Take the #CowboyBebopChallenge and Buy a Concert Ticket for a Local Student!

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Ten years ago this month, back when I was a full-time magazine editor, I had the pleasure of witnessing the birth of a dream in real time.

I’d spent several months in late 2007/early 2008 shadowing a local teacher named Betsey Zenk and her autistic student Latron Dodd. Latron didn’t read, write or talk but he had perfect pitch. Betsey used her music therapy background to connect with him through music. Shortly before winter break, she taught Latron some chords on a piano. When he returned, he was playing parts of “Moonlight Sonata.” Betsey was amazed. Through music, she began to see something come alive in Latron and she wanted to nurture that spark. Read More

Steampunk Character Building Workshop at WordPlay Creative Writing Center!

2015091995180832Think steampunk is just for adults? Think again! Kids can get into steampunk, too! Ofeibea Loveless of Airship Ashanti and the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance will lead a steampunk character building workshop as part of WordPlay‘s Science Fiction Saturdays on Nov. 21! Students — 6 and up — will learn about steam technology and then work in groups to create narratives for their steampunk characters! Saturday, Nov. 21, noon to 2 p.m., WordPlay Creative Writing Center, 4041 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223 (Northside). No cost. For more information, contact WordPlay at 513-541-0930 or info@wordplaycincy.org.

Being Black and Female in Steampunk

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When I started getting into steampunk a couple of years ago, my first question was “There’s no slavery in this, right?” I was met with a very emphatic “NO!” It’s not like I didn’t have a right to ask. Any hobby that takes bits and pieces from a century that was horrific for at least 95% of the world’s population gets a very strong and lingering side eye. I began to feel more comfortable with steampunk when I stopped thinking about it from the standpoint of what was and started visualizing what never was but could’ve been. That, however, took some work.

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