Who: Riders Against the Storm
Where: Kenny Dorham’s Backyard
1106 East 11th
When: August 30, 2014
3:00 – 11:00PM
Contact: Jonathan Mahone
Event website: http://rashiphop.com/ras-day-2014
August, 25, 2014, Austin, TX – Nearly one year ago, husband-wife hip hop duo, (RAS) Riders Against the Storm, made a conscious decision to publicly celebrate ‘healing’ and the ‘wonders of receiving’ when the city of Austin proclaimed August 29th as ‘(RAS) Riders Against the Storm Day.’ Today, as tensions, and historic social ills seem to be at a boiling point, Chaka and Qi Dada, Austin’s 2013-14 ‘Band of the Year,’ are calling for a celebratory day of retreat, refreshment, re-membering, and rejuvenation at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard on Austin’s East Side on Saturday, August 30th.
Most holidays are about giving, but ‘RAS DAY’ is a free (donations suggested) outdoor event that is all about receiving. Funds raised from the event will be donated to support renovations and improvements at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard.
‘We want attendees to feel taken care of, and catered to. The idea is to get people moving. Moving together. There are so many ways to improve mental and spiritual health through movement, and we want to present different options that can lead to rejuvenation,’ says Qi Dada, a dance instructor, life coach, and certified Reiki practitioner.
The first annual event features the combination of holistic movement workshops (Yoga, Qi Gong, Bollywood and African Dance, Capoeira) and live music performances. From 3 -6 pm, East Side Yoga, Practice Yoga, Step N Motion, Ballet Afrique Contemporary Dance Company, and more, will be offering 20 minute movement classes on the lawn of Kenny Dorham’s Backyard. Live performances by (RAS) Riders Against the Storm, Gina Chavez, Jackie Venson, Elizabeth McQueen, Kiko Villamizar, The Levites, Bavu Blakes, Las Krudas, and more will take place from 6:30 – 11:00 pm.
Complimentary massages will be offered throughout the day by certified therapists, with complimentary beverages/healthy snacks provided by event sponsors: Texas Music Water, Buddha’s Brew Kombucha, Live Soda, Juju Juice, Kind, and Beanitos.
Since arriving in Austin 4 years ago, RAS has built a strong community around music, art, and healing. Body Rock ATX, also known by some followers as ‘Body Church,’ is an underground dance party produced in conjunction with DJ Chorizo Funk, that has become a cultural ‘mecca’ for good vibes and community. Chaka and Qi Dada see the party (in its modern form) as the ‘bastard child of ceremony,’ and there is a sense that the unseen currents between everyone within radius of the stage has been turned on electrically as Chaka Mpeanaji and Qi Dada humbly accept their role as conductors/facilitators.
‘When we celebrate life and each other, we are also fighting for justice. Justice can only be achieved when we truly recognize that we all deserve the same human rights. I can’t kill or destroy something or someone that I connect with deeply. But, I can’t connect with anyone or anything deeply if I am not willing to heal the scars that keep me isolated and afraid,’ says Chaka Mpeanaji.
‘RAS DAY’ is a public step towards those deeper connections. The duo intends to grow the event annually, ultimately building a city-wide celebration destination in the near future.
A recent KXAN new report about RAS’ work: http://kxan.com/2014/05/13/local-hip-hop-group-making-noise-in-urban-music-scene/