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In performance

Iyeoka Okoawo with Jayson Fann

International Museum of Women
IMOW’s 2011 Annual Benefit

Thursday, March 10,
Terra Gallery, San Francisco

Join us as we celebrate the Centennial of International Women’s Day and honor the Museum’s founding President and Board Chair Elizabeth Colton. All proceeds benefit IMOW’s work advancing women’s global creativity, self expression and human rights. Purchase tickets today.

We are proud to welcome Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom as our Honorary Co-chairs and Patricia and Paige Sprincin as Event Co-Chairs.

Join us at Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison St., San Francisco. The Patron’s Reception (Tickets $2,500, $1,000, $500) begins at 5:30 p.m. The program and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. All who attend the program and dinner are also invited to join the Celebrating Change Art Live Lounge after the event, which begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m.

The dinner proceedings will feature wine, fine cuisine, art installations, and a special performance by Nigerian American Award-Winning Poet and Recording Artist Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo and Jayson Fann. Iyeoka is a Poet and Recording Artist, a 2010 TED Global Fellow, and the 2nd place 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion . Jayson Fann is a musician, visual artist, director, producer and multi-cultural arts consultant. He performs, designs and produces hundreds of concerts and educational programs annually celebrating cultural diversity worldwide.

Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo

“She’s an amazing artist, a powerful performer and  wordsmith. Currently manifesting everything she believes in, she radiates positive energy, delivering her silky smooth voice and soulful rhythm. An award-winning singer and poet, Okoawo’s words and melodies will lift you body, heart and soul.”

A first-generation Nigerian-American, Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo is the founder and lead singer of the music group Rock by Funk Tribe. Iyeoka is at the forefront of creating a new artistic genre that gracefully interweaves spoken word poetry with jazz, blues, gospel and electronic soul. Iyeoka & the Rock by Funk Tribe are a much sought after supporting act for touring artists showcasing worldwide. Iyeoka and the Rock by Funk Tribe have been chosen as the supporting act of choice for touring artists including son of Afrobeat Femi Kuti, and popular world music group Zap Mama.


Jayson Fann

Jayson Fann is a musician, visual artist, director, producer and multi-cultural arts consultant. Jayson performs, designs and produces hundreds of concerts and educational programs annually celebrating cultural diversity . His work has taken him around the world many times to direct a diverse range of artistic projects in Europe, African, Haiti, Cuba and Brazil. Jayson has taught and served as a special consultant for California State University Monterey Bay, San Francisco State University, The Esalen Institute, Centro d’Ompio International Center for Holistic Studies as well as many other schools and centers internationally. His work has been featured in many prestigious publications such as the London Guardian, BBC, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Conde Naste European Travel Magazine, Sunset Magazine and many others world wide.


Spirit Awakening

March 4th 6:00 to 9:00 pm

at UCLA’s Northwest Campus Auditorium

“Exceptionally accomplished, lifts the solo dramatic genre to heights rarely reached”

-L.A. Times

Akuyoe Graham’s autobiographical one-woman show “Spirit Awakening” at UCLA follows her progression from her native Ghana, where she was a princess of a royal tribe, to her upbringing in London, to her eventual incarnation as a young actress on the Manhattan cafe society scene.

A reprise of a 1992 production that has since toured widely, Graham’s piece contains a cast of finely honed characters, including Graham’s own youthful self and an intrinsically racist British school head who seeks to squelch Graham’s otherness. In addition to Graham’s exceptional performance, an evocative stage design and beautifully performed music by Jayson Fann give a palpable sense of the color and warmth of Graham’s West African childhood.

Queen mother Nana Odede Akuyoe Graham of Ghana, West Africa is a critically acclaimed actress, writer and founder of the Spirit Awakening Foundation and crowned queen of Ghana. She has been named “Angel of the Year“ by the Children’s Life Saving Foundation, “Artist of the Year” by Artshare LA, and been given a “Local Hero Award” by A Season for Non-Violence LA, and the Pasadena Police and Fire Department for her work with at risk youth and teens in the juvenile system.  In 2007 Akuyoe received the Landmark Entertainment’s Miriam Makeba Award for her “outstanding” work as an actor.  Akuyoe created the award winning writing program, “Rights of Passage/Unmasking your Authentic Voice” and the Spirit Awakening Foundation.  The foundation oversees the implementation of her program for teens and incarcerated youth.  The California State Department of Justice has recognized Rights of Passage as “innovative and effective” in the areas of youth gang violence prevention.

Jayson Fann is a musician, visual artist, director, producer and multi-cultural arts consultant. He performs, designs and produces hundreds of concerts and educational programs annually. Jayson brings his expertise in Pan African visual arts and music with a emphasis in Afro Cuban folkloric, Jazz, Brazilian, Ghanaian, and Yoruba music to the Spirit Awakening Production. Jayson is the founder and director of the Big Sur Spirit Garden, The Esalen International Arts Festival, and the  Ashé Esemble. Through these diverse projects he weaves together a rich tapestry of performing artists dedicated to a common vision and spirit of cross cultural unity. Jayson currently is touring as  percussionist for Nigerian Singer songwriter Iyeoka Okoawo.

His other credits include performing, touring and recording with the legendary Babatunde Olatunji and the Drums of Passion Ensemble, recording and touring with renowned Chilian artist Viviana Guzman, performing, sharing the stage with and presenting such artists as Alegria Latin Jazz Ensemble, jazz artist Renee Wilson, gospel and soul artist Vernon Bush, Babatunde Lee, legendary Brazilian artists Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, jazz artist Hannibal Lakumbe, Brazilian jazz singer Claudia Villela, Jackeline Rago and the Venezuelan Project, John Santos, Danjuma & Onola of Nigeria, and many others.

© 2011 Big Sur Spirit Garden Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha