• Thursday, Jun 19, 2014

    Seven New York City Arts Organizations Selected to Create Citywide NeON Arts Programming in Summer/Fall 2014

    Recently Launched Program Connects Local Artists and Arts Organizations with Probation Clients Throughout New York City, Creating Programming Available To The Whole Community
    First Round of NeON Arts Projects Culminates With Free Community Events Through July 10

    (June 19, 2014; NEW YORK, NY)—The New York City Department of Probation (DOP) in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute today announced the names of seven New York City organizations selected for the second installment of NeON Arts, a new citywide arts education initiative created by the DOP. The first group of NeON Arts projects, which began last April, has recently wrapped up with final events open to community members now through July 10. For more information on NeON Arts events, please visit carnegiehall.org/NeONArts.

    NeON Arts offers young people in New York City, including those on probation, the chance to explore the arts through projects in a variety of disciplines, including dance, music, theater, visual arts, poetry, and digital media. Programming is available in seven communities that are served by the DOP’s Neighborhood Opportunity Networks (NeONs), which connect local residents to opportunities, resources, and services provided by businesses, community organizations, and government agencies in their neighborhoods.

    The seven NeON neighborhoods are Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn), Brownsville (Brooklyn), East New York (Brooklyn), Harlem (Manhattan), South Jamaica (Queens), Staten Island, and the South Bronx.

    As a leader in creating arts programming for justice settings and an ongoing partner of the DOP, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute facilitates the grant-making process, coordinates citywide NeON Arts events, and works with arts organizations and NeON stakeholders to ensure that the planning and implementation of each project are a collaboration that benefits the entire community.

    The seven organizations selected to create programming for the second round of the NeON Arts initiative, which runs through October 30, 2014, are:

    • Bedford-Stuyvesant: Xmental
    • Brownsville: Urban Bush Women
    • East New York: Xmental
    • Harlem: Project YEAH
    • South Bronx: Free Verse and Maysles Documentary Center
    • South Jamaica: Groundswell
    • Staten Island: Staten Island Arts

    An integral part of the development of NeON Arts has been hands-on participation by local community members. The arts organizations participating in the second round of the initiative were selected by local NeON stakeholders who are comprised of people on probation, DOP staff, key members of the community, and local businesses.

    Summer/Fall 2014 programming will include:


    Urban Bush Women, a world-renowned Brooklyn-based dance company committed to dancing the powerful under-told stories of the African Diaspora, will work with Brownsville NeON participants as part of their extensive engagement initiative BOLD (Builders, Organizers, and Leaders through Dance). BOLD leverages dance as a catalyst for social change and community engagement in addition to teaching concert dance technique and performance.

    Xmental, will introduce Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York NeON participants to the basics of graffiti art while also teaching the difference between legal and illegal graffiti. This summer, the organization will host a public viewing and auction of art produced by participants that will also include performances by local hip-hop artists. Xmental is a coalition of community organizers, artists, and teachers committed to mentoring and educating urban youth through art and creative projects.


    Project YEAH (Youth Empowered to Act for Humanity), will engage Harlem NeON participants in a visual and literary arts program intensive that nurtures community youth involvement through a positive dialogue of youth challenges, creating a "youth peace" mural, and providing their community an exhibition reception of individual artworks with posted essays and a group poetry production.


    The Maysles Documentary Center (MDC) is a Harlem-based non-profit film arts organization dedicated to the production and exhibition of documentary films that inspire dialogue and action. Over the course of twelve weeks, MDC will engage South Bronx NeON participants and community members to work in small teams to create short documentaries on issues important to them and their communities.

    Free Verse, the journal of poetry and prose born in the probation center waiting room in the South Bronx NeON, will host a poetry program for community members alongside poetry workshops to create an informal learning environment in which poetry serves as the pathway to better prospects in life.


    Groundswell brings together artists, youth, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change for a more just and equitable world. Their projects beautify neighborhoods, engage youth in societal and personal transformation, and give expression to ideas and perspectives that are underrepresented in the public dialogue. Groundswell will collaborate with participants from the Jamaica NeON to design and create a mural that explores themes identified by the Jamaica Stakeholder group.


    Staten Island Arts – In keeping with its mission to cultivate a sustainable and diverse cultural community for the people of Staten Island by making the arts accessible to every member of the community, Staten Island Arts will collaborate with Christian Reinsch of The Projectivity Movement, SI MakerSpace, and NeON participants on Engineer Your Sound. This project teaches the fundamentals of storytelling through songwriting and training in computer recording software and equipment for the purpose of producing musical compositions accompanied by recorded vocals.


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    The third round of NeON Arts programming will be offered from November 1 through January 31, 2014. Arts organizations interested in participating are invited to submit a proposal by completing an application at carnegiehall.org/NeONArts. The application deadline for the next project period is August 15, 2014.

    NeON Arts funding is provided by the Open Society Foundations through a grant to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to support New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). NeON Arts is a signature initiative of YMI.

    The NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) transforms lives by connecting young men of color with the tools they need to succeed. YMI views each young man as a valuable asset to his family, his community and his city. It invests in our common future by providing Black and Latino young men with innovative programs, services and policy solutions focused on education, employment, health and justice. By focusing New York City’s resources in a smart and strategic way, this unprecedented public-private partnership has created a global model for helping young men to reach their goals, break the poverty cycle and build stronger communities. To learn more about YMI, visit: nyc.gov/youngmen


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