Monday, October 5th 2020
Sistahs Laying Down Hands Collective Duo will transport us with their drumming and spoken word performance.
Sistahs Laying Down Hands Collective Duo
Karen “Magic Fingaz” Smith Bio
Karen “Magic Fingaz” Smith, Lead percussionist & Artistic Director for Weez The Peeples Collective & Sistahs Laying Down Hands, playwright, director, poet, and producer was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brooklyn College in the performing arts department as well as H. B. Studio for acting and movement. In the early ’90s, Karen came to Philadelphia because of interest in the various entertainment venues. Ms. Smith was born with the love of rhythmic energy and embraced percussive instruments at an early age. Karen has played with many groups, performing artists, designed and produced various workshops as well as performed as the lead percussionist for Ms. Debbie Allen’s Artist in Residence program under the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. She also manages two of her own groups Sistahs Laying Down Hands, all-female percussive, poetry, storytelling, dance and drumming and Weez The Peeples Collective. Ms. Smith has written several plays with the most recent being Legacy the play and Legacy II, Where are the Tubmans? which premiered last March at Rowan College. “A Love that Forgives” based on the Birmingham Bombing in 1963 which premiere the Summer of 2017 at the Painted Bride Art Center. Currently, her focus is on the issues of mass incarceration and her next project, a musical entitled “Awoke” zooms in on the insensitivity and capitalism of this justice system “The Arts are healing resources for all and everyone is welcome to get some of this medicine”. Karen is currently a full-time Independent Artist and the Curator for Bi-Monthly Outbeat Jazzy Festivities and More music series at the William Way LGBT Center.
Debra Powell-Wright Bio
Debra Powell-Wright is a published essayist, award-winning performance poet, and writing workshop facilitator. Her artistic journey began in 1997 when she became the second-place recipient of the Audre Lorde/Sonia Sanchez Poetry Writing Award. Debra’s work can be found in BMa: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review, Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin & Marissa Alexander, Imagining the Black Female Body: Reconciling Image in Print and Virtual Culture, Check The Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees, Drum Voices Review, and in her self-published collection featuring writers from around the world, For Women: In Tribute to Nina Simone. Debra has performed with various ensembles including In The Company of Poets, For Women Collective, Nagohead, and SistahWrites. Debra is also honored to be invited as a guest percussionist with Karen Smith’s Sistahs Laying Down Hands.