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06.30.10 - Come and join us at the Read To Succeed Buffalo Booth at the Buffalo Book Fair on July 10th, in front of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library!! Tracy Diina Communications has partnered with two Buffalo treasures – Billy Drease Williams/Edreys Wajed AND Urban Legacy Filmworks – to set up an engaging and participatory literacy experience.

As a means to make the RTSB booth exciting and relevant, we are featuring positive rapper Billy Drease Williams (Edreys Wajed) to perform during a high traffic time at the Book Fair. We are also setting up our own "Literacy StoryCorps" with Urban Legacy Films (Doug Ruffin) which will videotape personal stories from Book Fair attendees, authors and local celebrities to air on a monitor at the booth. Real literacy stories—from real, Buffalo people, will become memorialized for all to see. We will film stories from youth and adults. This will put a face to Buffalo's unique literacy stories.

Billy Drease Williams is becoming very popular, recently launching a new CD. He is thrilled to be a part of the RTSB Booth at the Buffalo Book Fair.

Info About the Buffalo Book Fair
The Buffalo Book Fair Committee will host the 5th Annual BUFFALO BOOK FAIR on Saturday July 10, 2010 from 11:00 am 6:00 pm in downtown Buffalo (Lafayette Square and Washington Street). Free and open to all, the Buffalo Book Fair celebrates the power of reading through author presentations, book signings, seminars and panel discussions that take place outside in literary pavilions and in the Buffalo and Erie County Library. This festive literary event has now become one of Buffalos many treasures offering activities for the entire family. Special features include healthy cooking demonstrations, poetry readings, storytellers, live music, and hands on projects for children, art, and retail and book exhibitors. The book fair has attracted over 4,000 people and serves as a perfect complement to the annual Taste of Buffalo food festival that takes place the same weekend two blocks away.

Signature Children Features include: the WNED (PBS TV) Main Stage, a popular area that includes special presentations for kids and families - Hear the winners of WNEDs Share a Story Contest, see exciting demonstrations, enjoy story time with some of your favorite characters and personalities and join in the hands on fun as we celebrate the power of reading and writing. In addition, the Interactive Children Section hosted by Read to Succeed and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is an extremely popular area that provides free arts and crafts activities with a link to literature.

Info about Billy Drease Williams/Edreys Wajed...excerpts from The Buffalo News
You could be forgiven for wondering if Buffalo has a hip-hop scene of its own, so diffuse, scattered and underground has that particular community remained over the past 20 years.

But that will change, if Edreys Wajed has his way.

For the past 10 years, Edreys – pronounced "E-drees" – has been charting his own course through the hip-hop industry as an independent artist, all the while working to unify Buffalo's piecemeal rap scene. He also has challenged the bountiful stereotypes that have plagued hip-hop from its beginnings in the early 1980s.

"Hip-hop gets a bad name, and some of that is justified," says Edreys, who also performs beneath the nom de plume Billy Drease Williams. "I've always worked against that whole idea that hip-hop concerts are unsafe, that anyone who raps is a drug addict who carries a gun and has a misogynistic streak.

"Hip-hop is art, when it's at its best. And it is also a significant part of the culture – here in Buffalo, of course, and in the whole country, as well.

Casting himself as a conduit between what he sees as the popular conception of hip-hop as a dangerous, unsavory art form and the reality – It's a celebration of a culture and of art in general" – Billy Drease Williams has balanced his career as MC, record-maker and songwriter with efforts to provide opportunities for the Buffalo rap community to flourish.

Along the way, he has become the most promising, adventurous, nigh-on-visionary hip-hop artist Buffalo has yet produced.

Growing up in Buffalo under trying economic circumstances, Billy Drease realized from a young age that he wanted no part of the stereotypes that surrounded him. He fell in love with soul music first, submitting to the deep sway of pioneers like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Kahn. When rap came along, it hit him hard – "As much as a cliche as this is by this time, I still remember buying the Sugar Hill Gang vinyl, getting it home, and saying, 'That's what I wanna do'!" – and he soon became hopelessly immersed in the form's possibilities.

But from the get-go, Billy saw himself as "different," as an outsider with his own vision of what a career in hip-hop might mean.

It boils down to his desire to present himself as a positive role model in an industry that thrives on "gangsta" mentality. Loving the music but rejecting the lifestyle so often associated with it, Billy Drease focused on his love of visual art, writing and his burgeoning MC skills while many of his peers fell into the traps set for them.

-Jeff Miers, The Buffalo News

Info About Tracy Diina Communications
Tracy Diina Communications provides PR and fundraising support for non-profits and small businesses who need big time results. We provide personal, mission driven attention to your organization, using our experience in issues development, communications and non-profit management. And remember... at Tracy Diina Communications, all work is totally catered to the individual client so once an organization's needs are fully fleshed out, we will determine what package we can create that will be the best fit for you!


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