Former Christian Post Reporter Nicola A. Menzie Solicits Support for New Magazine!

nicola-menzie

Hello World,

As you may or may not know, I came of age in the 90s otherwise known as the golden age of black entertainment (although there are some shows out now that are giving me hope that black entertainment is enjoying a resurgence). One of my favorite shows back in the 90s was “Living Single,” which was about brand new adults making their way in  NYC (basically a black “Friends” before there was “Friends). I watched the show just about the time that I was making my way as a brand new adult in the A.

I identified with no one character more than the others, but I did feel a certain kinship with the character Khadijah James, who was portrayed by Queen Latifah. Khadijah was the editor and publisher of the upstart Flavor magazine and as such found herself on the brink of economic disaster a few times.

Queen Latifah in Living Single.

Queen Latifah in Living Single.

I didn’t have the courage to start my own magazine, but as a new journalist, who couldn’t find a job for a while, I worked with a woman who started her own magazine and saw the financial challenges of doing so up close. One of the highlights of working for this new magazine was meeting Diddy who was Puffy back then. It was so much fun, but most of all, I admired the drive of the woman who launched the magazine!

Well, now, I know of another brave woman who is endeavoring to start a new magazine, and I hope that you will support her in this much needed endeavor! Below is information from Nicola A. Menzie’s Kickstarter page! She needs $15,000 to launch the magazine and has until Jan. 22 to raise the entire amount or she doesn’t get any of it!

Hello. Welcome to the Kickstarter campaign for Issue No. 1 of Faithfully Magazine.

Faithfully Magazine is a News and Lifestyle publication that advocates for, celebrates and informs Christian Communities of Color by centering the conversations, issues and events they say are important to their faith and to their lives.

My name is Nicola A. Menzie and I am the founder and editor of Faithfully Magazine (faithfullymagazine.com). I live in New York City and have been writing, blogging, tweeting (and sometimes complaining) about happenings in Evangelical Christianity for the past eight years or so (five years professionally).

I’ve long been a believer, but entering the world of Evangelical Christianity as a member of the press was eye-opening. I soon learned the names, the quirks and the controversies that really set people off (like Osteen and Bell, “sowing seeds” and the prosperity gospel).

More than anything, I learned that Christian news media is saturated with the perspectives, voices and concerns of White Evangelicalism. And very few of their publications and websites have Christians of Color in decision-making roles or who contribute to their editorial direction.

HELP US PRINT THE PREMIERE ISSUE OF FAITHFULLY MAGAZINE 

Faithfully Magazine goes to press in January and we’re soliciting contributions from diverse writers, illustrations, photographers and other creatives for an impactful premiere issue. The goal right now is to publish the magazine as a quarterly, with this Kickstarter campaign being used to raise the necessary funds to produce Issue No. 1.

Some stories on deck for the full-color, 80-page premiere issue include:

  • Christians of Color sharing in their own words how they are moving forward under a Donald Trump presidency;
  • A diverse survey of responses on whether, due to the 2016 campaign, the term “Evangelical” should be dumped or redeemed;
  • A gripping feature on a former felon who came to faith in prison and still has to answer for his alleged crimes;
  • A revealing Q&A with rapper and pastor Trip Lee that includes his thoughts on the presidential election and how he cares for a faith community of both Trump and Clinton voters;
  • A sit-down with the husband-and-wife leaders of Crossover Church, a popular urban ministry that’s also a millennial magnet.

If you have some compelling content or story ideas, send me an email (namenzie @ gmail.com). We’re also looking to develop regular columns.

The image below is of a mock cover to give you an idea of our direction.

mock-cover

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

I was a staff reporter for The Christian Post for several years. Before that, I worked with companies like CBS News, AOL News and even Vibe.com — where I started out about 13 years ago as an editorial intern (yes, I love hip-hop). Most recently, I’ve written about Christians from diverse backgrounds strategizing to address police violence and African-American responses to Donald Trump. I’ve also interviewed the Christian activist who rocked a major conference and the pro-life movement with her remarks on Black Lives Matter. I also study Theology and am on course to (finally!) complete my Master of Divinity degree in 2017.

Below  is a video of Nicola discussing her vision for Faithfully Magazine

Join me in supporting Nicola! And please go to her Kickstarter page to find out how you can contribute AND what you will receive for your generous contribution!

Any thoughts?

A Family-Oriented, Positive Reality Show? Introducing GigFlip180…

Hello World,

Yesterday, I attended a meeting for TalkBlack Atlanta, an African-American discussion group that meets the first Saturday of each month at African-American-owned businesses throughout the city. Yesterday’s discussion was on the black woman. I thoroughly enjoyed discussing issues pertinent to what African-American women face in our day-to-day lives, and I will be back!

One of the points that we discussed is how we are portrayed in the media – think “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and how we don’t fight to ensure that the images of us are positive or at least really realistic. One panelist Dr. Alicia Simon noted that years ago, CBS tried to create a reality-based remake of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” in which a rural family would be moved to a Beverly Hills mansion for hilarious mischief and mayhem I’m sure… After public outry including a congressional hearing according to Simon, that reality show was shut down before it even started…

Well, my Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sister and line sister Kendra Muñoz aka “Beauty” and her husband Carlos aka “C-Los,” two wonderfully gifted artists, are in the process of developing a family-oriented, positive reality show “GigFlip180.”  (READ: You will not find any basketball wives on this show!) This variety show is actually the brainchild of C-Los Muñoz! The duo are currently raising money to fund the production of their first show…Read on for my Q&A about the program…

What is GigFlip180?

GigFlip180 a hip variety stage show where celebrities showcase their hidden talents.  Our show “GigFlip180” is designed for the whole family to enjoy, bringing the household back together like the good old shows of yesteryear: one room – one television – one family! The show is reminiscent of “The Flip Wilson Show” with several funny skits, songs & dance grooves to offer side-splitting comedy and a musical display of talent. Celebs come on the show, and they appear on the show right alongside me, (C-Los) & my beautiful spouse and co-host Beauty in awe-inspiring, comedic scenes!  Whether they’re an actor, singer, dancer, rapper, or sports figure – they must “flip” the “gig” that has made them famous “180 degrees.”

How & why did you come up with the concept?

As a boy,  I was intrigued with television. I used to think tiny people were inside playing around. As I got older, I loved watching “Sanford & Son,” “Good Times,” “The Brady Bunch” and “The Flip Wilson & Carol Burnett Shows.” Those shows taught me life lessons on how to treat people with decency and respect. Because of all those great shows, I was fueled to become an entertainer. So, I built up enough courage to audition and  land a gig in a professional theater company.  After working with the theater company,  I auditioned and landed my first TV role. I was amazed at the fact that I was going to be on TV! I was like Wow! Following that TV gig, I was signed to a major record label. With recording, touring and TV appearances, I wasn’t able to watch any TV because I was too busy being on it.  LOL.

Now, today TV has turned into a projection of violence and sexual exploitation. I believe TV was invented with the  family in mind where entire families can sit down in one room, watch one television and enjoy a program without fear of explicit content.  So I created a family variety show that will help redirect television to its more encouraging, empowering and inspiring roots. This show entertains the entire family with good old-fashioned clean fun. Celebrity guests appear on the show flipping the gig that’s made them famous. They will not perform what has made them known by millions…They got to “flip” it!  They must demonstrate they’re worthy of the title of superstar. It’s the return of good, clean TV!

Tell me about your background and what has prepared you to pursue this project.

I got my first big break as an actor, singer, dancer and choreographer in the renowned Boston Youth Theatre directed by Elaine Koury.  After that, I landed a lead role in a television special called “Don’t Give Up.” Since I loved the excitement of live performing, I decided to shift my focus to music entertainment, and I began touring and appearing on TV (“Soul Train” and BET) and performance stages across the country with Billboard- charting, Polygram R&B recording group Finest Hour.

Then, I became a member of Marky Mark’s Funky Bunch.  In the late ’90s, I relocated to Atlanta, working with Marvelous Development Center and Devyne Stephens’ Upfront Megatainment.  During my over 20 years in entertainment, I have worked in many capacities including  working as an an entertainment consultant, road manager, choreographer and artist developer. I have worked on several projects with many celebrities including Sean “P-Diddy” Combs, Dallas Austin, Robert Townsend, Patti Labelle, Maurice Starr, OutKast, Jazze Pha, Goodie Mob,  Raven-Symoné, Ludacris and Pink.

With a wealth of entertainment experience, I have launched Zonum Media Group, the media production company that is producing “GigFlip180!’

What is Kickstarter & why are you using this service? Why is there a deadline date?

Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design and other creative fields.  It is a new form of commerce and patronage.  It is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100 percent ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.  Projects are ALL or NOTHING FUNDING, which means a project on KICKSTARTER must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands.

This policy protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.  Each and every project is an independent creation.  Projects are big and small, whimsical or serious. We thought that getting involved with Kickstarter would be a perfect opportunity  for supporters to directly connect to a project that speaks to their heart…

Some people may want to ask me, C-Los “You’ve worked with a lot of people, know a lot of people – you don’t need Kickstarter, do you?” And my answer would be, I am not too sure it’s about if I need Kickstarter or not. I just know this is the perfect platform to get us, not only connect to our fan base but connect to people that are looking for a refreshing change from what they are used to seeing.  Also, when someone puts a pledge behind you, it gives you that feeling of validation that says what you are doing is a good thing and you should continue in your pursuit because we need more positive shows for families in the world…

We have to raise $139,000 by Sept. 6 or we lose it all. To date, we have raised $766. The money is needed to shoot the stage show before a live studio audience, including securing the venue, celebrities, the pay for cast & crew members and other  budgeted items.

How do you donate, and what do you get for your donation?

To donate or what we like to say, make a pledge, you must go to Kickstarter.com. (Click on the link.) Incentives for pledging are listed on the website.

Sounds like a worthy cause to me…

Any thoughts?

P.S. Check out a promo video for “GlipFlip180” below…