ARTSPEAK presents, Stanley E. Banks, NedRa Bonds and Anna-Maria Kretzer

Stanley  E.  Banks is an  Assistant Professor  and  Artist-In-Residence  at  Avila  University since  1997.  Banks  had  his 5th  book  of  poetryBLUE  ISSUESpublished  in  2013  by  Naomi  Bards Press  in  Kansas  City,  Missouri.  His  other  4  books  are  BLUE  BEAT  SYNCOPATION  (2003),  ON  10th  ALLEY  WAY  (1981),  COMING  FROM  A  FUNKY  TIME  AND  PLACE (1988),  and  RHYTHM  AND  GUTS  (1992).  While  attending  Howard  University  in  Washington,  D.C.  as  a   Graduate  student  in  the  Fall  of   1980,   he  met  Sterling  Brown,  the  great  Harlem  Renaissance  poet,  and  in  the  following  year,  he  received  the  Langston  Hughes  Prize  For  Poetry.  He  has  won  Honorary  Awards   which  include  a  Proclamation  For  Achievement  in  2002  from  the  Mayor  of  Kansas  City,   Missouri,  and  for  the  entire  year  of   2002,   his  life  and  history  in  publishing  was  exhibited  at  The  Black  Archives  of   Mid-America ,  Inc.  Further,  in  1989  he  was  awarded  the  National  Endowment  for  the  Arts  Fellowship/Grant  for  his  poetry.  He  has  been  published  in  many literary magazines/journals  around  the  country.

NedRa Bonds was born in Kansas City, Kansas into a family of quilters.  As an adult, she used the skills she learned as a child, to create the Quindaro Quilt, that highlighted images of the history of Quindaro, Kansas, where she grew up.  The quilt played an important role in establishing recognition for Quindaro, as a part of the National Underground Railroad system of Historic Trails.

NedRa taught quilting in Nairobi, Kenya; Arusha, Tanzania, and Port au Prince, Haiti. In 2008, she participated in an American Studies Association conference, in Istanbul, Turkey, where she presented quilt images she created.

In 2011, she received an Arts KC inspiration grant that was instrumental in the creation of the quilt celebrating the 40th anniversary of the UMKC Women’s Center.  That quilt has been recognized by the University of Michigan and the University of Nebraska as an outstanding community effort in addressing social justice.

Last year, NedRa received a Rocket Grant from the Charlotte Street Foundation of Kansas City. The grant allowed her to celebrate local heroes, by introducing them to public school children, who then created images based on what they learned.  She then converted the images into quilts that are displayed in various locations, throughout the community.

NedRa recently completed a commission for the Chief’s Football Team collection  housed at Arrowhead Stadium.

Anna-Maria Kretzer is an independent curator who specializes in fiber and community art.  Past exhibits she has worked on include the Craft, Care, and Justice Hub at the Charlotte Street Project Space and Quilted Friendship: The Art of NedRa Bonds and Nancy Dawson at the Miller Nichols Library. She is currently a graduate student t UMKC where she is writing her Master’s thesis on local fiber artist NedRa Bonds.

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