Field Day Bed Stuy (115 of 437)

Meet Ambar Castillo, Programs Intern

October 26, 2017

Get to know Ambar Castillo, our 2017-2018 017 CUNY Cultural Corps Programs Intern:

 

So, what made you decide to intern with The LP? How does the internship relate to your studies?

The LP mission and vision intersects with what I believe in and want to do personally and professionally, which is to connect others to their ability to create change for themselves, their communities, and for other communities around the world. As a theatre major pursuing applied theatre possibly in conjunction with public policy and international communications, the diversity of people and arts forms with which the LP works excites me and is so applicable to my studies.

 

Do you have your own creative practice?

Yes! I do creative writing (slam poetry, drama, short stories, rap) and perform (college theatre in Boston, Ecuador, and New York; received an acting nomination for the 2017 Irene Ryan competition at the Kennedy Center College Theatre Festival). I am also an apprentice with InViolet Theatre, with whom I did a staged reading of my play “Walking Around,” and have showcased staged adaptations of classic play scenes that involve gender-swapping and address social justice problems such as xenophobia, sexism, and race/gender/nationality-based identity issues.

 

Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Immortal Technique both inspire me in their ability to integrate important issues around immigration-and race-based identity and discrimination, community poverty and violence with the power of language and performance. I plan to build a similar type of bridge connecting with not solely these issues but also those hindering women’s empowerment, public health, and peace/connection promotion.

 

What is your favorite… film?

“Gone with the Wind”/”Homeward Bound”/”Anne of Green Gables” (the original)

 

…album?

“Revolutionary Vol. 2″ (Immortal Technique)/”The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”/”State of Lunacy” (Rhyme Asylum)

 

…food?

Spaghetti squash with homemade meat sauce and plenty of vegetables; Royal Quinoa pasta with the right seasoning; plantains with red caramelized onions and and fried cheese

 

Where do you do your laundry?

At home (looking forward to doing the laundromat thing for the first time!)

In your opinion, why does art matter?

It provides a universal language of connection that can be accessed by anyone and experienced with every sense, articulated in ways that are more potent than logic and other institutionally prioritized forms of knowledge, and that can bridge all diverse beings. It is the best tool we can wield to galvanize change.

 

 

Ambar Castillo is a Brooklyn-born, Queens-raised writer and actor with a B.A. in Latin American Studies/Journalism from Boston University. She is involved in research on culturally relevant performance-based health initiatives and plays addressing social justice issues.




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Meet Kacy George, Development and Communications Intern

October 26, 2017

Get to know Kacy George, our 2017-2018 CUNY Cultural Corps Development & Communications Intern:

 

So, what made you decide to intern with The LP? How does the internship relate to your studies?

The Laundromat Project was one of the CUNY Cultural Corps community partners. Our professional and personal values of art, culture, and social justice matched us.

 

Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?

Kerry James Marshall’s retrospective Mastry at The Met galvanized me to see the work of artists’ works and the galleries that hold them as mechanisms for conversations amongst people with very different backgrounds.

 

What is your favorite… film?

Castaway… WILSON!

 

…album?

Funk Wav Bounces

 

…food?

Pizza, obviously.

 

Where do you do your laundry?

2 Blocks away from my house.

In your opinion, why does art matter?

Art matters because without it, we would not be human.

 

 

Kacy George is a Junior Digital Design + Advertising Student at The City College of New York focusing on the intersection of design and activism. He was born in Grenada and immigrated to America at the age of 10. Today, he dreams of making our world a fairer place and sees himself as an advocate of the hard-fought freedoms and liberties we sometimes fail to treasure.

 

 

 




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Words from Stephanie Alvarado, 2017 Create Change Fellow

October 20, 2017

2017 Create Change Fellow Stephanie Alvarado‘s 2017 Public Art Potluck speech:

 

“Buenas tardes a todxs. Muchisimas gracias por la oportunidad de estar aqui compartiendo este momento con ustedes.

 

Good evening everyone. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be here sharing this moment with you all.

 

Bronx Team Shoutouts!

Deion Gonzalez

Isaiah Brockenbaugh

Fay Bonas

London Hough

Jayniya Owens

Lyehana Remer

Hugo Moreno

Rosa Muñiz

Elizabeth Rossi

Tijay

Emilio

Alethea

Nikomeh

Alicia Grullon

Emily Mock

Sheryll Durant+Bruce

 

I’d like to share a Bronx story with y’all tonight. The setting is a secret garden on Kelly St. in the Longwood area of the South Bronx. You walk down grey concrete stairs into a dark tunnel that opens up to emerald greens overflowing from raised beds of oregano, basil, marigolds and mint. Walk a little bit further you can hear children playing from the 3rd story windows that overlook the garden. It’s summertime. Schools out and all they got is time on their hands. They like to play pranks and watch the neighbors that care for the garden with big eager eyes. So one day, tell me how, a group of six kids on a 85 degree day decided to come down from their apartments and into the garden for an adventure. The moment they stepped foot into the garden their whole spirit changed. You see, anyone who stepped into the garden was enchanted. The garden’s magic was to inject love, imagination, and healing to all that cared for it. The kids were enchanted. For the first time, they spoke up and asked to help protect the garden from invaders.

 

One neighbor gardener suggested scarecrows and luckily, there was an apartment in the building dedicated to art making, so everything they needed was right where they lived. Together with community artists, the kids brought their scarecrows to life. They used fun materials like pipe cleaners for hair, watermelon floaties for skirts, glitter golden branches for arms, and red gems for teeth. It took them all summer to finish and to celebrate all the hard work and love, they threw a big party for friends and family in the magic garden. The scarecrows were planted on September 16, 2017. They took pictures, made decorations, told stories about the ways community protects each other, laughed, and ate yummy food to celebrate.

 

The year is now 2027 and the photographs of that day are stored in the Kelly Street community archive. The garden has tripled in size with new locations throughout the Bronx, the majority of them being community land trusts. Gardens and art elementary schools have a partnership where the curriculum includes learning about community land stewardship through art. The Bronx leads the city in youth stewards of gardens and has the most diverse collection of seeds to plant. And yes, scarecrows still protect the magical gardens. By now, the six kids who helped start this tradition are in their early 20s. A local bilingual newspaper reached out to them for an interview for the 10 year anniversary and asked them the following questions:

 

1. Are you in community/relationship with people who can and do hold you accountable?

2. How do you continue to do this work after 10 years without harming yourself or others?

3. What is the role of artists in communities of color?

 

I offer these questions to y’all tonight as an invitation to meditate on sustainability of not only the work, but our communities and ourselves as well.

 

Thank you.”