WHO ARE WE?
DR. REYNALDO ANDERSON, co-founder, executive director
Dr. Reynaldo Anderson currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Communcations and Chair of the Department of Humanities at Harris-Stowe State University. Anderson is also the chapter advisor for the NAACP. Dr. Anderson has published extensive research documenting the African American experience in the Communication Studies field and recently co-authored an essay on the topic of Afrofuturism and Kanye West in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. He is editor of the book Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness to be published spring 2015 by Lexington Books. He is a past chair of the Black Caucus of the National Communication Association. Also,
Dr. Anderson serves as an executive board member of the Missouri Arts Council and supports the inclusion of art in K-12 education, focusing on the importance of the arts in relation to the economic and intellectual vitality of the community. Dr. Anderson was recognized in 2010 for his efforts in the humanities with an exemplary community leadership award from Governor Jay Nixon. Dr. Anderson was recently appointed as a Development Ambassador for the Sekyere (pronounced Se-Sharay) Afram Plains District in the country of Ghana to support the U.N. Millennium goals and promote the socio-economic empowerment of women and youth.
MAIA “CROWN” WILLIAMS , co-founder, executive coordinator
Maia Williams, also known as “Crown”, is executive assistant to many different businesses, artists, and events in the Metro Detroit area. Crown is founder of Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts (MECCAcon), Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM), MECCAcon International Film Festival, Cooking Ciphers, and The Cutaway, and the Executive Manager of the official #noJUSTICEnoPROFIT.
BSAM and MECCAcon are globally traveling afrofuturism, comic book, and film conventions and festivals that occur all year long in major cities and countries. BSAM was co-founded by Dr Reynaldo Anderson in 2016. MECCAcon was founded in 2013 in Detroit. She is an executive assistant, event coordinating, and mass promotion company. Small Businesses, Events, Marketing, Authors, Musicians, Spoken Word/Poets, Artists, and more.
“My main objective of everything I do is to strengthen, build, protect, and grow. I instill those in each and every business, event, and project that i sign my name next to. Our people will only rise when we learn to stand up. In order for our community to grow, we must BE a community.”
Executive Assistant, Event Coordinator, Comic-Con organizer, Chef, Jeweler, and more, she is a ‘sistah’ with many crowns, and takes the size and fit of each one seriously.
QUENTIN VERCETTY, Canadian representative, founder of BSAM Canada
Quentin VerCetty, a.k.a. Di Astronautty, is that award winning, art making, chess playing, locs swinging, community building, wine sipping, chocolate loving, space traveling contemporary griot (storyteller) who knows no boundaries when it comes to his artistic expression. His work includes using the media of painting, illustration, graphic designing, 3D computer generated renderings like holography and animation, street murals, photography, spoken word poetry and West African Drumming. Currently the newly appointed art educator at the Art Gallery of Ontario,
VerCetty’s current body of work is about artivism with an Afro-futuristic lens, exploring speculative narratives to address issues of representation, youth generation inclusion, immigration, mobility, deBerlinization (the decolonization of Africa and the Caribbean and it’s made up political borders) and alienation. As an art-repreneur, he runs his own fine arts production operation called VerCetty Made it Studios and is also founder and Director of a youth focused, chess inspired social enterprise called PRIYOME (www.priyomechess.wordpress.com).
In October 2016, VerCetty officially launched BSAM: Canada in Toronto, Ontario at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD), and began working to push the movement across the AfriXin diaspora. www.vercetty.com | @qcetty (on all social media platforms), BSAMcanada@gmail.com
SHEREEN “ODD ONE” WEIR, BSAM Canada, executive coordinator
Black woman she name! Her back BROAD and it broad fi a reason.
Born in the very early 90s, Jamaican contemporary artist Kareen “OddOne” Weir is the Dancehall Queen loving, come-unity likkle Spanish Town girl who never see nuh other way of life but the one Jah did done carve out fi her in the Arts. Weir has been having a discourse on how it is she defines her empowerment in the Canadian space as a black female in the hopes that it will impact someone enough for them to look at their lives and experiences and raise, or answer, questions about their own personal empowerment. A visual storyteller in her own right,
Kareen’s art merges her sense of self, Jamaican roots and her identitiy as a black woman. She recognizes and resonates with her blackness and her femininity and constantly explores these facets of herself in her storytelling, sculpture and mural painting. Weir has also recently completed the Artist Shaman Exhibit Residency and Performing Artist Development Initiative Year 1 Residency at The Watah Theatre under the direction and tutelage of d’bi anitafrika where she also received the award for “Oustanding Script Development”.
TIFFANY E. BARBER, BSAM Art Curator
Tiffany E. Barber is a scholar, curator, and writer of twentieth and twenty-first century visual art and performance, focusing on artists of the black diaspora working in the United States. She has completed scholarly and curatorial projects on topics such as Afrofuturism, dark humor and the African American image, contemporary black dance, technology and the self, and black visual culture in the post-civil rights American South.
Barber’s writing has appeared in Dance Research Journal, CAA Reviews, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, Beautiful / Decay, Art Focus Oklahoma, and various exhibition catalogs, anthologies, and online publications, the most recent of which are Prospect.3: Notes for Now (2014), Works on Paper from the Collection of the Sheldon Museum of Art (2016), and Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astroblackness (2016). She earned a PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester in 2017.
To to contact us for more information, please email us at BSAMstaff@gmail.com or BSAMcanada@gmail.com. You can also contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.