Jamaica Center For Arts and Learning Announces 2019-2020 Programming Schedule
The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) announced its 2019-2020 season, with an exciting program line-up that mirrors the unique spirit of New York's artist colony, and the gloriously diverse, cultural character of the Southeast Queens community it calls home.
This season's programming has been influenced by the launch of a new initiative, Building Equity - a two-year pilot project designed to bring together 120 Immigrant, Indigenous and Native American artists, cultural leaders, journalists, community representatives, audiences and cultural advocates from Southeast Queens and the greater New York region, to help enrich and strengthen the process used by JCAL and its staff in curating, creating and presenting arts programs.
Under the guidance of Executive Director Cathy Hung, JCAL is now poised to take advantage of the revived economic boon along the Jamaica Queens business corridor, that's ignited a fresh sense of hope and prosperity. JCAL is uniquely situated at a crossroads - a "gateway to the world" - between one of the world's leading financial and cultural hubs (NYC), and two of the busiest international airports (JFK and LGA).
"We sit in a cultural wellspring of creativity. This community has produced some of the most original artists, from jazz to hip hop, from performing arts to visual arts. We want to continue that legacy, by nurturing these creatives through the programming we develop, and by becoming an incubator space for the artist of tomorrow," says Ms. Hung.
The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning opened its 2019-20 season with the 10thAnnual Making Moves Dance Festival. Appropriately enough, this year's theme was, "Dance Across Cultures", a continuation of JCAL's commitment to new and young dance companies that evidence the cultural diversity in Southeast Queens. The three-day festival began on Thursday, September 19th with a performance by Native American creative Tecumseh Ceaser, and the Jamaica, Queens' Untouchable Movement Dance Company. Joining them was the hyper-creative, performance duo The Illustrious Blacks, who have gained international notoriety for their fusion of styles and are known to fans as, NeoAfroFuturisticPsychedlicSurrealisticHippys. They are also artists in residence at JCAL this season. Opening night also featured the extraordinary intersectional artistry of choreographer Laura Peterson. The festival continues today, Saturday, September 21 with a variety of Outdoor (6:00 pm @JPAC Lawn) and Indoor (7:30 pm @JPAC Stage) performances featuring Cory Villegas/Soul Dance Company, The Soul Experience; and Preya Patel/NRITYAKALART, Hank Bamberger and the Bamberger Dance Project. Then at 7:30 pm, a first look at this year's MMDF commissioned work by Paige Stewart and The Kingdom Dance Company.
In addition to the dance festival, JCAL's year-long, monthly plan of activities has something for every age group and for every art connoisseur. Among the highlights of the 2019-20 programming season - a return of the Saturday Family Matinee Series that was first introduced in 2017 and provides the family with much-needed quality theatrical and musical experiences; a Special Partnership Program with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra introduces very young children (ages 3-6), and their families - to the family of instruments in an orchestra through games, storytelling, and hands-on music-making; the School Assembly Program is a year-long high-quality, diverse initiative that has been carefully created to captivate students' imaginations, empower their innovation, and provide meaningful connections between classroom objectives and the arts; the 2ndThursday Night Jazz Series celebrates Queens' historic jazz connection with a schedule of performances by some of today's outstanding jazz artists such as three-time Grammy Award winnerTivon Pennicot, Cuban vocalist Melvis Santa, Avant-garde voice Anna Webber, rising start drummer Jeremy Dutton; improviser and pianist Luis Perdomo and many others; the First Friday Seriesgives creative individuals and emerging artists a place to develop and showcase their works before an enthusiastic audience. Beginning on October 4th, the series will run through June of 2020.
There is so much more to discover at JCAL - for the full 2019-2020 schedule of activities and performances, visit - JCAL.org
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