So much has occurred since our last issue.
Our aaduna family continues to grow with a faithful readership in over 86 countries. While we receive favorable comments either directed at the issue-at-hand or a posting on the aaduna notes blog that readers found noteworthy. We continue to receive quality submissions, and even lose some work to other entities. And in those cases of loss, we remain positive and supportive of the submitter because all work needs to find its home.
We had another successful fundraiser in May at Theater Mack in Auburn, NY where we presented Tearz, Cyd Charisse Fulton, Dr. Kevin Jenkins, Catherine C. Poku, Raymond Nat Turner, Bobbie Dumas Panek, and special guests Heidi Nightengale, and Howard Nelson with the support of Poets & Writers. With P&W’s further support, we were able to present a reading at Auburn’s Seward House Museum in September. At the Seward House, poet and writer Bobbie Dumas Panek and poet Ron Van Nostrand read, and I offered some of my poetic prose writings to the audience. In the Museum’s visitors’ area, we exhibited the work of several visual artists that spanned the first five years of aaduna artwork featured in its galleries and home/current issue pages. aaduna was once again embraced.
And then our world caved in.
Unexpectedly and without warning, we lost Keith Leonard to a tragic vehicular traffic accident. In an instant, he was gone.
We were paralyzed.
We could not comprehend this development.
We mourned and questioned. We assisted the family and maintained his privacy because that is what he would want us to do.
We welcomed the condolences of associates and colleagues who worked with him and got to know him via e-mails and through his ability to make electronic communication personal and up close.
From the onset of aaduna, there was Leonard’s presence and guiding principles…we had to make this dream multi-cultural across lifestyles and conditions of birth, and not influenced by class or political, religious, or any other societal defined measure of worth. We had to be committed to equity, access, integrity, and support artists and their work. We had to be transparent and ensure that our word was our bond.
He measured us. He remained committed as long as we stayed on the course that he initially proposed; we embraced and accepted his challenge. We never waivered.
Our colleague, brother, friend, associate, and guiding principle, Leonard’s spirit will continue to permeate all that we do.
We thank him for all that he gave to us.
We cherish his guiding presence.
This summer/fall 2015 issue is Keith Leonard’s final gesture and salute to creative thinking and his influence on those people that he cared for.
Let’s stay creative in Keith Leonard’s memory. aaduna will.
bill berry, jr.