“Rising Still: A Creative Journey through Resilient Skies” An Encore Marathon Poetry Reading “Mayathontm” and Celebration of the Inspired Poetry of Dr. Maya Angelou Presented by Artists of Color  

On Sunday, August 24, 2014 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, on the Outdoor Main Stage of Riverbank State Park located on 145th Street and Riverside Drive in Harlem, Spirit in Sunset Productions will present an encore presentation of “Rising Still: A Creative Journey through Resilient Skies”, a three hour, non-stop, marathon, a “Mayathontm” reading of the prolific prose and poetry written by the late, great author, poet, playwright, essayist and cultural treasure, Dr. Maya Angelou.    The “Mayathontm” reading of selected poems written by Maya Agnelou’s will be presented by Artists of Color working professionally in the artistic disciplines of theater, visual art, literature, film, music, dance, crafts and journalism.   “Rising Still…” is a tribute to the life and work of Dr. Maya Angelou as well as a celebration of the resilience, accomplishments and contributions of Artists of Color.  For more information, contact Spirit in Sunset Productions at (212) 368- 3571 or spiritalkin@yahoo.com or Riverbank State Park at (212) 694-3622/32.  In case of rain, the event will be moved indoors to Riverbank State Park’s Cultural Complex located at the same address.  The Event is FREE and open to the public. 

“Rising Still:  A Creative Journey through Resilient Skies,” was first presented on April 27, 2014 at St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in Harlem to a large and receptive audience.  Over thirty-five artists that included dancers, singers, actors, playwrights, musicians, poets, writers, visual artists, photographers, journalists and other crafts people, participated in what Nikki Williams, the Artistic Director of Spirit in Sunset Productions and Producer of “Rising Still….” calls a “Mayathontm”.   On the Main Stage at Riverbank State Park, on August 24, 2014, audience members will again experience an exciting and historic event where each artist will present in marathon fashion, over ninety inspiring and powerful poems selected from the vast collection of poetry written by the late, great Dr. Maya Angelou.    Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Council Member Inez E. Dickens and Mr. William P. Smith, Community Liaison from Assembly Member Keith L.T. Wright’s Office made important contributions to the program on April 27th.  Each spoke eloquently about the major and lasting contributions of Artists of Color as well as the impact of Dr. Maya Angelou’s work and literary achievements.    

Those featured in the first “Mayathon” held on April 27th were Professional Visual, Performance, Literary, Music, Theater and Dance Artists such as: Loretta Abbott,  Khuumba Ama, Antonia Badon, Richard Barclift, Laura Bowman, Carolyn Butts, Ave Marie Cross, Derek Cross, Louise Dente, Rudel Drears, Elizabeth Flax, Lateefah Abdul Jabbaar,  Lauryn Jackson, Cleo MariAbut Jarvis, Johnnie Mae, Hosea Johnson, Gary Johnston, Laura E. Johnston, Tumani Ra’ine Jordan, Tony Mitchelson, Amina Claudine Myers, Imani Carole Parker, Passion, Lil Phillips, Tracy V. Pierre, Bert Pinnock, Allanah Salter, Venetia Stevenson, George Edward Taitt, Veona Thomas, Sean Turner, Hal Valle and Akua Weekes.   Lenora Sharpe served as Narrator.  

Many of these same Artists are expected to participate in the encore performance and many new Artists have been added to the roster of Artists who will present at the Outdoor Main Stage located inside Riverbank Stage Park from 2:00pm – 5:00pm on Sunday, August 24, 2014. 

Because of this outdoor venue, Williams who is also responsible for selecting the impressive roster of Artists, stated that children, young adults and seniors, populations who do not have regular access to the Arts will have a wonderful opportunity to experience and meet Artists who have made many impressive contributions to society.  Williams who firmly believes in the importance and power of the Arts, especially in Communities of Color has often been quoted as saying, “It takes a whole community to raise a child but it takes a whole Artist to raise a Village.”  “I understand,” continues Williams “that in order to continue to do the important work of healing, restoring and uplifting a community, an Artist must be able to be whole and healthy.”   

The title of the program “Rising Still:  A Creative Journey through Resilient Skies,” is inspired by the well- known and often recited poem “Still I Rise,” written by Dr. Maya Angelou.  Dr. Angelou was the first African American Woman to present and make a poetry recitation in 1993 at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration as the focal point of the celebration because as she says, “The impact of Dr. Angelou’s work is world-wide.  Dr. Angelou’s poetry and prose speak of resilience, and the strength of one’s convictions.  Dr. Angelou’s words also speak of self-determination and the human ability to divinely rise above our challenges.  Dr. Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise” from her book of poetry, “And Still I Rise,” published in 1978, may be one of her most endearing and best known poems.  Her first autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” was an incredibly important book to many, but particularly important to little Black girls still in search of the truth of their beauty, strength and identity.  Dr. Angelou is a great example of how the Arts and Culture serve as one of the main ways that society heals, educates, transforms and lifts itself up to its highest possibilities.” 

While seating is available audience members are encouraged to bring their own chairs.     The Outdoor Main Stage at Riverbank State Park Plaza is wheelchair accessible.  Riverbank State Park is located at 145th Street and Riverside Drive.  It can be easily reached by taking the “A”, “D”, “B” or “C” trains to 145th Street and Saint Nicolas Avenue (walk west toward the address) or the #1 train to 145th Street. The #19 bus goes straight into Riverbank State Park.    

For more information, contact Spirit in Sunset Productions at (212) 368-3571, email spiritalkin@yahoo.com or Riverbank State Park at (212) 694-3633/32.  

Audience Members should be aware that Recording of the Event is NOT Permissible.     

Press Contact:

Nikki Williams, Artistic Director                                              

(212) 368-3571

Email: spiritalkin@yahoo.com  



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