New for Sweet Molasses Blues 2018
If you are interested in participating in the Living Legacies program as a partial/full scholarship recipient or if you are interested in donating more than the Supporter tiers as a pass sponsor, please contact LivingLegacies@sweetmolassesblues.com .
About the Living Legacies Program, in a message from Faye:
Hello and thank you for your interest in Sweet Mo’. We are going to have a blast this year!
I want to take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Kanda Faye, a blues dancer and organizer in Boston. You might know me simply as “Faye from Boston.”
I’ve been dancing blues in this community for a few years now, and it never escapes my notice that I am often one of the only people of color in these dance rooms. More often, I am also the only Black person in the room. Which is a point of contention amongst the community at large right now, as we are a predominantly white community doing African American dances.
Last year, I spent the summer traveling to as many swing and blues workshop weekends as I could fit into my budget and schedule because I LOVE this dance. And for the first time, I found myself surrounded by Black folks from other communities. For an entire summer, I was surrounded by people of color where I didn’t have to code switch, or hide parts of myself. I formed bonds many people living across the US who have experiences and community concerns that are similar to my own. I felt seen. This dance is part of my heritage and, for the first time, being in this community felt like coming home.
Dancers of color are the living legacies of hundreds of years of the hardship, triumph, resilience, joy, pain, love, comedy, etc., that inspires the Blues we know and love. But we often feel isolated in our home communities and have to venture outside of them to see faces that look like ours. While I hope this will change in the near future, workshop weekends still serve as a way for us to get to know each other and build community. Of course, these events can be quite expensive, and I am ever cognizant of the intersections of race and socioeconomic concerns.
In the spirit of eliminating financial barriers for dancers of color, Sweet Mo 2018 will offer special passes to dancers of color who would not otherwise be able to attend our event for financial reasons. Special passes will vary based how much are you able to pay – starting under the subsidized pass, so between $0-$114. We still have sliding scale registration to help all dancers with financial need and we still encourage everyone to register at the highest tier they can afford, to help us accomplish this goal and to help subsidize passes for other low-income attendees.
Faye is a member of Sweet Molasses Blues’s staff.