Baba Israel, Yako440, The Spinning Wheel, plus Gina Humber (Women of Melanoid Art Show)

Baba Israel, Yako440, Soul Inscribed, Gina Humber

Steve Ben Israel was a legendary member of the jazz, poetry, comedy and theatre world of New York’s Greenwich Village. Upon his death in 2012, the NY Times called him “a one-man revolutionary cell delivering jokes, stories and poems aimed at undermining capitalist society.” His desire to perform was unrelenting, and he continued his “live artistry for his entire life. His son Baba Israel is a performance artist himself, a hip hop artist, a poet — and alongside Beatboxer and instrumentalist Yako 440, has developed a tribute to his iconic father.

The Spinning Wheel: A Son Remixes a Father’s Radical Archive is an immersive, multimedia production set for showing during a weeks long festival they have been commissioned to curate, in January at Brooklyn’s BRIChouse. The two have a crowdfunding campaign underway to help achieve this ambitious set of goals, and when you hear the legacy they are seeking to spotlight, you might be as eager as I am to see it fulfilled.

Also, Gina Humber knows how hard it can be for emerging artists — or authors, in her case — to break through an ever-changing, always-onerous media business landscape. After experiencing the trials and tribulations in her quest to publish a children’s book, she decided that she would help others facing similar hurdles, starting with artists. I wanted to find out why she chose to take on this mission, and to get more information on its first step, this weekend’s ‘Women of Melanoid’ art show and sale.