The Voice of betterArts Resident Kareema Bee

Kareema Bee is a New York City-based poet and filmmaker who stayed at Better Farm for the last two weeks through the betterArts Residency Program to work on her poetry and learn about farming and gardening.

The culmination of Kareema's work was a series of poems, several of which she read last Friday at a combined art show, poetry reading, and graduation ceremony in Better Farm's Art Barn. She put one piece to music (performed by our own Mike Brown) and created a video montage of images and film from her stay here, which is posted at the top of this blog.

Here are some photos Kareema took during her stay:

Here's a bit more about Kareema, gleaned from her website:

A native of the Bronx and Mt. Vernon, Kareema Bee has been writing since the age of 6 when she wrote her first short story. She wrote her first song at 7, her first play at 9, and her first poem at 10 years old. She has reached her peers and community by performing in many shows, choreographing step routines, and emceeing others.

At 12, she won a radio show poetry contest beating out 12,000 other participants. At 15, her first poem was published and her first demo was recorded. She was also chosen to host her first poetry slam. At 16, Kareema became a member of American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) for writing and publishing her own music. She has written and acted in two New York City Housing Authority musicals and was also a semi-finalist in McDonald's Annual Gospelfest. 

At 17, she was the winner of the "Bronx Idol" talent competition.

At 18, Kareema won SUNY Albany's poetry slam contest with guest performer, Def Jam Poet Mayda DelValle. While attending, she was also very active by creating programs to raise awarness in the local community and on her campus such as her television show called 'What's the 411?' , which she executive produced, wrote, and directed.

As a member of local performance troupe Too Deep Entertainment, she has performed at Albany's Palace Theatre, along with a list of other venues, and has lent her writing talents to many of their productions.

Upon finishing her masters at Syracuse University, Kareema directed, acted in, and wrote her first film called, "In This Mind of Mine", which chronicles a day through her mind, only expressed in poetry.

She hopes to one day have her own private company that will allow her to create content to inspire people.

To learn more about Kareema, click here. For more information about the betterArts Residency Program, click here.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.