In the News: LinkedIn and WDET – Detroit

Hi again!

Sharing some interviews I've had over the last month or so.

1st up, I was on the LinkedIn News podcast, Hello Monday with Jessi Hempl.  My friend, Sarah Storm, who has been a consist support of my work for years now is a podcast producer there.  I was on another podcast she produced for the Dramatists Guild a few years ago, "TALKBACK".  The episode was on collaborating with a marketing Department 🙂 

This Hello Monday episode was special because it's not often I get to speak about my parenting journey outside of my own festival.  I got very emotional a couple times and we chatted for such a long time.  The episode has several parenting perspectives.  It is a really nice listen and I was honored to actually be asked to participate.

You can check out the weekly newsletter that Hello Monday posts on LinkedIn Here.  This one focuses on "Balancing Career Ambition and Parenting: Real Stories and Expert Advice" and includes the episode that I was on.

LISTEN to our HELLO MONDAY Episode: "Parenting: Getting Timing Right" HERE!

Next up... John and I did an interview for the 3rd Annual Obsidian Theatre Festival on WDET's Culture Shift!   We have both been on the show before, but this was the first time in conversation with the Culture Shift team, Ryan Patrick Hooper and Tia Graham, together.

My first time on the show was in 2019 with Courtney Burkett of Detroit Public Theatre for Harlem9's Inaugural "48Hours in...™Detroit" - You can listen to that episode HERE !

John has been on CultureShift several times, but if you're curious about the growth from the Inaugural Obsidian Theatre Festival, you can listen to his interview with Ryan HERE from 2020.

John Sloan III, Co-Executive Producer and Producing Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre Festival; Garlia Cornelia Jones, Senior Creative Producer, Obsidian Theatre Festival (me 😉 )

Anyway, a few weeks ago, on May 23, 2023, I connected via zoom while John visited the local studio.  There is something so meaningful about conversation that has to do with doing work in Detroit.  One of the things I promised myself as a teenager was to comeback to Detroit to work.  I didn't know what that would look like, but I can tell you that the last several years have been spent doing ex

actly that - building an artistic community in Detroit alongside my artistic community in New York.   I am fortunate to support artists and artistic endeavors in both markets and this conversation was a bit of a full circle moment in that regard.

LISTEN to our Conversation with Tia Graham on WDET's Culture Shift HERE

... and if you're in Detroit... Make sure that you reserve your FREE tickets for our festival today!  It is not to be missed!


We've got 4 days of plays, a musical theatre showcase and a cabaret!

Hope to see you there, and thanks for reading!

Feeling Grateful: Did you know that I host a Podcast… at The Public… Are you Listening?

Hey there - Happy Monday...

I'm gonna get a little sentimental for a moment…
I was updating the description for the podcast with the New Media Associate, and when I added some of the guests we’ve had this year to the description, I got really emotional… and tired… lol

We have been so deeply in go mode, but being able to write this list when a year ago at this time, we didn’t have this podcast the way we have it now at The Public, and I was newly promoted and Line Producing the Gala…. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this season would bring forth a description like this…

This season, The Public Theater’s Podcast came back!  Get a behind-the-scenes look and investigate process with our artists and staff.  This season’s guests included: Suzan-Lori Parks, Robert O’Hara, Delfeayo Marsalis, Oskar Eustis (Final Episode that drops on the 15th) and Tony Award nominees: Emilio Sosa, Nikki Crawford and Saheem Ali… and more!

Listen, wherever you find your podcasts or at Square

Public Square 2.0 is Hosted by Garlia Cornelia Jones, Director, Innovation and New Media
The podcast is only one portion of Innovation and New Media - but I am really proud of this work and these episodes (Currently 16 - will be 17 after June 15th) and how we are sharing our mission beyond the theatres so many New Yorkers know and love.  It has been my goal to invite new audiences in by sharing what we are doing - even in conversation in a digital way.

If you are reading this post and you haven't yet done so, I hope that you will take a moment to connect with the podcast and this season's episodes.
Share them if you enjoy them and please leave us a review or a rating.

I am incredibly grateful to the team that puts this podcast together.  Here is a photo from our Pilot episode featuring Suzan-Lori Parks and the retiring Production Executive, Ruth Sternberg.  There's not many projects I do without John (and Amber, but she is not pictured here), these days.  When I knew I wanted to do a podcast, I called John - we were already working on Obsidian Theatre Festival, and the Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival, and it was important to have a Bipoc and growing production team in Ghostlight Creative Productions.  We also co-wrote a song for the #24hourViralMusicals in 2021... but I could write a book on all that later.  Anyway, Artistic Partnerships like this are rare and I do not take them for granted.

Since I'm in a bit of a sentimental and mushy mood, I'll pause for now...

(Left to Right) Emily White, New Media Associate; Suzan-Lori Parks, Pulizter Prize Winning Playwright, Writer-In-Residence at The Public; Justin K. Sloan, Audio Producer (Ghostlight Creative Productions); Garlia Cornelia Jones, Host and EP; and John Sloan III, Producer and Video Editor (Ghostlight Creative Productions).


As we get ready to end this season on the 15th, I will spend some time re-capping each episode here, including the links, behind-the-scenes photos and the video episode.

For now, the best way to take it all in, is by clicking this link HERE:


Supporting Obsidian and Black Theatre in Detroit (a childhood dream!)

Hey Everyone!

Life has been busy busy these days... but really... how is that new....?

I turned 40 two days ago... (Stay Tuned for that full newsletter).  It was a beautiful day, and if you follow me on social media or receive my newsletter - you will get the full update!

In this moment, I'm posting to share the GoFundMe Campaign that we just launched for the Obsidian Theatre Festival.  

When I was a kid, I always knew that I wanted to be part of a theatre community in Detroit.  I didn't know exactly that looked like... but over the last few years, I have been able to be part of some fantastic projects that do just that.

Since that first season in 2021, OTF has created a space for Black artists in the city of Detroit, and across the country. Based in Detroit, a cradle of Artistic creativity, Obsidian builds an innovative space – one that allows for audiences and artists alike to celebrate the diversity of Blackness.  

There is no “singular, monolithic Black experience”. Every story deserves to be told.  And the barriers we break down from learning about each other create new pathways – ones where compassion meets understanding, and “community” becomes more than a buzzword. 

Over the course of one weekend we present original plays, musicals, cabaret performances, and panel discussions.  All of this is done at no cost to the artists or audience.  

That’s right.  Once accepted, the new pieces are produced entirely by OTF.  We hire the directors and the actors, build the sets, and everything in between.  From Thursday through Sunday, there are 12 individual performances, multiple opportunities for audience participation.  And, as if that wasn’t enough, each and every piece we produce is filmed and streamed on our website.  So, just in case you can’t make it to Detroit, you can still participate and catch all of this amazing work.

And, we don’t charge the audiences anything either.  Our gift to the community.

But free to the community, isn’t cheap for us.  

Each year we hire over 100 artists (90%+ identify as BIPOC), and we need your help to make sure we can continue to support this community.  

We are so close to our goal, and this last $25k is vital to making sure we can produce our 3rd Annual season. 

In 2021, we were doing something new at a time when gathering for the theatre in person was nearly impossible.  Now, we need your help to make sure we can continue to overcome impossibility.  

Check out the video for a message from our Producing AD, John Sloan III.  Give what you can and then share this campaign with your friends, family, frenemies, …the guy at your corner store.  

Thank you for helping us bring Black Stories to this New Stage.  



It’s here!!!

Below is a sneak peek of this content!

In our last post, we shared our parked url….I didn’t even get to show you sneak peeks, because over the last several weeks…. That image….From February 4th….Is now this….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!from Thursday Feb 24thThe last two weeks...
To view this content, you must be a member of Garlia's Patreon at $1 or more

Black Organizations to Support during Black History Month… and every day of the year!

I've been keeping pretty busy lately.  My projects have a world all their own.  It's why I formed 55AP last Fall, but more on that another time...

Supporting me on Patreon as the hub of all of this work - I consistently create space for Black artists and my own writing, but creative time as a parent requires your children to be occupied or sleep to be at a minimum.  The balance between all of that is real.

There is truly something for everyone as it relates to Black creatives on this list:

From Blackboard Plays, the reading series I've been running for nearly 14 years at this point, to Harlem9, the OBIE Award winning producing collaborative that is responsible for "48Hours in...™Harlem" "48Hours in...™El Bronx", "48Hours in...™Holy Ground", "48Hours in...™Detroit", and "48Hours in...™Dallas"... to name a few...  PLUS the anthologies we publish that include the work we have been producing over the years.

#BMPFest exists to make space for Black Parent Playwrights to tell the stories of Black Families.  We are so nuanced and rarely are we able to live in those complexities - rarely are we invited to tell those stories.  Our Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival, makes the space for that!

Obsidian Theatre Festival is a Black Theatre Festival in Detroit.  I am currently their Creative Producer and it was an important project to add to my already busy roster because it is in my hometown of Detroit and I will find any reason to create at home and support artists and aspiring artists in Detroit because I was once a high schooler who thought hard about a journey back to Detroit that didn't involve Detroit because I desired a more diverse set of opportunities and to be in New York for a while.

All of these projects have Black artists in common and today and everyday!



Coming Soon… – #behindthescenes

Below is a sneak peek of this content!

Happy Friday, Patrons!We had yet another wonderful Team meeting today with our Comms Team, Zoe Communications Agency out of Dallas, TX!TODAY… we saw another view of our website…🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾Zoe Comms shared the link with us last...
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#BMPFest Submissions are Open: Black Playwrights with Families!

This is my first post in quite some time.  I'm trying to do better about posting to my blog.  It used to be a thing I did pretty often and then LIFE HAPPENED... more like... divorce, new job, pandemic and moving... lots of blog posts in there and my Patrons have been receiving the behind the scenes over views, so if you're interested in joining my community!  I'd love to have you.

But this post is about #BMPFest... 

... and where should I begin...?

Well, it's gonna take a couple posts to catch up maybe... but also maybe not... #BMPFest is the Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival I co-created with Rachel Spencer Hewitt of PAAL (Parenting Artist Advocacy League).

You can read more about it in this Instagram Post!

The 1st Annual #BMPFest was between May and June of 2021.  We featured 4 new plays by Black Parent Playwrights.   Check out the one of our press releases here!  

Here's a Playlist of Trailers, interviews, intros and our panel from the 1st Annual #BMPFest!

This year, we are looking at the Fall of 2022, but before we get there, we need the plays, right...?

So... SUBMISSIONS opened January 1st and we want to make sure that you spread the word.  I'm including the notice below!  If you are a Black Playwright with a Family - that includes if you are a caregiver, then you are invited.  We are interested in telling the stories of Black mothers, fathers and non-binary Parents and Caregivers!

Blackboard Plays and Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) partner to uplift the experiences of Black Parenthood. The Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival was established to tell stories from and about Black artists with families.


Since 2008, Blackboard Plays has been devoted to Black Playwrights throughout the African Diaspora.  Blackboard Reading Series was incubated at Nancy Manocherian's the cell in Chelsea's Manhattan as a resident series for 10 years before Blackboard made its home in The Mary Rodgers Room at The Dramatists Guild in 2018.  Feature Readings and Community Nights are two ways that Blackboard supports the development of new work by Black Playwrights.  Blackboard was founded by Garlia Cornelia Jones.

Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) is a national advocacy organization serving as a resource hub, community, and solutions generator for caregivers in the performing arts and media and the institutions who support them. PAAL created the first all-gender, all-discipline national PAAL Childcare Grants for individuals and institutions. PAAL has participated internationally in think tanks, on panels, and facilitated workshops on parenting in the arts at multiple gatherings, including the national TCG conferences, BroadwayCon, Actors Equity AssociationProfessional Association of Canadian Theatres, and the first national conversation on caregiving in the Latinx community at the Latinx Theatre Commons Annual Convening, Miami in Motion, in 2019. PAAL commits to anti-racist roots in structure, practice, policy, principle, and production, through Vertical 50/50, centering support on BIPOC artists, and gathering resources for active anti-racism in caregiver support.


PAAL and Blackboard established #BMPFest to showcase the creative output of Black parent playwrights. They issued an open call in October 2020 for writers who identify as Black parents or caregivers to submit up to 10 pages of work that they would develop into a one-act.


The Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival (#BMPFest) is seeking new plays by Black Parent and caregiver playwrights for its upcoming theatre festival in the Fall of 2022.

#BMPFest is open to those that identify as Black parents and caregivers.

#BMPFest is seeking stories centering the Black parenting and caregiving experience.

This includes, but is not limited to stories from artists with family responsibilities.

PAAL and Blackboard are transgender and non-binary affirming spaces. All language referencing "mother," "parent," "dad," "caregiver," and their derivatives include and refer to any individual who identifies with them.


March 1st, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST


Please submit up to 10 pages MAX of a play that you would develop into a One-Act (30 - 45 minutes.)

Ten (10) Semi-Finalists will have a feature digital (zoom) reading as part of Blackboard Plays’  ‘21-22 Season.

Four (4) Finalists will develop their One-Act centering on the Black parenting and caregiving experience to premiere digitally during the Fall of 2022.

  • If you are chosen as one of our ten (10) semi-finalists, we will request the full script for review.
  • Diverse Gender representation will be prioritized in the review and selection process.
  • Each produced play will have digital production elements and an assigned director.

Although we ask for a sample of 10-pages, this is not a 10-minute play festival. . Video Submissions will not be accepted.


The Final four (4) plays will be produced virtually.

Pending partner theatre preferences, we will consider a hybrid presentation.

Vaccination will be required for all participants of in-person productions


Each of the four (4) Finalists will be paid a stipend of $1,000. USD, as well as a $500. USD Caregiver Reimbursement Stipend per artist.


Question: What if my play has already had a reading or what if it has been produced somewhere else.  Can I still submit it?

While we encourage new work we also support the developmental process.  If your piece is in development, has had a reading, or been produced at smaller theatres then send it along.


Happy Black History Month!

Below is a sneak peek of this content!

Now let’s grow our Patreon.Happy Black History Month, Patrons!We shared on our socials today and in our newsletter that we are looking for 6 more patrons to make it to 10!Thank you for being here!...
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Happy New Year!! #BMPFest #behindthescenes

What’s up Blaaaaccckkkbooooaaaarrrdddd!!!!

Happy New Year!

We are so excited to activate this space a little more in 2022!

Last year was a pretty busy one for Blackboard.  The pandemic activated a digital life for the series and in addition to a few digital / zoom readings, we also produced a major festival in collaboration with PAAL – Parent Artist Advocacy League 

We featured 4 new plays by Black parents – Black mothers!
We streamed for 4 weeks from May – June 2021 on veeps and had 1 dynamic conversation on Black Motherhood.  

You can watch trailers and Playwright Conversations from #BMPFest 2021 HERE! 

We are also excited to announce that our 2nd Annual Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival is coming back!!  

While the festival is not until the fall of 2022, we are in the midst of planning, and THIS TIME we want to keep you very much in the loop!

Pictured above along with myself and PAAL Founder, Rachel Spencer Hewitt are some new members to the #BMPFest Team  from our Comms Team: Feleceia Benton and Syney Cornelius of  Zoey Communications, a Black and Mother owned Communications Agency based in Dallas, TX. and PAAL Founder Rachel Spencer Hewitt!

I’m excited to share that our patreon will be the official #behindthescenes for the Festival and we are excited for you to track our progress from now until November.

We did a soft launch for the submissions beginning on January 1st and they will close on March 1, 2022.  We are looking for Playwrights who are Black Artists with Families.  This includes: Parents and Caregivers, Mothers, Fathers and non-binary playwrights.

Submit your plays via Submittable here: 

With submissions open, we are focusing on fundraising during this moment.  The goal with #BMPFest is not only to produce this festival – producing this festival is making space for the stories of Black parents and caregivers.  We are ensuring that we – Black parents and caregivers are included in the narrative.  
WHAT is YOUR Black Parent or Caregiver story that you want to share?  

THAT is what #BMPFest is about. That is why completing this raise for the festival AND work on the creation of funds for a GRANT for a BLACK PARENT PLAYWRIGHT is what this festival and what Blackboard has been interested in supporting since I  became a parent in 2012.  It was an immediate need for me… support to continue writing as a parent.  I longed to work on my plays and have my daughter next to me.  I longed for someone to hold her while I wrote or I longed for the ability to hire support so that the both of us could maintain a schedule that was what we needed.

None of that was my experience, but 10 years later (and I cannot believe I almost have a 10-year old), the festival can create the space for a Black artist with a family to work on their craft of writing the way that they need to accomplish their next step. 

Thank you for your time.  

I look forward to sharing more with you!


Garlia Cornelia Jones

Founder – Blackboard Plays

Executive Producer – #BMPFest



If not a patron already, this is the sort of #behindthescenes content we will share along our journey of producing this festival this year.  We are exciting to share our journey with you and hope that you will support us monthly.  


Thank You for your support