Positiv Chainge

POSITIV CHAINGE, a poetry group dedicated to preserving & promoting the spoken word in the greater Baltimore area. Founded by BLEEK, lead host, the former co-host of poetry nite at Essence of Thoughts-the Bookstore, teamed with Lyrical Conscious to form POZATIV CHAINGE. Co-founder Lyrical Conscious, former co-host of Cades Restaurant poetry nite, had the idea of the hosts coming together to keep poetry alive in the greater Baltimore area since venues were closing; for example Larry Stewarts, Cades & Essence of Thoughts -the Bookstore. This venture began in the summer of 1999, while contemplating where poetry would be held in the fall, especially, since Lyrical Conscious & the Cades' poets began holding open mic poetry in the open air, in the inner harbor pavilion in front of the Science Center. After deciding to form a union, Bleek & Lyrical set out to find a new venue for poetry, just one look across the harbor & a possible solution was found. POZATIV CHAINGE became a collaboration of former hosts of poetry venues around Baltimore City. A meeting with Barnes & Noble's Community Representative, Parissa Snider, gave POZATIV CHAINGE a venue to hold open mic poetry, monthly - every last Tuesday. Then, in the same month, POZATIV CHAINGE secured a second venue in the Woodlawn area that held open mic poetry monthly - every second Saturday. The following month another venue was secured, Les Nubian, in Reservoir Hill, with open mic poetry - every second Tuesday of the month. So, in the span of 60-days, POZATIV CHAINGE, had accomplished its goal, and provided a poetry venue for youth at Sibanye's - African American bookstore on Rogers Avenue.

Prior to opening a poetry series at Barnes & Noble - Inner Harbor (the power plant) in September of 1999 with an attendance of nearly 100 patrons, BLEEK was commissioned by the Baltimore Office of Promotions to host & organize the Baltimore Book Festival's Poetry Slam contest in September of 1999, 2000 & 2001. The event, ironically, was held in the Barnes & Noble Coffee Bar tent in 1999. Each event was a hugely successful.

POSITIV CHAINGE, a non -profit organization, also held a very successful fundraiser at Uncle Lee's Szechuan Restaurant in October 1999 & 2000. The program was an open mic poetry event with a published featured poet & a live jazz band: UNIT ONE. Them in October 2002 held a fourth anniversary show with Temika Moore (vocalist) at Howard County Arts Center sponsored by Harmony of the Sol, Inc.

Then, with the same speed that venues were obtained, POZATIV CHAINGE, increased its membership from two to four. The members are as follows: BLEEK, Lyrical Conscious, Mel Brooks & Romelle Johnson. Later in September 2002 added new members: Sara Heilbron, Towanda Parker (of www.Towandaparker.com) & Terressa McCree.

POSITIV CHAINGE was responsible for hosting & organizing the year 2000 ARTSCAPE Poetry Slam contest on Sunday, July 23; sponsored by the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Art & Culture. Also, POZATIV CHAINGE made an appearance on the local WJZ-TV talk show "On Time" to promote the poetry slam for ARTSCAPE. Also, on Sunday, July 28, 2002, POSITIV CHAINGE was responsible for hosting the first ARTSCAPE Teen Poetry Slam; sponsored by the Maryland State Poetry & Literary Society and the Baltimore Office of Promotions and the Arts. Also, POSITIV CHAINGE was responsible for the second ARTSCAPE Teen Slam on 2003.

POSITIV CHAINGE has appeared numerous times on the radio station of Morgan State University's WEAA 88.9 FM programs: Sandy Mallory Show (the Station Director), The Back Page Talk Show with Craig Thompson, Friday Night Jazz Club with Angel, and several appearances on The Magic Bird Show with Lasana Bill Harvey. POZATIV CHAINGE were featured poets at Essex Community College's Poetry Month Program in April 2000. POZATIV CHAINGE featured at Clifton T. Perkins - Correctional facility in April 2000 & 2001.

Positiv Chainge and the Intermediate Poetry Workshop, Fall 2003