There is a unique global family of underground artists. Underground, like the days of the Harriet Tubman, in the trenches working to empower peace, unity and the essence of freedom. Dedicated. Motivated by a Force Unseen. Working to cultivate a dream - for the children, the descendents. Artists, emerging like the days of the Harlem Renaissance. Transcribing the "writing on the wall" into art and music and song. A movement fueled by Passion. A Passion moved by Spirit. And, a Spirit embedded in Love. And, passion is what can make the difference in our lives, our communities, and in the world. Therein lies the responsibility of life - Follow your passions and dreams... An artist of many dimensions, Kemi Bennings is a native of Augusta, Georgia. She is poet, author, pioneer, nurse, visionary, tutor/mentor, soul singer and culinary artist. Shortly after moving to Atlanta, she was invited to host Patti Hut Café, one of Atlanta's cornerstones in the poetry/spoken word movement. In October of 1999, she founded Cultivating Collective Thoughts, an exclusive poetry retreat for artists seeking to merge their talents with the genius and wisdom of elder poets, which convened for two consecutive years. In May of 2002, Kemi inspired Soul Sista's Juke Joint, an evening highlighting local, upcoming and independent female artists from all over the country. Together with her partners, Jodine Dorcé, Nikki Edmonds, Shauna Marie Phillips, Kimberly Stewart, Christy Robinson and the many others that made up the Soul Sista's Juke Joint family brought back the essence of the juke joint. With a mission to "elevate human consciousness through art, culture, music and the diverse power of women", Soul Sista's Juke Joint has showcased over 150 solo artists, poets, bands, visual artists, small businesses, and/or musicians, to date. In September of that same year, Kemi released Evolution: a collection of thoughts, poems inspirations and musings, her first literary work. With lots of divine motivation, little funding, and no excuses, Kemi, was inspired by dear friend and writer, Ekundayo Bandele, to hand craft her books through the tradition of hard covered book binding. Evolution has sold approximately eight hundred copies since it's release. In December 2002, "A Great Day In Atlanta" spawned while Kemi sat in the company of artists from the Washington, D.C. underground community. And, on Sunday March 30, 2003, on the steps of Clark Atlanta University's Woodruff Library, John Crooms, Atlanta's underground photographic historian, along with movers and shakers of Atlanta's underground movement gathered for a photographic memoir that will forever reign in the hearts, minds and souls of all that shared in that moment. Reminiscent Art Kane's, "A Great Day In Harlem", taken in August of 1958, " A Great Day In Atlanta" marked history; deeming the individual and collective efforts of artists, organizers, spearheads and promoters as a collective movement, thus documenting the Atlanta underground movement as a collective renaissance. Somewhere between watching her mother in the kitchen, public television cooking shows and easy bake ovens, Kemi unearthed her culinary artist. With a love and fascination for gourmet vegetarian cooking, in April of 2004 she birthed Food For Thought Gourmet Vegetarian & Eclectic Cuisine, a creative culinary concept offering gourmet vegetarian lunch fare, course-style dining experiences and personal chef services. In July of that same year, due to one her valued clients, Kemi was invited to the set of Tyler Perry's, Diary Of A Mad Black Woman to serve as personal chef to Tyler Perry, Kimberly Elise, Reuben Cannon, and Cecily Tyson. In August of 2004, Kemi traveled to China, implementing Creative Soul Sessions, a curriculum creating dialogue and empowering the youth through the therapeutic uses of poetry, life skills lessons, and sound expression. A life lesson in itself, Kemi's five-month mecca to China, as both student and teacher, was an opportunity to connect with more of her human family and to learn the ways of another world. While in China she began her second literary work of poetry, entitled Transformation: a journey of poetic revelations. She is currently seeking the publishing of both Evolution and Transformation as one work. Most recently, Kemi was invited back as personal chef for the filming of Perry's second feature film, Madea's Family Reunion, slated for release in February 2006. This year her clients included actors Tyler Perry, Cecily Tyson and Jenifer Lewis. As a result Kemi was invited to perform her poetry in Jenifer Lewis' "Divas for Katrina Relief' held at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. She shared the stage with divas, Nancy Wilson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Roxanne Reese, Anita Whitaker, Freda Payne, Eloise Laws and Spanky Wilson to name a few. A fusion of poet, messenger and soul singer, Kemi combines jazz, blues, gospel, house and soul genres to inspire a generation of artistic change through her debut CD release, Prevelations 12:18, subtitled Spirit On My Back, twelve tracks of poetic revelations. Kemi states candidly "In my opinion, we as artists, and writers are the soothsayers of it all; together we possess the energy required to balance the universe." She spends her time inspiring other artists to live as artists, being true to their spiritual being. "Insomuch as art comes through conceptualization, the artist is connected to a higher spirit, a force compelling the artist to create visions of what lies within, or on the other side of that which transcends human consciousness."
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