Muse Vision

The Muse Story

I have always felt that my life had a special purpose. This purpose began to reveal itself to me over the past year and has culminated into something much bigger and much more special than I ever anticipated. I have been saying that 2009 would go down as the most significant year in American History and I did not think it was an accident that it has been so significant for me personally. This year I abandoned my legal career to start my own creative arts agency, I had my first child, Ryan Alexis Clark, and I turned 30.

On January 1, 2009 I took a leap of faith and began the journey to make my vision a reality. Although I did not know it at the time, I immediately began collecting people and their stories. Little did I know that God was weaving an intricate path that would lead me to my ultimate destiny and connect me to a movement that is so significant for Washington, DC and us as black people.

Fast forward to last Friday night. I had received an invitation to an event that seemed nice and I immediately RSVP’d for 4 people. I did not invite anyone or think twice about it. I had been having Rochelle on my mind and I went over to her house to talk about what she really wanted to do with her life and I think it was at that point that I invited her to “this event at Eatonville on Friday.” She got excited immediately and wanted to make sure that I sent her the information and we were going to go. Turns out that it was the first in a monthly series called “Food and Folklore” and it featured Valerie Boyd, Zora Neale Hurston’s biographer. When she spoke about her journey to write this important piece of literature, certain things resonated with me on a deep level that I did not understand at the time. We were having such an amazing and spiritually uplifting time at our table that we ended up being the last ones there and Boyd came over to speak with us. She told us about the book she is working on right now about black women in Hollywood called “Spirits in the Dark” and that really peaked my interest. I began to ask her questions about her story and how she felt she was connected to the women that she wrote about and how she stepped up to fulfilling her purpose. The wheels were beginning to turn.

That night we were told about and committed to joining Andy Shallal on a trip to Eatonville that he was organizing for the Zora Festival that takes place every year. Being a fan of Hurston but not a ZoraHead, I was excited about it but not overwhelmingly so (like Rochelle was…lol). We planned to sign up for the trip on Sunday when Boyd would be doing a book signing at Eatonville. Rochelle reminded me about the trip and showed me the flyer. I was immediately disheartened because it happened to be the weekend of January 31st, which is the day that I had picked to have an official Muse family launch (with only the members of the staff, clients and advisory board). I wanted everything associated with Muse to have significance and January 31st is my mother’s birthday. I debated for a second and then decided that I had to go to this festival and it was for a purpose that it happened to be on the day that I planned to bring the Muse family together for the first time.

Although I have been working diligently on building my business, it was not until Monday of last week that I was able to really focus in on what I was actually building. I began to narrow my focus and the vision I had began to take shape almost overnight. All the seemingly random connections and occurrences begin to make sense and I started putting them together like a puzzle. It was very spiritual and divine! Amazing things had been happening since Monday and Friday was one of the most interesting days of my life because my dreams were coming true by the minute. I was literally receiving calls, emails, FB messages, chat conversations, texts at a rapid succession all in furtherance of bringing the vision to life.

I gave myself until today to get together the preliminary information that I hoped to deliver to the Muse team about the Muse concept and what we are trying to do. All the while the pieces were being put together rapidly and everything in my life seemed to be somehow tied to this vision. All the random notes and story ideas and concepts all began to congregate around this central theme of Washington, DC and Storytelling. At some point, each member of the now solidified group of 10 Muse artists have mentioned storytelling and each has a unique story. I grabbed on to this concept as I began the task of trying to explain exactly what Muse Creative Arts Agency is. It was hard to describe in simple terms like PR agency or Branding firm or Talent Agency because it was a completely new concept and, as I know now, it was conceived for a greater purpose. I kept looking at my list of clients, thinking about my journey over the past year and connecting the puzzle pieces. Finally yesterday morning as I was sitting on the deck, it was all revealed to me:

I feel that the spirits of Zora and Langston are very alive and we are all connected and uniquely purposed to be the leaders of this new Renaissance that is taking place, particularly here in DC. I do not think anything about this particular group coming together is accidental and I believe that God has entrusted us and Zora and Langston have summoned the spirits and given us their blessing to continue on the legacy of the New Negro Movement in the exact location where they started their journey.

The piece that started the whole momentum toward finishing the puzzle was the story Boyd told about how Zora and Langston fell out. It was over the rights to a play and Boyd said that Zora always regretted this. It was no coincidence that my vision for Muse was to guide, promote and protect artists and their art. Over this past year, my team has come together organically and all of my interactions and connections have placed me in a unique position of propelling forward the Renaissance that is starting to occur in Washington, DC. I believe that Andy has called forth the spirits of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes and they have chosen us to lead the charge of not only rejuvenating the arts and reputation of DC, U Street in particular, but also to protect our rights to our own creative works and to be in control of our stories. This time they are charging us with the responsibility of making sure that we spread the message far and wide and do not let what has happened to DC in terms of the disintegration of the culture ever happen again. Even more importantly, we are charged with building wealth so that we can take care of our own communities and keep the arts alive.

Now that I know my purpose, I plan to fulfill it! Besides getting all the business logistics taken care of, I think our first step needs to be to go to Eatonville and visit Zora’s gravesite to ask for her blessing as we take up this important task. This will mark the launch of Muse Creative Arts Agency on January 31st.

-The Muse (circa 12/2009)