National Program

“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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Celebrating National Arts & Humanities Month

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Every stroke of the brush, stitch of the needle, or moment of the memoir uniquely marks our society and contributes to our national character.  This month, we recognize the ways the arts and humanities have forever changed our country, and we recommit to ensuring every American has the opportunity and the freedom to question, discover, and create. — Barack Obama, President of the United States of America

Washington, District of Columbia, October 1, 2015 – Gamma Xi Phi, the professional fraternity for artists, is participating in National Arts & Humanities Month, an annual celebration of culture coordinated by Americans for the Arts, through local and national programs and projects. Gamma Xi Phi members will commemorate the 30th anniversary of National Arts and Humanities Month by sharing their favorite works of art on social media with the tag #ShareYourArt, participating in local “Creative Conversations” with artists and arts administrators, and by celebrating the founding of Gamma Xi Phi in local chapter events on October 7, 2015.

Gamma Xi PhiCelebrating National Arts & Humanities Month
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Newark Chapter of Arts Fraternity Co-Hosts Showcase

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The Newark, New Jersey Chapter of Gamma Xi Phi Professional Arts Fraternity, in conjunction with the People’s Open Mic, co-hosted an Open Mic Showcase on Wednesday, September 15, 2015, at Newark’s Gallery Aferro. The Gallery is a staple in the Newark arts community.  Members of Gamma Chapter as well as individuals from the community participated in the showcase.

Gamma Xi PhiNewark Chapter of Arts Fraternity Co-Hosts Showcase
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Washington Artists Host Suicide Vigil

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program logo - check on meBeta Chapter of Gamma Xi Phi Professional Arts Fraternity held an Artists’ Vigil in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday, September 10, 2015.  Brothers and Sisters in the District of Columbia chapter welcomed the public to assemble in remembrance of those artists and entertainers who were lost to suicide and in support of those artists dealing with depression and other mental health issues.

Gamma Xi PhiWashington Artists Host Suicide Vigil
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Salute to Business Sororities

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In honor of National Black Business Month 2015, Gamma Xi Phi is proud to share with you six organizations who are not only leaders in the community, but our peers in the realm of professional fraternities and sororities.  These sororities represent thousands of professional women and 452 combined years of service to the world and the business community.  All of the sororities below are affiliates of the National Council of Negro Women.

Gamma Xi PhiSalute to Business Sororities
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Gamma Xi Phi’s New National Program

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On Sunday, June 14, 2015, the National Board of Trustees of Gamma Xi Phi Professional Arts Fraternity approved a new National Program.  Below is a video overview of the new initiatives. 

Gamma Xi PhiGamma Xi Phi’s New National Program
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Rashid Darden Elected to Lead Arts Fraternity

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Philadelphia, PA, June 14, 2015— Gamma Xi Phi, the professional fraternity for artists, elected novelist Rashid Darden as National President at the fraternity’s biennial convention on June 13, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Several other members were also elected or reelected at that time.

Gamma Xi PhiRashid Darden Elected to Lead Arts Fraternity
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