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Arts & Theater

May, 2016

ARTs East New York celebrates its new space

Arts & Theater: On Thursday, April 21, ARTs East New York (AENY) celebrated a sparkling and expanded new home. Community activists, electeds including Council Member Laurie Cumbo, and developer Martin Dunn cut the ribbon for the new headquarters, community space and art gallery at Livonia Commons. Comment.

April, 2016

Sign painter beautifies Georgetown

Arts & Theater: Sign painter, Andrew Allen was born in Georgetown 50 years ago, the exact year Guyana attained independence from Great Britain in 1966. So in a fitting tribute to the land of his birth and the Golden Jubilee, the painter said he wants to make a contribution and is calling on the Guyana government to commission him to paint murals for the upcoming week of celebration. Comments (1).

Light bites  & art

Arts & Theater: Visual artist Fudd, known for his contemporary abstract paintings with a gritty urban influence and Chef Nina B. are presenting their inaugural event, The House that Art Built a gallery exhibition combining food and art on April 30 at The Living Gallery located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Comment.

Sandy Wills’ story

Arts & Theater: Author, Speaker and Veteran Television Journalist Cheryl Wills from NY1 News is telling the powerful story about her enslaved ancestor who fought for his freedom as a soldier during The Civil War. Her great, great, great grandfather was the amazing Sandy Wills Comment.

Caribbean in Motion showcases animators to the world

Arts & Theater: An exhibit that brings to the United States a contemporary sample of animation and animated video art that showcases the potential that Caribbean animators offer to the world is being shown at the headquarters of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. Comment.

Caribbean Playreading Series in NY

Arts & Theater: Award winning Jamaican actress and singer Dianne Dixon has joined a stellar lineup of actors from across the Caribbean for the Braata Productions Caribbean Playreading Series to be held at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) in Queens, New York, from April 22 – 24. Comment.

Haiti artists forge reputation with art made of junk

Arts & Theater: PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Amid a maze of car repair shops in Haiti’s gritty capital, Andre Eugene pitches a shredded tire he found atop a towering sculpture he built out of rusty engine parts, bed springs and other cast-off junk. Comment.

March, 2016

Phagwah brings Spring to Richmond Hill, Queens

Music: The vivid colors of spring were everywhere on the streets of Richmond Hill, Queens last Saturday, when Caribbean nationals celebrated the festival of Phagwah, to welcome the dawn of spring, a season of joy and love, and signifies good over evil. Comment.

‘Bacchanal’ re-launches original Jamaica Carnival

Music: Calypso and soca music lovers in Jamaica will go back to the future on April 3 with the re-launching of Jamaica Carnival. Missing from the cultural calendar since Byron Lee, its founder died at age 73 in 2008, it seemed as if his brainchild died with him. Not so said his daughter Julianne Lee. Comment.

Dance your way to fitness, Carib style

Arts & Theater: A vision written down with a due date is no longer a dream; instead, it evolves into a goal. Just a year ago, Candace Thompson envisioned a dance collective to support and celebrate Caribbean American dancers in the Diaspora. Today, the Dance Caribbean Collective is still catapulting forward with new elements including fitness dance classes, bigger shows and more. Comment.

SVG Garifuna group hosts National Heroes Day

Music: Marsena Ballantyne, the Sandy Bay-born president of the one-year-old, Brooklyn-based Garifuna Indigenous People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Incorporated (GIPSVG, Inc.), has described as very successful last Saturday’s staging of the group’s inaugural National Heroes Day celebration in Brooklyn. Comment.

The Robert Glasper Trio

Music: The Robert Glasper Trio will be performing at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 8 pm. The group will perform selections from their 2016 GRAMMY Award-nominated album “Covered” along with some of Glasper’s original compositions. Comment.

Poet laureate among black writers honorees

Arts & Theater: The Center for Black Literature at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College (CUNY) says former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove and literary pioneer Charles Johnson will be among honorees at the 13th National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) at the college. Comment.

Quilting for a charitable cause

Arts & Theater: The multi-purpose sanctuary of Church of the Holy Apostle in Manhattan was humming with activity — it was a modern day quilting bee. Groups of women and one man sat at circular tables in the hall, needles in hand stitching or knotting hand-made quilts of all sizes destined for others. Comment.

Walking tour of sculptures of women

Arts & Theater: Artist, historian and activist Lulu Lolo has taken on the mantle of drawing attention to how few New York City statues and monuments are dedicated to women. In New York City, there are 150 public statues of men and five of actual women who are not symbols — Statue of Liberty or fictitious characters — Alice in Wonderland. Comment.

Dominicans and Haitians – bridging the gap

Arts & Theater: The Dominicans Love Haitians Movement has joined the ranks of creative Dominicans in artistic collaboration with Haitians reaching across the contentious boundary that separates the two populations of the one island, Hispaniola. Comment.

Tackling identity by using art

Arts & Theater: Conversations of identity, culture, and what it means to be an American intersect in private amongst cultural groups. There are those who cling to their roots, ignoring their ties to being an American, and those who navigate the various layers of what comprise their identity. Comment.

MASTERWORKS REDEFINED

Arts & Theater: The Dallas Black Dance Theatre returns to New York for its fifth season of self-produced performances on April 22–23, 2016 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, located at 405 West 55th St., New York, NY 10019. The “Masterworks Redefined – New York” series will showcase the energetic dance artistry of the repertory dance company that is turning 40 in its 2016-2017 season. The National Endowment for the Arts designated Dallas Black Dance Theatre as an “American Masterpiece Touring Artist.” Comment.

SVG Garifuna group hosts inaugural National Heroes Day

Arts & Theater: With inordinate national pride and identity, the Brooklyn-based Garifuna Indigenous People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Incorporated (GIPSVG, Inc.) is hoping to tap into nostalgic celebrations by hosting, for the very first time, a grand National Heroes Day spectacle in Brooklyn. Comment.

February, 2016

More than a myth Belafonte lives his legacy

Music: Depending on the prism an individual looks through to define Harry Belafonte, any number of definitions could apply to his legacy and storied creative and humanitarian career. Comment.

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EVENING OF POETRY

Books: Poetry lovers filled to standing room BRIC House’s performance space last week for the Stoop Series event “We Be Darker Than Blue.” Performance poet Mahogany L. Browne guided a full program of word-art which culminating with featured guest Sonia Sanchez. Comment.

‘Art Connect’ sheds positive light on Laventille

Movies: No matter where you are in the world, there is always a neighborhood, section, or block in a particular place that carries some sort of bad reputation. Comment.

‘Zingay’ navigates spirits and laughter

Arts & Theater: The Caribbean has many stories about spirits and black magic. Those stories take center stage — literally — in the play “Zingay,” manifesting in Fort Greene on Feb. 20. Comment.

‘GREATEST SHOW’ TAKES A HIT

Music: Recession, crime, the deadly H1N1 (swine flu) and the threat of the Zika virus all combined threw a damper on this year’s Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, dubbed the “Greatest Show on Earth.” Comment.

‘College Colors’ tackle race issues

Arts & Theater: Trinidadian-American Ricardo Khan, the co-founder of the Tony-Award company Crossroads Theatre Company tackles many new and brewing issues in his company’s spine-tingling home-coming production, “College Colors.” Comment.

Art in DUMBO features First Thursday Gallery Walk

Arts & Theater: Art in DUMBO has announced DUMBO’s its First Thursday Gallery Walk, scheduled to take place Feb. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring exhibition openings and other special events. Comment.

January, 2016

Caribbean creatives among Outsider artists

Arts & Theater: New Yorkers who hadn’t hunkered down last weekend trudged through the storm to the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, Manhattan where booths of unusual art in the warmest of atmospheres welcomed hardy art lovers to the 24th edition of the Outsider Art Show. Comment.

Poem chosen for Guyana’s Golden Jubilee

Arts & Theater: James Richmond’s poem “The Golden Jubilee – One People One Nation One Destiny” was chosen by the Georgetown-based Golden Jubilee Anniversary Committee to a signature poem to honor the yearlong festivities leading up to May 26, the day Guyana became independent in 1966. Comment.

Step Afrika! comes to Brooklyn

Music: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2015-16 season on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 at 2 pm with Step Afrika! The dancers of Step Afrika! use their bodies as instruments, combining traditional step choreography with other styles including tap, modern, and hip hop to create an enthralling, high-energy performance. Comment.

DOING IT HER WAY

Arts & Theater: Staying the course in the theater industry is a challenging and arduous endeavor for actors. For instance, Caribbean actress Cicely L. Tyson whose religious parents hailed from Nevis in the West Indies was harshly criticized for refusing to accept any acting role. Comment.

Dr. Maya Angelou art collection auctioned

Arts & Theater: Dr. Maya Angelou, nee Marguerite Ann Johnson, was known for her civil-rights activities, her compelling first non-fiction bestseller “I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings” (1969), her famous gracefully-penetrating poem delivered at President William Jefferson Clinton’s 1993 inauguration “On The Pulse Of Morning” and the Presidential Medal of Freedom 2010 bestowed upon her by President Barack Obama, during and emotionally-charged ceremony. Comment.

Activist poet seeks change

Arts & Theater: Despite a new year emerging with a sense of a clean slate, there are many still feeling upset and unsettled following clashes between African Americans and police across the world. Comment.

A JAZZY CLASSIC

Arts & Theater: Welcoming in the holiday season last week, the Dance The World Nutcracker Festival performed at The Secret Theatre, an intimate (99-seat) performance space off a loading dock on 23rd Street in Long Island City, offered a most unusual spin on the holiday favorite. Comment.

Misty Copeland making history for the little brown girls

Books: “This is for the little brown girls,” says Misty Copeland. On the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, she became the first black woman to perform “in Igor Stravinsky’s iconic role for the American Ballet Theatre,” a renowned dance company. Comment.