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Juneteenth: A Celebration of Poetry with Amanda Shea

June 24th @ 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Amanda Shea is a two-time Boston Music Award-winning Spoken Word Artist. Shea is an artist, performer, educator, artivist, publicist, host, and curator. She co-founded and curated six iterations of Activating ARTivism, a community festival to amplify POC through art, activism, and resistance. Her work can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts, The Boston Globe, TEDX, TEDXRoxbury, Netflix, Prime Video, BBC News, GBH, and much more. Shea will be releasing her first book, “Pieces of Shea” in the Spring of 2024. Amanda’s work examines her personal life experiences, social justice issues, and healing through trauma utilizing art as the tool.

To celebrate Juneteenth, and showcase the brilliant and diverse voices of Boston’s spoken word community, Shea is set to present an exceptional line-up of talented individuals to the UnCommon Stage. This group consists of an array of artists and poets who are blazing their trails in the world of the spoken word. Included in this exciting line-up are the likes of the incredibly gifted Helina Almonte, the uniquely talented Maya McNeill, D Ruff, the co-host of Feel It, Speak It, Boston’s only monthly open mic movement dedicated to voices & experiences of the LGBTQ+ communities of color, and cultural pillar and musical innovator Najee Janey. These performances will be complemented by the masterful mixing of Boston’s own DJ Kenny Mascary.

Social Media: @amandasheaallday

Website: https://www.amandashea.com/

Helina Almonte is a student at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a teaching artist. She practices her art through the mediums of poetry and experimental video.

Maya Divine is a spoken-word artist whose art speaks of self-evolution. She uses an instrument for advocacy, self-expression, and more importantly, healing. As she pours words on a paper, she finds herself promoting this idea of “Divine Evolution”, that things are constantly changing and evolving. She believes her words touch hearts through the power of the tongue.

D.Ruff is a 2022 Boston Music Award Spoken Word Artist Of The Year nominee. D is a Roxbury-bred artist, performer, educator, artivist, and host. He co-hosted “if you can Feel It, you can Speak It” Open Mic movement for fourteen years. “Feel it, Speak it” is the only monthly Non-elitist and non-pretentious open mic dedicated to providing a platform of expression to the queer communities, and invites EVERYONE to bless the mic, regardless of their identity and talent. His work can be found in the CBS News, Museum of Science, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Boston Globe, GBH and much more. He has also released his first book, Staying on 94: Tales from a Misguided Soul in the Fall of 2012 and is setting up for re-release in 2025. D.Ruff performs with inspiring passion in hopes that someone of color, will also want to find a way to express themselves, find that “tribe” and do it all, with the intention of leaving all the hurt, pain, and negativity, right where it was showcased. 

Najee Janey, an emerging rapper-songwriter hailing from Roxbury, Boston, has been honing his music skills since his teenage years. With several projects under his belt, including “Blue Manifesto”, “The Purple Earth Theory”, and “As-Is”, he has carved out a unique niche in the rap and R&B landscape. His music has been recognized and streamed worldwide. In addition to his solo endeavors, Najee has lent his writing and production talents to artists like Sebastian Mikael and helloSIXX. His work has also graced TV screens and films, collaborating with renowned platforms such as HBO, BET, and Atlantic Records. At present, Najee is juggling multiple projects while planning a concert tour. His versatile sound that transcends genre boundaries is showcased in his latest release What’s Crackin and his contributions to Atlantic Records R&B artist Sebastian Mikael‘s albums. With a promising future ahead, Najee Janey remains committed to elevating his craft in his journey as a dedicated artist, songwriter, and creative entrepreneur.

Originally from Haiti, KNSZWRTH (pronouns: he/him) first arrived in Boston for college in 2004. Kenny then cut his teeth at mission-driven organizations like the West End House Boys and Girls Club, Cambridge Youth Programs, the Cambridge Public Library and more recently, Now + There, before joining the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture as Chief of Staff. As a DJ, therapeutic mentor, film photographer, board certified basketball referee, and plant dad, Kenny is passionate about connecting with communities and individuals that share a passion and excitement around conversations and experiences that open minds and help co-create spaces to celebrate the creative diversity of Boston’s dynamic and ever-changing cultural fabric.