PLEASANT Institute

About

​​​​​

Percussionist David Pleasant has worked for over 35 years as an exponent, researcher, developer, and innovator in early African American and Gullah-Geechee performance legacies.
His efforts have included diverse admixtures of culture, history, art and science as resources of transformative social action. It is through such polyrhythmic mixture that he increasingly promotes performance as a life enhancing option.

The arts and artists (like life and nature) are hubs of creative option. David Pleasant, realizing the multiplicities of time as music in motion, also realizes the expressive volatility in life’s splendid diversity: option, choice, agency and freedom.

Music is the most curious nomad. From language, movement, spirit, vibration, sight, sound, and thought, it exists in infinite contact. Gullah-Geechee corridor resident and Spingarn Award winning cytologist (circa 1915) Ernest Just said (Dr. Just’s welcome, 2016):

As static it reveals the superlative combination of compounds of matter; as a moving event it represents the most intricate time pattern in nature. Life is exquisitely a time thing like music. And beyond the plane of life may have come that harmony of motion which endowed the combination of compounds with life.


Mission Statement

PLEASANT Institute and Cat Sparks Art, Inc. support a linked effort in Community-based cultural awareness, continuing education, and arts-based literacy. On a model of activism and social justice, the combined aspiration is to: acknowledge, appreciate-- and contribute to the development of diverse social, aesthetic, and intellectual dialogue. That mission embraces the crucial role of arts, culture and literacy as crucial parts of health in society.  The programs of Cat Sparks Art and PLEASANT Institute engage the interdisciplinary approach to its fullest. With projects ranging from visual art, science, movement, philosophy and more, the hope is to stimulate fresh new perspectives as a form of proactive engagement. Simply, it is to think and act in service to a diverse world-embracing citizenship. 

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.”—Dr. Martin Luther King, 1960


                     CAT Cafe at Cat Sparks Art! and PLEASANT Institute

Cat Cafe is the intersection of three and half years of Cat Sparks Art! and Pleasant Institute collaborations. As a multidisciplinary performance space, the Cafe features performance opportunities in a variety of creative options. WE welcome and encourage mixtures of movement, poetry, visual art, film, music, oration and etc. The site also hosts lectures, book signings, exhibitions, and community meetings.

       The focus at Cat Cafe is creative vision which inspires a transformed world. It is a vision, and a touch, which advocates for art as an invaluable (yet daily) community resource.

                                    "Artist do not wait for options, they create them"-- David Pleasant

                                                Be a part of THE CAT CAFÉ!!

 David Pleasant's Riddimathon!, Inc. and Island Breeze Productions/Cathy Sparks engaged in a 3 year mission to supply the San Diego community with cultural presentations from the performance and lived-in legacies of Gullah-Geechee (the formative African American traditions of the GA and SC Sea Islands and coasts). That drum-inspired legacy includes historical and artistic traditions which undergird much of early American history and performance culture: one which touches the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Europe and Africa). In that respect, it naturally creates a multidisciplinary scope to examine and promote  genuine harmony: culture, history, art, health, and their relevance in a respectfully diverse society.

    Pleasant has a 35+ year career as a noted specialist, performing artist, innovator, and expositor in the field. Cathy Sparks has worked as a graphic artist and mosaic sculptor for 30 years as a sought after teacher and mentor.  Both artists ceaselessly work to develop grounded combinations of visual arts with other art forms and cultures.

         Together, Pleasant and Sparks expand the creative community in an on-going and engaged dialogue of transformation. It is how, when, where and why art is made-- in which the who is answered by YOU!

                                                           Be a part of THE CAT CAFE


For additional detail see: David Pleasant Percussionist, www.davidpleasant1.com

The following listings include a few of David Pleasant’s recent points of contact:

  • KQED/PBS-- WoodSongs, Hosted by folksinger Michael Johnathon:​ Banjo Nickeru episode
  • This series is the TV broadcast of an internationally syndicated radio program hosted by folksinger Michael Johnathon and recorded before a live audience each week at the historic Kentucky Theatre in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The show is a combination of performance and conversation featuring artists of the Americana music genre. Upcoming: http://www.kqed.org/tv/programs/archive/index.jsp?pgmid=3292http ://www.kqed.org/tv/programs/archive/index.jsp?pgmid=3292
  • Also available on the podcast: http://www.woodsongs.com/podcast.xml http://www.woodsongs.com/podcast.xml
  • CBS This Morning:
  • A New Home for African American Treasures http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/a-new-home-for-african-american- treasures/
  • Show highlights from the Smithsonian Museum with a spotlight on The Huckster, a Gullah inspired work by artist William Pleasant, Jr. The work is in the Cultural Expressions Exhibit on culinary culture in the African American National Museum--The Huckster art print published by David Pleasant's Riddimathon!, Inc. is distributed by Smithsonian enterprises.
  • WSAV- The Bridge
  • News Magazine from Savannah, GA presents a daily feature with guests David Pleasant and Jalal Pleasant on The Huckster in special ceremonies at The Smithsonian. http://wsav.com/2016/09/14/the-bridge-the-legacy-of-william- pleasant-jr-remembered-in-new-national-museum-exhibit/, (part. I) (part II):: https://www.facebook.com/wsav3
  • C-SPAN/AHTV/American History TV
  • Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture: Opening Ceremony and VIP event at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture https://www.c-span.org/blog/?4030


For additional written comments on The Huckster and David Pleasant Gullah-Geechee related themes see:

  • http://savannahnow.com/accent/2016-09-19/savannah-artists-work- featured-smithsonians-new-          african-american-museum
  • http://www.connectsavannah.com/savannah/pain-passion-joy- struggle/Content?oid=3739726
  • Pleasant, D. (2016 September 25). Savannah artist reflected Black Savannah. Savannah Now OPED. Retrieved from http://savannahnow.com/opinion-letters/2016-10-04/letters-editor- wednesday
  • Barton, T. (2016). http://savannahnow.com/opinion-opinion- columns/2016-10-01/tom-barton-savannah-must-not-forget-its-home- grown-artists

  • Kohler, T. (2016). http://savannahnow.com/opinion-letters/2016-09- 26/letters-editor-tuesday