2018 Media Burn artists in residence: Nancy Buchanan and Barry Dolins

Nancy Buchanan: Message to the Grassroots tv program

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Message to the Grassroots was a live cable access program focused on police violence and urban community organizing. It aired from 1988 to 1998, and was produced in Pasadena, CA by Michael Zinzun. Zinzun (1946-2006), was a former Black Panther, tireless community organizer, and architect of the 1992 Watts gang truce. Buchanan, a Los Angeles artist who uses various media to bring social realities into view, acted as Associate Producer, camera person, editor, and sometime host of Message to the Grassroots. Since Zinzun’s passing, she has acted to preserve his legacy and as many of the programs as possible.

Taking its name from a speech by Malcolm X, Message to the Grassroots featured topics like, “Is Your Police Department Breeding Racism?” (1991) that unfortunately are still very relevant to social justice movements today.

Barry Dolins: Chicago blues tapes

Barry Dolins’ love for the blues began as a teenager working at the Maxwell Street market, where he was introduced to the lives of Pork Chop Hines and Blind Jim Brewer, to name a few. Through the speakers of Rev. Johnnie Johnson’s station wagon, which played music to entice customers, his musical world expanded to include Lightnin’ Hopkins, Gene Ammons, Duke Pearson, and many other blues and jazz greats. In 1984, working for the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, he developed the Chicago Blues Festival into an internationally known destination.

The tapes to be preserved are from Chicago Blues: An Urban Experience (1982-1984) and on location at the Checkerboard Lounge, and feature performances and lectures by Floyd Jones, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Homesick James, Little Brother Montgomery, Erwin Helfer, Estella “Mama” Yancey, Sunnyland Slim, Dave and Louis Myers, Blind John Davis, Billy Boy Arnold, Jump Jackson, Jimmy Walker, Billy Branch, Lurie Bell, Lefty Dizz, Lafayette Leake, and Queen Sylvia Embry.

 

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