“””Ericka “Kyd Kane” Thompson is Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Mi, a self-taught, multi-disciplined visual artist, arts educator, and most importantly, beacon of peace and love; born and raised on Grand Rapids Southeast Side.
For Kyd, creativity has always been a source of joy, an origin for clarity, and a means for survival. Through childhood trauma, adulthood pain, and everything in between, each creation allows her to fill holes, to feel whole, to feel real, and to connect with others. Kyd uses self-expression to generate social dialogue about the good and bad of the human experience, by exploring themes such as; poverty, privilege, gentrification, resilience, and identity through community conversation, poem, installation, video, and photography.
Kyd’s work has taken her to stages, institutes, galleries, and theatres including, Detroit Masonic Temple, the Michigan State Capitol building, Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Unity Center of Peace in Chapel Hill, NC, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, and SiTE:LAB in Grand Rapids, MI, among others. Her voice has been featured on NPR, WYCE Electric Poetry, TEDx, and on the intros, interludes, and outros of various musical artists from all over the country.
You can find her intentionally connecting with the community as the co-host of Creston Vibes: a themed open mic series, sparking conversation with the “Challenge Privilege” movement and engaging young people as a teaching artist with The Diatribe Inc.
Kyd believes that her art has the power to generate vibrations that inspire, heal, challenge, affirm and provoke. She’s grateful for the opportunity to live a life filled with passion and purpose.”””
Connection To GR, Thoughts on Liberation, Reclamation
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I was born and raised in Grand Rapids. I spent most of my days living in the 49507 area. I set intentions to move back there soon, to take up space as a homeowner, business owner, and change maker.
Liberation started in the mind for me. There are so many things that I can’t change about the condition of the world, but I could change myself. While the world is set up to be against all parts of my intersectional identity; Black, Queer, Woman, raised in a low-income neighborhood with a single mom, I decided that I will have all the desires of my heart. Liberating my mind empowered me in such a way, that I won’t take the “NO’s” that white supremacy and systemic racism planned for me to have. I’ve reshaped and reclaimed my narrative with passion, mindfulness, art, and education. With this liberation, I’ll channel the spirit of Harriet Tubman and lead myself to the freedom of my wildest dreams. I set the intention for my pathway to empower others to find their own! We deserve land, property, opportunities, financial equity, safety, quality education and to have communities that value us for more than diversity clout or to ease their guilty consciences.