What’s your involvement with making the “Queen of the Arts” a reality for the Historic Westside?
I am a commissioner of Arts for the City of Las Vegas under Ward 5, which includes the Historic Westside. I was the commissioner who proposed that a sign or landmark be placed outside of the West Las Vegas Arts Center — after driving by, multiple times, without being able to identify the parking lot entrance.
What are the responsibilities of the Las Vegas Arts Commission?
The Las Vegas Arts Commission monitors the City of Las Vegas as far as new locations to place art and beautification. We make proposals and fund artists to put art in the city. We decide where the art goes and what comes down. That includes statues throughout the city. If you see colorful, artistic murals on electrical boxes, those are projects we work on.
So does the commission fund the artists to paint on the electrical boxes?
Oh yes! We call the painted electrical boxes around the city “The Amp Project.” It is to help with beautification of the city — who wants to look at an ugly power box when you can paint it? We commission artists and call for proposals and submissions from painters to paint the electrical boxes and maintain them. We sent out the same call for artists to submit idea designs for the arts center.
Who designed and made “Queen of the Arts?”
It was a married couple, Gus and Lena Ocamposilva. Initially, we asked for some kind of artistic signage to go in front of the Las Vegas Arts Center. Then the ideas grew into two sculptures. There were a lot of artists who responded to the public notification to submit their proposal from all over the country. I personally went through 20 submissions.
How would you describe the sculptures?
It’s actually two Black women facing each other. It’s really beautiful. On the headdress of one of the sculptures you can see images that reflect the arts center — such as a man playing a horn, a woman dancing, and a ballerina. On the second headdress on the other sculpture you can see a Sankofa bird. The colors are burgundy and red with gold accents. Each sculpture stands 14 to 15 feet high and stands at the entrance of the Las Vegas Arts Center. You can’t miss them. They are stunning. The photos are great, but to see the sculptures is amazing.
Are the sculptors who designed the landmark Black artists?
No, they are Latino. We asked everybody to make submissions that fit the mold for what we were looking for and Gus and Lena submitted the winning design. We never initially know the race of any of the artists who made submissions. Everyone was judged on just the submitted artistic designs.
Why did the artists decide to design two women sculptures?
I did get some insight as to, “Why weren’t the sculptures a man and a woman?” And some of us as commissioners asked if it could be a man and a woman. But with the budget and time that we had, it wasn’t enough to make another mold of a man and change up the art piece.
What was the budget for the “Queen of the Arts” sculptures?
The statues alone were about $75,000. That does not include shipping. There were costs for permits, the work to put the sculptures up and into a foundation — all of that.
What is the significance of two women facing each other?
They represent the regal black woman, along with the symbolic message of motherhood and culture.
Is there a time limit on how long the sculptures will stand?
No time limit. It’s for the people to enjoy.
BY DR. ELLEN BROWN
Ask yourself this: is there a day that goes by without a thought or conversation connected to money? Earning, winning, borrowing, losing, sharing, loaning, praying over it, worrying, spending and more. If you don’t interact with the almighty dollar on a daily basis, God bless you — and please share with the rest of us how you accomplish that!
Money as a commodity dominates our lives in some way or another, from the womb to the tomb. Is that not at least an indicator that money has power? The question is, who really controls our money? We know for sure that politics enters into the equation.
In conversations with friends, family, colleagues, the church and myself, money (which is supposed to be the root of all … ) is a continuous topic that controls lives. In my opinion, that legitimizes it as a significant source of power.
Four years ago in Fairfield, Calif., I attended my first dfree Conference — and for the first time, I saw a plan for how the power of money must shift from those trying to take it from the people to the people controlling its power for our benefit. Here, I met the man behind this massive effort: Dr. DeForest Soaries, a preacher out of New Jersey who realized the financial pain and struggle of the people in his church. My mission since has been working with the dfree team and Las Vegas Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to empower people toward financial freedom.
Dr. Soaries has spent the past 15 years building a “freeway” out of the debt-ridden lives of people whose histories include struggles over the loss of power over their own hard-earned dollars. He and Executive Director Tamika Stembridge have created a Team to focus on debt as the villain. In his book “Say Yes to No Debt,” Dr. Soaries and his team teach the “Billion Dollar Paydown” through a free program aimed at the Black community. “Say Yes to No Debt” has evolved to include programs specifically targeted to young people — complete with online videos and messages from key role models with high profiles.
DFree Academy is a free 12-step virtual program to financial freedom based on biblical principles of preparedness — such as Matthew 25:1-13 and the power verse, Proverbs 22:7 — that relate to our lives today, where debt is presented as our friend.
Take back your economic power in 2021. Go now to www.mydfree.org and free your economic power!
Dr. Ellen Brown is an affiliate faculty member at Regis University, Denver. Contact Dr. Brown at email@example.com
Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories 505; Protein 33g; Carbohydrate 52g; Total Fat 18g; Saturated Fat 3g; Dietary Fiber 7g; Sodium 340mg
Learn more at www.realorganicchef.com. Contact R.O.C. Team Las Vegas at (702) 762-3278
Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell M.D. answers common questions
Why has COVID-19 affected BIPOC communities at a disproportionate rate?
The effect COVID-19 has had on the BIPOC community is multifaceted, leading to higher infection rates, hospitalizations, and death. Some of the factors attributed to the disproportional rate of poor outcomes seen in people of color, communities of color, and the underserved include: limited access to testing sites; quarantine challenges for families living in multi-generational households leading to increased risk of exposure; and delay in seeking care when experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms.
As a person of color, why should I trust this vaccine?
The historical mistreatment people of color have experienced with the public health system should be acknowledged and continued to be reflected upon to help ensure we learn from the past. In my family, that mistrust surfaced when the vaccine became available. My father is a Black, 98-year-old WWII, Korean, and Vietnam war veteran. He has a deep-rooted distrust of public health and was hesitant to receive the vaccine. We talked about his concerns, discussed who participated in the clinical trials, how the vaccine was developed, and the level of protection it offered. After hearing the information, he made an informed decision and decided to get the vaccine.
As a Black physician, why do you trust the vaccine?
I trust the vaccine for several reasons and also believe in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. During clinical trials, all ages, races, and ethnicities were included and safety measures are in place to closely monitor the use, effectiveness, and potential adverse effects. Additionally, the difference between the past and now is that there is complete transparency on the development of this vaccine. The level of openness and opportunity to learn about public health options such as vaccines was not as readily available in the past as it is today.
How can I be sure it’s safe as it was developed so quickly?
The science behind mRNA has been around for a long time. Yes, this is the first time it’s being used in a vaccine platform. However, it has been around and researched for several years. It’s also important to remember the vaccine was tested on people of all ages, races, and ethnicities.
Should I expect side effects?
The short answer is yes. However, not everyone experiences side effects. If you experience side effects, they might include fever, body aches, and fatigue. I often give the example of the onset of side effects representing a “dress rehearsal” for a show. Your body is rehearsing as if it has come into contact with COVID-19. This response is in the form of fever, body aches, and fatigue, allowing your body to practice how it would attack the coronavirus while producing antibodies, ultimately leading to a level of protection against the coronavirus.
If I already had COVID-19, why do I need to get the vaccine?
Although you contracted COVID-19, the level of antibodies (protection) you currently have is unknown. The degree of protection can vary dramatically and decreases over time which could result in a re-infection. The vaccine provides a known level of defense against the coronavirus, which reduces your risks for re-infection and hospitalization.
Where can I get more information on the vaccine?
I encourage everyone to reach out to their health care provider and research credible vaccine resources to help you make the best decision for you and your family. Resources such as the CDC or Immunize Nevada [NVCOVIDFighter.org] will have the most current information on COVID-19, the vaccines, as well as where you can go to get vaccinated locally.
Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell MD, MS is a board-certified, practicing family physician based in Reno, NV, where she serves as Regional Clinical Director for Carbon Health and Medical Director for Saint Mary’s Medical Group. Dr. Curry-Winchell is dedicated to highlighting healthcare disparities and is a member of the Mayor’s taskforce on COVID-19.
By Craig Kirkland, EVP/Director of Retail Banking, Nevada State Bank
We all use acronyms in our everyday vernacular to help us simplify and understand complex phrases and terms. But in 2020, one acronym took over our lives in the most difficult and devastating ways — COVID. The unforeseen circumstances of last year showed us that we need to prepare for all of life’s uncertainties.
There is one acronym that can help you stay prepared for those unexpected moments in life. It’s PYF: Pay Yourself First. It means finding ways to set aside money for yourself whenever and wherever you can. The reality of saving is that it looks different for everyone, but it’s important to start somewhere and PYF can remind you to do just that.
You can start by creating an intentional habit and routine of paying yourself. Start by taking a look at your expenses and categorizing the “must haves” and “nice to haves.” With the help of online budgeting tools, you can then evaluate where to spend less in favor of giving yourself more. Many have received some sort of government assistance over the course of the pandemic. Whether this was in the form of a stimulus check, small business loan or additional unemployment benefits, the windfall needs to be put somewhere. If the money is not needed for life necessities, make the conscious decision to deposit it into a savings account.
If there’s one thing this past year has taught us, it’s to put yourself first. Whether it’s going for a walk, writing in a journal, connecting with an old friend, or even volunteering with a non-profit, self-care is essential to our happiness. But taking care of your finances is also key to finding peace of mind in your life, and along with taking other important self-care measures, be sure to look after your financial health. Take advantage of your circumstances and make sure to Pay Yourself First
BY CLAYTEE D. WHITE
Q.B. Bush loved life, his family, the Historic Westside, and the entire City of Las Vegas. A dealer at the famed Moulin Rouge, manager of a few gaming venues on the Westside, among the first Black dealers on the Strip, and the owner of a dealing school, Q. B. opened many doors for Blacks in Las Vegas.
Bush was born May 7, 1931 in Fordyce, Arkansas and given the name “Q. B.” Those are not just initials. He graduated from the Dallas County Training Center, entered the military, and moved to Las Vegas in 1954, where he married Elouise York in 1957. She migrated from Fordyce as well. They were blessed with three children – Dalora, Valora, and Anthony. Just like in the business arena, he opened his life and his home to lots of neighborhood children; several becoming God children that he mentored and loved like those of his own blood.
Q.B. dealt craps at the Moulin Rouge Hotel Casino in 1955 during the five months that it was the talk of the town. This first integrated establishment, which rivaled any of the joints on the Strip, closed before it could show its savvy and establish its place in the town’s tourism industry. So Q.B. moved his employment to the Jackson Avenue business corridor, where he worked at the El Morocco and Town Tavern. Simultaneously, he opened a dealing school that allowed many from the Black community to enter the gaming industry and move into jobs on the Strip and Downtown once the consent decree of 1971 was enforced. The decree allowed Blacks to work as 12% of many occupations in the gaming industry.
In addition to his work, entrepreneurial endeavors, and family leadership, Q.B. was community minded. A member of the Fordyce Club and a player in the Black Golf Club that, in the beginning, could only play at the Municipal Golf Club, he also attended many out-of-town Runnin’ Rebels games as the team played in the national spotlight in the early 1990s. At Q.B.’s memorial service in October 2019, his goddaughter, Glynda White, introduced me to her play brother, Fred Moten. When I mentioned Moten to a Las Vegas literature professor, she said that Fred Moten is “the finest critical mind on the planet.” Q.B. Bush’s reach was far, wide, and deep; his mentorship limitless.
Essential oils are one of my favorites! It’s almost like having your very own garden in a little jar.
Essential oils have so many uses that positively enhance your life. When I first began using them, it was just to change the scent in the room. It was not until I had a really bad headache that I realized how powerful they are. My co-worker brought in a bottle of peppermint oil and said that it really helps with headaches. To my astonishment, it worked!
I added a few drops to lotion, massaged my neck and my ears. Then I took a deep breath in slowly with my hands close to my nose. It was so refreshing and relaxing. After that experience it sparked my interest even more. I went out to my local Sprouts and bought a variety of essential oils to start using daily. I also bought a diffuser. You add water to it along with a mixture of essential oils. You turn the diffuser on and it fills the room with an invigorating scent for relaxation or uplift, depending on which oils you use.
One of my favorite ways to use essential oils is in my bath. Life can get a little wild sometimes. If your work/life balance is off, it can cause you to feel out of touch or like you need to regain yourself. Regaining your sanity is what I call it. So I take a sanity soak in a hot bath full of different essential oils and other ingredients to help relieve stress and feel calm. If you are like me, you need time to unwind and just let go. Drift away in the water, the heat, the smells, and the vibes.
Even the common cold is something that essential oils can ease. There is a mixture I used once to loosen up my congestion. Place a bowl of boiling hot water on the counter, add drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, sage, and tea tree, place a towel cover over the bowl and your head, and inhale for about 15 minutes. This is powerful!
If you need a good night’s sleep try a lavender diffuser to help calm the room. You can also add rose oil, which helps to get rid of anxiety and negative energy. You can use a drop under your tongue when you are feeling like things are too much. Close your eyes and practice deep breathing at the same time you put the rose oil in. Deep meditation and a sense of control with calmness.
Experiment with essential oils! When you do, please remember that a little goes a long way. You never want to put them on your skin without a carrier like oil or lotion. Also, consult with a physician if you have allergies. Use with discretion.
I want to hear from you! Please send in a photo of your favorite essential oil combination by May 15.
We Honor Vets
By Cassandra Cotton, Nathan Adelson Hospice Community Outreach Manager
As Memorial Day approaches, it is our privilege to honor those who have served and are no longer with us.
There are also those whose journey of life is ending. Veterans are about 14% of Nevada’s population — and they have unique end-of-life needs that can be complicated by recurrences of PTSD, the loss of comrades, and even the need for validation of their time of service.
At Nathan Adelson Hospice, we consider the military’s cultural structure and values, and are proud to be at Level Five, the highest possible, of the We Honor Veterans program. This program educates and addresses many of the unique needs of veterans through respectful dialogue, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment.
Nathan Adelson Hospice is recognized as an organization that actively works to increase access to hospice and palliative care for veterans in our community.
Regardless of the current pandemic, we will continue to provide veteran-centric care to patients with military experience.
Taking care of our community is at the center of everything Nathan Adelson Hospice does. As our community has worked through the challenges of the last year, Nathan Adelson Hospice is here to support patients and families with exceptional end-of-life care. We have been serving this community for more than 40 years, and we will continue to do so in these critical times.
Please know that we are taking necessary precautions in order to deliver expert and compassionate care to those we serve at the end of their lives. It is our vision that no one ends the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain.
If you or a loved one is a veteran and have questions, call Nathan Adelson Hospice at (775) 751-6700. We wish everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day.
Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford released the following statement regarding the Derek Chauvin trial. Derek Chauvin is a former Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer who was accused of murdering George Floyd on May 25, 2020 and convicted on April 20, 2021 of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Today, a jury held George Floyd’s murderer accountable. Mr. Floyd’s life mattered, just as every innocent life taken at the hands law enforcement does. Let this trial serve as evidence that we will no longer tolerate the heinous killings of African-Americans and minorities at the hand of rogue police officers.
I would like to thank my colleague in Minnesota, Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team for prosecuting this case with professionalism and integrity to hold Mr. Floyd’s murderer accountable.
Many Nevadans have asked me how I felt about this trial, and to be frank, it was too painful for me to watch. I did not want to relive the trauma — trauma that is, unfortunately, a common re-occurrence for me and so many others. As an African-American, I don’t take the mistreatment of members of my community or any minority community lightly. As Nevada’s top law enforcement officer, my duty will always lie on the side of accountability and justice. Today, we saw specific accountability. But the fight for perpetual justice continues. Historically, the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color has been strained, to say the least, and I have always said that law enforcement must make proactive efforts to augment, restore, and create trust.
After Mr. Floyd’s death, I made every effort to reach out to Nevadans by hosting a series of town halls — the Justice & Injustice Forum — with law enforcement officials, community leaders, legislators, and others to develop tangible ways to improve relations between law enforcement and the communities we serve, particularly communities of color. The conversations were uncomfortable, but entirely necessary. And some of the solutions arising out of the forum are now being implemented or legislated, including two bills my Office sponsored that are pending in the Nevada Legislature right now. My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Mr. Floyd’s family. And I reiterate my commitment to all Nevadans to continue an open and honest conversation with you. I will always work to seek justice on your behalf.
May is Lupus Awareness Month, and it is important to keep the information flowing — since 4 out of every 1,000 people in the United States get the disease.
Black women are three times more likely to have lupus than white women. Most people develop lupus between the ages of 15 and 44, but Black women tend to develop the disease at the earlier end of this range. African-Americans also tend to have a more severe form of the disease — with more kidney disease, seizures, strokes, and lupus related deaths.
Lupus is a chronic, lifelong autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. With autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune defense system cannot tell the difference between viruses, bacteria, and other germs and the body’s healthy cells, tissues, or organs. Because of this, the immune system attacks and destroys these healthy cells, tissues, or organs.
Some of the health problems caused by lupus include:
Researchers are still studying possible causes of lupus. It is known that lupus is not a disease you can catch from someone else — and while genetics play an important role, they do not always tell the entire story. Even someone with one or more of the genes associated with lupus has only a small chance of actually getting the disease. Researchers are also studying possible causes such as environment (sunlight, stress, and smoking); hormones like estrogen (lupus is more common in women during their childbearing years when estrogen levels are highest); and other problems with the immune system.
For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.