Arts & Literacy Brings A Great Inter-Borough Community/Artist Contingency Together @ Restoration!
Photos by Lem Peterkin L/R: Joanne Nabors, Vivian Bright, Peggy Alston, Borough President Eric L. Adams, Abdel Salaam, Aduke Aremu, Dr. Ademola Olugbefola, Harold Thomas, Dr. Wesley Wiley, Dr. Askia Davis Jr.
“The Liberation of Mother Goose” Children’s Play @ the Billie Holiday Theatre 1368 Fulton Street Restoration Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11216 on Saturday, April 5th @ 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 6th @ 4 p.m. $8 for Seniors and Children 12 and under $12 for Adults
When it comes to 30-plus exceptionally-talented New York City children taking the stage after months of hard work on a high-end children’s play to support citywide literacy “the greatest city in the world’s” business, community and arts leaders come together in solidarity.
Support for the dramatic arts project has come from support for the Brooklyn’s Restoration, the Brooklyn Borough President, Harlem’s Dwyer Cultural Center, Manhattan’s Forces of Nature Dance Company, Inc., Concerned Women of Brooklyn, Brooklyn’s Berean Baptist Church Youth Group, Flatbush-Caton Mart, Black On Purpose TV and Lem Peterkin more .
“The Liberation of Mother Goose” is a children’s play written by author, playwright, educator and radio host, Aduke Aremu.
The play is an educational project with a stage, television and in-school workbook components that engages today’s children to embrace and enjoy their understanding of classic literature. It adapts the bedtime story and classic by Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland with select characters from the ageless Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes to experiences that an urban Alice could possibly imagine experiencing.
Abdel Salaam director/choreographer with Alice…
Aduke’s work has long been celebrated by her Brooklyn arts community. The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Center for Arts & Culture supported her as a young Brownsville, Brooklyn artist and female producer decades ago to encourage her plays and the development of the historic Harlem Children’s Theatre Company, Inc. one of the first black off-Broadway companies in the famous City of New York. The Harlem Children’s Theatre Company, Inc. allowed 50 diverse NYC children to tour dramatic productions from NYC to the J.F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC and throughout Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. Aduke has also been cited for developing the Brooklyn small school at Wingate H.S. called the International Arts-Business High School in her borough and worldwide contribution by former Congressman Ed Towns (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2010-03-21/html/CREC-2010-03-21-pt1-PgE429-4.htm).
Today, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Youth Arts Academy under the leadership of, Peggy Alston has produced The Liberation of Mother Goose with the brilliant support of director/choreographer, Abdel Salaam,Mario E. Sprouse (Music), Patrice Andrew Davidson (Stage design), Krystal Brown (Graphic Arts), Marjorie Moon (Billie Holiday Theatre, Manager)and song stylist and animation voice-over celebrity, Lillias White (YAA Vocal Coach).
L/R Aduke, Marjorie Moon, Calvin
MoniqueMonique Barashango of ATL, Special Assistant to Aduke Aremu
Aduke Aremu, Vivian Y. Bright (Chair), Ana Goldson Walker, Dr. Ademola Olugebefola, Peggy Clemons, Bishop Wesley Wiley, Joanne Nabors, Dawn Alli, Dr. Askia Davis Sr., Harold Thomas, Apostle Michelle and Martin Johnson, Monique Barashango, Dr. Kemi Alli,Grace Jones, Cherice Kirkland, Michael Campbell, Peter Moore, Apostle Michelle & Martin Johnson, Deborah Middleton, Cheryl and Wilbert McLaurin.
The play will be introduced to venue, schools and potential partners in NYC, Westchester, NY, CT, NC, and GA For more information please contact:
Peggy Alston’s Office: 718-636-6993
Aduke Aremu: 678-739-6674
Billie Holiday Theatre
Located in the heart of Restoration Plaza, the Audelco and Obie award winning Billie Holiday Theatre (BHT) is the only professional resident theatre company in Brooklyn, and sets the standard for performing arts and serious theatre in Central Brooklyn.
Established in 1972, BHT has a well-earned reputation for providing outstanding professional theatre and music productions that are affordable to families.
Serving some 30,000 people annually for more than 30 years, the BHT seats 200, has a 36-week season, and provides a training ground for aspiring theatre professionals.
The theatre has launched the careers of many fine and notable artists and playwrights over the years, including Samuel L. Jackson, Debbie Allen, and Samm-Art Williams. The Theatre is the original New York producer of many hit shows, including LOTTO; INACENT BLACK AND THE FIVE BROTHERS, which went on to Broadway and starred Melba Moore; ONE MONKEY DON’T STOP NO SHOW, which toured nationally with Kim Fields and Ted Lange and the musical, OVER FORTY.”
For ticket or performance information, please contact the Billie Holiday Theatre Box Office at (718)-636-0918 or 0919 or visit us on the web at www.thebillieholiday.org.
We need to get our Mayor DeBlasio involved in this Brooklyn children’s project . As a candidate he sated that he and his family supports Arts and Education. Get in touch with NYC Schools advocate, Bill Thompson too!
Candidate: Bill DeBlasio
The diversity of New York City is a treasure – and an important reason why my wife Chirlane and
I decided to raise our kids here. One of the more obvious manifestations of that diversity is in the
treasure of art, music, dance and theatre that we can find – even within walking distance of our home
in Brooklyn. The arts can bring meaning to life – inspiration and hope – laughter and tears. What better
place than New York City – with hundreds of languages, nationalities and cultures – to experience all of
It’s time to reduce the emphasis on high-stakes testing in our public schools and ensure that we have
room in the school day for kids to get a well-rounded education. My wife, Chirlane, and I didn’
t send our
kids to public schools in this city to become great test-takers.
We sent them to learn how to think, how to
explore the world, and unlock the potential of their creativity.
While we need mechanisms for measuring student progress, the gathering of information has costs – not
only economic costs, but also academic costs, as time spent on test preparation can result in a narrowing
of school curricula to exclude areas such as art, music and other enrichment activities. Ensuring that
every child in every school receives a well-rounded education can’
t happen until we stop making
everything – school progress reports, teacher evaluations and more – so dependent on the results of a
limited range of standardized tests. Then we can work to achieve a curriculum that is balanced and does
not cut critical areas like arts, music and other creative pursuits.
The following questions were designed to determine candidates’ positions on a number of issues related to the
delivery of arts education (including music, dance, theater and visual arts) in New Y
ork City public schools.
Questionnaires were delivered to all declared candidates for the Office of New York City Mayor.
4. The arts are recognized as a core subject area here in New York and at the federal level. However, while
many schools in New York City do provide quality arts instruction, access to this instruction is far from
universal. How would you ensure equity in the delivery of arts education in the following key areas:
A. Funding: Principals consistently cite budget constraints as the chief obstacle to providing arts education
at their schools. While schools receive “Supplemental Arts Funding” each year (formerly known as Project
Arts), as of 2007 principals are not required to spend these funds directly on arts education.
What would you do
to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that
includes the arts?
3. How, if at all, would you restructure the current system of school governance? How might this impact the
delivery of arts instruction in city schools?
I support mayoral control, but believe that we need more engagement from parents in deciding what’
best for our children’s education. I can say without reservation, as a public school parent, that the
Bloomberg administration has shut us out. We have got to bring parents to the table and treat them like
stakeholders if we hope to make more progress in our schools. Mayoral control shouldn’
t mean you go
it alone and stop listening.
When I served in the City Council, I was a sponsor of Resolution 837, which called upon the DOE to
maintain a minimum level of arts funding in public schools.
We must open up the DOE budget to the public. Increased budget accountability will help us to root out
wasteful and unnecessary DOE expenditures, and maximize funding for areas like arts education.
Moreover, relieving the pressure on principals to put so much emphasis on testing will lead to budget
decisions at the school-level that better reflect the goal of a well-rounded education that develops
creative and critical thinking.
B. Qualified Instructors: Highly qualified certified arts teachers are the cornerstone of a quality arts program in
schools. However, whether due to budget constraints, school size, or other factors, almost 20% of city schools
have no certified arts instructor on staff. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive
instruction from qualified instructors?
We can begin to address the shortage of qualified arts instructors by rethinking the emphasis on high-
C. Space: Lack of available in-school arts space is one of the top challenges principals face in implementing
arts education. What policies would you implement to prevent the loss of arts spaces in public schools due to
overcrowding, co-location, or other factors?
Like the issue of arts instructors, space issues can be more rationally resolved after taking some of the
craziness out of the testing regime – that has distorted curricular goals. Moreover
, we need a much more
thoughtful approach to co-locations that too often are made without adequate input from parents and
other community stakeholders.
Finally, schools should grow with the community, and not reduce space for arts and other activities due
to overcrowding. We must plan proactively for the impact that residential development will have on
D. Partnerships: New York City has a rich array of cultural resources, including arts and cultural institutions and
professional artists that play an important role in the lives and education of some of our school children. How
would you ensure that all public school students and their families could enjoy meaningful engagement with
It is time to re-think the relationship between New York City and its public schools. The relationship
between public schools and the City as a whole should be a two-way street— this means bringing New
York City’s diverse set of assets into schools, and helping schools become active participants in New
York City life and culture. Schools should be forward-thinking centers of innovation that propel New
York City into the future through our students and their engagement with the world. We must draw on
New York City’s unparalleled resources to turn our schools into integral parts of our City’s economic,
intellectual and cultural landscape, and we must create schools that will graduate students who are ready
to face challenges of the future.
New York City public schools are situated amidst a rich, vibrant network of opportunities for engaging
students in creative thought and enriching learning experiences.
These should be proactively integrated
into the learning process, both inside and outside of the classroom.
5. The city’s accountability system places a heavy emphasis on student performance on state assessments in
English language arts and math. Currently, performance assessments for the arts are being piloted in city schools
and while the arts can potentially factor into a high school’s report card grade, the overall impact is minimal.
Are there ways you would consider expanding or revising the school accountability system to incorporate the
Absolutely. School Progress reports include a very limited set of information and can be confusing to
parents.School Progress reports include a very limited set of information and can be confusing to parents.
Including factors such as compliance with State arts education requirements and other indicators about
arts in schools would help to provide parents with a more accurate and useful understanding of how
schools are serving students.
6. How would you engage teachers, parents, the arts and cultural community
, city agencies, and other interested
stakeholders to expand access to arts education both in-school and outside of the school day?
Parents provide the support needed for students to attend school each and every day and to be motivated
to achieve their highest potential. As a public school parent, I know our City can do more to involve
families in their children’s education. It is ultimately in the interest of our public schools to increase
parent engagement. Parents who are informed, supported, and included in important conversations
about education will help to empower educators, strengthen our schools, and increase accountability
I will work to increase parent engagement through a variety of strategies including monthly Borough
Education Forums, working with Superintendents offices to increase their presence in the community
and better engage families, and increasing parent involvement through new and innovative use of
internet resources, such as webcasting PTA and CEC meetings.
No additional comments.
View all the responses from
Candidates online at nycartsed.org!
The Brooklyn Reader