In the March episode of ‘The Munro Review on CMAC,’ the Breakbox Thought Collective ponders a fraught yet inspiring world

I first learned about the Breakbox Thought Collective last fall when I learned it had won the Best in Show award at “Pandemical,” the juried Fresno State art exhibition that showcased spoken word, poetry, music, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, video and animation. The collective won for a quartet of spoken-word submissions that included “I’m So Black, I’m Blue” and “The Miscarriage of Justice.”

Out of curiosity, I connected with Jamillah “Lila” Finley, artistic director of the collective. After a crash-course in her sprawling artistic world — which includes Black Girl Magic Project, Indie-Go Sessions, Ashe magazine and other projects — I realized that her multifaceted, multi-disciplinary, multi-ensemble approach to the arts needed something multi-big enough to fit it all in. My solution: Get Finley and a bunch of her collaborators on video and give them the run of a 25-minute interview. The result is a special edition of “The Munro on CMAC.” Finley is joined by collective members Ebon Christian, Earl Oliver, Jammy Harris, Zion Christian, A.J. Goins and Quincy Christian for a freewheeling discussion about art, music, race, the pandemic and more.

I hope you enjoy:

By the way, I have some good news to share about “The Munro Review on CMAC”: We won an award! Producer Kyle Lowe and I won a Western Access Video Excellence (WAVE) award for best community-produced magazine show in the west region. The Alliance for Community Media West Region supports community media centers throughout six western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico.

The judges liked the October 2019 episode of “The Munro Review,” which included guests Gina Sandi-Diaz, Cha Yang and Teya Juarez of the Fresno State play “(Anon)ymous”; the artists of Sierra Art Trails, and Cindy Urrutia of the Center for Creativity and the Arts in a piece about the show “Prussian Blue.”


Here’s the winning episode:

Big honors for CMAC

Members of CMAC (Community Media Access Collaborative) had a strong showing in this year’s Western Access Video Excellence (WAVE) awards. Here’s the list of the 2021 local winners:

Best in Show & Educational: “What is Media Literacy?” by CMAC Staff.

Documentary: “Fresno: A Home for All,” by Raymart Catacutan, Melissa Andrade. A documentary about resources for local homeless. Produced by Raymart Catacutan and Melissa Andrade in partnership with the CMAC Youth Voices program.

Experimental: “Stupid Deep,” by Minarets High School

Government: “100 Years of Suffrage,” by Orlando Gomez, League of Women Voters. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of national women’s suffrage. Learn about the women behind the movement in Fresno, and how local women today are honoring the sacrifices of the past.

News coverage: “Buchanan News Network,” by Buchanan High School. “BNN Newscast” provides the latest school news, reports and sketches. Produced by students.

News coverage: “Fresno State Focus,” by Fresno State MCJ 128 Class. A weekly news magazine program produced by broadcast journalism students on the campus of Fresno State.

Sports coverage: CMAC High School Football by Hoover High School
High School Varsity Football: Hoover vs Roosevelt, Oct 10, 2019.

Haley White’s ‘Story Queens.’

Underserved Voices: “Story Queens,” by Haley White. Drag Story Time in Fresno is part of a national movement to promote love, acceptance, fun, and reading for children and adults alike.

Underserved Voices: “Tolteca: A Story of Success,” by Ruben Diaz, Gabby Rivas. A documentary about Aaron Ordaz, an immigrant and owner of Candies Tolteca. Produced by Ruben Diaz, Gabby Rivas, Mark Pizana in partnership with the CMAC Youth Voices program.

The Munro Review has no paywall but is financially supported by readers who believe in its non-profit mission of bringing professional arts journalism to the central San Joaquin Valley. You can help by signing up for a monthly recurring paid membership or make a one-time donation of as little as $3. All memberships and donations are tax-deductible.

Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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