turner

Elizah Turner is a Dallas born, Atlanta based visual artist in the fields of photography, design, and video. With a background in journalism, her personal work reflects the themes of social justice, self-awareness and human revolution. She works with clients to bring their vision from idea to life. With a focus on collaboration, she is a big fan of independent artists and start up businesses.

As founder of salon-styled poetry tour, THE REVIVAL, Jade Foster has connected over 2,000 queer women across the U.S. and abroad. Frustrated with the lack of outlets for poets who were neither totally academic or solely "spoken word," THE REVIVAL tribe engages audiences on a new literary stage. The Brooklyn-based creative catalyst aims to redefine the American Literary Arts, and continues to present creative innovations through her writings and productions. Currently, Foster’s commentary can be found on popular web series, The Peculiar Kind. To stay informed, visit www.cereusarts.com.

Born in Nassau, Bahamas, Sekiya Dorsett is a queer filmmaker giving voice to issues of equality. In 2008, her first film, Wisdom and Understanding, a short experimental film, made its debut at NewFest Film Festival and the Oakland Black LGBT Festival. In 2009, her short, Sisters, a story about a lesbian woman struggling to reconcile with her mother, was screened at the Austin LGBT Film Festival.Through online media, her project, The Rainbow Collective, merged race, gender, religion, and pop culture. By day she is a Writer/Producer/Editor, where she has created work for LOGO TV and NBC Universal. Check out http://makingchaos.com!

Andrea Boston is a writer, editor, and multimedia storyteller. She is currently editing and publishing OddFlower, a short story collection featuring the words of young women of color often labeled awkward, quirky, or weird. She studied journalism at Temple University and has contributed to Vested In Culture, The Source, Ashoka’s Changemakers.com, eMusic, Okayplayer, Universal Music Group, and Entertainment Weekly, among others. Her mission is to create celebratory media platforms for the magnificent and courageous women of color who go unnoticed by the powers that be. When she’s not traveling the world, she rests in Brooklyn, NY. You can find her at AndreaBoston.com.

Spread The Word!!!

Follow our project on Facebook and on Twitter @revivalpoetry to keep track of our progress and to stay current on upcoming fundraising events. Share your own words and join the conversation at #saychurch. 

Ask your friends, family, neighbors, and social communities to get the word out about our campaign! Share our project on Facebook. Tweet it. Blog about it. Talk about it. Make some noise!!! We hear you!

JOIN THE CONGREGATION, BECOME A REVIVALIST!

Screenshot from Documentary Footage
Screenshot from Documentary Footage

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

After completing the campaign, we'll still have to balance our daily work with finishing the film, finding the music, etc. But we've done this before! And we're doing it again!

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    5 backers

    And receive a special thank you in the film as well as listed and recognized on our website! -- Many thanks for your support.--

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    In addition to a special shout out in the film and on the website, receive a brand new THE REVIVAL #WORD sticker as well! -- Many Thanks For Your Support--

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    In addition to all of the above, you receive a ticket to our red carpet premiere of the film in Summer 2014! --Many Thanks For Your Support---

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    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    Take home the music of queer pop and soul artist, Be Steadwell! Get a signed copy of Be's first album Malcom X Park with two bonus tracks!

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    And receive all of the above awards except this time you get 2 VIP tickets to the Winter 2014 Premiere!

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    In addition to all our gifts at this tier, also enjoy a Creative Writing Consultation with Brooklyn's t'ai freedom ford.

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    SISTAH CINEMA GIFT PACKAGE Celebrate queer women's cinema with the premiere content provider for all your favorite movies and all the movies you should be watching. The gift Includes one digital movie rental from Sistah Sinema’s offerings on Busk Films, plus a generous pack of 10 tickets to any Sistah Sinema screening around the U.S. (fully transferable, use them for yourself, share them with your friends!). Includes Friend of the Production."

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    Your generous donation earns a signed copy of the film, 4 VIP tickets to the premiere, and an invitation to our DC Sneak Peek Screening with the director where we'll be asking our esteemed community for feedback.

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    Queer pop and soul artist, Be Steadwell, makes your day with your own song! Donate and have Be sing a custom cover for you! Sidebar: At the Brooklyn performance, she left the entire front row crying. In fact, the love song left the audience speechless. Now you too can get that same effect. Great gift idea!

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    Your $250 pledge earns you a pilot membership to THE REVIVAL inner circle of bards, queer arts supporters, and creative enthusiasts. Gain access to a 2014 season of salons, festivals, workshops, and more. Plus a copy of the film, and a t shirt, and all of the above!

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    Calling Arts Patrons! your seed gift transforms the face of Black Arts Projects. Your contribution makes you a member of our host committee and keeps THE REVIVAL totally community sustained and thriving. Receive all of the above, plus a decision making vote on our activities and future programming and tickets to a season of workshops, salons, and more. Contributors in this bracket also receive an Associate Producer credit.

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Funding period

- (55 days)