News and Updates
Voices of New York
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 12:00 AM

 

 

Pregones/PRTT hosts Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s “Voices of New York:  An Evening of Music, Poetry, Dance and Spoken Word” in the Bronx

 

For the second time this season, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hosted Voices of New York, this time in the Bronx home of the Pregones Theater + Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.  This came after their first event, hosted by A.R.T./New York member LaMama, proved to be a huge success.

The evening began with a warm welcome from the Speaker, followed by a few words from Tony and Grammy Award winning composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who then introduced the amazing Arturo O'Farrill and the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats. Arturo O’Farrill founded this pre-professional youth performance program, which serves 32 students from middle schools, high schools and colleges throughout the City, and rehearses weekly using music pulled from Mr. O’Farrill’s deep repertoire. This Grammy Award winning orchestra has performed at Birdland, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library and Lincoln Center!

Other performers included the brilliant flamenco dancer Nelida Tirado, followed by Jadele McPherson—a performance artist, singer, actor, scholar and cultural organizer who moved us with her personal story, Epilogue: Debajo del Laurel.  Singer Russell Taylor, winner of VH1’s You Oughta Know crowd-source contest, was joined by acoustic guitarist Shelton Garner, to perform Blueprint. The duo then encouraged the audience to sing along to their performance of Hope!  After singing with Russell, we could all understand why he has been chosen to perform with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jill Scot, Isaac Hayes and Patti LaBelle!

Elizabeth Marrero, longtime collaborator with Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre and BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance,had the audience in hysterics with her performance of Petronilla (which featured a surprise appearance by Mr. Aviles!) The Ghetto Film School, which uses a creative education model to teach teens the craft of filmmaking and provide them with the skills for the 21st Century job market, showed 2 Episodes from their piece, Beneath the Streets, about young people who dance for money on the E Train. Yeshiva University's YSTUDS performed a mash-up of Let it Be in English and Hebrew proving once again the unique power of the arts to translate across languages and cultures.

The event came to a rousing conclusion with River of Recuerdos, an excerpt from Dancing in My Cockroach Killers, the musical created by Pregones’ ensemble artists in collaboration with poet and playwright Magdalena Gómez. Broadway veteran Elise Santora was accompanied by ensemble musicians Desmar Guevara, Ariel Robles, William Rodríguez, and Gabo Lugo. Even those of us who couldn't speak Spanish were able to get the gist of the wonderful performance, directed by Rosalba Rolón!

Congratulations to all the performers and to Pregones/PRTT and LaMama for hosting the first two events.

And muchas gracias, Madame Speaker, for creating these wonderful evenings to celebrate the power of Arts and Culture!

-Ginny Louloudes, Executive Director

 

[Photo credit: ©2015 Marisol Díaz for Pregones/PRTT.]


 
2015 Nancy Quinn Fund Grant Recipients
Thursday, April 16, 2015 12:00 AM

 

Nancy Quinn Grantee The Queen's Company's production of Sir Patient Fancy. Photo by Bob Pileggi.

Congratulations to the following 42 companies who received a total of $50,000 through the The FY15 Nancy Quinn Fund program! The Nancy Quinn Fund provides general operating support to A.R.T./New York member companies with budgets under $100,000.

  • Between the Seas
  • Blessed Unrest
  • Buran Theatre
  • CollaborationTown
  • Collapsable Giraffe
  • Colt Coeur
  • Concrete Temple Theatre
  • The CRY HAVOC Company
  • Downtown Art
  • Dramatic Question Theatre
  • Faux-Real Theatre Company
  • Flux Theatre Ensemble
  • id Theater
  • Immediate Medium
  • IRT Theater
  • La Troupe Makandal, Inc.
  • LaMicro Theater
  • Little Lord
  • The Movement Theatre Company
  • NAATCO
  • National Theatre for Student Artists
  • The New Stage Theatre Company
  • New Worlds Theatre Project, Inc.
  • Nia Theatrical Production Company
  • Noor Theatre
  • Peculiar Works Project
  • Pioneers Go East Collective
  • Pipeline Theatre Company
  • The Queen's Company
  • Retro Productions
  • Rising Circle Theater Collective
  • Roots&Branches Theater
  • Second Generation Productions
  • Sinking Ship Productions
  • Steps Theatre
  • Theater 2020, Inc.
  • Theater 167
  • Turkish American Repertory Theater & Entertainment
  • Untitled Theater Company No. 61
  • Vampire Cowboys
  • Voyage Theater Company
  • WaxFactory
 
An Entertaining City Council Hearing
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 12:00 AM

 

A few years ago, I met with Rob Moss, one of the founding members of A.R.T./New York, (originally called the Off Off Broadway Alliance). Rob told me that at one of the Alliance’s first City Council hearings, a member sang a song as part of their testimony. “You could hear a pin drop,” he reminisced. “She had the entire room in awe.”

This past week, A.R.T./New York prepared for a City Council Hearing on March 20th. Typically I present a testimonial on behalf of the artists, but this time, Rob’s anecdote struck a chord with me: Why not allow the artists to speak for themselves, by doing what they do best? So we did just that, and it was a huge success.

Joining us at the meeting were representatives from One Percent for Culture, The Field, Theater of the Oppressed, The Laundromat Project, Exploring the Metropolis, Elders Share the Arts, and Dance/NYC, who each gave their own creative presentation. The non-traditional testimony was kicked off by artist Mahayana Landowne, representing the Interactive Art Collective, Calling All Parties. Mahayana interviewed attendees while wearing an artist original “Red Carpet” inspired accessory; a funky, red, statement hat resembling a cascading red carpet. Interviewees such as Heather Woodfield from One Perfect for Culture stopped to discuss the importance of culture with Mahayana while arriving to the Hearing.

Other presentations included Girl Be Heard’s excerpt from the haunting piece, "Mama, You're the Soldier," by Aya Abdelaziz, in which performers Ashley Marinaccio and Jackie Torres executed a beautiful vocal and movement piece that shook up the space. The Laundromat Project shared spoken testimony by Kemi Ilesanmi and 2 artists (Betty Yu, Stephanie Dinkins) under the theme "Imagine if...." and handed out cards, produced by The Laundromat Project Alum Chloe Bass, that asked "What can you imagine?"

The Field displayed several large portraits from Kate Browne’s ongoing project, Cocoon (as seen in the photograph just above), while she explained her approach and subject matter; and Guy Lawrence, a representative from Elders Share the Arts, shared a moving testimony on the personal impact of his company’s work on his life. Composers, Nina Siniakova and Ian Ng, spoke on behalf of Exploring the Metropolis, thanking said Organization for securing free space where they could compose, while violist, Eric Lemmon, performed a piece so moving that Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer used his iPhone to record the performance! Finally, Maaji Newbold from Theatre of the Oppressed performed an excerpt from the play “The Housing Circus,” in which she, while juggling her obstacles, described the hoops she had to jump through for public assistance with housing and health.

All twelve of the speakers, including Holly Block (Bronx Museum and the Cultural Institutions), and Tamara Greenfield (FAB), made the same request: $30 million more for Culture, to be divided equally between the Cultural Development Fund and the Cultural Institutions Group. And this time, we were heard—because no one can better describe the power of the arts than the artists themselves.

 

-Ginny Louloudes, Executive Director

 
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