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Poet Spotlight: Nette Roberson [she|her|hers]

Updated: Mar 19

Artist Biography: My background is in mental health. Providing resources and mental health support to an underprivileged community. Since 2016, NetteWorks Artistry Entertainment has created safe spaces for artists and educators to commune together to express themselves on various stages in the metro Detroit area through poetry, spoken word, prose, music, comedy, storytelling, visual art and literary discussions. Keeping mental health on the forefront, NetteWorks curates weekly, bi-weekly and monthly events for performance artists to freely speak their peace. Serving as an ally for members of the LGBTQIA+ and other underserved communities. NetteWorks has curated open mics as well as a music festival with the techno greats Under ground Resistance and Urban Arts Orchestra for a futuristic art and music festival. Lyrics and Libations, Flowers, Colors and Pandora’s Box open mic series’ have become staples in the Detroit artist community. NetteWorks also curates recurring annual events which bring novice and seasoned artists to the stage. Owning an adult outpatient mental health facility since 2010. Instagram: @NETTEworks Artistry Entertainment

Spotlight Transcript

Co-Executive Director and Program Facilitator, Dom Witten, interviews today's Poet Spotlight, Nette Roberson.

Dom: How would you describe your creative process?

Nette: As a curator and promoter of artistry consisting of poetry, music, and art, my creative process involves several key steps:

  1. Conceptualization: I start by identifying a theme or concept that ties the poetry, music, and art together. This could be a common emotion, idea, or aesthetic that resonates across different forms of art.

  2. Curation: I carefully select and curate pieces of poetry, music, and art that align with the chosen theme. This involves finding works that complement each other and create a cohesive experience for the audience.

  3. Collaboration: I collaborate with poets, musicians, and artists to bring the curated pieces to life. This could involve commissioning new works, organizing performances, or creating visual displays.

  4. Promotion: I develop a marketing and promotional strategy to showcase the curated collection to a wider audience. This could include organizing events, exhibitions, or online campaigns to generate interest and engagement.

  5. Engagement: I actively engage with the audience to create a dialogue around the curated artistry. This could involve hosting discussions, workshops, or interactive experiences that invite viewers to explore the connections between poetry, music, and art.

Overall, my creative process as a curator and promoter of artistry is driven by a passion for connecting different forms of expression and creating meaningful experiences for both artists and audiences.

Dom: You host poetry events all over the city of Detroit ranging from Lyrics and Libations, Flowers, Colors, Pandora's Box and more. As someone who doesn't write poetry what inspired you to start hosting these events?

Nette: My background in mental health inspired me to start hosting these events after using music, writing and poetry to help my clients find effective solutions and coping skills to deal with their mental health issues. I started visiting poetry venues in 2012 to learn how to structure workshops and groups for my clients. They loved them so much I incorporated music such as techno music to help them deal with the voices that they were hearing and turn that into art and poetry.

Dom: How does your commitment to community impact the events you host throughout the city?

Nette: NETTEworks Artistry Entertainments' commitment to community impact plays a significant role in shaping the events I host and here are some ways in which this commitment influences the events:

  1. Community Engagement: I prioritize engaging with local communities and involving them in the planning and execution of events. This could include partnering with community organizations such as Vanguard CDC, being a chair of promotions to the only black Main Street in Michigan, featuring local artists, and creating opportunities for community members to participate in the artistry.

  2. Diversity and Inclusion: I ensure that the events I host are inclusive and celebrate diversity in all its forms. This could involve showcasing artists from different backgrounds, cultures, and identities such as Colors open mic LGBTQ+, as well as creating a welcoming and accessible environment for all attendees.

  3. Social Impact: I incorporate elements of social impact and activism into the events, addressing relevant social issues and promoting positive change. This could involve raising awareness, fundraising for charitable causes, or collaborating with organizations such as Sasha Center for Domestic Violence Awareness that supports community development.

  4. Accessibility: I strive to make the events accessible to a wide range of audiences, including those with disabilities, limited resources, or other barriers to participation. This could involve providing accommodations, offering free or low-cost tickets to my events such as Colors and Flowers which both are Free event, and ensuring that the venues are inclusive and welcoming to all.

  5. Sustainability: I prioritize sustainability in event planning, aiming to minimize environmental impact and promote eco-friendly practices. This could include reducing waste, using sustainable materials, and partnering with vendors who share a commitment to environmental stewardship.

Overall, NETTEworks Artistry Entertainments' commitment to community impact infuses the events I host with a sense of purpose, connection, and social responsibility. By prioritizing community engagement, diversity, social impact, accessibility, and sustainability, I aim to create events that not only entertain but also inspire and empower the communities they serve.

Dom: What are you excited about in your work lately?

Nette: I am excited about the opportunity to turn my current mental health building into an artistic space while providing necessary resources to the community. Here are some aspects of this project that I find particularly exciting:

  1. Transforming Space: I am enthusiastic about the creative process of transforming the building into a vibrant and inspiring artistic space. This involves designing the layout, selecting artworks, and creating an environment that fosters creativity and expression.

  2. Community Engagement: I look forward to engaging with the local community and involving them in the development of the artistic space. This could include seeking input from community members, collaborating with local artists, and organizing community events and workshops.

  3. Curating Art: I am excited about curating a diverse and compelling collection of art that resonates with the community and enhances the space. This could involve showcasing local artists, rotating exhibitions, and creating a dynamic and engaging environment for visitors.

  4. Providing Resources: I am passionate about providing resources and support to the community through the artistic space. This could include offering art classes, workshops, artist residencies, and other opportunities for skill development and creative expression.

  5. Fostering Creativity: I am eager to create a space that inspires creativity, innovation, and collaboration among artists and community members. By providing a platform for artistic expression and exploration, we can foster a sense of community, connection, and empowerment.

Overall, I am thrilled about the prospect of turning my building into an artistic space that not only promotes and curates art but also serves as a valuable resource for the community. I believe that this project has the potential to enrich the cultural landscape, foster creativity, and make a positive impact on the lives of those who engage with it.

Interview Published: 03/16/2024

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