Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sparlha Swa is an internationally touring alternative soul singer and songwriter. Her songs appeared on the hit shows "Girlfriends" and "BETJ". She is currently part of the new critically-acclaimed musical "Fela" In New York City.
Q: Tell us about what you do and why you volunteer at Reciprocity?
A: I'm a singer and musician who supports and partners with life-affirming, art-based projects and organizations.
Q: How are you involved with Reciprocity?
A: The fantastic folks at Reciprocity were gracious enough to invite me to give a short performance one day, just me and my guitar. I ended up swapping songs and lyrics back and forth with the kids, listening to their process of recording that summer.
Q: Can you give an example of an experience you found rewarding at Reciprocity?
A: The energy, talent, brilliance, ambition and love in the room that day was amazing. I left so inspired.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The first episode of cycle 11 of America’s Next Top Model aired, featuring Reciprocity Foundation graduate Isis. Although brimming with controversy, Isis’s performance illustrated that she had more than earned her right to be a contestant. Judge on the show, noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker echoed these sentiments – “I think with the transgender issue it’s very easy to caricature someone like Isis. But when I spoke with her the other day she really knew her light, she knew what to do. and she was smart. She’s got real emotion and feeling, and I think it is because she has lived.” The Reciprocity Foundation has worked with Isis since the fall of 2007. She has never let her bouts with adversity as a homeless youth deter her on her path.
Isis was a standout. Not because she is transgender, but rather as a talented contestant who was completely prepared for all the challenges presented. She embodied all the principles that the Reciprocity Foundation teaches in our program. She arrived with an illustration for Tyra, demonstrating her technical ability for design. She impressed Nigel in her one-on-one interview with her knowledge of the modeling industry. When contestants threw uncomfortable questions at her, she was calm under fire.
We at the Reciprocity Foundation are ecstatic about her success and are sure that her talent, dedication and perseverance will yield great results.