Creative Control Fest co-founder and poet loves Upper Cup Coffee, a "fourth place," treasured memories and more

In 2012, Columbus native Tyiesha Radford Shorts got together with a few friends to put together Creative Control Fest, a multi-day conference designed to highlight and celebrate the achievements of creatives of color. Fresh off of the eighth annual conference, Radford Shorts is preparing for a different highlight as the featured poet this Friday, Sept. 20, during Rhapsody and Refrain: 30 Columbus Poets. You can get to know her by taking a peek at the things she loves.

Artfluential
This Columbus-based firm is a multi-disciplinary brand and design studio that supports creatives and businesses in creating their desired social and cultural impact. Artfluential is also partly responsible for materializing Creative Control Fest.

Upper Cup Coffee Co.
Hands down the best coffee company inside the I-270 loop. Period. The model is simple — coffee is the centerpiece. There is food and *really* good company, but the coffee is top shelf… or upper cup.

Zora’s House
A place of Zen. A place of community. A place of healing. A place of sisterhood. Founder LC Johnson describes Zora’s House as a fourth place, a public space designed specifically for women of color writers. I have cried here more times than I care to share, but can always count on a smile or two to bring me back to myself.

Modern Blended Life
As a mother in a blended family who grew up in what some would call a traditional family, I felt the need to find community with similar familial experiences. I found that in the lifestyle blog, Modern Blended Life. Founder Tiffany Williams often writes about motherhood, partnership, entrepreneurship, womanhood and more to connect audiences with each other and to themselves more meaningfully.

Maroon Arts Group
A community within a community, MAG gives me the opportunity to organize and educate in ways I couldn’t before. From community learning groups to the MPACC Box Park, MAG takes the mission of art and historical interrogation and gives it to the people.

Memory
I lost my father in 2018. Hard to believe it’s been more than a year. My memory of him — and of all the things I love but can no longer hold — has become my dearest treasure.