My experience last night gave me another perspective on what Issa Rae said about “networking across,” vs. networking up. It also applies if you don’t live in or near a city like New York. Not all of us do and yes, the internet has made that less of an issue, but what takes it to the next level are the creatives who build on or create their own vibes and tribe in their local city.
Last night, I met an amazing woman creator, who goes by Mufasa, surrounded by amazing people at the launch of her new podcast The Lionz Den, bringing it like New York in Bridgeport, CT. It was there that I found a tribe and that New York vibe closer to home. Sometimes your tribe is closer than you think and sometimes there are people waiting for you to create a platform to come together right where you are.
Connecticut vs New York, and…so?
I live in southern Connecticut; aka Fairfield County and I literally have the privilege of taking a forty-five-minute train in to New York City, of which I take full advantage of.
I am the CT head that goes to Harlem, Brooklyn and Queens for the arts and culture (food!), to find inspiration and reclaim that motivation to keep pushing towards my dreams. It’s that real for me.
New York energy is unique
Anyone who moves to New York or just travels there you know what I am talking about. The energy, it is in the air the moment you arrive and when you get to vibe with people there you have no choice but to be inspired. Everyone is grinding, everyone has a hustle and often you find people living on their own terms as creative entrepreneurs. Now I know that what I describe isn’t exclusive to New York (and not the only vibe there either) but, this is just where I have habitually gone to meet other creators and vibe with like minded souls.
The Lionz Den on the map
At The Lionz Den launch event, I thankful had the opportunity to experience that same vibe in Bridgeport, CT. Now to be frank, I knew and know Bridgeport has a popping art cultural scene. In comparison to my city they really have a vibrant community of artist, but when I think about the history, opportunities and the vibes I’ve experience in New York, it’s just not on the forefront of my mind.
Mufasa is also a creative that travels to New York and meets other dope creatives. In fact, she had a few artist come through to add to the vibes.
- Marcus Jade @marcusjademusic Photography by Stephanie Harris
- Indigo General @indigogeneral Photograph by Stephanie Harris
- Travis Little @travislittlenyc Photograph by Stephanie Harris
With New York in the building, it was absolutely a space that also acknowledged and brought light to the dope creatives in Bridgeport, CT.
- Phenix @phenixtheartist Photograph by Stephanie Harris
- Marriell “Marty” Watson @mar_ri_ell Photograph by Stephanie Harris
The reality is it is not New York, but it’s not supposed to be
Now Bridgeport, CT is not like Brooklyn or Harlem. It’s likely that it may never be, in fact it doesn’t have to be, but what it does have is a handful of people like Mufasa who are doing the damn thing, honing their own dope energy and gifts and supporting each other’s creative endeavors. I am so grateful to have experienced and be charged by this energy. By the way, an energy that has been there long before I acknowledged it. I do however think, I witnessed a spark before the glow up and it’s invigorating.
- Photograph by Stephanie Harris
Yes, Issa Rae is right. There are many people who don’t live in major cities like New York, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding or building your tribe. Don’t get me wrong sometimes you have to travel, and that experience gives you the perspective on how it’s done somewhere else but, like going away to school or going to sit at the feet of an elder to learn something, you have the choice to apply what you learn. Sometimes it takes a person to say, ” that’s dope, how can we have that where I live?” And you know what, if you are in a city looking for like minds there’s a chance that there are like minds looking for the same thing. So, #justdekit look for them folks and if you can’t find them create an event like Mufasa’s for The Lionz Den podcast.
Be a creator, sis! #justdekit