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Black Expressions

The Newsletter of the
International Black Writers and Artists, Inc.

Spring '98
IBWA's Agenda for the New Millennium
by Randy Ross

As the new millennium fast approaches, IBWA stands primed to celebrate twenty-five years of strong, creative support to black writers and artists everywhere. In anticipation of the quarter-century milestone, IBWA's board and membership have begun to reflect on IBWA's future. That future, according to an emerging consensus, lies in focusing our energies on exposing and recognizing talented writers and artists of color to ensure we are published, read, and seen. For the new millennium, we are thus committed to publishing, marketing and promoting a greater number of professional quality manuscripts by people of color than we produced during our first 25 years.

At the board's March 21 meeting, several ideas were advanced for realizing our new vision. Hazel Harrison proposed publishing workshops that would guide interested writers through the ABC's of the publishing process. I proposed an anthology of the works of prominent writers who grew up in, live in, or write about Los Angeles (for example, Octavia Butler, Walter Moseley, Eric Dickey, Gary Phillips, Stanley Crouch, BeBe Moore Campbell, Wanda Coleman). The book would include conversations that feret out the connection between art and artist, writer and what is written. In a related proposal, Butch Berry proposed a themed anthology of writings, illustrations, poetry, and stories. Key components of our publishing agenda are support to writers, marketing, and communication. Linda Hughes presented a plan for the creation of a new IBWA division to provide writers and artists with professional, affordable services such as manuscript evaluation and referrals to help them bring their work to fruition.

With respect to communication, thanks to Valiant Robinson, we are on the Internet. C. Jerome Woods is working on a plan to exploit the Internet to facilitate communication among writers and artists internationally. In mid-April we are convening a one-day board retreat to put flesh on our proposals and hammer out action plans that describe in detail where we're going and how we're going to get there. While I am enormously excited about the shape of our agenda for the new millennium, a key point echoed throughout our recent strategy meetings is that our plans to move forward will be successful only if you, the members of IBWA, are generous with your help. We need your energy. We need your encouragement. We need your support.

Onward and upward!


"Spring Fling" Social Network Meeting - Saturday, May 16 - 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Graciously hosted by artists Timothy Washington & Monica Pecco in their fabulous artists' retreat home at 4008 Hubert Avenue, Los Angeles. Please call Sibylla Nash at (213) 964-3721 to RSVP or for further information

The afternoon will include food, networking and a tour of our hosts' fine art installations-- an experience to inspire and enlighten--one not soon to be forgotten. Looking for an editor, cover art, illustrator or...? Look here! This event is free.
Why not bring a check for your membership dues if not current? One guest per member, please.

From the Chairman of the Board






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