All posts tagged: Gamma Xi Phi

“I Have Help From a Village” – Beta Chapter Selects 2016 Young Artisans

No comments

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
read more

District of Columbia Chapter Hosts Creative Conversation

No comments

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
read more

Gamma Xi Phi Members Celebrate Fifth Anniversary of Founding

No comments

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
read more

Happy Fifth Anniversary, Gamma Xi Phi

No comments


Rashid Darden, National President of Gamma Xi Phi

Rashid Darden, National President of Gamma Xi Phi

In 2110, by the grace of God, someone will call my name as the 3rd National President of a century-old fraternity for artists.  Perhaps there will be some three dimensional portrait of me in a historical exhibit with all the other past National Presidents.  Maybe there will be some bullet points with the major accomplishments of my administration.  If I’m lucky, someone will be there, not who remembers me, but remembers someone who remembers me.

But one thing is certain:  I will not be alive in 2110.  So I’d better do a damn good job at being a National President if I want to be remembered.  I’d better make sure that every Founders’ Day is a milestone for our beloved fraternity.

Today, Gamma Xi Phi is five years old.  Students attending Ramapo College of New Jersey came together five years ago with an idea for a new fraternity, one established for artists of all crafts.  Years later, the fraternity has already grown into something far greater in size and scope than our original members could have expected.  It has experienced this growth because it is fundamentally a good organization that has come at the right time.

I am proud of each and every one of our members, from the charter members of Alpha Chapter to our newest initiates.  Gamma Xi Phi Brothers and Sisters are on the move, sculpting monuments in Washington, performing on tour in Europe and Africa, studying in graduate programs in New York, and hosting popular podcasts in New Jersey.  We have done a lot in five years and we are not stopping any time soon.  Through the years, Gamma will grow in size, in strength, and in influence due to our wonderful members.

But we can’t do it alone.  To our families, friends, and supporters:  If you believe, as we do, that Gamma Xi Phi is a good organization, we ask that you spread this simple message to the artists in your life:

You are not alone.  There is an organization out there for men and women in the arts.  They are waiting for you.  They need you, and while you might not know it now, you need them as well.  They are a group of great folks: literary artists, visual artists, performing artists, and professionals in arts-serving careers.  They have an awesome national program of artistic service that I think you’d like.  Check them out:

Gamma Xi Phi will exist in 2110, certainly without me, but I must do my part to make sure that it is a greater organization than I could have imagined. If you are an artist, join us.  If you are a friend, help us.  These past five years have been a nice start, but we have only just begun to build our legacy.

Happy fifth anniversary to my Brothers and Sisters.  Thank you, one and all.

Rashid Darden,
National President



Gamma Xi PhiHappy Fifth Anniversary, Gamma Xi Phi
read more

Gamma Xi Phi’s New National Program

No comments

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
read more

Why a Fraternity?

No comments

Brothers and Sisters, families and friends, visitors to this website:  I welcome you to the next era of service to the arts.

As you see, the new theme of Gamma Xi Phi is Investing in Artists for the Community and the World.  As we developed this theme, we reached out to several organizations to share the importance of collaborating with the fraternity.  One potential partner outright asked me:  “Why a fraternity?  Why not just an association?”

Gamma Xi PhiWhy a Fraternity?
read more

Seasoned Artist, Emerging Hip-Hop Collective Initiated

No comments

Newark, New Jersey, October 15, 2013— Gamma Xi Phi, the professional fraternity for artists, has selected four new honorary initiates: visual artist, curator, and educator Nette Forné Thomas; emcee, producer, and engineer Ess Vee; visual artist and graphic designer Hue.Man; and artist manager, videographer, and web designer Add. The initiation was conducted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at GlassRoots, Inc., in Newark, New Jersey.

Gamma Xi PhiSeasoned Artist, Emerging Hip-Hop Collective Initiated
read more