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UW First Draft Feat. CHRIS WISE

July 5, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

PLEASE NOTE: This week’s #UWFirstDraft is being hosted in collaboration with the 34th St. Partnership and will take place in Herald Square (34th St. & Avenue of the Americas).

#UWFirstDraft is a free, non-censored, open mic & weekly reading series sponsored by Urban Word NYC. It is open to all teen poets, musicians, MCs, Urban Word alumni, and mentors. We seek to provide a safe space for artistic expression, experimentation and development across all genres. First Draft is not a workshop nor a staged show. It’s the stepping stone in-between. It is open to artists of all mediums seeking to share their creative energy and unique perspective. All generations of the Urban Word community, past, present and future, are invited to share their voices, ideas and wisdom.
About Our Feature:

CHRIS WISE is an artist, educator, and entrepreneur from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The 24-year-old is currently finishing up a Master’s degree in Business at Long Island University. He is
going back-to-back with graduations: CHRIS graduated from Medgar Evers College in June 2015 with an individualized Bachelor’s degree in Hip Hop Marketing. On the daily, CHRIS applies these studies to his work as a middle school teacher and as CEO of BlackMarketWares.

At one point along this journey, CHRIS WISE was a college dropout expecting his lyrical talents to take him worldwide. Life struck hard, and he realized that success as a musician would require more effort. The renewed CHRIS WISE returned to school in spring 2014.

The Blackest Power is a four-track project released at the close of 2015 that helped CHRIS WISE garner the support of TeamBackPack, a global platform for Hip Hop culture. Partnering with TeamBackPack has allowed CHRIS WISE’s music to reach the world for the first time. He cherishes the opportunities to interact with fans from Colorado, Peru, Brazil, Canada, and beyond.

CHRIS WISE is preparing his new project Most Valuable for release on November 25, 2016.His long-term goals include starting a family, pursuing a PhD in business, and opening up a
community recreation center for the youth in Crown Heights.


About our curators:

Jon Sands, a curator at large, is a writer known for electric readings, and the author of The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing). His work has been featured in The New York Times, published widely in various journals, and anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014. He starred in the award winning web-series Verse: A Murder Mystery from Rattapallax Films, is the co-founder of Poets in Unexpected Places, and a facilitator with the Dialogue Arts Project. http://jonsands.com/

Soré Agbaje is a 20 year old Nigerian- American, Brooklyn College student. There she majors in Political Science with a minor in Journalism and is the Treasurer and member of the Brooklyn College Slam team. Sore is a 2015 Cambridge Writer’s Fellowship recipient, a Scholastic Silver Key Art and Writing recipient, and the 2014-2015 NYC Poet Ambassador. She is a member of the United Nation’s NGO and artist initiative, “I Sell The Shadow”. She has been blessed to perform in spaces such as the United Nations, Columbia University, NYU, Lincoln Center, the Queens Museum, Apollo Theatre, New York Live Arts and more.

Makayla Posley is a poet and journalist based in the tri-state area. She was a member of Urban Word NYC’s 2015 slam team for Brave New Voices and is co-facilitator of Urban Word’s writing workshop BreakBeat Reporting. She has performed/been featured at venues such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, Apollo Theatre, New York Live Arts, Monmouth Arts Festival, New York University, The Waiting Room, and more. You can also find Makayla’s articles published in places like ForHarriet, Blavity, and Above Average Hip-Hop, where she is a contributor.

José Olivarez, a curator at large, is the son of Mexican immigrants. Originally from Calumet City, IL, he lives in the Bronx. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Poet-Linc Manager for Lincoln Center Education. His work has also been featured on Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie basketball blog, Chicago Public Radio, and on Mass Poetry’s PoeTry on the T program. His first book, Home Court, is available at http://homecourtpoems.tumblr.com/purchase

Sofía Snow is an artist, educator, and community organizer who has the ability to see where there is lacking, and to create. In 2006, Sofía was titled the Spoken Word Artist of the Year by the Massachusetts Industry Committee Hip Hop Awards. Sofia began teaching writing workshops to her peers at just 16 years old. Sofía has taken her passions (youth work, arts, and social justice) across the US, UK and Caribbean. In 2013, the City of Boston officially resolved February 28th as Sofía Snow Day; Snow was acknowledged as Cosmopolitan Magazine‘s Fun Fearless Female for April 2013. She is currently the Associate Program Director of Urban Word NYC.


July 5, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Urban Word NYC


34th Street – Herald Square
New York, NY 10001 United States