Monday, October 7, 2013

Brownsville Supports Their Youth: Changing the Narrative Art Exhibition

Brownsville residents showed up and showed out at the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project’s Changing the Narrative Art Exhibition! On September 14, 2013, the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project’s community-wide conversation and art-making tour came to an end -- and the final event was a grand finale!

There was an amazing line-up of talent packed into just 3 hours: original drawings, poetry and group inspired canvases created by Brownsville youth on the Changing the Narrative tour decorated the walls and hallway of the Van Dyke Community Center; photos captured by Brownsville youth of this year’s PhotoVoice program gave new perspective to everyday life in Brownsville; talented spoken word poets, rappers, dancers, and filmmakers shared inspiring and heart-felt messages about life in Brownsville; live artists painted the room's energy; and, the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project’s Youth Advisory Board engaged the audience in an interactive performance that encouraged young people to seek alternatives to violence.  

Group created canvases lined the hallways of the Van Dyke Community Center. Senior Probation Officer Ms. J. Simmons, NeON Brownsville Probation, admires the artwork before the event begins.
Art work submitted by Brownsville youth ages 8-24 during this summer's Changing the Narrative tour lined the walls. 
Jasmin, Brownsville Community Justice Center's SYEP worker, came back to Brownsville to check out the event!  Guest sign-in at the table behind her.
Over 200 Brownsville residents, volunteers and stakeholders came out to the Van Dyke Community Center to walk the red carpet, get their picture taken, enjoy delicious desserts, and, most importantly, support up-and-coming Brownsville artists who are using their talents to create a new and positive narrative about Brownsville.
Sean Turner, Brownsville Community Justice Center's Americorps Member, collect guests' voting cards. Each guest was encouraged to vote  for their favorite original drawing, poetry and photo. 
The winning submission for best original drawing by Jahmien Williford. 
Guest admire photos taken by the PhotoVoice project and read poetry along the walls of the Van Dyke Community Center. 
It was a great day that would not have been possible without our Campaign Advisory Board members: Anthony Newerls (Brooklyn Blizzards), Minister Damascus Lee (Brownsville Community Baptist Church), Jesse Gordon (PeaceKeepers), Chaplin Sharon Rogers, Johnny Mae Robinson (NYCHA Family Services), Keoma Boone (73rd Precinct Community Affairs), R. Joel Rochford II (New Life Cathedral), and Monique Minter (James E. Davis Stop the Violence Foundation).  

We also want to give a special thanks to our Youth Advisory Board who worked hard throughout the summer planning and promoting this event: Dashawn Sargeant, Ra’nell Johnson, Ezkiel Stewart, Rezziea Alexander, Isamaura Mendez, Willie Minter, Jahmein Williford, Malcolm Kearse, Starasia Johnson and Dante Kearse (volunteer).

We cannot forget to thank NYCHA, Lisa Kenner and Miss Rhonda for being such gracious host.

Justice Community Volunteers, Nunu and Yaya, prepare to welcome guest on the red carpet.  
James, Deron and Sean, Brownsville Community Justice Center staff, help with set-up.
Erika McSwain and Jazmin Rose, Brownsville Community Justice Center Staff, helped give away gift bags at the event. 
Lastly, we appreicate all the Brownsville artists who submitted their work, the Brownsville talents who performed, the X-Mental, Inc. team, the Brownsville Youth who volunteered for the day and all those who came out to support Brownsville's young talent and the Anti-Violence Project's overall mission to end violence in Brownsville.

To keep updated follow us on Instagram! @antiviolenceproject!

More pictures from the event below:

Brownsville Anti-Violence Project's Youth Advisory Board! Left to right, top row: Dante Kearse (volunteer) and Jahmien Williford. Second row: Starasia Johnson, Isamura Mendez, Ezekiel Stewart, Jazmin Johnson (volunteer), and Malcolm Kearse. Floor: Thelma "Emi" Small (Instructor), Ranell Johnson, Willie Minter, Dashawn Sargeant, Rezziea Alexander, Kayin Latson (BAVP Staff). Front: Monique Minter. 
Brownsville Community Baptist Church praise dancers!
R. Joel Rochford II from New Life Cathedral came to walk the red carpet. Joel is also a member of the Brownsville Anti-Violence Projects Campaign Advisory Board. 
Daqua Ritter, Justice Community member and event volunteer, walks the red carpet.

More guest walk the red carpet! 

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