Nikesha Elise Williams

You Can Always Talk to the Canvas

The Performers Academy gives students an outlet to create and cope.  The Performers Academy (TPA) is gearing up for a new school year and hoping to fill its enrollment roster for an after school program after coming off a whirlwind July. To start, they held the TPA Mural Festival to kick off the 10th anniversary of Camp Just Like Me, a three-week summer intensive that uses art as a tool for behavioral intervention for foster youth. Over the last 10 years the camp has served more than 500 Jacksonville teens in what has become the longest running partnership with Family …

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The Three Ds from Duval Dominating the Literary Scene

Jacksonville natives Deesha Philyaw, Dawnie Walton and Dantiel W. Moniz shake up the book world with works anchored in the experiences of Black womanhood.  “Do not set us up like this is some anomaly that happened,” Deesha Philyaw demands. Philyaw, the multiple award-winning author of the short story collection The Secret Lives of Church Ladies is adamant that she, along with authors Dawnie Walton and Dantiel W. Moniz are all (to borrow from Cardi B) “regular, schmegular, degular” born and bred Black women from Duval County who happen to be living their dreams in a major way.    Philyaw’s 2020 …

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