Seven City Art Society and The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association collaborate to bring you the 2015 SWAN DAY CELEBRATION

Have you ever heard of SWAN DAY?
Support Women Arts Now (SWAN) Day is a national celebration of women in arts.

hosted by Shelly Bell
March 26, 2015
7pm, $15 to support women artists

Get your tickets now:
You can also pay at the door

The Athenaeum
201 Prince St.
Alexandria, VA 22314



Live Painting by Lola Leopard:

The ability to see my talent develop in front of a crowd has been a humbling experience. To show my appreciation, I challenge myself by pushing my creative ability with consistent variety. The courage to step outside of my comfort zone with new designs; while remaining true to my personal style, has strengthened my craft and given me the confidence to become a professional live painter. I am learning to come alive on stage; unveiling uniquely evocative artwork that illustrates who I am as an artist. What began as just a creative release, is developing into a movement of the masses. I have dedicated my talents to empowering African American women, raising awareness against the silent cycle of abuse, and creating a safespace for women personally looking for a release through artistry.


Liturgical Dance by Mia Jackson:

Mia doubles as Swim Instructor by day and writer/dancer by night. Joining the church at a young age Mia began to explore the the ways that music could motivate and provide a positive experience for listeners. Mia enjoys the art of conveying the message of her song with beautiful fluid body movements.

Poetry by Tori Lane Kovarik, Poet Laureate of Alexandria

Tori Lane Kovarik (also known as T.Lane) is an Alexandria-based poet, speaker, artist, and educator.  Tori is currently serving at the Poet Laureate of Alexandria City in northern Virginia.Tori’s work is known to have a fairly dark sensibility, routinely addressing issues of spiritual crisis, sexual trauma, depression, and self-injury.  In writing about these tough issues, Tori aims to shed light on things often clothed in silence, grappling with them in a way of seeking healing and hope.This theme of giving voice expands beyond Tori’s writing and visual art and into her work in the community and the church.  She works with victims of sexual trauma, connecting them to resources and support systems, and speaks publicly about her own experience with sexual trauma and the struggle to find healing.  Tori also provides training and resources to churches so they are better equipped to support trauma victims in their midst.


Poetry over Music by SB Cooper:

To merely refer to North Carolina native and Alexandria, VA resident Shelly Bell aka “SB Cooper” as a curious and talented consumer of life’s most positive energies would only tell half of the story. She is an award-winning performance poet, event host at DC’s hub for poetry and great food – Busboys and Poets, and author of All Women are Stupid Sometimes – a contemporary tale of what women endure for love. Her poems have been published for academia in Critical Articulations of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation which examines the relationship between race, gender and sexual orientation. Shelly has published articles on music, arts, and culture as a contributor for Brightest Young Things, Brooklyn Bodega, and editor of Straight Razor Hip-Hop. She is the founder of Women Writers Rock – an advocacy group for women readers and writers in the DC metro area and beyond. Excelling as a truly dynamic force in local, national and now international media, her work as performance poet has led to an arts partnership with the Northern VA Fine Arts Association, a performance with the world renowned Washington Metro Philharmonic Association, and serving as a former Arts Commissioner for the City of Alexandria,VA.

Looking forward to celebrating with you! For questions about the event email

Twitterview: Iggy Azalea on Azealia Banks, Privilege, and Being a Hip-Hop Artist

On this edition of Twitterview is Iggy Azalea…

Hi Iggy Azalea, how are you today?


So Iggy what is your response to Azaelia Banks and all of the things she’s been saying about you:

What is your relationship with Hip-Hop? Are you a Hip-Hop artist?

Oh wow! So you’re getting Hip-Hop awards, performing with Hip-Hop artists, and making a name for yourself with Hip-Hop but you’re not just a Hip-Hop artist?

Well, It’s clear that you couldn’t care less about Azealia Banks’ rants. It’s also clear that you don’t have to care about preserving Hip-Hop culture as long as you can straddle the pop/hip-hop fence and make money. Privilege allows you the space to meddle in any form of music you like and still win awards for being Hip-Hop all while saying you’re not a Hip-Hop artist. Awesome! So what do you really care about Iggy?

What’s next for you?

Taking your Hip-Hop, oh I mean pop act, on tour?! NICE!!

Welp! Thank you for Twitterviewing with me!

This concludes our Twitterview with Iggy Azalea. Thanks for tweeting Iggy!

*Please note: These tweets are embedded here directly from Iggy Azalea’s timeline therefore if any tweets are missing it is because she has deleted them.*

Finding Your Flow: 21 Day Meditation with Deepak and Oprah


I was recently discharged from an abusive employer (happy about that), I am about four months pregnant with my third child at 33 years old, my children are happy, I am in a very loving relationship with the man of my dreams, I have progressed as an artists/writer, and life seems to be flowing perfectly. However, I am in a very transitional space. I still have no clue what I want to do with my life. I want to be a life coach, I want to travel, I want to be a stay at home mom, I want to write books, I want to turn my books into plays, I want to start social media management again, and I want to start a movement! I decided to partake in Oprah and Deepak’s newest 21 day meditation “Finding Your Flow.”

This is 21 Days of guided meditation geared toward shaping life energies toward a free-flowing space of productivity and peace. I plan to document the experience by engaging in the meditation each morning then blogging my vibe/reflections after the meditation. Each blog post will be labeled with the title of overall meditation, the day and title of the meditation focus for that day. I don’t want to go on this journey expecting an answer or trying to shape the end result. I am going to relax, stay open, and submit to the meditation practice.

What better place to blog this journey than REGRET NOTHING WRITE EVERYTHING!

Here we go! Let the journey begin!


Define your “BIG”

I have grown comfortable with the thought that anything big cannot be beautiful. I have concluded that a certain “big” is more appreciated than overly fat. That each weight group has a certain kind of “big.” There’s that solid big person who doesn’t really jiggle, but whose considered “big-boned.” There’s that tall round kinda big where you’re not just overweight but you’re taller than the average male/female. There’s that obese by medical definition, but well put together “big.” Then there’s that flabby, skin hanging, round tub tummy big where there are rolls and rolls of fat dangling from various parts of the body.

It’s hard to tell who defines your “big.” Some people are big and around big people so big doesn’t look so big which means that bigger than the biggest person you see defines “big.” For models the skinniest model with the sexiest curves defines big. For some people the doctor defines “big” and demands you do something about it. Media images define “big.” Clothing stores define “big.” Media and clothing stores combined define “big” in the mind of everyone around you therefore their comments define “big.” There you are….somewhere in between the plus size section of a clothing store and the door. All you can hear is the doctor pronouncing you obese or the stranger that offers you extra space on public transportation or the family member that reminds you that you have gained weight. That is the moment you begin to define your “big.”

This blog post will not solve your “big” problem. It does not include fitness tips and healthy food recommendations. This post is just to say I understand. I am constantly defining my “big” and trying to figure how to keep healthy. I am constantly trying to define my “big” while coping with the eyes of those who have defined themselves as skinnier than I. I am constantly trying to define my “big” while wondering how I got so fat in the first place. I am constantly defining my “big” by the possibility that I will always be “big.” How will I live with that? How will the people around me live with that? They won’t because they don’t get it. The world does not understand how I am affected by it. I often do not understand how I affect the world. Something’s gotta give. Depression is the step after guilt. Defining my “big” is necessary to make myself “OK” with what is an uphill battle for what is currently a cosmetic change. I am not unhealthy. Fat alone doesn’t make you unhealthy. It’s what the excess fat does to your body that makes you unhealthy. So far I am not “big” enough to have weight pulling at my heart or have high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. For those of you who are take your medicine.

I could go on and on! I think I will stop here and pick this post up another day. Today its gloomy outside and I woke up defining my “big” as the fight against what Narcolepsy does to my metabolism. I woke up realizing that I took some weight loss pills yesterday that are probably eating away at my insides as I type this. Today my “big” is defined by how hard it will be to ignore just how “big” I’ve gotten.

Thank you to those who will respond to this post with how beautiful I am and how I should focus on God and how I should just exercise. Thank you to those who will suggest everything but actually figuring a way they can actually help. I understand. You just have to comment and I am grateful to have you here. You are part of the reasons that depressing moments like this will only last till the end of this blog post.

Pura Vida,

Homo After Sex

If we replace the word “sex” with the word “gender” in the phrase “same sex” maybe the world could get over thinking of “sex as gender” and “sex as an act” as the SAME thing. Our society is so oversexed that even typing the word sex as many times as I have thus far feels nasty. When talking about relationships whether homo or hetero our dialogue is often incomplete. I feel that women spend more time profiling a man for the future than seeing him in a moment. The first few dates are equivalent to a sandbox where his end looks as fun as hers but is filled quicksand. The woman sits as a giddy kid with a new playmate figuring out whether or not she should throw him a life line of some sort. The men feel themselves sinking while hoping they’re swimming. At the same time the men want sex as a validation that they are not sinking. However, society presses a woman to have sex as long as it’s not too soon or too late. Too soon would make her a “whore” and too late would cause her to miss out on an opportunity to have sex with a “good man” in order to evaluate him as a “good husband.”


Well, it’s the same in “same sex” relationships.  Except with lesbians it’s two women sinking in quicksand on both sides of a sandbox and I imagine with gay men they both think they’re swimming while sex is just a part of the process. If people could get past the idea that two men or two women are only together to have sex then homosexuality would be just as any other relationship. People have said so many things about homosexual relationships and they are all related to having sexual intercourse. I’ve heard the argument that God meant for women to procreate and you can’t do that with same sex relationships. Who knows what God meant? The only book we have to figure it out was written by all men and we can’t possibly believe that God stop inspiring people to write centuries ago. Not only that the only people he inspired was men? Really? That’s a whole other story. The point is “sex” as in gender is not the same as “sex” as in sexual intercourse. If you’re homosexual you probably had these feelings before having sex and after having sex. Yet either way you still have to actually get to know a person another person regardless of gender in order for a relationship to work.

Could I marry a woman?

I said all of the above about sex and gender to say that in the course of getting to know a potential mate I begin to see patterns in the women just as I did in the men. I have to step back and ask myself who am I choosing and why. I believe that the potential mates you choose are a reflection of where you are in life. The one who succeeds as the actual mate should be one you see going into a new life with. Now after being homo and hetero in my lifetime I realize that after sex we still have to relate. It’s not that I didn’t know this before. I just think that I too was guilty of making homosexuality all about the “sexual preference” as in “sexual intercourse preference.” This is an ignorant thought. At the moment I can’t see myself marrying a woman because I haven’t found a woman that makes me feel the security I would want in a “forever mate” situation. This could change. Honestly, I don’t know if I see myself getting married to anyone of any gender. I will always like women and I will always like men. Until there’s individuals who can understand this about me I will be single. I like relating to men and women alike not just that I like having sexual intercourse with men and women.


Call to action…

1. STOP grossing yourself out over homosexual relationships because you view sex between the same sex as inappropriate or nasty. “Sexual preference” should refer to gender not sexual intercourse.

2. START considering that two people can get to know and love each other regardless of gender. You have friends right?

3. LIVE your life as you truly please, but realize it’s your life not mine, hers, or his. LIVE yours. Be slow to judge books by spines, at least look at the entire cover.

4. RESPECT your own choices by allowing someone else to have choice. Know the difference between your choice and the choice you want for all men or all women.

5. DON’T think that every lesbian or gay male likes you just because you think you’re sexy. Just because you are desired by the opposite sex does not mean you are desired by the same sex. Most times heteros are too big an obstacle to convert to homos therefore, no one would really care to take on that challenge.

Your perception is real to you. Ignorance disbands positive reality. Open your mind or stay closed minded. If closed minded people would stay closed mouthed everyone would be much happier.

Thank you for reading!

Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

Awesome UPDATE!!

Today is awesome because…

It’s my BIRTHDAY WEEK! That’s right! February 4, 2012 is my birthday but I am celebrating all week.


  • to Angel G. a childhood friend who sponsored an awesome tattoo and visit to NC last weekend.
  • to DJ Heat who is sponsoring A gift a day for 7 days up until my birthday!
  • to my friend Alejaibra who is going to do something special like for me tomorrow!
  • to my bestie Sharita who asked for my address today so is most likely going to send me a birthday card that I am going to absolutely LOVE!
  • to my friend Tony who is taking me to dinner on Sunday when I return from Philly.

I’ve sold over 160 books this quarter!

I was just informed by my publisher Asta Publication (awesomeness) that I have sold over 160 books this quarter!! This is great news to get on my birthday week! Check out the “Products” page here by clicking umm who wudda guessed it…PRODUCTS! (at the top of the site)

You can be in Philly WITH ME!

LIVE is best but streaming will do! If you can’t make it to Philly this week to celebrate my birthday with me you can see the performance online from the comfort of your own home by clicking . I recommend you bookmark the site so that you will easily be able to navigate to it on Thursday!


Since it’s my birthday and my favorite number is 7 I will be giving away 7 copies of my new CD to each night I perform in Philly to random people in the audience! This CD is unique because it will have a special bonus track on it! Can’t tell you what the track is yet…

I have An APP for that!

Get the I AM SHELLY BELL app for your Apple or Android devices absolutely free! Get updates before the rest of the world. See fun videos and creative pics! Read cool ass blogpost about random ish that Shelly Bell thinks! Search for “I Am Shelly Bell” in your app gallery or download it by clicking here

That is all for now! Follow this blog by clicking the “follow this blog” button on the right side of your screen.

Pura Vida,

Shelly Bell

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