Tag Archives: harlem

Notes From the 6 Train: Finding Work That Fills Up You

I’m really enjoying my internship with the Laundromat Project. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of helping out my artist, Elvira Clayton, at the Harlem Art’s Festival. We were in the kid’s corner, where we had a live drummer, with an accompanying (evolving) drum circle. We also had materials to make mini djembes for anyone to take home to continue the music at home!


Despite the challenging weather we experienced at the Harlem’s Art Festival, there was an incredible turnout at our table. And I know why.

The drums.

It brought together every community member possible. Little kids wandered over, with their older siblings and parents following close behind. At one point, an elder, master drummer even stopped by to play for a bit.


That’s when I remembered, why drums are so enticing. I never forget this fact, but it’s moments like this that reaffirm, usually more passionately than before, that powerful nature of the drum. It’s an obvious reminder of our humanity, as it mirrors the sound of our shared heartbeats. This is even more poignant when there’s a troupe of drums. Strangers who didn’t even exchange names, were connected, if only for a moment, by playing together.

Not only do drums remind of us our shared humanity, but creates the perfect catalyst for community building. Everyone wants to touch the drum, beat and feel the rhythm of the drum. Even the shyest and most hesitant of passerby’s found themselves enraptured in the majestic nature of the drum circle.


As my graduation swiftly approaches, I am paying attention to work that fills me up, makes me feel whole, and this community engaging work does it for sure. That’s what I plan on doing after I graduate.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: All For Afrofuturism


As a student I’m always trying to do free things (duh) and as I’m sure you’ve noticed before, I’m a bit of a museum buff. A few weeks ago I visited The Studio Museum with a friend. The Studio Museum is one of those famous landmarks that every borough has. Located right on 125th in Harlem, it’s in the heart of history. 125th is a pillar of black history, it is known as the hub for black excellence and revolution. Harlem is home to the Harlem Renaissance to the place where Malcolm X was assassinated nearly ( # of years ago.) 125th remains the place where the African American Day Parade is held Annually, and where Studio Museum is located.On Sunday’s, it’s free and there’s usually an activity; an artist performance, discussion, or storytelling for children.


The exhibit “The Shadows Took Shape,” about Afrofuturism, a concept inspired by an esoteric poem written by Sun Ra. Afrofuturism refers to “a creative and intellectual genre that emerged as a strategy to explore science fiction, fantasy, magical realism and pan-Africanism.” (Studio Museum) The exhibit featured 29 artists of the African diaspora and was simply stunning. The Afrofuturism concept was displayed through all types of media; film, poetry, photography, etc. and thought provoking and mentally tangible, the perfect blend of esoteric & understandably abstract. It captured many of the complexities and magical magnificence people of the African diaspora have maintained across the globe. If the cold has been driving you indoors, take a trip uptown to remember how enchanting we all can be by entering the world of Afrofuturism, a place where recalls just how magical they are.

Below I have posted the links to link to the museum and the blog for “The Shadows Took Shape.”


All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.