Aaron Luther Thomas Bey talks to CAFFEINE COMMUNION about taking Tavis Smiley to task

I met Aaron Luther Thomas Bey for my first time at Upper Cup Coffee on Parsons in Olde Towne East, January 11, 2018.


Aaron describes himself as a commercial visual artist, an arts educator, and the sole-proprietor and owner of Monastic Arts.

*Currently listening to Tavis Smiley and Cornel West about “Blood On Our Hands.” Their broadcast telephone exchange with Aaron begins here at the 15:58 mark.

Personally, I’m a fan of the power of serendipitous discovery, and Aaron’s comments about Dr. Martin Luther King mark the second such interview this week that specifically refers to Dr. King. It now occurs to me as I publish this post on the eve of our national holiday in honor of the author of “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” that most readers will see this on the day of his memorial. There’s some sort of synchronicity here.

Aaron’s CORE VALUES: “Respect of and for human rights, along with love, peace, freedom and justice.”

His ongoing MISSION is the “social practice of critical creative arts,” as an arts educator under his LLC, Monastic Arts. This , provides programming curriculum, including lesson plans, for all age groups, but  primary for at-risk youth and young adult students. He has partnered with numerous arts organizations in Columbus and served as artist-in-residence in places such as Transit Arts.

Aaron’s EARLIEST MEMORY: At about kindergarten age, his mother showed his drawing of a green pickle stick figure man by hanging it on the refrigerator. “This was the first time somebody took the time to recognize my art work.”

How does human CONNECTIVITY FEEL? “Fulfilling on a humanitarian level, nirvana, ecstatic.” 

Where is Aaron now on the SCARCITY/ABUNDANCE spectrum? “I’m a realist, an optimist, blessed with family” but “not where I want to be financially, career-wise.”

Aaron’s proverbial “BOX” that we’re often encouraged to THINK OUTSIDE OF: One example of his box is “the trauma that comes from identity, that comes from social racism, social-ethnic set-backs and rejections.” He knows he needs to avoid complacency and reach out and work with the “gate-keepers…it’s a give-&-take, to find balance, a delicate dance.”

From where does Aaron’s IDEAS originate? Who is his MUSE? “I constantly study, I’m like a sponge that soaks up information, taking in knowledge versus opinions, facts versus imagination.” Being an artist he “understands the power of imagination.”

How does Aaron deal with UNCERTAINTY? By “learning how to trust instincts and senses, premonition and intuition.”

On EFFECTING CHANGE: He’s working with an OSU professor on a S.T.E.A.M. project teaching youth to learn how to code. He also working with a pre-school/early childhood daycare center at the Millworks Art Studios.

What/Where will you be in 5-YEARS, 2023? “I’m afraid the writing is already on the wall in the macro- realm, that they want certain social collapse to occur.”

Finally, Aaron…WHATCHA READIN’? “I read a lot. The Moors Order of the Round Table, by Taj Tarik Bey. I study juris-prudence, collect dictionaries.”

Much THANKS to you, Aaron.
And THANKS, too, toward all readers of “CAFFEINE COMMUNION.”
Please add your comments in the box below; any review or critique is welcome.
Let me know if I may interview you, in the box below or directly to me at jim1coe@gmail.com or (614) 440-1445.
And don’t miss a single interview, by clicking the “Email Subscription” box up top.





About orangeacorn

We are, I believe, and everything is, in perpetual unfolding/enfolding/evolving. By surface appearances, we're in turmoil and fearfullness, but in fact our existence is on the edge of a new way, beyond the US versus THEM we have grown with. I encourage you to join me over coffee or tea in face-to-face encounters. I call this exercise, "CAFFEINE COMMUNION: Encounters with Paradigm Pioneers." I'm a Columbus, Ohio husband, father and citizen. I practice string band sounds from the ridges of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, the vortex of the ancient drone.
This entry was posted in CAFFEINE COMMUNION: Encounters With Paradigm Pioneers, Leadership thru Trust, Local Community, Occupy Columbus, Possitivity: Work for Progress, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.