LANSING, MI -- Ena Busby (middle with black shirt) is making a name for herself as the proprietor of the Creole Gallery and the creator of the B---Spot, located at 1218 Turner Street.
The Creole Gallery was owned by her father, Robert Busby, who was murdered on February 27, 2007.
Robert Busby was a rehab pioneer, community leader and businessman. He was highly respected and loved by many.
He started an art performance gallery called Two Doors Down, which was a vibrant place for poets, musicians and artists.
His death left a void in the Old Town area where the Creole Gallery is located. In the mid-1970’s before anyone thought Old Town was viable, Robert had a vision when he brought and rehabilitated the first of five buildings on Turner Street.
At his memorial service over 700 people attended to celebrate his life through performances, poetry and tears.
Since her father's death, Ena said she was conflicted the undertaking of running the gallery.
“I have to say that the whole idea to do an open mic came about as I was struggling with running the gallery as a whole. I didn't really feel like I had anything invested in it to make it ME,” lamented Ena. “I understood what it meant to my Daddy, and to the community, and the many people who have continued to support it since his passing...but on a personal level, and being true to myself, I was reaching a point where I absolutely felt like either I was going to either find MY passion for it, or let it go.”
One day while talking to her friend about not having many places to go, something clicked. She always loved poetry and comedy, so she called her friend and asked him to help her create a place where others could express themselves.
“I came up with the name B---Spot because...first it's Busby's spot...and at Busby's Spot you can B you. Its B --- (dash dash dash) because at the B---Spot you can be whoever you are PERIOD. A place for local talent to come out and just B, first time, professional, it doesn’t matter,” said Ena.
The first performance was bittersweet because it was held on the third anniversary of her father’s death. Her friends and family gathered together to make her dream become a reality.
“People volunteered their many talents and time to make these events happen. It's funny because all of us coming together are like a family. We really work well together as a group. I like to think my Daddy upstairs brought us all together,” said Ena.
She still resides in Old Town and says that it will always be home for her. She wants people to be themselves when they participate in a B---Spot event. Opening up her heart and her space is something that Ena is no stranger to. She watched as her father did it daily and she has her own dreams that she is fulfilling. She's encouraging creativity and paving her own way by making a big impact in others lives.
Earlier this month, the Creole Gallery won Best Art Gallery and Best Antique Shop in the 2010 Top of the Town Awards.
This was originally printed in the April 11 - April 24, 2010 edition.