Are you a lover of the creative arts and enjoy the raw authenticity of those who allow their God given talents to flow freely through their mind, body, and soul? Artists who are not afraid to display their creativity to the world through either dance, poetry, music, and/or art? If so, I would like to introduce to you a woman who prides herself in her work and has been recognized throughout the state of Florida by many for her poetry, creative works, and community activism. Her name is Sarahca Peterson, who prefers to go by just Sarahca. Sarahca is a mother of three who keeps herself busy by working on her different projects, one being The Art of Community and the other being The Round Table Project. The Art of Community is a non-profit organization that acts as a bridge in underserved and underprivileged communities, its mission is to utilize the arts as a means to drive creatives to economic prosperity while enriching the lives of their community. By hosting the “Small Towns Need Poetry Too” initiative she has introduced an art form to an audience that have never had an experience with poetry and spoken word.. This project serves as a platform for artists of all kinds to display their work and gain financial literacy and is held in three different towns: Arcadia, Sebring, & South Bay, FL. The purpose of this project is not only to provide artists a place to display their work, but to also collect funds to assist young creatives with their dreams and aspirations . Under the same umbrella she has the “Under Godz” project, which she has partnered with the NFL Sisters In Service, an organization of NFL wives, sisters, daughters and mothers of current and retired professional football players from the league. The partnership was forged with their joint desire to help build bridges within underserved communities for those in need of resources and opportunities. In addition, she has The Round Table Project, which she holds dear to her heart. This business provides live art and entertainment, along with customized private and public events for a variety of audiences. Sarahca also sits as the Sr. VP of Cultural Programming & Development for DNA Films Reality TV, where she champions and creates television concepts and films that represent people in marginalized communities.
During a phone interview with Sarahca, I asked her a few questions to get a better understanding of who she is, what inspired her love for the arts, and what is her main goal.
Ever evolving, flawed, imperfect, an artist, a lover of life, and a mother is how Sarahca best describes herself. She was born in Arcadia, FL and grew up in Pompano, FL. Having the experience of living in both an urban city, where most people place value on material things and represented the fast life mentality and the hustle versus the small rural town, where the folks there valued things such as land and livestock all while moving at a slower pace than those living in the city, has molded her to become the humble women that she is today. Her journey into the world of the arts started at the age of eleven when she started writing after an attempting to commit suicide and later being on the verge of failing her English class in middle school. She goes on to explain, she was failing her English class so bad that the school guidance Counselor at Desoto Middle School told her not to come back for the 8th grade graduation activities and to wait until the summer to take the class over. But before her exit she had to turn in the final assignment given to her by her English teacher Mrs. Schudel. The assignment was to submit a project on the Holocaust , which she decided to write a poem. After standing in front of the entire class and reading the poem, her teacher was so touched by the emotions and words used in the poem that it afforded her to go from a failing grade to a passing grade in the class. Also, while in high school she won 1st place two years in a row in a literature contest put on by the NAACP ACT-SO competition, which afforded her the opportunity to travel to Baltimore and New Orleans to compete in
a national literature contest. When asked, what inspired her love to write poetry and the birth of her non-profit? She stated, “my English teacher Mrs. Striggles who believed in my writing and thought that my writings were exceptional is what challenged me to keep writing, she told me at my first book signing that writing was my gift and that ignited a curiosity in me to search for what she saw in me ” In regards to starting her non-profit, “the inspiration came from the lack of not having a platform, resources, and outlet to express my creative artistry while growing up and wanting to give others the opportunity that I didn’t have is what compelled me to start my non-profit , it’s not about money it’s about purpose and the pursuit of a righteous life journey. It’s bigger than me!”
The works of Sarahca is inspired by Tupac Shakur, and the first poets she ever saw and heard on HBO Def Poetry Jam, Black Ice, and Georgia Me. “The rawness and transparency that these three reveal in their works, from their journey in life, to their beliefs and the things that they stand on, as well as the authenticity in their writings and expression of those words is soul stirring” as she puts it serves as a blueprint for her to continue exploring the depths of humanity while somehow finding words along the way to explain it. When asked what kind of music she likes to listen to when writing? She says “I listen to instrumentals, which helps to keep my work original. By listening to music with lyrics, it takes away from my focus of writing and keeping my work pure, because I am easily side tracked and apt to write about the lyrics of the song in which I am listening to. But I don’t always listen to music when writing. Some of my best work comes out of silence.” she says. With all that she has accomplished and achieved throughout the years growing up she would have never thought that she would have landed where she is now, by providing a platform for artists to display their creative works for the world to experience. When asked if she could talk to the teenage Sarahca what advice would she give her? Her response was, “I would tell her that she is valued, priceless, not to be afraid, stop trying to fit in, and be authentically you and speak up for yourself ” For anyone who is out there looking to do what Sarahca is doing, in building platforms for other to express and display their talents but are struggling through the process, her words of advice is “see the vision, clarify it and keep moving forward always forward” And a fun fact about this South Florida gem that you might know is that she is fun and an undercover comedian that likes to crack jokes and considers herself to be very goofy.
If you are a lover of the arts and would like to know more about Sarahca and the projects that she has going on you can find more details and information on both www.theartofcommunity.net for the Art of Community and www.theroundtableproject.org for The Round Table project.