Copyright HigherSelf Lifestyle 2017

Art(ists) in Transition Panelists

Akeema Zane x HigherSelf Lifestyle

Art(ists) in Transition Panelists


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DeVeor Rainey

Deveor Rainey x HigherSelf

Deveor Rainey, Founder: Speaking in Rhythms

DeVeor Rainey, the founder and Executive Director of Speaking in Rhythms Incorporated (SIR), has a Bachelor of Arts in English from The City College of New York and a Masters of Arts in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2001 she established a comprehensive after-school music program at CPE 2, an elementary public school located in in East Harlem, where she has taught music since 1999. Through her work with SIR, Ms. Rainey implemented Syncopated New York, a cultural awareness and exchange program, in which students studied music from various countries, such as Puerto Rico, the South Carolina/Georgia Sea Island, Belize, Peru, and Ethiopia.  As a part of the program, students created original compositions inspired by styles of music from these countries, as well as, traveled to the countries to gain a greater understanding of the music within a cultural context.  DeVeor also directs, the Speaking in Rhythms Percussion Ensemble, a youth performance group that performs at various events throughout the city. In addition, Ms. Rainey conducted interactive music workshops at community institutions, such as the Jazz Improvisation Workshop at Teachers College, the Music Advancement Program at Juilliard, The Museum of the City of New York, The Dwyer Cultural Center, Barnes and Noble Bookstore, and Countee Cullen Public Library.  DeVeor provides training and employment opportunities for youth through SIR’s mentoring and apprenticeship program, in which participants train to assist teaching for the music workshop.


Akeema – Zane

Akeema Zane x HigherSelf

Akeema – Zane, Researcher: Schomburg Center

Akeema-Zane is a multidisciplinary and aspiring multimedia artist born and raised in Harlem, NY with significant childhood memories in Trinidad W.I of which she is a descendant. She received a self-designed interdisciplinary BA from Eugene Lang College with an emphasis in Anglophone Caribbean studies. While attending a predominantly white, all girl’s boarding school in Connecticut, art became a primary avenue to express her intellectual development- one that differed tremendously from her peers. Akeema-Zane has displayed visual works in various exhibitions, performed in short films/music videos and plays, and read her written works in various galleries. Most recently, she was an artist-in-residence at Groundation Grenada where she led a writing workshop in Grenada, W.I., and published a short piece about her expatriation to the Eastern Caribbean on the organization’s blog. She considers writing her primary mode of expression and spent the bulk 2013 based in Trinidad doing personal research and writing on her family and the cultural capital of Trinidad and other Eastern Caribbean countries. She is currently inspired by and interrogative of the legacy of Jeanette MacDonald (Mother Earth), and works by Erich Fromm, Earl Lovelace, Peter Minshall, Audre Lorde and Zora Neale Hurston as well as many of her awe-inspiring friends. Akeema-Zane currently works at the Schomburg Center as a Curriculum Researcher for the Hip-Hop History Curriculum Project-a two year, Rockefeller Foundation funded project.




Eda Faison


Eda Faison x HigherSelf

Eda Faison, Creator: Harlem’s Heir

Arts producer, youth mentor, creator of Harlem’s Heir, and volunteer at cultural arts programs throughout New York City. Eda was born, raised, and currently works in Harlem.

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