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Live, Love, & Give - The Holiday Dinner Series

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In the midst of a capitalistic society, there are still those who seek to benefit others rather than themselves. The well known adage of "It is better to give than receive" remains true for the select few. Local vocalist and songwriter MiMi Spence along with spoken word artist and activist Empress Poetry created "Live, Love, & Give : The Holiday Dinner Series" as a way of giving back to those less fortunate. The crux of the event was embodied by a canned foods, coats, and toy drive.

Upon commuting home from work one night, Spence was moved by the various panhandlers seeking food rather than money. Spence determined in her mind to be part of the solution and play her part. "Our children need to see us giving", said Spence.

The Dinner Series ran for the first four Sundays in December, ending on December 22nd. The events all took place at the Inkwell Jazz Cafe in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. The closing night was a memorable one with outstanding live performances all unique in their own way. The show opened up with the Kemit drummers, an African drum troupe. The two man drum group played native beats and started the show off with high energy. The crowd was visibly engaged as the rhythms emanated from their drums. The next set of performers for the night were a few young people showcasing their talents. The co-host for the night Empress Poetry exclaimed "We believe in our youth".

Elijah Nicholson, a Brooklyn native, recited an original poem dedicated to the ladies in the audience. After his poem, Elijah displayed his footwork dancing to a song by Justin Beiber entitled "All That Matters". The song was about a love interest being the only concern in Beiber's mind. Nicholson definitely catered to the woman in the house for the evening. Nicholson captivated the crowd with his moves and joyful attitude.

An inspiring story of resiliency graced the stage next with Ms. Mimi a colon cancer survivor of over six years. She performed a liturgical dance to Marvin Sapp's "Praise Him in Advance". Her performance carried extra weight as she told of how she recently lost her mother and sister within a month of each other. Mimi also sustained an injury to her ankle, thus dancing again became a questionable feat. However, through hard work and the help of the Lord she persevered to perform at "Live, Love, & Give" for the first time in over a year. She epitomized the true essence of the holidays and gave hope to all in attendance.

The donations from the drive for "Live, Love, & Give" were split between two noble organizations that work within the community; Latino NYC and The Brooklyn Rescue Mission. Raffle giveaways were also done at the event as an extra fundraiser for the cause. Beautiful gift baskets designed by Ms. Mimi were some of the items given away. The event was able to bless numerous families for the holiday season.

"Live, Love, & Give" co-host Empress Poetry took the stage to perform a few of her original pieces. Empress touched on her passion for poetry, her affinity for love, and the drive to press on in life.

"My passion is my purpose. My purpose is my poetry"

Mimi Spence closed the night out doing a 3-song set with a local guitarist. Two of the songs performed were originals from her 2012 release "Freedomology". The crowd was fully engaged with MiMi as they sang along and followed her lead. Spence's testimony of the birth of her daughter further instilled hope and the importance of family. In the holiday season, the truly important things in life take precedence; such as life, love, and good health. As the night came to a close, the Kemit drummers played celebratory rhythms to leave on a high note.

The "Live, Love, & Give" Holiday Dinner Series was a huge success. It reiterated the importance of a community of people partnering together to aid those less fortunate. The efforts are not only needed during the holiday season, thus we will hear more from the "Live, Love, & Give" campaign in 2014.

For more info be sure to check http://www.icdpvn.net/#!deep-in-the-streets/c1829

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