Boris “Bluz” Rogers has been an influential force in the Charlotte community for years and now he gets to do it as the Director of Creative Engagement for Blumenthal Performing Arts. With his new job title, he will help create, develop, and launch new programs that will expand on their mission. When asked what made him want to accept this new role he said, “It was a real opportunity to create opportunities for Charlotte creatives who are of color, emerging artists, who are looking for a chance to operate in a space bigger than normal or just space, period. It was also a chance to help Blumenthal increase access to the arts by looking beyond “uptown” and into neighborhoods where artists live and create.”
The Emmy Award-winning poet and author is no stranger to the arts as he has been helping facilitate programs in Charlotte for years. Rogers has had leadership roles through Breakin’ Convention and was the slam master coach of the 3-time national award-winning competition slam team SlamCharlotte. “I got into poetry because of a heartbreak and it saved my life, so I love poetry. I enjoyed writing and expressing myself and I’m a very competitive person, so when I found out that there was a whole thing called Slam Poetry, I was all in!”
The UNCC graduate has been a trailblazer for the Black community as he was the first African American to ever perform at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
His new single “Stronger” highlights the struggle that has come with the Black Lives Matter movement. Bluz is known for using his craft to bring awareness to this movement as his book “And then Tamir” is full of poems highlighting the deaths of people of color by police since Tamir Rice was killed. “This book is dedicated to every survivor of a traffic stop, every parent who won’t get their child back, to anyone affected by senseless violence, and to those who have been fighting and are still fighting.“
Rogers is currently working on two books: one about hip hop haikus and another full of poems about musicians. Also, his new album, Duologue, produced by ANRO of soulganic will be coming out soon. Blumenthal Performing Arts just recently announced the “We Are Hip Hop” event which is a music festival made up of local artists. The event will run from October 22-23. Bluz was a key member of facilitating this event for the Charlotte community.