A Mural Rising for Summer Rising at East Bronx Academy

UPDATE!!

Students and teachers celebrated with a special mural unveiling on Thursday, August 12, 2021. Enjoy the brilliant final masterpiece!!!


original post August 4, 2021

Students at East Bronx Academy eagerly began painting a large outdoor mural as part of Summer Rising under the artistic direction of esteemed muralists Vanezza Cruz and SIENIDE. Arts Horizons and East Bronx Academy of the Future are proud to have received this special grant award through the New York City Department of Educations’ Office of Arts and Special Projects, made possible by the New York City Artist Corps. Students filled the recently renovated park area with splashes of color against the backdrop of a new basketball court and park benches overlooking blooming flowers along a colorful walking path. This park gives residents peace and tranquility within a busy South Bronx neighborhood, and the mural is an ideal addition to the school and a great way for the community to come together through the arts.

The mural design process was led by Vanezza with close collaboration from Principal Sarah Scrogin and Assistant Principal Steven Brady of East Bronx Academy as well as Principal Emily Shu of Bronx Envision Academy, a school co-located in the building. Students shared their ideas in special workshops which led to the rich design depicting iconography that represents the school and surrounding community: a knight, cacti, and the subway. The knight [school’s mascot/logo] symbolizes strength, honor, integrity and courage. The cacti represent resilience, endurance and fortitude as they are known to survive in new environments and situations all the while remaining adaptable and strong. Lastly, the subway is a unifying factor for the entire school campus as their building is right next to the 174th Street train station in the Bronx. The stack of books and the apple in the shield echo elements of education. The decorative dark hands symbolize an otherworldly power of protection and guidance, and colored in a way to represent the gamut of skin tones amongst the BIPOC community in the area.

SIENIDE joins Ms. Cruz at East Bronx Academy as an artist and teaching assistant, and together, they carefully guide students to make their mark on the newly primed wall while implementing newly learned techniques in color theory, color mixing and painting. Students from both schools work collaboratively to help bring to life this stunning largescale mural which will be unveiled in a special opening ceremony in August 2021. We are excited to see the final result and cannot wait to share the images of the mural that will cheerfully welcome students, staff and community members back into the school community after a very tumultuous school year in pandemic.

About the Artists:

Vanezza Cruz is a mixed media artist, graphic designer and with an early education in fine arts and music, she graduated Cum Laude from FIT with a BFA in Graphic Design. After working as a graphic designer in the fashion industry, she pursued her MFA in Printmaking at Lehman College. Working as an Art Education Administrator, a freelancer and a muralist, she continues to explore her passions of drawing, binding books, taking pictures, creating collages, and other creative odds and ends. Her work explores ideas of body image and beauty, cultural identity and representations of women.

SIENIDE is a multi-layered artist whose life and is inspired by life and art. Dozens of Sien’s masterfully illustrated murals are scattered throughout the five boroughs of NYC. His public works engage a younger generation of street art enthusiasts with abstract compositions and mood altering color. SIENIDE is an Illustrator, and Professor currently teaching Digital Media Arts at TCI College in New York City.

For more information , please contact Kiran Rajagopalan:


Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs
kiran@artshorizons.org 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

#SoundMind: Sound Healing and Meditation Workshops

#SoundMind – Video Sample of Sound Healing and Meditation with Neel Murgai

We are excited to highlight one of our newest signature family programs, #SoundMind, where you will release tension and relieve stress with sound healing and meditation for all ages by Neel Murgai. You and your family will be immersed in a tranquil environment filled with calming live vocals, instruments, and visuals. You will even learn how to use your voice to create your own healing undertones and overtones! In this time of pandemic, #SoundMind has received great reviews by families, educators and administrators.

I wanted to share with you that I really enjoyed your presentations. They were soothing and engaging. You really helped me take my meditation to a new place…eyes wide open. Normally I like it dark, but this was a new experience that opened different pathways to calm and sooth through sound and your visuals.

Principal, Hospital Schools

Neel Murgai is a multi-instrumental performer, composer, and teacher and co-founder of Brooklyn Raga Massive, a raga inspired musician’s collective. He is a graduate of Goddard College’s MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. His journey into sitar and Indian classical music began with Pundit Ravindra Goswami in Banaras, in 1994. For the past 18 years Neel has studied with his guru and mentor, Pundit Krishna Bhatt. In addition to sitar, he has since learned to play daf (Persian frame drum) with Soheil Zolfonun. He has studied overtone singing with the Buriyat performance group Uragsha and Harmonic Choir member, Timothy Hill. While dedicated to Indian classical music, Neel is also interested in creating original music and contemporary cross-cultural collaborations that are rooted in his many influences and studies.

For more information about our virtual program offerings, please contact Kiran Rajagopalan:


Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs
kiran@artshorizons.org 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

#MoveOverCovid – Celebrating DANCE Week in April

Arts Horizons says “Move Over Covid!” because it’s Dance Week! A long day of Zoom meetings and virtual classes can be exhausting, and our high-energy, fun, and interactive dance programs can help re-energize the mind and body! Our virtual, in-person, and hybrid dance programs are great for students, teachers, and families and are fully customizable to your programming and budgeting needs.


LIVE PERFORMANCE ASSEMBLIES

Our live performance programs are one time events perfect for large audiences.

Additional Performances Programs Include:

African Rhythm Tap * The Art of Chinese Dance * The Dances of India ** 100 Years of Popular Dance * Red Hawks Native American Dancers


WORKSHOPS FOR STUDENTS & FAMILIES

CARIBFUSION with Reina
Plan a visit to West Africa and the Caribbean through dance with Ms. Reina Pelle as she gets you moving through a sizzling mix of Soca, Dance Hall, Reggaeton, Bachata, Merengue, and much more!


Zumba® with Dawn
Have fun with the whole family while working up a sweat! Get in your cardio for the day with Ms. Dawn Crandell’s high-energy Zumba® dance program.

Dance Around the World with Suzi
How would you like to take a trip around the world through? Explore dance styles from Italy, Mexico, China, India, and so many other countries with Ms. Suzi Tipa as your guide!

Creative Movement for Early Childhood with Irene
Get the little ones moving with Irene’s creative movement program for kids in Pre-K to 2nd grade! Irene’s signature blend of dance and percussion is sure to keep them engaged and to help them develop key motor coordination skills.

Dance workshops are available for groups of 30 participants or less and can be scheduled consecutively for different grade levels or age groups. Workshops can be designed for Families as well.

Additional DANCE WORKSHOPS include:
Afro-Brazilian & Capoeira * Indian Classical Dance * Break Dance * Step Dance * Latin Dance * West African Dance


These programs are part of ‘Arts Horizons at a Distance,’ our specialized virtual and hybrid programs in response to the pandemic. Additional arts programs can be customized for your audience including Improv Comedy, Collaborative Murals for Mental Health, Songwriting Circles and more!
(Logos by Ms. Sangeetha Kowsik, of IhsanIshan Design)

For more information about our virtual program offerings, please contact:

Kiran Rajagopalan, Director of New York Programs
kiran@artshorizons.org 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

Gloria Page, Manager of Performances gloria@artshorizons.org 201-567-1766 ext.

Stephanie Bostic, Manager of NJ Program stephanie@artshorizons.org 201-567-1766 ext.

An Evening of Dance-Theater by AH’s Program Director on 3/25 @ 8:00PM EST!

Did you know that our Arts Horizons Program Director, Kiran Rajagopalan, is a professional Bharatanatyam Dancer? Make sure to tune in Thursday, March 25 at 8 p.m. to see his independent livestream dance-theater production with Daya Arts as part of “Made In Jersey,” presented by Ramapo College’s Berrie Center.

Poster for dance-theater production, “Vaisravana, The Untold Story of Kubera.’ Click image for link to live viewing.

On Thursday, March 25th at 8:00pm, classically trained Indian dancer and choreographer Kiran Rajagopalan performs the first act of his work Vaiśravana which includes dance, spoken word, and live drumming. Vaiśravaṇa, commonly known as Kubera, is the Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu deity of wealth in the form of natural resources, currency, and commerce. In some depictions, he is the pot-bellied, self-serving, dark-skinned ruler of the Yakshas – an indigenous tribe of magical healers and shamans coveted for their knowledge of Earth’s secrets but feared by “respectable” society. In others, he is the radiant, noble, golden-skinned guardian of the north and official treasurer to the gods. His shapeshifting in religious art and literature is reflective of South Asian society’s framing of good and evil around wealth, caste, and complexion. His endurance in collective consciousness symbolizes mankind’s relentless pursuit of wealth in an era dominated by consumerism and driven by instant gratification.

This solo work by Kiran Rajagopalan has been commissioned by Prakriti Dance. This program is part of “Made in Jersey” which will feature a series of New Jersey based performing artists sharing new works-in- progress. After each broadcast, audiences will be able to join the artist in a live chat where they can ask questions.

Arts Horizons congratulates Kiran on his professional artistry and we can’t wait to enjoy!

#MoveOverCovid: New Family Workshop Series

One year into the pandemic this week, Arts Horizons reflects on this time of creative problem solving where artists have met the call to share expressions of artistry, culture, tradition, healing and shared creative experiences amidst a global pandemic. We have worked to adapt our artist-in-residence programs, live performance assemblies, professional development and family programs into the virtual classroom.

We say #MoveOverCovid as we present NEW short workshop series especially designed for families.

A long day of Zoom meetings and virtual classes can be exhausting! Re-energize your mind and body in this high-energy dance class! Our #MoveOverCovid dance classes are a great way to get the whole family moving together in a variety of styles including: Zumba, Bollywood, Hip Hop, Salsa, Merengue, West African, and so much more!

This is our family-friendly take on the classic paint-and-sip! Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, and get your creative juices flowing in a variety of visual and performing arts workshops including: painting, jewelry-making, mask- making, mosaics, bucket drumming, improvisation, and West African percussion.

Release some tension and relieve some stress with our sound healing and meditation workshops for all ages. You and your family will be immersed in a tranquil environment filled with calming live vocals, instruments, and visuals. You will even learn how to use your voice to create your own healing undertones and overtones!


These programs are part of ‘Arts Horizons at a Distance,’  our specialized virtual and hybrid programs in response to the pandemic. Additional arts programs can be customized for your audience including Improv Comedy, Collaborative Murals for Mental Health, Songwriting Circles and more!

(Logos by Ms. Sangeetha Kowsik, of IhsanIshan Design)

March is Music in our Schools Month, Spotlight on Hip Hop Connections

Arts Horizons believes that all students should have access to music in our schools and communities. This is why we have taken our music workshops and performance programs into the virtual classroom and performance venues! Music education programs inspire the next generation of creative leaders as students develop artistry, cooperative skills, cultural knowledge and an understanding of the universal language of music.

We are excited to spotlight one of Arts Horizons most popular live performance assembly groups, Soul Inscribed, a Hip Hop and Spoken Word collective led by Baba Israel (emcee/production) and Grace Galu (vocalist). Virtual programs incorporate a combination of live presentation, special video clips, music, dancers, graphics, multiple camera angles and feature different guest artists. The program is a big hit with our virtual school audiences:

“We ABSOLUTELY enjoyed yesterday’s event. It was super cool. Baba, you and Rocka Jamez were amazing! I love how you incorporated the kids’ words into your freestyle, the time machine traveling to different eras going back to the blues to jazz to rock with Jimi Hendrix and funk & soul. It was so educational and interesting to hear the origins of hip hop culture. The tie-in to black history month which is implemented in our school’s curriculum was well appreciated by our teachers and principal.”

Enjoy this trailer that presents an overview of the exciting virtual music education programs. AH Virtual Assembly – Hip Hop Connection by Soul Inscribed (Trailer)

Virtual Programs Include:

  • HIP HOP CONNECTIONS- A live Hip Hop assembly that is interactive and focuses on Hip Hop history, music, rap, and dance. 
  • FROM BLUES TO HIP HOP – A live program celebrating the history of the Blues and its connection to Hip Hop Culture.
  • SONIC BOOM – An interactive assembly that teaches out about music production, live looping, film scoring, and visual effects with music.

Book this amazing group now for a virtual livestream assembly today!  For more information, contact Gloria Page, Program Manager of Performances, gloria@artshorizons.org


About the artists: Baba Israel is a Hip-Hop performing artist who has toured across the United States, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. He has performed with Full Circle on Broadway at the New Victory Theater, was ‘stung” on MTV’s Hip Hop practical joke show with Method Man and Red Man and was featured on BET’s 106 & Park. As an arts educator, Baba has conducted workshops in Hip-Hop Poetry, improvisational theatre and music production at places such as The Door, Urban World and El Puente.  Baba teaches masterclasses in Beatboxing, Emceeing, Spoken Word, Improvisational Theatre, Directing, and Music production.  He also offers professional development in networking skills, youth leadership, and digital development. 

Grace Galu is a vocalist, guitarist, and composer who combine the sounds of her Irish and Congolese heritage with a soulful and gritty twist. For the last 15 years, Grace has been performing regularly at many of New York’s most notable venues; Webster Hall, the Waldorf Astoria, Beacon theater, The Bowery Poetry Club, The Highline Ballroom, The Nuyorican and the Blue Note, to name a few. She has been featured on the albums of Top $ Raz, Kala, Rabbi Darkside, Queen Rose and Tom & Collins. She is a lead vocalist of the band Soul Inscribed.

AH Awarded a Grant from from the NJ Arts and Culture Recovery Fund

Arts Horizons is proud to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the New Jersey Arts and Recovery Fund (NJACRF). We are so grateful for this support which will allow Arts Horizons to maintain essential jobs in the arts as we deliver arts-in-education programs, create opportunities for professional teaching artists and sustain longstanding arts-in-education programs and partnerships through this critical period of a global pandemic. As we face the cumulative impact of decreasing school and community budgets, the uncertainty of onsite and virtual schedules and the compounding health and economic crisis, this award will allow us to build our capacity for virtual program delivery and will support our technical infrastructure. Our team works to maintain and build community through the arts; nurtures the role of teaching artists as mentors, collaborators and role models. We work with our students, families, teachers, schools and community partners to make sure the arts will bolster student engagement, creativity and well-being in these times of crisis. We activate opportunities to support our artists as essential workers, who are severely impacted in this crisis. Arts Horizons extends our sincere gratitude to the Princeton Area Community Foundation for this award to help us move through our 42nd year with an even greater urgency to bring arts and creativity into our virtual classrooms.

The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund (NJACRF) was established to ensure the survival and strength of the state’s arts and culture nonprofit sector during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund was created as a public-private partnership, capitalizing on the resources and expertise available through the government, corporate, and private philanthropic sectors. NJACRF will provide financial support to catalyze an equitable statewide recovery and build resilience for New Jersey-based nonprofit arts, arts education, and/or history organizations facing disruption and loss. The fund will assist in the transition from recovery to resiliency, with a long-term goal of creating a thriving and sustainable arts and culture sector. More information on the fund can be found here: https://pacf.org/njartsculture/

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