Gamma Xi Phi

Electric Literature: Instant Entertainment from Gamma Xi Phi Brothers and Sisters

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Millions of people around the world are adjusting to a new reality in which social contact is now limited. Even though our day jobs may have us teleworking and our children distance-learning, entertainment is still a major part of our lives. Here are selected books that you can download right now from your favorite members of Gamma Xi Phi, from fiction to poetry.

Gamma Xi PhiElectric Literature: Instant Entertainment from Gamma Xi Phi Brothers and Sisters
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A Life in Motion: Remembering Brother Christopher Brient

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Gamma Xi Phi, the professional fraternity for artists, has fewer than 100 members and is less than ten years old.  When Christopher Brient became a member of the fraternity, there were less than 30 members—the majority of whom were not subject to a ritualistic initiation.  The organization was only two and a half years old when he entered.  He was the fraternity’s second honorary member. 

Gamma Xi PhiA Life in Motion: Remembering Brother Christopher Brient
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Brother E. Ethelbert Miller featured in DoveTales

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E. Ethelbert Miller, a 2018 initiate of Gamma Xi Phi’s Beta Chapter, is the featured writer in the February 2020 edition of DoveTales Online Journal of the Arts. The issue was guest edited by Robert Kostuck.

DoveTales is a publication of Writing For Peace, a nonprofit literary organization founded by Pushcart Nominee Carmel Mawle. In addition to DoveTales, Writing for Peace challenges young writers to expand their empathy tools in an annual contest, and encourages youth to speak out in an annual Youth Summit. As of 2020, Writing for Peace has highlighted work from writers, artists and photographers from 29 different countries on every permanently inhabited continent.

The issue is available here.

Gamma Xi PhiBrother E. Ethelbert Miller featured in DoveTales
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Arts Fraternity Welcomes 13 in Historic Initiations; Charters Baltimore Chapter

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Gamma Xi Phi, the professional fraternity for artists, welcomed 13 talented artists in historic initiations occurring on January 25 and January 26, 2020, in Baltimore, Maryland. The events celebrated new initiates from four different chapters, including the newly chartered Zeta Chapter, serving Baltimore, Maryland.

Gamma Xi PhiArts Fraternity Welcomes 13 in Historic Initiations; Charters Baltimore Chapter
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The War Against the Arts Begins

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“GE hires a lot of engineers. We want young people who can do more than add up a string of numbers and write a coherent sentence. They must be able to solve problems, communicate ideas and be sensitive to the world around them. Participation in the arts is one of the best ways to develop these abilities.”

– Clifford V. Smith, President of the General Electric Foundation

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I write this message on my own, without prior consent from the Gamma Xi Phi Board of Trustees.  It is an editorial which does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or policies of GXP at this moment.

This week, President Donald J. Trump proposed a national budget which proposes elimination of funding for:

  • The National Endowment for the Arts
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities
  • The Institute of Library and Museum Services, and
  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Total funding for these vital programs comes in at well under a billion dollars and .02 percent of the overall federal budget.

Some of you may think that the NEA, for example, only serves the artistic elite in Hollywood or major urban areas on the east coast.  Well, that’s not true.  In 2016, the NEA awarded 2,400 grants across every congressional district across America. That money wasn’t earmarked just for large arts groups–over half went to small and medium sized artistic organizations.

Friend, I am worried.  Not for the District of Columbia or New York or Chicago.  I am worried for Omaha, Nebraska.  For Tulsa, Oklahoma.  For Southampton County, Virginia. For Flint, Michigan.  For small towns across America with a single museum.  For those towns who have an emerging cultural awareness.

What’s going to happen to them?  How will they continue to document their stories, to build artistic economies, and to preserve their culture?

I want for you to join the call for Congress to save the arts–not just the NEA, but all four programs which are being threatened.  Call your Congressional representatives today.  Yes, that includes the introverts in the room.  I hate making phone calls, but these calls are logged and it does make a difference.

If you’re looking for what to say, visit the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Mobilization Center.

As a member of an arts fraternity, I am deeply troubled by the callousness with which this administration has treated the arts and humanities.  We will have to work together, across artistic disciplines and across party lines in order to ensure that our nation continues to be a global leader.  The war on the arts has begun and we need all available hands to join the fight.

Sincerely,

Rashid Darden,
National President of Gamma Xi Phi

Gamma Xi PhiThe War Against the Arts Begins
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Delta Chapter Established in New York City

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Gamma Xi Phi, the professional fraternity for artists, announces the chartering of its newest chapter. Delta Chapter, chartered on October 8, 2016, will serve the five boroughs of New York City.

Five new members were initiated in a ceremony attended by members of the National Board of Trustees, honorary members, and Brothers and Sisters from Alpha Chapter at Ramapo College of New Jersey and Beta Chapter in the District of Columbia.  

Gamma Xi PhiDelta Chapter Established in New York City
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“I Have Help From a Village” – Beta Chapter Selects 2016 Young Artisans

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program logo - young artisans awards

District of Columbia artists Sean Defreitas and Jeneesah Tate (also known as Ja’ness) have been selected as the 2016 Young Artisans for Gamma Xi Phi’s Beta Chapter in Washington, DC. The award is the highest honor that the fraternity bestows upon youth.

“We are so happy and so proud to support these students, who represent the best of Washington’s emerging talent,” said Beta Chapter Program Director Shawn Spencer.

The Young Artisans Awards initiative was created by Gamma Xi Phi in 2015 to honor emerging artists living within the service areas of the chapters. The selected artists must display both artistic merit and artistic citizenship, including a willingness to learn, grow, serve, and be mentored.  The Beta Chapter, serving the District of Columbia, selected two students after months of research and observation of young artists living within the chapter’s domain.

Sean Defreitas is a student attending the Latin American Youth Center Career Academy, located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.  His artistic interests are varied and include graphic design, photography, music, and fashion.  His mother and other family members are also engaged in the arts, namely music, visual art, and crafts.  Mr. Defreitas came highly recommended by the faculty and staff of LAYC Career Academy.

Ja’ness (Jeneesah Tate) is a Junior attending the historic Duke Ellington School of the Arts.  She is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter who has already created a name for herself in the Washington area and beyond through many public performances at festivals and music venues.  Coming from a long line of artists, Ja’ness strives to create a career that complements, but is independent from, her already successful family members.

Over the next few months, the awardees will benefit from the full support of Brothers and Sisters of Beta Chapter and beyond.  Members will provide the students with support and connections to working artists.  In March 2016, the awardees will participate in the Young Artisans Combine, a private day of training, coaching, and mentoring with some of the Washington area’s most notable artists and professionals. In May 2016, the awardees will officially be presented to the community in a ceremony at Beta Chapter’s Odeon, a community talent show.

(L-R) Mr. Atif Tate, Beta Chapter Young Artisan 2016 Ja’ness, Chapter Program Director Shawn Spencer

(L-R) Ms. Crystal Defreitas, Beta Chapter Young Artisan 2016 Sean Defreitas, National President Rashid Darden

National President Rashid Darden, who is a Washington-based novelist and member of Beta Chapter, expressed his pride at the selection of Ja’ness and Sean, saying “We needed humble students who would be their authentic, artistic selves when they didn’t expect that anyone was evaluating them.  That’s the beauty of the first year of this initiative–without the fanfare of previous years, we were able to find the most deserving students who weren’t just seeking accolades for their resumes.”

Mr. Atif Tate, father of Ja’ness, said that due to this honor, his daughter’s “…positive actions towards her dreams are being noticed by others outside her family–which gives her more confidence to keep pushing through.” He added “I have help from a village. My advice to other parents is to invest your time and energy into their dreams now and help them develop so this experience will help them grow into something great.”

Gamma Xi Phi was founded on October 7, 2010, by Ramapo College men and women who were interested in creating strong bonds between students pursuing artistic careers. The purpose of the fraternity is to unite collegiate and professional artists in the spirit of fellowship and perpetual artistic growth. Gamma Xi Phi promotes philanthropy and service to the arts, brotherhood among all artists, and leadership development in artistic professions through collegiate and community outreach to people of color across the world.

Gamma Xi Phi“I Have Help From a Village” – Beta Chapter Selects 2016 Young Artisans
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District of Columbia Chapter Hosts Creative Conversation

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The Washington, DC chapter of Gamma Xi Phi Professional Arts Fraternity hosted a Creative Conversation as part of the organization’s National Arts and Humanities Month observances.  The theme of the discussion was “Linking Young Artists to Opportunities.”

Held at the Greater Tried Stone Baptist Church, a favorite venue of the Beta Chapter, members of the community were invited to share their ideas for how the fraternity may best serve young artists in the Washington area.  Invited guests included working artists, leaders of arts nonprofit organizations, and other members of organizations with arts components.  The chapter provided a light lunch and lively discussion ensued.

Action items that the group provided to the fraternity will help develop the local implementation of the fraternity’s Young Artisans Awards program.

Gamma Xi PhiDistrict of Columbia Chapter Hosts Creative Conversation
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Gamma Xi Phi Members Celebrate Fifth Anniversary of Founding

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On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, chapters of Gamma Xi Phi Professional Arts Fraternity participated in local celebrations commemorating the fifth anniversary of the founding of the organization.  Since that first day at Ramapo College of New Jersey, Gamma Xi Phi has grown in membership and in number of chapters.  Nationally, the fraternity took to social media to celebrate its birthday.  Locally, members assembled with one another in fellowship, toasting to the past and looking forward to a brighter future.

Gamma Xi PhiGamma Xi Phi Members Celebrate Fifth Anniversary of Founding
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