Folk Arts Meet Up: Mentoring and Professional Development Awards (March 12@7pm)

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Dr. Eileen Condon is a Folklorist and Project Director at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance. In addition, she is an excellent person, a personal friend, and someone that you can trust.

Calling all folk artists and folk arts professionals:  New York Folklore Society Mentoring and Professional Development monetary awards are there for you—all year round on a rolling deadline.  Come to Brooklyn Arts Council (55 Washington Street, Suite 218) and meet the NYC representative for NYFS, Eileen Condon on March 12th at 7pm.

The New York Folklore Society (www.nyfolklore.org) offers many forms of service to traditional artists in New York State, but one of the most immediately gratifying opportunities is its longstanding Mentoring and Professional Development awards program.  M&PD awards are the fast track for folk artists to get the funding to take their own artistic practices to the next level by working with a mentor.  Whatever genre of folk art you practice—textiles, dance, instrumental music, drumming, singing, farming—you name it, New York Folklore Society can support your passing this art form to a serious student, or learning more yourself from an esteemed elder / mentor in your tradition.  And since half of what runs the vehicle we call folk arts is administrative skill—artists practicing the best self-management strategies, and nonprofit arts workers building better business know-how—that half is covered as well.  Decide what you need to learn in folk arts or folk arts management—who will teach you?  What conference would benefit you the most?—then tell NYFS about it in a very concise grant application, and NYFS will help make it happen within a very short turnaround (typically 1 or 2 months from application date).
 Please contact your Folk Arts director, Christopher Mulé for more details (cmule@brooklynartscouncil.org).

ARTS IN EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT: Recapping An Exciting Year

Before we dive into another school year, we’re excited to share our accomplishments in 2013-14. BAC Arts in Education had programming in all 5 boroughs including 95 school-based residencies and workshops, 23 creative aging programs in senior centers and 89 performances at schools, senior centers and parks. These programs served nearly 15,000 students, teachers, parents and seniors and provided 464 gigs for artists!

This year, we also welcomed some new faces to our AIE Team. Sarah Gepigon joined BAC in January as longtime Arts in Education Coordinator, Deborah Field, stepped away from BAC into the field of occupational therapy. Sarah’s enthusiasm and sense of humor brought some fun to the administrative paperwork processes. We will also soon be welcoming a new Arts in Education Manager as Rebecca Potts moves out of the country to accompany her husband to Prague. We look forward to introducing another new member of the AIE team soon.
In celebrating this year’s fantastic work with BAC teaching and performing artists, and wishing a bittersweet farewell to Debby and Rebecca, we captured some of the artists’ favorite moments, lessons learned, and praise from classroom teachers.

The Chorus at Prospect Hill Senior Center led by teaching artist Renee Manning performs. Photo: BAC.

The Chorus at Prospect Hill Senior Center led by teaching artist Renee Manning performs. Photo: BAC.

Continue reading →

Sandy Tiles: Superstorm Sandy Relief Tile Mural Project

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Detail from “Sandy Tiles: Superstorm Sandy Relief Tile Mural Project,” which was a community renewal project that engages seniors through the creation of ceramic public art and involved them in community rebuilding in Superstorm Sandy-affected areas of southern Brooklyn.

Organized by BAC’s Arts in Education program and supported by the National Guild’s MetLife Creative Aging program, this project provided sequential art lessons for seniors at JASA Senior Alliance in Brighton Beach and JCCGCI’s Coney Island Seaside Innovative Senior Center. Sandy Tiles is one of many creative aging arts programs for seniors administered by Brooklyn Arts Council as part of its Arts in Education program.

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Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide (SPARC) is a community arts engagement program that places artists-in-residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. SPARC provides selected artists with a stipend and access to workspace in senior centers in exchange for the creation and delivery of arts programming for seniors. Selected artists will engage participating seniors in an art project or series of cultural programs over the course of the residency, which will also include a public program component – exhibits, readings, performances, open houses or other cultural interactions open to the surrounding community.

Get an overview of SPARC and learn about the components of a well-prepared application at the Q&A Information Session:

Thursday September 12, 5:30PM
Department of Cultural Affairs
31 Chambers Street, 10007

APPLY NOW

BAC Arts in Education Spotlight: Photovoice

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Red Hook students attend class at BAC in DUMBO. Photo: BAC.

This summer, 38 young adults participating in “PhotoVoice” have been exploring photography as a means of visual storytelling. Through funding from the New York City Mayor’s Office Center for Economic Opportunity, and in partnership with the Red Hook and Brownsville Community Justice Centers, BAC is working with teaching artist Brenna McLaughlin as well as teaching artists Russell Frederick and Sam Barzilay from United Photo Industries (UPI) to provide 2 participatory photography residencies. The artists have taught technical skills in photography while also sharing the historical and social context of photography with a focus on social justice.

Participatory photography gives youth the opportunity to connect in a visual dialogue that often excludes them. This project engages students through a series of workshops and class critiques, empowering students to craft visual stories from their own unique perspectives. Each student selected their final projects to engage the public on topics that inspire or concern them. In addition to exhibits in their neighborhoods, student work will be exhibited alongside professional artists from around the world as part of Photoville in DUMBO from September 19-29.

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Student artwork by Monica Hawkins (left) and Keson Simon (right).

During the final Brownsville class on August 16, one student expressed the impact of this program: “This is a stepping stone for my career. I’m more confident going after what I want. There are people in Brownsville who wants good – not just old people. We, the young, we’re the future.” Other responses to the teaching artist’s question, “What did you learn or gain from this class?” included:

“I learned how to get along with people – interact. I got a better understanding of how to complete something – really work.”

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Brownsville students. Photo: Russell Frederick.

“I got to work with people in a community I used to think of as small, but now I see as big – and I see what an impact we can make. I also learned how to use my camera – not just using it, but control it to make what I want. I learned what a network is.”