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Since 2009, fine art photographer Charise Isis has been taking topless portraits of women  who have had mastectomies for breast cancer as part of The Grace Project. The goal? Photographing 800 women, which represents the number of American women diagnosed with the disease each day. The images are inspired by sculptures like the Venus de Milo, and like it, the women are celebrated as beautiful and their brokenness revealing the delicate nature of life, endurance and the inherent beauty that still radiates.Here, Charise talks about the power in the portraits as well as marginalized parts of breast cancer that awareness programs seem to miss altogether. Our  theme music - "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix - is used with their permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp, CB Baby and via their website. 
Sensei Katie Murphy

Sensei Katie Murphy

2021-08-3137:19

After a stint with dance that left her off of the competition and performance teams, Sensei Katie began a karate class in grade school and never stopped. She has been learning, training in and teaching Goju-Ryu, Kyokushin, Shotokan, Judo and other martial arts for 30 years, adding Krav Maga classes and coaching and training youth students for weapons and kata competitions on the NASKA and NY Tournament League circuits to her repertoire.She talks about how karate became a family affair for her siblings and her dad, why she kept going to class when everyone else in the family stopped, the parallels of  teaching in the classroom and teaching martial arts, how creative competition kata can be, the inherent challenges of sometimes being the only woman on the mat and why she takes the "Always a Student, Never a Master" mantra to heart.Her schools are Fighting Spirit Martial Arts and Fitness and Krav Maga New York.Our opening theme music - "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix - is used with their permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.
After being laid-off from his job in Corporate America, Tyrone Griffin started Evil Bunny Consulting, LLC, an individual and corporate job transition consulting firm. Speeches on motivation and dealing with career changes lead to the Bunny Slippers Are Evil podcast for those in job transition.He talks about how his weekly Internet radio call-in show for job seekers morphed into a podcast, the pain that often accompanies job loss and how  family support - or the lack of it - can contribute to the journey. Originally broadcast a while back (via a chat that began over the telephone), we're re-airing in hopes of helping those currently experiencing job transition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find past episodes of Bunny Slippers Are Evil here.Our opening theme music - "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix - is used with their permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.
Music makers  Dan McCollum and Doug Ramsay - collectively known as After 6 Productions - met in the 80s and have been making music for themselves and others ever since. In the second part of their interview, they discuss how they transitioned from making music for themselves to producing for others, why they both have careers outside of the music industry and the impetus behind the production of their new instrumental project, "After 6 P.M." Listen to their first project "What Love is" here.(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
The music production duo of Dan McCollum and Doug Ramsay - collectively known as After 6 Productions - met in college and have been making music for themselves and other artists since.  Here, they chat about their individual musical beginnings, their first - and second - demo, and the  lessons learned from their studio collaborations with others. (Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
A retired psychotherapist who has studied a variety of Karate styles and other traditional martial arts for over 50 years, he is the author of "Black Belt Healing: A Marital Artist's Guide to Pain Management and Injury Recovery" (Tuttle Publishing) and two poetry collections: "Strong Coffee, Burnt Toast: Awkward Poetry of a Lost Monk" and "Bushido: Verses of Consideration."  In part II of our chat, he discusses cultural connections, the creativity inherent in martial arts kata and why writing a follow-up to his book is a lot like harvesting corn.(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
David "Shinzen" Nelson  is a retired psychotherapist who has studied a variety of Karate styles and other traditional martial arts for over 50 years. In part one of our chat, he talks about balancing training and family, being lazy, the freedom inside the structure of kata and Zen meditation, the joys of being a Dhaoist wandered, writing poetry, and his book “Black Belt Healing: A Martial Artist’s Guide to Pain Management and Injury Recovery” (Tuttle Publishing).(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used bypermission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
An holistic nutrition and certified yoga educator who has been teaching the benefits of yoga and eating a whole-food diet for over 25 years, Saeeda Hafiz is the author of The Healing: One Woman's Journey from Poverty to Inner Riches, a memoir detailing her journey and the hard work that really goes into finding oneself.Get 40% off an autographed copy using the discount code TIGERLILY at the author's website.(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Well-versed in a bevy of genres, he teaches dance to children and  young adults, passing on the phrases in the footwork he learned from his professors at both Dutchess Community and Queens College. He sat down with his mom on Mother's Day to talk about how gymnastics, track and martial arts helped him prep for his dance career,  the importance of self-confidence, the struggles of teaching dance during a global pandemic, his passion for music and why he still considers himself a student. Follow him on Instagram via @seventh.of7ep.tember.(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Poet Gold

Poet Gold

2021-04-2730:48

Two-time poet laureate of Dutchess County (NY), Bettina "Poet Gold" Wilkerson is a self-described creative spirt has graced stages around the country introducing poetry - and other spoken word artists - to a wide range of audiences.Here, she chats about artistic pursuits as a youngster that led to organically "finding" poetry, battling stage fright, her hope for what we will all learn from COVID, the secret behind her performance bowties, the value of starting somewhere and the importance of walking in faith. (Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Born in a town just outside of Albany, NY,  she fell in love with the written word while watching her siblings write when she could barely hold a pencil. Here, she talks about understanding creative control, discovering poetry through Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance, hearing spoken word for the first time and the effects of the pandemic on the love, unity and creative experience that is Spoken Word.(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Born and raised about an hour north of New York City, Courtney Allen spent her childhood prepping for a career in entertainment. But after graduating from college, her  path took an unexpected turn that fueled her passion for filmmaking and led to writing and producing  her "At Risk" web series in 2016.Here, she talks about her self-diagnosed ADHD, the superpower of creativity, hiring someone vs. doing it herself, the importance of representation and her new documentary "The Mental Help" (and the Instagram page it's named for).(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Starting musically with French Horn because her father played the instrument, Lynn eventually switched to saxophone, flute and clarinet, learning and playing music all over the world. She talks here about how she would describe jazz to non-aficionados, and how the ability to touch listeners musically is something she doesn't take for granted. And yes, that's her - Lynn Riley + the World Mix - you hear in our opening  music "Please Irene" (used with their permission, of course). Find the entire release - "Say What" - on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby. Also check out some of their past performances via their YouTube channel to scratch that itch for live music we know you're missing these days.
The NCPP teaches photography and related media to 16-24 year olds that allows them to explore critical social justice issues directly related to their communities and their lives. Founder/director Vincent Cianni discusses the program's beginnings, the Covid-19 pivot and how it benefits both the participants and the community at large.(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find the song "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Visual Artist Troy Gua

Visual Artist Troy Gua

2021-01-2722:13

His love of art began, he says, after a visit to a King Tut exhibit. Having always been the "artistic student" in class, the Seattle-based, self-taught artist talks about his many muses, his love of all things Prince, his Le Petit Prince (LPP) project (and what the actual inspiration for LPP was), his design work, his hometown art scene and the one  result from the world-wide pandemic that was totally unexpected.Find more on his work and Club LPP at https://troygua.com.(Our theme music, "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix,  is used by permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Via his company, Rub-A-Groov Music and Publishing, the Philadelphia-based musician has composed and arranged for an array of artists in many genres - including jazz, indie, pop and rock - as well as producing voiceovers for radio spots and other musical projects. He is also the bassist and music director for Lynn Riley and the World-Mix, producing songs from their "Say What" release (like our theme music "Please Irene"). Here, he talks about his musical beginnings, how his introduction to the opposite sex inadvertently led to music production and why he is extremely passionate about not only music but people, too.(The opening theme music by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix is used with their permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Musician Tammy Mitchell-Woods has been drumming for churches and bands since she was a teen but only recently decided to ditch her day job and dive into her passion full-time.  She talks about the decision to go full-steam ahead with her music career in her 50's as well as the Facebook community for female drummers she helped create and life with Lupus. (The opening theme music "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix is used with their permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Through his company, entrepreneur and security and protection expert Samuel Griffin has worked with presidential candidates, heads of state and A-list celebrities. He recently wrote "Rent-A-Cop Reboot" with Theresa M. Caldwell - a guide for security professionals and anyone interested in a career in the industry. He talks about witnessing domestic violence as a child, guarding clients from the KKK, juggling a 9-to-5 job and starting a business, the work-family balance, the necessity of a "Plan B" and the importance of faith."Rent-A-Cop Reboot" is available via Leumas Publishing,  Amazon (in print and Kindle) and Chirp.(The opening theme music "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix is used with their permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Black Paper Party

Black Paper Party

2020-11-3021:13

Jasmine Hudson, J'Aaron Merchant and Madia Willis - co-founders of Black Paper Party - share their thoughts about starting a company aimed at filling the void created by the lack of Black imagery during the holiday season, as well as the importance of honing an entrepreneurial spirit and finding community in Northwest Arkansas. Learn more about their ornaments and gift-wrapping paper collection at www.BlackPaperParty.com.(Our opening theme music - "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix - is used with their permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.)
Author Dana Muwwakkil

Author Dana Muwwakkil

2020-11-2421:19

Author Dana Wuwwakkil's "The Anxiety Diaries - A Diary and a Memoir" began as an experiment to write every day. She talks about living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD),  identifying as a writer, the isolation associated with being a stay-at-home parent and the importance of exercise, meditation and a strong support system for anyone suffering with anxiety and their loved ones.Her book is available via her website, Amazon, Google Books and wherever books are sold.The opening theme music "Please Irene" by Lynn Riley and the World-Mix is used with their permission. Find their release "Say What" on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and CB Baby.
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