We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamiel McKee Bey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tamiel, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks is at the core of the work that has made Black Voices Artists Collective everything that it is today. The leaders of BVU were Black, Queer, Women who organized people to make amazing art, to create long lasting connections and love that extends so far beyond all of us. This is risky, revolutionary, RADICAL. Risk looks like courage in the face of sometimes being your only supporter. Being the only person who can see the vision. I had the be vision for this organization for a long time, people don’t always know how to show up for your business or work, I gave people the opportunity to show up as themselves. What ever you have, where ever you’re at. Come, exist, take the risk to be all of yourself.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” -John 1:5 Transforming pain and adversity is not easy, and my art has taught me to have compassion, to have an open heart to all that life has to offer. Learning to love every version of myself, teaching other people how to love the parts of me that are usually deemed unlovable. My art is not just my pain, my art is deeply immersed in my dreams, fantasy and vision. When I create it is a spiritual experience and sometimes this is exciting and ecstatic. Other times this feels like everything inside of me is on fire and being burned anew. Any way that my present manifests in my art is a manifestation of my journey, the process of becoming. Death and rebirth. I want people to see themselves in everything that I create. My poetry, my sacred movement, my photography, my activism, my pleasure…all of the extensions of my creativity.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The World Beat Center in Balboa Park is home to so many beautiful souls in San Diego. I have experienced so much love and gratitude in this space. It is truly deserving of historical recognition for all that it has brought to the culture and history of the city. From the cafe to the reggae festival, open markets and live music culture. You will undeniably feel at home

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Black women deserve credit for everything that I am today. The way that I have been loved, challenged, empowered and pained. All of the ways that I have had the opportunity to experience Black women in my community has inspired more greatness and authenticity in my work. How we deserve to be seen. How our stories are told. How we are understood, and we will be understood. Black women are the passion that lights my fire to keep loving and to keep giving. To live in all of my abundance.

Website: www.blckvcesunited.org

Instagram: Blckvcesunited

Linkedin: Tamiel McKee Bey

Youtube: Iamallthatyouare

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.