Amani Olugbala Bio

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An artist, farmer, educator and community organizer Amani O+ uses artistic expression, urban agriculture and social justice education to impact change and foster a sense of empathy and inter-being within communities and organizations.

Amani Olugbala is a storyteller who weaves music, film, speech and poem into art that highlights social injustice, honors the ancestors and demands for change. This, in an effort to uplift the spirits of the marginalized and promote love and service as necessary acts of rebellion against isolation and disconnection.

SlamMaster of the Nitty Gritty Slam (Albany’s championship slam poetry team) Amani feels called to raise their voice and has used Slam Poetry to advance a message of radical change based in love and equity.

In Amani’s first slam season and second as a coach, the Nitty Gritty Slam team won several competitions, including the 2014 and 2015 Empire State Slam, the 2015 QEW Slam and Jersey Slam’s ‘Win and You’re In’ 2015 National Poetry Slam qualifier. As an individual poet, Amani won Albany’s 2015 Grand Slam, took third place in the 2015 Toronto International Poetry Slam and placed in the top 30 at the Individual World Poetry Slam.

The Reclamation Series

Beyond the slam scene, Amani has shared the stage with Lorenz Tate, The Peace Poets, Taina Asili, Rainmaker and more, performing at the annual People’s Music Network Gathering Concert, the annual Beat*Shot Music Festival, Poetry in Motion, Talk Eat Art, Harmony Music Woodstock and several other venues local and abroad.

Amani co-wrote and starred in the 2014 suicide awareness play #UnspokenWord and has since featured at several venues including Lady Fest, SHE.O.M., Grafton Peace Pagoda’s Annual Celebration 2016, headlining with revolutionary artists inspirations: The Peace Poets, Bell’s Roar, Daniel B. Summerhill, D. Colin, Kat So Poetic,  Masai ATG, DJ Trumastr, Taina Asili, Monica McIntyre, Ses Da Great, Knowle’ge, Joe Jencks, Ruth Pelham and Ben Grosscup, to name some.

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In 2016 Amani and Kat So Poetic teamed up to film “Black Power Shuffle” in dedication to Dontay Ivy and “Unite- For Korryn” dedicated to Korryn Gaines. Later that year the two formed the hip-hop feminism super duo KATANI  in response to the melodious misogyny we hate to love. Visit our website & listen to Fem(inist)cee Flows: here.

Amani was honored to raise awareness about the struggle of low wage workers with their role in the multimedia play “A Piece of the Dream” towards the end of 2015. Amani focused 2016 on crafting uplifting poetic experiences that fully immerse and engage the audience and encourages them to remember their true beautiful and creative nature.

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Amani features at and co-creates events and music videos (#BlackPowerShuffle) that encourage community building and a fight against the isolation that discrimination and systemic slavery create. The “Freedom” music video, in which Amani starred, was featured by Mic.com, Okayplayer, Feministing.com, Boing Boing, Bitch Magazine, Insomniac Magazine and several more.

In 2015, with the help of the Yoni Coven Press, Amani self-published REBELUTIONARY, the first of many chapbooks (available here).

Amani was honored to join Soul Fire Farm as a guest educator and meal coordinator for their summer 2016 Black & Latinx Farmer Immersion and fall workshop series. Soul Fire is a family farm committed to ending the oppressive structures that misguide our food system. In 2015, with tools gained at Soul Fire Farm, Amani began Soul Tribe Eats a grassroots growing project committed to Black Liberation and community self-determination.

Twice a month Amani submits poetry to Rosewatermag.com dedicated to helping better define feminism, in an all-inclusive form.” In addition to their performance activism, Amani organizes workshops and outings that combine community meals and artistic expression in the form of Open Mic Hikes, Bars & Stars and the BiteBrations Food Tips and Working Mic series. The “Home Gurl Grows” website is coming soon but follow along here on Instagram and on Facebook through Visionary Notes Coach and Soul Tribe Eats while you wait.

In 2016 Amani developed an arts literacy and youth enrichment curriculum called “Art Flows” that you can learn more about by clicking here. For more about the infusion of art and activism check out Amani’s “Artivism” resume by clicking here.

Next Stop: Stardust Station! Amani O+ Artist Page

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