Artspeak Radio with HJ’s, Jemshed Khan, and Chico Sierra

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, November 24, 2021, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes writer/poet Jemshad Khan, artist/writer Chico Sierra, and Linny Carrier with Zach Beall with HJ’s Youth and Community Center.

LINNY CARRIER, HJ’s Gallery Curator-Long-time Brookside and Waldo residents remember the South town YMCA on the lot across from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. For decades, the Y was a community gathering spot, hosting Southwest High School parties, dance lessons, and summer afternoons at the pool. In 1990, Kansas City business leader and philanthropist John Latshaw donated the property to St. Andrew’s, and the old Y became HJ’s Youth and Community Center, named for Latshaw’s son. The facility served St. Andrew’s and the neighborhood for years, hosting Boy Scout Troop 16, the church’s youth ministry, and community events.
Now, our new HJ’s Youth and Community Center stands as a hub of blessing for St. Andrew’s and our South town neighborhoods – a gathering spot off the Trolley Track Trail for coffee and conversation, an event venue, the home of Troop 16 and other youth ministries, and a connecting point to build relationships between people and with God.

JEMSHAD KHAN is a long time Kansas City resident and writer. His parents were born in India and migrated to the US in the ’60s. Khan has published numerous poems in the US and internationally. Poems have appeared in Midwestern journals such as I-70 Review, Chiron, and Coal City Review. Khan is active with The Kansas City Writers Place and in 2020 he was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His latest book, Speech in an Age of Certainty is mostly activist poetry and available from and available at independent bookstores in Kansas City, Lawrence, and Topeka . He has almost completed an illustrated book length epic poem related to the Mayan Hero Twins in collaboration with artist Leonard Greco. He last appeared on Artspeak Radio in 2017.
Khan is a prize-winning poet who has published activist works in the United States and internationally. Combining imagery and narrative technique, he takes the reader on compelling journeys into the times, locations and situations that underpin and drive much of the present demand for change.
His poems touch and connect many shores, from Black Lives Matter to hurricanes in Puerto Rico, from the Mayflower to Homan Square. From WW2 Japan to Standing Rock protests. He fiercely illustrates our past and ongoing battles against genocide, extractive energy, brutal policing, war-for-profit, and more in page turning, provocative lyric form.
Speech in an Age of Certainty by J. Khan was published in 2021.

CHICO SIERRA- As a multi-disciplinary artist my goal is always to move people. I aim to either change their understanding or verify their ideas.  Through sculpture, music, photography, murals and illustration, I’ve created a lexicon of symbolism that fits into each medium. My work is political and at the same time very personal. Growing up in a multi-ethnic/racial family in poverty surrounded by folks economically ostracized, I believe I was gifted with a unique empathy. This empathy allows me to find pressure points in society’s psyche, and then exploit those points to challenge deeply held notions. Within my work I include symbols of my mixed heritage and different influences from pop culture, science fiction, and spirituality. There is a mingling of ideas and subjects that are unexpected in messages of social justice, but make sense in the context I create. In that creation I explore a future and a past rewritten to include people of color as deities and heroes in a very real struggle. I look to expand on my artistic vocabulary and activism in the region and explore the best ways to communicate with people of varying backgrounds by using different mediums.


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