Friday, April 19, 2013
New York is a cultural haven for all things artistic but there are still certain areas of the city that are cultural deserts. In Brooklyn, East New York was one of those areas until Catherine A. Green, Executive Director and founder of ARTs East New York took on the task of opening a cultural center for the children and families in the neighborhood. The center includes an art gallery, and classes in dance and music for children. ARTs East New York is located at 851 Hegeman Avenue and Cleveland St., Brooklyn, NY. Visit their site at http://artseastny.org/.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
April is Poetry Month so it is time to celebrate the poetry in all of us. John Agard is a poet of wit and humor. He has recently been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry for 2012 in the United Kingdom. The British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy says:
"John Agard has always made people sit up and listen. He has done this with intelligence, humour and generosity. He has the ability to temper anger with wit and difficult truths with kindness. He levels the ground beneath all our feet, whether he is presenting Dante to children or introducing his own (Guyanan) culture to someone who hasn’t encountered it before. In performance he is electrifying – compelling, funny, moving and thought-provoking. His work in Education over years has changed the way that readers, writers and teachers think about poetry."
Here he recites from his recent book, Golilocks on CCTV . Enjoy!
For more Info visit Paper Tigers and the Caribbean Poetry Project.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Has your child been introduced to Anansi and traditional storytelling? We are bombarded so much today from media that I think few children are aware of characters like Anansi or Bre'er Rabbit. Master storytellers like Charlotte Blake Alston are keeping these stories alive by performing at children's program at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall and various venues in Philadelphia. You can catch her this weekend at Carnegie Hall on March 2 and Brooklyn Academy of Music on March 3. See her schedule.
She also collaborated on The Children's March, a choral work commemorating the 50th observance of the children's march in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. Over 1,000 school-age children were jailed for marching on behalf of freedom. The work was commissioned by Singing City Choir and will premiere at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) on Friday, April 26, 2013.
If you can't catch her live performance, you can buy some of her stories online at her store.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
UniverSoul Circus has started their new season for 2013 with an international array of acts. They will be traveling through North Carolina, Atlanta. Florida, California, New Orleans, Virginia, and New York. Check out their schedule for this season.
Monday, February 25, 2013
For those of us who celebrate our African American history this year started off quite remarkably with some historic landmarks.
First there was the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation is not just President Lincoln's story but the story of all those who spoke out against the evils of slavery...abolitionist, freemen, run away slaves, Black churches and everyone who risked their lives to dismantle slavery. This year I learnt about the Watch Night Service which was first celebrated on Dec 31, 1862.
"At the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863; all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as many people fell to their knees and thanked God." For more information visit African American Registry and NPR. January 1 was also a symbolic day for those enslaved because the new year was also the day when slave owners would pay their debts which meant that families members could be sold away from each other read CantonRep.com. So I can only imagine what our ancestors were thinking and feeling on that historic day.
This year is also the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's speech, I Have a Dream. This speech was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. Today it is considered one of the landmark speeches of the 20th century. There will be programs throughout the year celebrating this historic event. I love the fact that Martin Luther King's birthday has been made into a day of service. Share his speech and his dream with your children so that they can hear his prophetic words.
In January, we celebrated another milestone the second inauguration of Barack Obama, the first African American president. He started out as a community organizer, and his election was the result of getting people involved in politics on a community level, reminding everyone yes, we can.
As we check the milestones of our history this month we can see that we have participated in the struggle for freedom and justice from the early abolition movement through the civil rights movement until today. African American History can not be celebrated in a day or a month but February does remind us that when we come together we can do great things.
To celebrate African American History, Hue Man Bookstore and Black Ancestry are offering discounts for their products.
Hue Man Bookstore is offering a discount on the Ethidolls, Makeda®, The Queen of Sheba and Kumasi, Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa through March. The dolls are collectors items representing the Queens of Africa. They come with a book and audio tape which tell their story. A wonderful keepsake for the little princess in your life. For more information visit http://www.huemanbookstore.com/ethidolls.
African Ancestry.com is offering a 25% discount for their Ancestry Test Kits this month to find out where your roots are in Africa. Give a gift to a family member. Get your kits at http://ow.ly/hHyDM
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Quvenzhane´ Wallis’ star looks bright tonight whether she wins the Oscar nomination for her role in “Beast of the Southern Wild” or not. She will still be the youngest actress ever to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Wallis was just five years old when she was cast as Hushpuppy fighting for survival in a flooding bayou town in her breakout role in “Beast of the Southern Wild”
She is now also one of the youngest fashionistas with fashion designers like Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and David Meister vying for her attention. In her interview with Andre´ Leon Talley she seems relaxed about all the attention she is getting. However, Quvenzhane (kwuh-VEHN’-juh-nay) must be doubly excited today since Sony Pictures just announced that she will play Annie in a contemporized adaptation of the Broadway musical and the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip. “Annie” is planned for release during the 2014 holiday season. Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z are among the producers. The coveted title role of Little Orphan Annie will be an opportunity for her to showcase her talent in acting, singing, and dancing. She's also an animal lover, which will help in working with the canine cast as Annie's beloved pooch, Sandy.
As for her fashion preferences she likes dresses that twirl and her signature dog purses.