Category Archives: Event

Reception & Panel Discussion: Making Art Accessible

The reception for I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR takes place this Sunday, April 4, 2021 from 2-3pm. Councilmember Will Jawando will give the opening remarks, which will be followed by an interview of me at the museum and a short virtual tour. The tour will be followed by the Panel Discussion Making Art Accessible. ASL interpretation will be provided.

I am honored to be a host this amazing Panel, who include:

  • Ann Cunningham – Moderator, Tactile Artist, Author
  • Becky Emmert – Advocate, Activist, Speaker, Instructor
  • Brandy “Unique the Deaf Dancer” Mimms –Deaf Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Motivational Speaker
  • Cheryl Green – Multi-media Digital Artist, Captioner, Audio Describer
  • Julie Hein – Educator, Biologist, Leader in Audio Description & Interpretative Development
  • Marguerite Woods – Sculptor/Artist Teacher, President of the At-Large and Board member of the NFBMD

A closing poem will be recited by:

  • Jeanetta Price – Founder and CEO of Blind Girl Magic LLC

This is the first time I’ve ever had an exhibition reception online. Although I miss in-person interactions, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to connect online. If you are able to join me for the reception and panel discussion, RSVP.

Unable To Attend? Ask Me A Question

Given that my reception happens on Easter Sunday, Sandy Spring Museum has created a form to submit questions for those unable to attend. Submit your question

I Am More Than My Hair Screening and Q&A

During the exhibition I will host a screening of I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR to take place on Sunday, May 2, 2021 from 2-3pm. It is open and free to the public. The screening will be followed by a Q&A.

RSVP for the screening.

My First Accessible Exhibition

Thanks to the continued support of those who’ve contributed… I did it!

A little over a year I ago I attended a meeting a with National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Maryland. Marguerite Woods, a kindred spirit and participant of I Am More Than My Hair, invited me to join her for the Baltimore Chapter Meeting.

It was shocking to learn about the lack of accessibility in the arts and how blind and low vision audiences aren’t considered. I left the meeting feeling inspired enough to make it mandatory that any venue, gallery, or museum that requests my work, must agree that it will be made accessible for audiences with low vision and hearing.

I wanted to find a way to make my visual art accessible in new formats, that would open the experience of the art to people often barred from it.

The first museum to give me the OK for an accessible exhibition was Sandy Spring Museum in Sandy Spring Maryland. My exhibition takes place March 19 – May 28, 2021.

Here’s what I came up with:

Each photograph will be accompanied by a lithophane replica of the portrait. This image shows the lithophane print in production as I type. A lithophane is a three-dimensional image that can be explored by touch. When a light is placed beneath, it creates a unique visual experience.

Braille embossing will accompany written descriptions. Audio description of the images will be provided for visitors who have low vision. Interpreters in ASL (American Sign Language) will facilitate my artist talk. The screening of my film, I Am More Than My Hair, will include closed captioning and audio description for both hearing and vision accessibility. I also organized the panel discussion Making Art Accessible (date TBD).

Given the pandemic, there will also be a virtual component as well as the opportunity to experience it in-person during the Museum’s open hours. The reception and film screening (TBA) will take place online. When you RSVP you will receive updates on the scheduled events. 

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My Premiere Was Phenomenal!

When I first thought of the idea of “I Am More Than My Hair”, I visualized it to be a photography book encompassed with photos accompanied by personal essays of the women who participated. Never did I imagine it to not only evolve into a film but I also didn’t consider how life changing it would be for me, the girls and women involved, their families and my audience.

Although I feel very passionate about this project (as well as my previous), I thought back to the challenges I faced and how the women and girls involved were my driving force. They didn’t know me yet trusted me to share their stories. Despite the struggles that came with being a first-time Director, Producer and Filmmaker, it was vital that I live up to and deliver what I promised.

I am truly honored to have met everyone and provide the platform to share their stories, educate my audience (awareness) and create a shift in the way we see beauty and female hair loss (alopecia).

“The only way you can sustain a permanent change is to create a new way of thinking, acting, and being.” – Jennifer Hudson

Thank you for attending and supporting the premiere screening of I Am More Than My Hair!

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Were you unable to attend the premiere?

If you were unable to attend the premiere but would like to support my project, please consider making a tax-deductible donation via Docs In Progress. You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon. 10% of sale proceeds will be donated to Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP).

The next phase is to secure distribution so that it will be available for streaming, purchase or rental. You donation is greatly appreciated.

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My book launch was amazing!

To celebrate the journey (joys and challenges) we celebrated of the release of I Am More Than My Hair, on Sunday September 9th, at the Hyattsville Busboys and Poets.

Rather than the typical author talk, I decided to set the tone for a panel discussion. I gave a brief background on how I came up with the idea for I Am More Than My Hair. Several participants (Janice, Martina, Nicole, Doretha, Jameelah, Shae and Holly) introduced themselves and spoke about their #HAIRstory. Dermatologist Dr. Sharleen St. Surin-Lord clarified the meaning of alopecia and the importance of identifying the root cause.

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Jeff Woytovich, Founder of Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP), was gracious enough to travel here (MD) from Pennsylvania and share his organization’s mission and available programs for children.

I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the release of I Am More Than My Hair . It was so much bigger than a book release. It was a gathering in celebration of the beauty and diversity of girls and women. See The Umbrella Syndicate’s photos on Facebook.

Keep Smiling: Bald Edition Book

 

Ken Rochon, Founder and CEO of The Umbrella Syndicate and creator of the Keep Smiling movement, has captured beautiful images at the Bald, Beautiful and Bold Fashion Show as well as this past Sunday at my book launch. If you missed the opportunity to be included in the Keep Smiling: Bald Edition Book, Ken would love to take your photo at his studio for the book. This is open to women, men and children. If he took your photo and you’re interested in purchasing copies (once finalized and available), please contact Ken at (202) 701-0911.

New Retailer!

Bluestockings Bookstore now carries my book. If you’re in the New York City area please help me maintain a retailer/author relationship by purchasing a copy during your next visit. Bluestockings is located at 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002.

You can also purchase a copy of I Am More Than My Hair on Amazon or any of these retailers near you:
BookWoman (Austin, TX), Politics and Prose (Washington, DC), Sandy Spring Museum (Ashton, MD), Vroman’s Bookstores (Pasadena, CA), Women’s Museum of California (San Diego, CA).
*10% of sale proceeds will be donated to Children’s Alopecia Project.

Have a bookstore suggestion? Contact me.

Film Fund

If you would like to support and help me finish my film, please consider making a tax-deductible donation via Docs In Progress.

Tax-deductible donation - I Am More Than My Hair

I was interviewed on Fox5 Morning News Good Day DC!Alyscia-Cunningham-Fox5

Thanks for your support!MTMH-launch-sponsors

About Alyscia: Personally, Alyscia is a mom, wife, artist, advocate, writer, Pisces, dreamer, truth seeker, positive thinker, adventurer, traveler, and hiker. Professionally, she’s an entrepreneur, author, speaker, filmmaker and photographer who has contributed  to National Geographic, Discovery Channel, AOL and Smithsonian Institution. She’s also the CEO of a Maryland Home Improvement company, Uprising Builders, LLC, and AC Media, a production and publishing company. To find out more about Alyscia, visit www.Alyscia.com.

Film Finishing Funds

A few weeks ago, I was excited to share my idea to launch a crowdfunding campaign with iFundWomen. It is a great platform, but after serious consideration of the time involved to manage that campaign, I decided it’s best that I stick with raising funds through my fiscal sponsor, Docs In Progress.

At first, the thought of crowdfunding, made me think of just asking friends and relatives for donations. But, it’s actually an invitation for others, for YOU, to join together to support me in the making of my film.

Over the next few months, I will send reminders and updates about my fundraiser to help bring my film into completion. In other words, Finishing Funds. If you’re interested in supporting me, please make a tax-deductible donation via the Docs In Progress project page for I Am More Than My Hair. And don’t forget to share! Sharing is caring.


Feminine TransitionsIn honor of her birthday month & my coming “out” last year, Wendy Simon, has launched a fundraiser for I Am More Than My Hair on Facebook. Wendy has not only participated in my project (both the film and book) but she has also been extremely supportive in consistently providing me with resources and ideas to help complete my project.

If you’re on Facebook, please join Wendy’s page, say hello and let her know how awesome she is for showing her support. She could have supported another non-profit in honor of her birthday, but she decided to contribute to the continuation of my work. Thank you Wendy!

Visit Wendy’s Facebook event page.


The date is set! Please join me in celebration of I Am More Than My Hair book release. It takes place on Sunday, September 9, 2018 from 5-7PM at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MDPurchase tickets for $10. The book cost $39.95.

If you’re interested in volunteering at the event, you’ll receive a complimentary ticket. Please contact me and let me know.

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There’s less than 2 weeks before the Fashion Show

I am forever grateful for the support of an entire planning committee coming together to organize the Bald, Beautiful, & Bold Fashion Show as a benefit for my film.

For the past several weeks, I’ve helped with setting up the event and have learned a lot in the process. Who knew there was so much involved in organizing a fashion show?!?

Although I still have a long stretch to go with raising all funding, to cover the cost of editing my film, the Bald, Beautiful, & Bold Fashion Show is a great start, and I’ve met some really cool along the way. I truly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved.

Are you in the Baltimore area or plan on traveling this way to attend? Purchase tickets here

Keep Smiling: Bald Edition

Ken Rochon, Founder of The Umbrella Syndicate and 5K Sponsor of the Bald, Beautiful, & Bold Fashion, has proposed a new project, based on the show.

Ken included me in one of his Keep Smiling book series titled, Black Women Influencers Who Impact & Inspire the World and has proposed a Bald and Beautiful edition, in collaboration with the fashion show. There is a small fee of $197 to be in the book (see flyer for details). This helps to alleviate costs of production.

If you’re interested, please email Ken@BigEventsUSA.com and let him know I referred you. He will take photos, of those interested, at the fashion show or will set up a studio session at a later date.

 

 

Upcoming event

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I’m one of the guest speakers for Women Of the World Festival 2018 (WOW Baltimore). I’m going to present a WOW Bite, a feminist corner and 15-minute TED-style talk. If you’re in the Baltimore area, please join me along with thousands of other women, all coming together for a positive cause. Register here

Bald, Beautiful, & Bold Fashion Show

You’re invited!

Thanks to the generous support of Carolyn Phillips, a model and participant in my project, we have secured a venue, the Designers and Models as well as a host and a few celebrity guests, for the 2018 Bald Beautiful & Bold Benefit Fashion Show. Carolyn offered to host this event as a fundraiser for “I Am More Than My Hair” film as well as a bald awareness campaign – #BaldBeautifulBold

The Fashion Show takes place on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Montgomery Park (1800 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD), from 5pm-7pm. Doors open at 3pm for vendors as well as a meet-and-greet.

Everyone involved has graciously offered to volunteer their time, including all models, make-up artists, designers, photographers, the host, a blogger… the list goes on an on. What a blessing is has been to be a part of a committee dedicated to bringing the fashion show to life, all in support of my film. I am truly grateful.

All we need now is your presence. Tickets are only $25, VIP is $35, and children under 16 are FREE. Purchase your tickets at – http://www.baldbeautifulbold.eventbrite.com/


Alyscia-take-a-pictureBy now you should know that I enjoy creating projects. This time around, it’s a project based off I Am More Than My Hair, a two-part project (film and book).

For consideration in an exhibition with the National Portrait Gallery, I’m looking for bald girls and women who would allow me to photograph them for my application submission. Even better, if I’ve taken your photo for I Am More Than My Hair coffee table book, I already have your story and I wouldn’t’ need you to submit another one for this project.

If you or someone you know interested in participating, please contact me and we’ll set a date.

Kiva Zip | A and C Books, LLC

Kiva Zip | A and C Books, LLC.

I’m only 5 contributors away from my loan going public on Kiva Zip. This means, my campaign will go live on the site for the public to see once I reach my goal of 5 more contributors. I’d really appreciate it if you could contribute as little as $5 to my loan!

This loan is important because it will allow me to expand my message of social change to an audience of over 30,000 at the Green Festival in Los Angeles, CA. I am also connecting with several Women’s Studies Programs to inquire about being a guest speaker their classrooms. In case you lost the link, here it is again: https://zip.kiva.org/loans/5380/i/u0hr

This is a loan, not a donation, so your money will be returned as I pay back my loan. Your support means a lot to me! Hope that you can help with a loan of $5 (or more) and share this with your network!

If you prefer sponsorship opportunities, visit my Speaker Sponsor profile here.

Thank you!