Cocoa Cabaret CHARITY ALERT: Never The Less, Inc.

405642fa3d5d2625fde608f1c0f2feceIn addition to having fun and nerding out, we at the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance want to give back to our communities. As a result, half of the proceeds from next month’s Cocoa Cabaret will go to Never The Less, Inc. NTL’s mission is to provide services for girls ages 12-17 that promote character, confidence, self-sufficiency and sustainability. Find out more about the organization at www.neverthelessinc.com.

Cocoa Cabaret PERFORMANCE ALERT: Julius Jenkins of The Millennium Robots

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Julius “Eclypse” Jenkins will perform at the Cocoa Cabaret on Feb. 6! Julius has been studying street-style dances for 15 years, and after earning his stripes in the underground battle scene, he created The Millennium Robots. His unique robot-style moves has allowed him to become a professional street style dancer. He’s opened for and performed with several national and international acts that include Lupe Fiasco, Black Thought of The Roots, Flux Pavilion and Rusko.

When he’s not performing he’s doing workshops and educating the local youth about hip-hop and street- style dancing. He’s also created an event called “Heroes Rise,” which hosts street-style dance battles to help raise awareness and pay homage to those in the community helping to keep the various street arts alive in Cincinnati.

Cocoa Cabaret VENDOR ALERT: Salathiel Palland, Off the Beaten Path Books

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Salathiel Palland, proprietress of Off the Beaten Path Books in Farmington, Mich., will be doing steampunk tarot readings at the Cocoa Cabaret next month! Off the Beaten Path is the Midwest’s only steampunk-themed bookstore, and Sal has created an environment where people can come together to express their love of steampunk, comics, sci-fi and other genres. If you’re on the steampunk convention circuit, you may have seen her at a number of cons, including World Steam Expo, the Steampunk Empire Symposium, Wild Wild West Con, and TeslaCon, to name a few. Stop by her table at the cabaret and let her amaze you! And you learn more about Sal’s wonderful store at her GoFundMe campaign page.

Midwest BSFA Presents: The Cocoa Cabaret

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Calling all Afrofuturists, steampunks and dieselpunks…get yo @ss to the past that never was at the Cocoa Cabaret! DJ Apryl Reign, 2010 Red Bull Thre3Style regional winner, will spin a set of electroswing/house music and there will be a costume contest for the best-dressed attendees. Tarot card reader, jewelry vendors and more. Don’t forget to dress in steampunk/dieselpunk/Roaring ’20s attire! Admission: $5. 8-11 p.m., The Greenwich. 2442 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills (Cincinnati, Ohio 45206)

For the uninitiated, steampunk is “a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery and is often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American ‘Wild West’ in which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power” (think movies like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Steamboy, Howl’s Moving Castle and Hugo). In recent years, more people of color who are interested in steampunk – African-Americans, Hispanics, Indians, Asians and the indigenous people of what is now known as the Americas, etc. – have been forging their own way in the genre in an attempt to include other parts of the world in this universe. From literature to fashion to music, minorities are putting their own spin on what has traditionally been a populated by mostly white authors and creators.

The Cocoa Cabaret is an attempt to draw more POCs into steampunk and should be a healthy mix of veterans steampunks and newbies. Don’t know what to wear? If you’re in the Cincinnati area, Ofeibea Loveless is doing “Steampunk Your Closet” consultations. Email her at captainloveless@gmail.com to schedule one today!