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Trinity City Goes to BLERDFEST

Before we head to Blerdfest NOLA 2024, we got the chance to hear more about the project from co-founder and CEO, TRUE.

 

On Saturday, May 18, at the historic McDonogh 35 High School in New Orleans, we will be featured in two (count ‘em, two!) activities at the incredible Blerdfest NOLA 2024:  (1) a first-of-its-kind panel discussion that brings together teen and adult creators from TRINITY CITY Issue 1 and the upcoming Issue 2 of the comic book; and (2) the first-ever piloting of a new artivism training workshop for teens created with our partners at Narrative Initiative

To prepare, we sat down with the Co-Founder and CEO of Blerdfest, TRUE.


“So I am black and I'm a nerd," TRUE said, "and I find that very often I have had to choose whether I wanted to socialize in nerdy spaces in which there was not a lot of diversity, or in black spaces in which there weren't necessarily a lot of nerds. So, I have become most interested in that Venn diagram that overlaps where blackness and nerdiness intersect.


"I’m originally from Los Angeles, then I lived in New York City, and New Orleans is 25 times smaller than either of these other two.  So I found that there weren't many opportunities to experience that overlap. 


"And so as with many situations in my life, I felt the need for something that didn't exist. So I figured I had to create it myself. And the mission on the surface, we are sort of like a Comic-Con. So we have things that you would find in a typical Comic-Con. We have panels and celebrity guests and workshops and vendors and cosplay and things like that. But calling us a comic con would be like calling Sesame Street a puppet show. It is on one level of course, but really the puppets are just a means to an end. And that end is bringing educational and vocational information into the black community for the benefit of our community. And the shiny candy coating is just, if we said we're teaching a big class on Saturday, we might have fewer people interested.


"We bring in creative professionals from a wildly diverse pool, group them by genre or by profession, and then have a workshop or a panel dedicated to that thing. So we have a lot of content. We have a panel on filmmakers. We have one on actors. We have one on comic book writers and illustrators. We have one on visual arts. We have one on costuming in which we have a panel on costuming in which half of the panel are contemporary cosplayers, and the other half are New Orleans culture bearers of black masking traditions. And the discussion is, what is the overlap? What are the similarities and dissimilarities between traditional costuming in the form of black masking and contemporary masking in the form of Spider-Man, captain America, black Panther, whatever we have?  That’s the kind of interactions you can expect."

 

Thank you, TRUE, for sharing your perspective and experience with us. We're so excited for Blerdfest!

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