OMG, it’s Madness, y’all

It’s less than a week until our Motorco Madness benefit concert for E.K. Powe’s PTA and I’m getting really excited about how everything is coming together! I have lots of updates in this post

First and most importantly, THE BANDS. In addition to jazz hip hop monsters (and multiple Powe family alumni and family) The Beast, which so many Powe families know and love, we will have two other wonderful local groups. JH El Príncipe will play regional Mexican music música sierreña, which will be a real treat. And finally we’ll have the sweet sounds of Beauty World including E.K. Powe alumn Duncan Webster and his wife Leah.

We’ll also get to hear another new poem performed by Powe teacher Latisha Johnson. And you can your own custom poem written by the Poetry Fox!

Once again we will be selling t-shirts for kids and adults! We’re using Powe parent Paige Welch’s beautiful design from last year, but for 2020 the shirts will be purple! Last year we sold out of some sizes. We are adjusting the order (being silk screened by a former Powe parent) but it can’t hurt to get to the show and get your shirt before they’re gone.

Parts & Labor is connected to Motorco and they will be doing a dine-out PTA fundraiser from 11:30am to 5:00pm. So come early and get lunch, or pop over there during the show for a snack. (You can even bring the food back over to Motorco, and the fries are easy to eat while you are rocking out. Ask me how I know.)

We still need help to pull this off so if you can put in a couple of hours on Sunday, 2/9 please sign up for a volunteer shift.

The most important thing you can do help is to spread the word. The easiest way to do that is to RSVP on Facebook, and share the event with your friends. Another great way to help is to invite your neighborhood listserve, colleagues, family, and friends. All of Durham is welcome at this all-ages show!

Since this is a fundraiser, tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids, but no-one from Powe will be turned away for lack of funds. We really want to see you ALL there. This isn’t just a fundraiser, it’s a great community event where we can have fun and build connections together.

Thank you!

Thanks so much to the many talented performers, helpful volunteers, and especially to the 378 people that attended Motorco Madness and rocked out with us this year! Together we had a great time and raised over $3,300 dollars for the E.K. Powe PTA.

Enjoy more photos of the event at

Visit on the web and contact us to learn more and find out how to get involved for next year!

Have delicious lunch and raise even more money for Powe

Parts & Labor is the restaurant connected to Motorco. They are joining us in a dine-out fundraiser on February 10th. So you can eat there at any time between 11:30 am and 5:00 pm and 10% of the proceeds with go to the Powe PTA. You can even bring your food from Parts & Labor over to Motorco and enjoy the music while you eat!

Check out their menu below and at Personally my kid likes to order plain cheeseburger sliders (ie: extra no toppings) with fries, and there are lots of other things on the menu that are kid-friendly or can be simplified for the younger palate.

Powe Heroes: The Beast!

Now in their tenth year, The Beast is an innovative and electrifying hip hop and jazz ensemble, known for pushing creative boundaries and dynamic collaborations. Not only are there two Powe alumni in the band, Steve is now a Powe parent and Pierce is a Powe uncle!

Check out their recent submission to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts below, and come groove with them on Sunday February 10 at Motoroco!

Ms. Laughinghouse’s Secret Identity

Fun fact: Beloved Powe teacher Ms. Middleton has an alter ego and even more talent than you might already know of – so get ready to hear her sing and play! Nancy Middleton – a.k.a. Ms. Laughinghouse – is one of North Carolina’s iconic songwriters and we are lucky to have her here in Durham and as part of our school community.

Nancy first gained national recognition with her album “The Way I Do.” After making music in Nashville for a number of years, she returned home to NC to continue to play her sweet and soulful rock songs and create a fun-filled learning environment for so many of our families. We know her performance will have us all rocking!

Poetic Justice: A Teacher Shares the Power of Poetry

Latisha Johnson

The Poetry Fox isn’t the only talented poet that will be joining us at Motorco Madness.

Anyone who has met Powe kindergarten teacher Latisha Johnson knows that her energy and talents are infectious. Her story of how she started writing poetry and how it has impacted her life positively is powerful:

“I started writing poetry in 1993. My 10th grade English teacher assigned us several poetry projects throughout the year. I loved doing all of the projects but it wasn’t until the end of the year that I discovered that poetry could really be a helpful tool throughout my life. She asked us to focus on an age where something significant happened in our lives, whether it was good or bad. I chose 13, the age I was when my father was killed. As I worked through the tears and completed the project, I knew that I had found a love that would stay with me for the rest of my life.

Poetry became an outlet that helped me process my emotions in a positive way. It helped me throughout high school, college, and still continues to help me in my adult life. Only recently have I built up the courage to share my poetry.  I’m thankful for this opportunity to share this gift with others and especially with my Powe family and friends. I was so excited that I wrote a new poem just for this event! Can’t wait to let my light shine through rhythm and rhyme!”