Image via Brooklyn Youth Chorus
NYXT’s mission is to broadcast the most meaningful stories from more than 130 different nonprofit organizations and help spread the word about their missions and goals. Most of these groups are based in New York City and in this entry, we wanted to feature some of NYXT’s Brooklyn video content partners and highlight their initiatives to persevere during the coronavirus pandemic. Get your notebooks out and wifi ready so you can connect with Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Streb, Womanity Project, Brooklyn Arts Council, and Beam Center through these virtual opportunities.
“Like every organization, Womanity Project has been hit pretty hard. We were just preparing for our big fundraising campaign and of course, everything stopped. Instead, we talked to our board and decided to reorganize our activity with two objectives: support our community and survive.”
Aurélie Harp, Founder, Director of The Womanity Project.
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Founded in 1992, Brooklyn Youth Chorus has served nearly 6,000 students over the course of its history, currently involving more than 700 students in its core after-school and public-school outreach programs. The Chorus’s professional faculty teach a wide range of repertoire and styles, and some of the organizations and artists that the groups has collaborated with include the New York Philharmonic, The National, David Byrne, International Contemporary Ensemble, London Symphony Orchestra, Barbra Streisand, Arcade Fire, Sir Elton John, and Grizzly Bear.
The organization is located in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and their 2020-2021 program will be online: “We all miss the incomparable experience of singing together side by side. However, the severity and contagiousness of COVID-19 – as well as early indications that choral singing may create particularly transmissible settings – make it essential that all of our programming and performing decisions put the safety of our students, staff, and community first.” Click here to learn more.
Described by the New York Times as an artwork “that strives to defy gravity”, STREB EXTREME ACTION is a company created by choreographer Elizabeth Streb that combines virtuosity and technical skill with openhearted popular appeal. Founded in New York City in 1985, the company has traveled, artistically as well as geographically, from the heights of the experimental dance world to the cutting-edge of popular entertainment.
While during the coronavirus pandemic all public shows and events are cancelled, the company is providing remote classes and shows as an alternative providing Free Adult Classes, Kid PopAction, and Virtual Parties. Learn more about them here.
Womanity Project champions gender and racial equality by using storytelling and theater improv to drive daring conversations around identity and inspire deeper human connections. Through films, podcasts and workshops, the organization works to reflect on how we can find new ways of defining ourselves with others with fairness, dignity, and respect.
With the assassination of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the burst of #blacklivesmatter protests, Womanity Project decided to organize sessions providing space to think deeply and analyze how to direct these types of conversations. “We wanted to drive now and in the longer term to heal and transform together as human beings”, says Aurélie Harp, Founder, and Director of the organization.
Locally, they are collaborating with Bailey's Cafe, a nonprofit organization in Bed-Stuy, to animate a Summer Camp Improv and Storytelling workshop around gender and race with kids aged 12 to 20 in the community, while also talking to the City Council in District 36 to work more closely with the Elderly and youth initiatives in the neighborhood.
Womanity Project is also developing collaborations with other nonprofits like Pride Brooklyn to provide internships, Street Project Foundation in Nigeria offering workshops, and with Global Play Brigade to build improvisation classes that they give for free to national and international students. In parallel, they are setting up a robust inclusive program for businesses, while they are also working on the development of the series LaLa's tour, featuring LaLa Zannell.
Click here to visit their website and learn more about how you can get involved.
Beam Center is a team of New Yorkers from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds, whose goal is to make innovative projects through collaboration, equity, and community building, sustaining a platform to young people who are making a difference.
The center is based in Red Hook, and these days they are hosting a Live on Instagram “Show and Tell” event, where young people are encouraged to share their projects, thoughts, and feelings every Friday.
Image via Beam Center
Brooklyn Arts Council
The Brooklyn Arts Council works to empower artists and audiences in art-making, art-sharing, and art-learning. They nurture Creative Ecologies and solve Creative Equations advocating for sustainable development strategies that include art, artists, and arts institutions to optimize social innovations and solutions to inequity.
BAC has multiple tools and resources, like professional development, grants, fiscal sponsorship, arts in education programs, folk arts programs, and art consultancy services. During the current health crisis, they created a “Covid-10 resources for Brooklyn Artists” list. Click here to learn more.
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