A Journey with Global Rhythms: Calpulli Mexican Dance Company

Our Arts in Education Global Rhythms program brings cultures and traditions from across the globe to schools in Brooklyn, through performances and workshops led by professional musicians and dance companies. Students explore live music traditions, music-making, and participatory performance skills in songwriting or dance through hands-on, interactive workshops that happen both before and after performances.

This month, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company visited PS 222 in Sheepshead Bay for the school’s second Global Rhythms series of the year.

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Calpulli Mexican Dance Company teaching a Global Rhythms Workshop in 2019

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Upcoming BAC Grantee Events

BAC recently awarded nearly $900,000 in 235 grants to Brooklyn-based artists and arts organizations! We’re excited to share the work of our grantees–so don’t miss the performances and exhibitions happening all over the borough. Read on to see what’s coming up and stay tuned for more!

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Community Arts grantees ate, drank, and mingled at our 2019 Community Arts Grants celebration at Borough Hall on March 5, 2019. Photo by Michael Piña.

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Get your art out there! Upcoming public artwork deadlines

Public art may not be front of mind as you’re rushing between buildings in this winter weather, but don’t let the cold stop you from keeping up with open calls for artwork to beautify city spaces! To make things easier, we’ve rounded up a few upcoming opportunities with deadlines this winter. The New York City Department of Transportation, the Lower East Side Partnership, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and NYC Parks are all seeking artists to send proposals for artwork. Read on for details and how to apply.

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“Flesh & Bronze” was created by students at EBC High Shcool for Public Service as part of NYCDOT’s Arterventions program. The project included a series of 30 aluminum artwork signs instaled on street light poles along Broadway from Cornelia Street to Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. Image via NYCDOT.

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Teaching Artist Spotlight: Margo Brooks

Welcome to our teaching artist spotlight series! Today we’re highlighting Margo Brooks, a theater professional whose SU-CASA residencies bring seniors and middle school students together to create performances based on their own experiences. Margo has been a teaching artist with BAC since 2016. Read on to learn about her most recent production with students and seniors in Brownsville: ‘Change is Constant… But Still We Rise’ A History Alive! Show About Immigration, Discrimination, and Aspirations.

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Margo Brooks (back row, fifth from left) with the Brownsville Players, students and seniors from her 2018 SU-CASA residency

How did you get involved with Brooklyn Arts Council?

I started with BAC when ESTA [Elders Share The Arts] hired me; BAC funded the program so they were aware of my work. I was leading an inter-generational program in Brownsville. A representative from BAC attended the final event and they sent a photographer. The next year BAC offered me an after school program in the Bronx. From that point on I was a BAC teaching artist.

What do you like about teaching inter-generational groups?

Personally, I prefer to work with adults, but those opportunities are few and far between. This is the only after school program where I get to work with adults. In the room, I enjoy watching relationships build between the adults and the students bonding with each other and across generations. Last year all of the adults became friends, and they still keep in touch with each other. The participants prefer to work with the other age group and will feel cheated if they are in a group with just their peers. Additionally, inter-generational programs build community. My participants come from the same area. The teens bump into the seniors on the bus and at the store. When you build a bridge between separate groups, it has an impact outside of our room that can be seen in the surrounding community. The students have learned about a lot of programs in their neighborhood, and the seniors know the latest trends in the area. I love seeing the ripple effects of the program. Continue reading →

Inside the Incubator: Womanly Magazine

Brooklyn Arts Council’s Arts+ Innovation Incubator is a fiscal sponsorship program for individual artists and emerging organizations. The Incubator supports new artistic projects and ideas by enabling artists and groups to raise funds for nonprofit activities through tax-deductible, charitable contributions. Through the Arts+ Innovation Incubator, Brooklyn artists and arts organizations can take advantage of our online fundraising platform, receive advice and coaching on project management and development, and more.

Today we’re spotlighting Womanly Magazine, a health and art publication that successfully raised $18,000 in 2018 as a BAC fiscal sponsee! Womanly aims to lift up narratives often omitted in women’s magazines, highlighting discrimination in the health care system, inter-generational concerns, and issues of physical and sexual health expression. We asked founder and editor-in-chief Attia Taylor about the magazine and her experience with BAC’s Arts+ Innovation Incubator.

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Dementia & Alzheimer’s, illustration by Maia Boakye from Womanly Magazine Issue No. 3

What sparked the idea for Womanly? How did you decide to combine art and health in one publication?

Growing up, I noticed major cultural barriers and information gaps that prevented important discussions about very common health concerns in my family and community. Womanly Magazine was born out of a need to see the health experiences of women who look like me reflected in accessible media. We created this magazine to fill the information gaps that we often see in our communities due to stigma, shame, inequality, and miseducation. As an artist, it felt natural for me to look to other creatives to build a publication that could reach people through art – whether that be through film, music, literary, or visual art. It’s a bit like hiding the medicine in the food.

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