The Inspire Tribe performs every year at the Spirit Tower at Oregon Country Fair, headed up by Iana Matthews-Harris. This eclectic and spontaneous group is made of new and returning artists each year, with music and poetry in the hip-hop slam style. Iana explains what it’s all about, and we hear from her 8 year old daughter about what inspires her as well.

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Inspire Tribe

Transcription by Jade Rainsong

(Karen:) This is Karen Rainsong and I am at the Spirit Tower at Oregon Country Fair, and I’ve got a chance to talk with Iana who is a member of Inspire. So tell me a little bit about Inspire Tribe and how long you’ve been making this beautiful poetry slam together. And what you do on stage.

(Iana:) Inspire is a collective of individual artists who come together mainly at Country Fair basically this is the one time of year that we all come. We’re cross-cultural. We’re multi-generational. We come from all over the country. And we basically come together to create a spontaneous show. And so that’s our thing is we create in honor of the hip-hop, the cipher. Basically we are creating a show that is live instrumentation Cipher energy. So there’s poetry’s it MCS song sources as well as all of the musicians that basically are creating something completely live and spontaneous in the moment.


(Karen:) How many different people you think might be on stage tonight?

(Iana:) Oh goodness. There’s never a full count our this year. We got in on our pass list about 23 artists and performers. There are a good 10 to 15 others that are mainstays that come every year. And then there’s always a talent fresh off the path that you never know who they are.

(Karen:) And I want to know what inspires you Jana.

(Iana:) What inspires me is inspiration and creativity and that’s why I did this as why I came up with the name Inspire because the truth of creative expression is that pure inspiration that is really the purpose I believe of all art is that inspiring moment of whatever it is that fuels you to create and so to inspire would basically be to manifest that. The show in a live show type of performance. But really this is paying homage to that truth of pure inspiration and creativity.

(Karen:) So you’re passing that on to the crowd a little torch of inspiration, fueling them up.

(Iana:)That’s the goal. And I think people really Come Away with a feel it. It’s a real heartfelt show. It’s not there’s not much superficiality going on people really really feel to the core. That’s the point is that we want everybody there’s in the crowd to feel participatory and also that there whether or not they actually get on stage. They’re totally a part of the experience. That’s what it’s all about is everybody individually coming together.


(Karen:) So we are here with Iana’s daughter Rosilea at the Spirit Tower. So you must be really excited. Your mama’s about to get on stage. Right?

(Rosie:) Yes. I’m very excited. And what are the parts that I really like about this is that I really get is I really like to dance and my mom really does really good stuff up there.

(Karen:) Are you inspired by her – Do you think she’s awesome?

(Rosie:) Yeah. I’m really inspired by her and. I really do and like I said, I love to dance up there its one of my favorite things.

(Karen:) Oh you get to get up on stage and dance to?

(Rosie:) My mom says I can do it anytime I want.

(Karen:) Nice, right on, and how old are you?

(Rosie:) I’m eight years old. I just turned that old on June 4th.

(Karen:) Nice. So have you been able to get on stage and help your mama out and perform for lots of years?

(Rosie:) Not for that long. I can’t I think I might have recently just started. Well, I started a few years ago like. I was about 6.

(Karen:) Yeah, and so do you like poetry or painting or art or what kind of stuff do you like?

(Rosie:) I really like doing painting and art but I haven’t done that very much and poetry. Sometimes I feel a little shy so I do a little bit better in my voice kind of sounds a little tiny on the microphone. And so I just want to stop to stop doing poetry in to start dancing then I’ll get into the zone of doing it again.

(Karen:) So you’ll really like dance it sounds like… moving….

(Rosie:) Yeah. Yes. I even have my own dance routine.

(Karen:) Oh nice, you’ve worked up something special to be on stage tonight, huh?

(Rosie:) Yes, it had. It has 20 songs on it.

(Karen:) Whoa and your dress is so beautiful. I love your sparkly orange shorts and your rainbow top and all of your he looks like you got some temporary tattoos all over…. you’re all dressed up. Pretty cool. Thank you so much. You’re having a lot of fun this country fair?

(Rosie:) Yes. It’s really been really fun. I’ve loved it.

(Karen:) Okay. Thanks, talk to you later.

(Music) live spontaneous show as individual artists. There are 23 ish people on the Inspire crew this year that are coming together. They don’t play together all year round.

They just give this Pure Love in the moment right here for this show every show is its own moment. That’s why we also offer anyone out there. There’s emcees the want to come on up if there’s people that want to share definitely if you feel like coming up to check in with us. So we’re going to make a little bit of music for y’all.

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