DrMyers’s Blog

December 7, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump: DC Arts Community Speaks Out #REformanceArt

 

 

 

This press release went out on Monday (12/5) as a response to the election of President-Elect Donald Trump.

DC Arts Community Sends Message to Donald Trump

 

Washington, DC, December 5, 2016 – DC based Jazz artists and presenters gathered to video a message to President-Elect Donald Trump this past Wednesday and Thursday, releasing the video online Saturday, December 3rd.  Organized as “REformanceArt,” these artists outlined their love for their city, and what expectations they have for the President-Elect.  Fifteen local artists met at Studio202 on Rhode Island Ave, NE, and the result is an open letter, that many are calling brave, chilling, and tone appropriate.
“I gave myself forty-eight hours to wrap my head around the election,” Aaron Myers, a local Jazz vocalist and activist said when asked about the project.  “After those forty-eight hours were up, I decided to look at what I could do to not only encourage my audience, but to also protect them.  After speaking with saxophonist Herb Scott, I thought that there was no reason for us sit idly by hoping for the best, but to be actively engaged with our local and federal officials to protect my rights, the rights of my fellow musicians, and the rights of our audience members.”
The group that came together at Busboys and Poets, just two days after the election, and discussed a unifying direction. “After the election results, I felt empty.  I felt as if all I had worked for as an artists promoting social change was lost. Pointless; until I got together with some DC artists one morning and let me tell you, REformanceArt was the answer,”said Mark Meadows, who starred this past season in “Jelly’s Last Jam” at Signature Theater.
At this initial meeting, the name “REformanceArt” was adopted.  The meaning is simple; artists who “Perform to Reform” with the goal of using their platforms to not only entertain, but to also empower audiences.  “Artists exist, and are to be heard!” said Emcee Dior Ashley Brown, a long-time DC arts activist.  “We are the creative economy, we are innovators, and leaders of society, infrastructure, influence, we add to, and balance society.”  This tone can be felt by many of the artists who have grown increasingly irritated by not feeling heard in recent months with the closing of many venues many musicians relied on for work, practice, and even shelter.  Now with the looming WMATA safe track, and early closures, many service industry workers fear their jobs (which are apart of the creative economy) are in jeopardy.
“We are looking to take our influence not only to the streets of DC, but to the halls of congress, and into the strategy rooms of upcoming elections.  It is our goal to form a PAC, and use the creativity we have on stage, to aid candidates that share our ideals elected into office.” said Myers.  The organization has been in communication with the offices of Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, along with Andre Carson.  “We reached out to both sides of the isle for guidance, and to have our voice heard,” Myers continued, “however, we’ve only heard back from the Democratic leaders so far.”
One concerning change expected with the new administration is the change of intentionality inclusion of the arts, and artists at the White House, and the plight of many in the creative economy when crafting strategy.  Programs like the Affordable Care Act, if abolished, could leave many entrepreneurs, artists, and small businesses without coverage.  “I would like to see President Elect Trump improve on the wonderful things our current President has done with highlighting what critical role creatives play in our society, and how valuable the Arts are for all human beings.” said saxophonist Herb Scott.
REformanceArt will be having its’ launch event Friday, December 9 from 6pm – 9pm, hosted at the home of David Weiner. 21 Gessford Court S.E. Washington DC 20003 along with the Capitol Hill Jazz Jam & DC Jazz Lobby. 

May 25, 2016

My Ode to DC’s Budget Autonomy

image1 (9)Today, I’ve watched members of congress on C-SPAN give their opinions in regards to Budget Autonomy for Washington DC.

For those of you who do not know, not only are the residents of Washington DC (like me) not given a vote in Congress (our Delegate is not given a vote), but Washington DC is not given budget autonomy (freedom from external control or influence).

The District of Columbia wants the ability to create their budgets, implement their budgets, and do what’s best in the interests of the citizens of Washington DC.  There has even been a court order in support of that.

However, this Republican lead Congress doesn’t want to see this happen.   Delegate Norton, has passionately tried to make her voice heard through reason, rallied others to support, but still to no avail.

 

As a Jazz artist, I only know one way to express my disgust towards our Congress in regards to this issue.  Below are the lyrics to my song “Home Rule” that will be included on my upcoming album “The PRIDE” which will be released later this year.  These words describe my disappointment in some Representatives who would rather be referred to as “Master” in the Big House.

“Home Rule”

(V1)

There’s a plantation where sharecroppers toil

With sweat on their brow, and blood in the soil.

A building sits there, passing laws every day,

New people arrive, while the natives move away.

It seems unreal, but they have no autonomy,

Some call it the Capitol, but it’s home to me.

(V2)
Millionaires walk around, flooding every street

Giving sullen looks to the poor that they meet

Hired cars, shuffle the people around,

Then & Now, how it’s changed this town.

We asked for our money, they took our authority,

Some may call it Washington, but it’s home to me.

(Bridge)
Taxation without representation you’ll hear the old folks say.
The Good ole masters throw their parties, and then look the other way.
Once a year, they let us, celebrate emancipation day,
Then up to work from dawn to dusk, then home again to pray.

(V3)

To my Delegate I pass a simple note.

She tries to speak our stories in the big house, but they took away her vote.

Dollar after dollar is scrutinized, then a budget they’ll make.
Only to pass it to the authorities, and they’ll tell us what we can take.

You may ask, is this America or a special on TV.

No, it’s just our plantation, Our home, we call it DC.

 

 

 

September 5, 2012

Politics & Entertainment: A Personal Note from Aaron Myers!

To My Supporters,

Image

Aaron Myers

I come to you today as you have probably been flooded with remarks, articles, concerns and opinions about the political conventions that have been taking place over the last two weeks.  As many of you, I too have questions and have watched, listened, and still look forward to what will play out on November 6.  As an entertainer who has run for office, I view these events with amusement on many fronts and have come to this conclusion: The integrity of each party will be defined by their ability to compromise.    

 
At this moment, I am preparing to remind the American People to smile and find unity through entertainment.  On Friday September 7th, I will be hosting a Free Live Jazz Show at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington DC from 9:30pm – 12:30am.    This week I will be also joined by spoken word artist/poet Kavon Ward.
 
People who attend will have the opportunity to also donate to my new project Leo Rising , which will allow me the opportunity to record at Avatar Studios in New York City, New York.  The team that I have assembled has put together a project that will be Grammy Worthy, and with your support we can complete it!  Please take a look at Leo Rising on KickStarter.com, donate, and tell all of your contacts about it!  Reaching our goal is the only way we will be able to secure the funds to make this happen…I am depending on you!
 
As always, I am appreciative of your support, and would not be able to inspire others through my expression of art without it.  Please know, my love for all of you runs deeper than words will allow me to articulate.  Your continued support has been and will be a continued dream come true.
 
So remember, if no one today told you that they loved you, I love you and there is nothing you can do about it.
 
Yours Truly,
 
Aaron Myers
Leo Rising
 
 

 

November 18, 2008

In The Hot Seat: Say It Aint So Joe…Lieberman

Two Doors Down Coffee House, is a small, quaint coffee house in Corsicana, Texas.  This small country community, only has about 30,000 people buzzing around on the streets, but this establishment has added life, hope, and a sense of home to all the artistic, unique, old & young…this place does not discriminate, but it loves & welcomes all.  Yesterday, as I checked my email, an older gentleman who I’ve known for a few months, walked in and was glad to see I had come back to town.  “If you had not of gone to Florida, my guy would’ve won”, he said as the patrons all broke into laughter.  Texans, will be Texans, and lets face it, Obama did not win Texas!  No one was upset, no one was offended, at the coffee house, my involvement within this election was appreciated by both sides.  At the coffee shop, we got a good laugh and took it all in stride.

Today on the Hill, there was no laughing matter.  “To reward Senator Lieberman with a major committee chairmanship would be a slap in the face of millions of Americans who worked tirelessly for Barack Obama and who want to see real change in our country,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in a statement Friday.  When Joe Lieberman dawned the steps of the capital this morning, he new he was going to the Hot Seat.

Before we examine the outcome, lets take a look at the track record of Sen. Leiberman.  Sen. Leiberman assumed office January 3, 1989.  It is very, very safe to say that Sen. Leiberman had pleased his constiuents back in Connecticut.  Lieberman made history by winning the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes.  A “Maverick” in his own right, he was one of the first Democrats on the Hill to address President Clinton’s involvement with Monica Lewinsky.   So respected, Lieberman accepted the offer coveted by many but attained by few, the VP Spot on the 2000 Democratic Ticket.  After the loss, he became chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, again a key spot of trust and responsibility within the Democratic Party.  In 2004 he scored 88 out of 100 by the Human Rights Campaign, but lost 5 out of 5 primaries, and ended his bid for the White house.

Something happened in 2006 that shocked everyone.  After loosing the primaries in his state, he ran as an Independent despite advice from Howard Dean, and Hillary’s support for the Party Primary Winner.  Joe worked his magic, and won his old seat, pledging to sit as a Democrat in the Senate.  And sat he did, he played along just fine with everyone.  The dust had just began to settle, more attention was being focused on another hard fought senate seat by a young up and comer, the Democratic Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama.  Ten months and seven days after Barack Obama threw his hat in the ring for President, Joe Lieberman decided it was time to endorse.  And what was thought to be, another hard fought endorsement between several Democratic Contestors, the endorsement went to another man who had previously fought hard to win a bid for the White House as well…John McCain.

Shocked, bewildered, confused, and frankly astonished at his actions, time could not stop nor did he take it back.  The months began to fly by, and as Hillary debated Barack, John McCain sowed up the nomination for the Republican Party with his now “Good Friend”, Joe Lieberman by his side.  What was amazing, is the number of people who were just entering the political process for the first time, who would email me confused at why Democrats would be upset with Joe, “he just moved from being a Republican to being an Independent right?”.  “Say it Aint So Joe…Lieberman” would be the response from the person realizing that we had a rogue Democrat on our hands, and traveling on the Straight Talk Express, Joe was preaching the Gospel of Reform, and Country First.  If you think back hard enough, I think most Americans were more surprised that John McCain did not choose Joe Lieberman for VP pick, rather than why he chose Sarah Palin.  To be honest, the shock for both are equal.  Nonetheless, Joe made his bed and took a long nap in it.  

On November 4th, when the count was in, most constituents surely thought Joe was out, and that was it.  But Say It Aint So Joe…Lieberman, he worked that magic once again but it didn’t work.  For once, there was nothing he could do to justify the neglect of his faithfulness to his pledge and promise to the Democrats in the party.  Blazing away, his seat was awaiting for him this morning, and only the “God’s” could tell what could happen.  Friday, one Senator commented that keeping Joe in his seat was not the change we could believe in, and if this was “Business as Usual”, Joe would would probably be taking up plumbing for a trade, and leaving the politicking to more loyal servants.  

Something amazing happened today on the Hill, and I believe it speaks volumes over all the rhetoric you hear, and the assumptions we make about the filth in politics.  Since November 4th, this country has started practicing a principle that I thought was forgotten…the principle of ONE!  One Nation, Indivisible, not divided, no holding grudges, moving on, working together, looking forward not backward.  It’s becoming more of an atmosphere of “We” the people, not just the people working independently.  Yesterday rivals sat down and met, today Joe Lieberman retained a key spot within the party, and tomorrow the news will report that although not always pleased or happy with each other, United we continue to stand.

Frankly, as a Democrat my self, I am quite astonished that the hot seat didn’t incinerate the Senator:  Say It Aint So Joe…Lieberman.

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