A Claire Mike: Singer/Model on Volunteering, Art & Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

As a Singer/Songwriter, Aisha has worked with John Legend, Luther Vandross, Mos Def, Talib Kwali, Dead Prez, Carly Simon, Good Charlotte, and the Marley Family to name a few. However, I was drawn to the Volunteering she is doing at Bed-Stuy’s Restoration Corporation’s Center for Arts & Culture. I filmed her at the Eyewitness: Beautiful Black Brooklyn 1960’s-1980 exhibition. She shared her story, sang and I interviewed 1 of the photographers, Randolph “Randy” Waterman.

Creative from the Heart: Detroit Entrepreneur, GM, “Learn Floral Design”, Giving & $2.50

In February, my family and I were looking for a florist for my Mother’s funeral. We selected a lady that was starting a floral business from her home. Plants. Flowers. Everywhere. My Aunt did the talking, I couldn’t really think. After we sorted our order of flowers, I was captured by her enthusiasm and passion. She is running a floral shop from her home..a floral home. Its called Creative From The Heart. We were lead to the right woman. Her story is inspirational to say the least. Nursing, General Motors, being saved and a husband that made her live on $2.50 a week. Lily is strong optimistic woman to say the least. Honestly, she represents the spirit of survival and bringing dreams to life. It is no surprise the celebrities when they are in Detroit call on Lily.

Still Life: Hat Entrepreneur/Designer, Marc Jacobs & Running a Business

 Meet Frenel Morris. The entrepreneur designer behind Still Life. Since 2006, the Still Life flagship store has been home to an eclectic range of original designs- envisioned and tailored to perfection-by creative director and owner, Frenel Morris. Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, Still Life provides each client with custom hand-crafted pieces. An on-site seamstress ensures that each product is carefully assembled in a timely manner with keen attention to detail.

Spain Celebrates World Cup@ NYC’s Spanish Benevolent Society & Washington Sq Park(7/11/10)

 Walking along NYC’s 14th street, we joined about 50 others on the street watching a TV from the window of the Spanish Benevolent Society. The video starts when Spain scores “the” goal and continues with celebration being joined by 100s. People were acting like bullfighters and using their flags and joyously treating the cars and buses like bulls. The NYC Police were as a cool about it as they could be. We then head over to Washington Square Park. The celebration continued with many running through the water and waving their flags. I was in the right place at the right time on for the World Cup Final btwn Spain and Holland!! ESP ESP ESP..This is 1 of over 50 NYC Stories you will find at My Small Story.

Stacey McKenzie: The Scout, Jean Paul Gaultier, Workshops & Passion

I randomly met up with Stacey. Like many I know of Stacey but until now I did not really know her story. Stacey shares her inspiring story of passion as her anchor to accomplish her goal of being a model although everyone told her she did not have the “look”. Stacey McKenzie (born in Kingston, Jamaica) is a global fashion model living in Toronto. She is a runway coach and most recently a model coach and judge on the Canadian reality television show Canada’s Next Top Model. After being told, early in her career, that she was too distinctive for the Canadian market, she moved to New York. She was immediately picked up by Elite Model Management. Unprepared for the challenges of a modeling career, McKenzie returned to Canada and finished high school. In 1995, she moved to Paris, France to pursue modeling further. During her first season, she modeled for top designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and Christian Lacroix. She also landed her first campaign with photographer Oliviero Toscani for Benetton. In the wake of her initial success in Paris, McKenzie was commissioned to work in markets around the globe including Paris, London, Italy, Austria, US and Japan. She worked for Alexander McQueen, Betsey Johnson, Tommy Hilfiger, Todd Oldham, Michiko Koshino and Jean Paul Gaultier. Her magazine covers include Essence, Le Monde and Panache, as well as editorials in Vogue (US, Japan, Korea, Britain, Spain), Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, Flare, Fashion, and Vibe. She has appeared in a number of major campaigns including Calvin Klein CK, Jean Paul Gaultier, MAC, Mexx, Reebok, Todd Oldham Jeans, Nordstrom, Barneys, and Banana Republic.

Jennifer Lee Snowden: Playing 29 Outdoor NYC Pianos for Hope “Play Me I’m Yours”

 Born in Michigan, lives in NYC and playing 29 NYC outdoor Pianos for Hope. Meet Jazz/Rock Singer/Songwriter Jennifer Lee Snowden on her journey to play all 29 Manhattan painted pianos for “Play Me I’m Yours” in the New York City Streets. I filmed her at Astor Place & Times Square. “Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram who has been touring the project globally since 2008. From 9am-10pm each day, 60 pianos will be available to play across New York City. Presented by Sing for Hope they are located in public parks, streets and plazas the pianos will be available until 5th July for any member of the public to play and engage with. Jennifer Lee Snowden is now living in New York City and recently released her debut album In My Own Company. After high school, Jennifer Lee Snowden attended. Northwestern University where she studied theater and continued her music training. Jennifer Lee Snowden grew up in the small town of Spring Lake, Michigan where her love of music was fostered by 2 music teachers; her mother and grandmother. A

Dinosaur Hill Toy Store: South Dakota, Pre-School, East Village & Butterflies

Pamela Pier founded NYC’s Dinosaur Hill 27 years ago. From South Dakota preschool teacher to a NYC toy store owner, Pamela has got to be one of the kindest people in NYC I have met. Remember, I randomly walk into small businesses in NYC. “We are committed to purveying handmade wonderments, toys and clothes that challenge the mind, please the eye, and stimulate the senses.” Dinosaur Hill

Queens Library Rally(6.03.10): The Kids Have Something To Say

I heard kids chanting “Save Our Library”. I live across the street. I grabbed my camera….. Faced with the prospect of closing 14 local branches, reducing hours at an additional 34 locations and laying off as many as 400 employees, Queens Library officials, Kids and parents gathered at the Woodhaven location and rallied Tuesday. This story is from the angle of the kids and their guitar teacher, Ken. The kids have created a new movie as well.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95pxcJ5g7bA

Joan Morgan: Poetry, Salsa, Jamaica & 3 Interpretations

Joan Morgan. Entrepreneur. Writer. Mother and loved and admired by many including yours truly. Joan was one the first people I met in NYC back in June 1992. This story was filmed at Joan’s Spur Tree Birthday soiree with 3 of her girlfriends sharing stories and qualities about Joan. Joan Morgan is an award-winning journalist and author and a provocative cultural critic. A pioneering hip-hop journalist and entertainent writer, she began her professional writing career freelancing for The Village Voice before having her work published by Vibe, Interview, MS, More, Spin, Giant and numerous other publications. Formerly the Executive Editor of Essence and one of the original staff writers at VIBE, Joan Morgan is the author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost — a fresh, witty, and irreverent book that marks the literary debut of one of the most original, perceptive, and engaging young social commentators in America today. Her work appears in numerous college texts, as well as books on feminism, music and African-American culture. She is currently teaches “The History of Hip-Hop Journalism” at Duke University.” So that’s what I do. Here’s a bit about who I am. I’m a Jamerican girl, born in hills of Westmoreland Jamaica and raised in the South Bronx whose been lucky enough to carve out a career writing about the things I care about most: among them hip-hop culture and the lives of black women. I have an amazing kid whose wit, courage, kindness and heart inspire and humble me everyday. I’m a New Yorker, a city girl through and through. I love great restaurants, stilettos, a good mojito and fine wine but I live in the country so I can hear myself think. I write from my office overlooking the river with my dog at my feet. All things considered its a pretty good life.

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