NOLA's NOSACONN Founder Damon Batiste Shares Oklahoma Arts News
November 16, 2021
Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises San Francisco-Dallas Community Spotlight~~~
News Courtesy of NOLA's Damon Batiste Founder of NOSACONN, Inc.
“Jazz Legacy-Moving Forward”
By Osei Bandele
(Rosetta Funches preps for exhibit)
Rosetta Funches, Founder and Director of the Oklahoma Black Museum And Performing Arts Center (OBMAPAC)/National African American Jazz Legacy Museum (NAAJLM), in collaboration with talented and professional jazz musicians, jazz students, jazz writers, and jazz supporters at-large, are in the planning stages to establish the national jazz support structures to promote the knowledge, education, performance, the continuing development of jazz, and the preservation of the African American Jazz Legacy for national and international consumption. The NAAJLM Media Committee was formed and the search for the right building to house the NAAJLM continues.
The OBMAPAC was founded by Ms. Funches in 2008; and has been the recipient of thousands of pieces of art created by African-Americans and/or donated since then for sale and/or display. OBMAPAC is located at 4701 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK. Ms. Funches also makes the resources available to other Black Interest Organizations (BIOs) for meetings and other community events.
In 2016 Ms. Funches founded the NAAJLM as a subsidiary of the OBMAPAC. Her vision is to have the NAAJLM be a repository and archives for the documentation of the true origin, history, and development of jazz as the only original music created in the USA from the“belly of the slaveships,” as described by jazz great Eubie Blake, and from the perspective of the Black/African-American experience, to demonstrate the historical flow of jazz from the arrival of Africans to these American shores to throughout the African Diaspora.It will include the period of African enslavement, freedom from slavery and its Juneteenth celebrations that followed, to the struggle for civil rights, justice, and African-American self-determination, which continues to the present day. The mission is for the NAAJLM to be the premier Jazz Museum in the nation and the world.
Some of the immediate and long-term goals for the NAAJLM include jazz education programs for members of the community at-large, as well as for students, scholars, and jazz experts; telling the story of jazz music from the authentic sources-African People from the “belly of the slaveships,”- to the 21 st Century and beyond; developing a performance and research center that will be used by scholars, students, and musicians, to develop an internet, radio, and streaming service to help educate and entertain people interested in the legacy of jazz music; to demonstrate and preserve the legacy of jazz; and to develop a working relationship with churches, universities, colleges, high schools, grammar schools, and other museums to assist with jazz education. The NAAJLM will archive and continue to highlight some of the most important jazz artists from or throughout all 50 states of the USA. The NAAJLM is the engine that will drive other creative ideas for the promotion of jazz. Not to diminish the importance of the other facets of jazz promotion, it is the actual performance of jazz by contemporary and traditional jazz artists that is key to the intimate involvement of jazz scholars, students, musicians, and lovers of jazz in experiencing the joy of jazz. As Ms. Funches summarizes, “The NAAJLM will serve as a resource to educate and inform the world about the origins of one of the world’s greatest art forms. Jazz is Black music; it mirrors the Black experience.” And as jazz great Rahsaan Roland Kirk put it, “Jazz is African-American classical music.”
The NAAJLM Media Committee was formed to include the NAAJLM Radio Jazz Programming Project and the NAAJLM Jazz Writers Project. The NAAJLM Radio Jazz Programming Project, led by Mr. Ed McDaniel, a developer and pioneer in internet radio jazz programming, will tap the knowledge jazz scholars, students, musicians, and lovers of jazz at-large to create 24 hours of radio programming of jazz projects and performance productions for national(and international) public consumption. To initiate the goals of the NAAJLM there will be a series of jazz articles written by expert jazz musicians, jazz writers, and jazz lovers at-large of the NAAJLM Jazz Writers Project on the origin, history, and development of jazz. The NAAJLM Jazz Writers Project will debut during the first week of May 2021 with the printing of this introductory article and will continue for an indefinite period of time with a series of jazz articles will appear in print media, electronic media, and even social media.
In 2018 a large,abandoned church structure located at NE 21 st and Prospect Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK to house the future NAAJLM was selected. By 2019 structural engineering and environmental inspections had been performed. By the end of the spring in 2020 students of architectural design from the University of Oklahoma’s School of Architecture had created, submitted, and presented their renditions of the interior design of each of the functional spaces in the NAAJLM building. Ms. Catherine Montgomery, an architect, specializing in interior designs and historical preservation, and owner of Preservation and Design (P and D) Studios, was asked to evaluate student designs and incorporate the best of each design into the final design for the NAAJLM. Unfortunately, disaster struck. Just when evaluations and assessments of the designs were in progress, the building caught fire and its interior was gutted, leaving the charred remains of its outer brick framework. Another building to house the NAAJLM has been located east of Lincoln Blvd. and north of NE 50 th Street. A third building of acceptable dimensions and parking space has been identified, as well. Negotiations for obtaining possession of one of those buildings are underway.
Yes, Ms. Rosetta Funches’ vision for the NAAJLM is alive and well; and Ms. Montgomery of P and D Studios is on standby. For more information on the NAAJLM please contact Ms. Rosetta Funches at 405-213-8077; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. NAAJLM website is www.NAAJLM.org.
About the Writer
Osei Bandele is a community organizer and activist for Black Self-determination and operates through The Nation, Inc and the United New African Communities of America (UNACA) to promote autonomy, self-determination, and a plebiscite for Black People to choose a nation-state to represent them on the world scene. Osei is also a freelance writer and is on the volunteer staff of the Oklahoma Black Museum and Performing Arts Center (OBMAPAC)/National African American Jazz Legacy Museum (NAAJLM) in Oklahoma City, OK.