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Love for Detroit: The #313Dlove Event

Networking guru Terry Bean was kind of enough to let me kick things off for the Love for Detroit: The #313 Dlove Event held March 13, 2014 at The Wright with this true story connecting past to present and dreams to reality!


American Black Journal TV Appearance

I appeared on today's epidose of PBS' American Black Journal, broadcast locally on Detroit Public Television channel 56, to discuss The Wright Museum's financial health and Black History Month programming. In the green room beforehand, I was privileged to meet fellow guest, author and motivational speaker Kevin Brown and learn about his inspirational Detroit success story - hopefully we'll have the opportunity to work with him soon! Watch it here:


In Search of a Marketing & PR Manager

You're a marketing mind in search of a noble mission for which to put your talents to the test. You are all things digital - Adobe, Google, Twitter, Pinterest - and though perhaps not an expert on each, you are willing to dive deep when a project demands it, and welcome an excuse to explore. Your online portfolio, blog, or social media profiles establish your credibility instantly with professional yet creative work. You're social - social media doesn't take the place of hitting the pavement, meeting people, and enjoying events, all of which you do - but you're nevertheless totally connected online and have more "friends" than you know what to do with. You can wax eloquent with the written word and understand the power of language, but also know its limitations, when color, shape, sound, and movement are necessary to convey action or emotion. You're excited by the prospect of contributing your creative energies and expertise in the service of humanity and non-profit work. You're entranced by the arts, museums and cultural institutions. You're awed by history. The idea of working at the world's largest museum of African American History ennobles you.

Well here's YOUR chance!

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is looking for a talented, multifaceted, ambitious and creative individual to become our Marketing & PR Manager. This full-time position reports to the Director of Marketing & Communications and helps conceive, create and execute marketing strategies and tactics to promote the museum, its exhibitions, events and services for dissemination across a variety of channels including print, web, radio, video, email and social media.  

• Learn everything possible about the museum and its mission, history, programming, and needs
• Conduct market research and constantly conceive ways to improve museum's market share
• Event marketing, taking lead on research, planning, and promotion of marketing activities for public programming. Help with event sponsor and partner solicitation. Participate in both broad-based and targeted audience development efforts.
• Phone, email, social media and in-person communications coordination
• Write news releases, executive messages, articles, advertorials, and promotional messaging
• Work with designers, printers, and vendors to produce print marketing materials including annual reports, newsletters, and promotional fliers
• Prepare content and provide updates for email marketing, websites, media calendars, and social media
• Distribution of marketing materials to the metropolitan Detroit community, including hands-on direction of interns, volunteers, and street-team tactics
• Relationship-building with journalists, bloggers, members, visitors, and donors
• Supervisory duties of interns and support staff
• Bachelors Degree or equivalent experience in marketing, communications, advertising, or related field
• 3 - 5 years of demonstrated experience in a professional capacity - even if your own artistic or entrepreneurial projects
• Broad-based understanding of communications fundamentals, and an unwavering eye for detail
• Active interest in African American history and culture, the Arts, and/or a willingness to immerse yourself in these areas
• Excellent verbal and interpersonal communication skills. Be able to dive deep, learn about, and adopt the voice of the museum. Must be able to eloquently and efficiently speak to the importance of the museum and its mission in a compelling, engaging manner in a variety of settings and through a variety of channels.
• Exceptional writing skills. Marketing copy and article-length writing is expected on a regular basis. Accuracy, timeliness, and efficiency are expected, especially in regards to writing for online/social media outlets.
• Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office and Google products
• Working knowledge of CMS platforms, especially Joomla, a plus
• Working knowledge of HTML, XHTML, and Constant Contact a plus
• Knowledge of and some ability with Adobe Creative Suite a plus
• Must be actively engaged on online social networks
• Must be Web 2.0 savvy
• Must have a strong interest in online and mobile media
• Strong customer service orientation
• Effective project management skills
• Ability to multi-task
• Must be able to work independently
• Be highly motivated and energetic
• Willing to work hard, but able to work smart
• Ability to interact professionally with clients, and have good judgment

• Positive
• Extroverted (or can fake it when necessary!)
• Energetic
• Self-starter
• Strong work ethic
• Adaptable
• Team player
• Problem solver
• Relationship builder

The position involves minimal physical exertion, except when assisting the production of a special event or promotion.

Primarily work in the office, outside of the office for events and promotional activities, and online as needed.

Salary commensurate with experience; benefits include medical, dental, paid vacation and sick time.

If, and only if, you're ready to commit your passion, creativity, and energy towards The Wright's mission, then email your cover letter, resume, and links to online portfolio and social media profiles to ted@chwmuseum.org. PLEASE, NO PHONE CALLS.


2013 Reads

I love to read, and get through a book a week on average. As a general rule, I prefer to read fiction, and listen to non-fiction in audiobook format when available. A brief note: I'm a member of Shelfari, a social networking site for book lovers; I use it as a place to host books I've read, am reading, or plan to. You can find overviews, details and reviews of just about any book there, as well as add your own. So I'll refrain from posting links to each individual book and encourage you to explore my shelf (get it? Shelf + Safari = Shelfari!), and hopefully join, on your own. 

My chronological reading list for this past year (notables in bold, with brief notes):

1. The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz (audio reread) Despite some dated material - including the tragic moniker of the "corporate athlete," and regrettable selections of Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods as paragons of excellence - this is still one of my favorite personal development books. An excellent application of the idea of periodization (stress and recovery) to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual zones of living.
2. Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu (audio reread)
3. Hyperion, by Dan Simmons (reread)

4. The Appeal, by John Grisham
5. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney (audio)
6. Conversation Starters: Arts Management Topics for Today (The Huffington Post Blogs 2009 - 2010), by Michael M. Kaiser
7. The Fall of Hyperion, by Dan Simmons (reread)
8. Leading Roles: 50 Questions Every Arts Board Should Ask, by Michael M. Kaiser
9. The Hydrogen Sonata, by Iain M. Banks
10. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, by Eben Alexander
11. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, by William L. Shirer and Ron Rosenbaum (audio) Exhaustive (46 discs), overwhelming, frightening, disturbing… the unbelievable story of the most notorious and maniacal movement, government, and inner circle in history
12. Endymion, by Dan Simmons (reread)
13. Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer, by Tim Jeal

14. The Places That Scare You, by Pema Chödrön (audio)
15. World War Z, by Max Brooks (abridged audio)
16. The Rise of Endymion, by Dan Simmons (reread)
17. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain (audio)

18. Museum Marketing & Strategy: Designing Missions, Building Audiences, Generating Revenue and Resources, Neil G. Kotler, Philip Kotler, Wendy I. Kotler
19. Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen (audio) The power and clarity of asking, "Why are we doing this, and what's the next step?"
20. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
21. Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book I, by Neale Donald Walsch (audio reread)
22. The Associate, by John Grisham
23. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen (audio) An absolutely devastating critique of the way American history is taught to our children, and the resulting lack of awareness, understanding, or interest by the public in its own past. A MUST read for every American.
24. Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book II, by Neale Donald Walsch (audio)
25. The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson
26. A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle (audio reread)
27. The Innocent Man, by John Grisham (audio)
28. Bushido: The Soul of Japan, by Inazo Nitobe (audio)
29. Skinny Legs and All, by Tom Robbins (reread)
30. How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In, by Jim Collins (audio)
31. Power, Passion, Beauty: The Story of the Legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra, by Walter Kolosky
32. QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business into the Ground, by Scott Stratten
33. In The Beginning Was The Command Line, by Neal Stephenson
34. The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition, by Caroline Alexander (abridged audio)
35. Ghost Hunters, by Ed and Lorraine Warren with Robert David Chase
36. The Confession, by John Grisham

Two notable quotes from American Gods by Neil Gaiman:

"You got to understand the god thing. It's not magic. It's about being you, but the you that people believe in. It's about being the concentrated, magnified, essence of you. It's about becoming thunder, or the power of a running horse, or wisdom. You take all that belief and become bigger, cooler, more than human. You crystallize." He paused. "And then one day they forget about you, and they don't believe in you, and they don't sacrifice, and yet don't care, and the next thing you know you're running a three-card monte game on the corner of Broadway and Forty-third."
- Low Key (Loki) Lyesmith

"Look," said Whiskey Jack. "This is not a good country for gods. My people figured that out early on the creator spirits who found the earth made it or shitted out but you think about it who was gonna worship coyote? He made love to Porcupine woman and got his dick shot through with more needles than a pincushion. He'd argue with rocks and rocks would win."

"So yeah my people figured that maybe there was something at the back of it all, a creator, a great spirit, and so we say thank you to it because it's always good to say thank you but we never built churches, we didn't need to the land was the church the land was the religion the land was older and wiser than the people who walked on it. It gave us salmon and corn and buffalo and passenger ... pigeons it gave us wild rice and walleye ... (and) ... squash and turkey and we were the children of the land just (l)ike the porcupine and the skunk (and) the blue jay."


Incredible Journeys Await...


2012 Reads

I love to read, and get through a book a week on average. As a general rule, I prefer to read fiction, and listen to non-fiction in audiobook format when available. In 2012 I continued my rereadings of the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey-Maturin novels, which I had last indulged in back in 2006, and this led me to revisit other favorite books from my past.

A brief note: I'm a member of Shelfari, a social networking site for book lovers; I use it as a place to host books I've read, am reading, or plan to.  You can find overviews, details and reviews of just about any book there, as well as add your own.  So I'll refrain from posting links to each individual book and encourage you to explore my shelf (get it? Shelf + Safari = Shelfari!), and hopefully join, on your own. 

My chronological reading list for this past year (notables in bold, with brief notes):

1. The Post Captain, by Patrick O'Brian (reread) - 6980 pages of pure joy - culturally & linguistically immersive historical literature, set on the sea of the Napoleonic Wars. I sincerely miss plunging from one book to the next now that they're complete.  The language, the leadership, the relationships, the sea, rich with characters one learns to love. And despite the watery world in which most of the pages are set, the driest of wit is evident throughout - sometimes hilariously so. I'll look back with fondness on my months of sailing with O'Brian across his inspired imagination.
2. Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You, by Sam Gosling (audio)
3. How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It, by James Wesley Rawles
4. H.M.S. Surprise, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
5. Care of the Soul, by Thomas Moore & Peter Thomas (audio) - Wonderful. The author's use of mythology to interpret the complexities of life rivals Joseph Campbell. This is a book of wisdom.
6. The Mauritius Command, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
7. Standard Schnauzer, by Barbara M. Dille
8. Desolation Island, by Patrick O'Brian (reread) - The cat-and-mouse, life-and-death chase of the HMS Leopard by the imposing Dutch Waakzaamheid during a hurricane is one of the most gripping sequences of literature I've experienced.
9. Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie
10. Fortune of War, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
11. The Surgeon's Mate, by Patrick O'Brian
12. The Razor's Edge, by W. Somerset Maugham (audio)
13. Treason's Harbor, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
14. The Far Side of the World, by Patrick O'Brian
15. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John M. Gottman (audio)
16. Harbors And High Seas, by John Hattendorf
17. The Reverse of the Medal, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
18. The Letter of Marque, by Patrick O'Brian
19. The Summons, by John Grisham
20. Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda (audio) - This is sublime. It is a book by a modern-day saint. Imagine, if you will, if you could read THE autobiography of Jesus, or Buddha, or Muhammad. It IS that. It is NOT dogma. It is the opposite of dogma... amgod. Am God. Read... and be enlightened.
21. The Thirteen Gun-Salute, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
22. The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle (audio reread) - This is becoming an annual for me, and the third time I've listened to it. Definitely a favorite, and one I imagine I will listen to every year for the rest of my life.
23. The Nutmeg of Consolation, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
24. The Truelove, by Patrick O'Brian
25. You Can Read Anyone, by David J. Lieberman, Ph.D. (audio)
26. Reamde, by Neal Stephenson - His most readable long-form novel yet. As opposed to, say, Cryptonomicon, it's relatively straightforward - no jumping back and forth between centuries. Gripping, action-packed, hilarious - Neal Stephenson is a virtuoso.  
27. The Wine-Dark Sea, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
28. The Commodore, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
29. The Yellow Admiral, by Patrick O'Brian
30. A People's History of the United States - Highlights from the 20th Century, by Howard Zinn (abridged audio)
31. Notes from the Universe, by Mike Dooley (audio)
32. The Hundred Days, by Patrick O'Brian (reread)
33. Blue at the Mizzen, by Patrick O'Brian
34. 21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey, by Patrick O'Brian (reread) - As stated by Jo Walton in her blog, Re-Reading Patrick Obrien's Aubrey-Maturin Series, "I shall read them every few years for the rest of my life and be swept out to sea again." I could not have put it better myself.
35. Healing Anxiety and Depression, by Daniel G. Amen and Lisa C. Routh (audio)
36. A Briefer History of Time, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow (audio)
37. The Broker, by John Grisham
38. Rule 34, by Charles Stross
39. Classical Music 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Classical Music, by Fred Plotkin (audio)
40. The Children of the Sky, by Vernor Vinge
41. The Last Juror, by John Grisham
42. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, by Carlos Castaneda (reread)
43. Forty Signs of Rain, by Kim Stanley Robinson
44. Jazz 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Jazz, by John F. Szwed (audio)
45. The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula Le Guin
46. Fifty Degrees Below, by Kim Stanley Robinson
47. A Separate Reality: Further Conversations With Don Juan, by Carlos Castaneda (reread)
48. Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse (audio)
49. Sixty Days and Counting, by Kim Stanley Robinson - I just happened to be reading this, the culmination of the "Science in the Capitol" trilogy fictionalizing the effects of global warming on the world, and on politics in the United States, when Hurricane Sandy hit. This, and the Presidential election, added to the profundity of this book, which presents a Utopian outcome to a decidedly dystopian environmental situation of our own making. As with Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, the science and sociology are well-thought out.  
50. The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick
51. Museum Public: audience development, marketing strategies, and brand identity, by Gregory Chamberlain (editor)
52. Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler
53. Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, by Kevin Boyle (audio)
54. Foundation, by Isaac Asimov


A Spark of Inspiration


The Story Behind The Song: The Ever Deepening Twilight Hue

Composed, arranged, performed & produced by Teduardo

"The Story Behind The Song" series delves into the origins of my muse, and is in answer to your queries as to where to find my music - if you like what you hear, or simply want to support an independent artist (thank YOU!), please download and enjoy!

I've always loved instrumental music of a more atmospheric and impressionist nature, such as works by Frédéric Chopin and Claude Debussy, Miles Davis' "Blue in Green," downtempo electronic music by acts such as Nightmares on Wax, and one of my current faves, German artist Ulrich Schnauss.  Having started on the guitar long before I began singing, I often compose instrumentally, which helped when I started producing music for advertising, where oftentimes vocals distract from voice over messaging and being stylistically varied is an asset.

"The Ever Deepening Twilight Hue" is a tone poem composed in 1993 during my music school days.  It was inspired by evenings in my apartment of that time, the bedroom of which faced the west and was painted a sunset hue of mauve - though, strangely enough, the original working title was "Clear Blue Morn," and its opening still evokes for me the brilliance of the morning sun.  Finally produced in 2007, the "guitar army" is balanced by drum and bass elements, tying together my original instrument with my affinity for electronic music.  Listening to it now, after so many years, from its inception to production to today, it's a favorite - partly because it doesn't fit into any easily identifiable categories, and never had any pretensions to popularity.  I also hear many treasured musical influences... Jimmy Page, Cocteau Twins, and Prince, to name a few.  Who do you hear, and what does it sound like to you?


The Story Behind The Song: Spring Has Sprung

Composed, arranged, performed & produced by Teduardo

"The Story Behind The Song" series delves into the origins of my muse, and is in answer to your queries as to where to find my music - if you like what you hear, or simply want to support an independent artist (thank YOU!), please download and enjoy!

Being an April baby myself, I love the season of spring, and especially, the month of May.  Though spring came early this year, I'll always think of May as the month when everything comes into bloom, the trees put on their green, and, before the humidity of summer sets in, the air is crisp and clean.

"Spring Has Sprung" was written during just such a season in 1998, and bounced around several of the studios I worked out of between 2002 and 2008, when it was finally completed.  It captures a bit of my tendency towards musical humor while expressing a love for nature that's one of my core values.


The Story Behind The Song World Premiere: Gift

Composed, arranged, performed & produced by Teduardo

"The Story Behind The Song" series, of which this is an extra special edition, delves into the origins of my muse, and is in answer to your queries as to where to find my music - if you like what you hear, or simply want to support an independent artist (thank YOU!), please download and enjoy!

I'm proud to present the world premiere of "Gift" in honor of my son Alec's birthday. Written in 2008 when he was born, the song's production started that summer but was interrupted by my company Elemental's closure and the resulting personal, professional, emotional and creative wilderness I wandered afterwards.  Some portion of this was experienced in the Biblical sense of desolation and waste; yet, looking back over those lost years in aggregate I find a reflection of how I've come to understand "wilderness" - as an abundance of natural growth, change, and existence.  The thread of "Gift" was never far from my creative heart, but it wasn't until this past February that I made the time to resume production.  Completing this song is a milestone for me as a musician, and the inspiration for it draws from my most important role in life: that of father.