After the rush of the holidays and the start of the New Year, January settles down to be a nice, quiet month, right?
Not at Green Street!
This month is filled with classes, events, and workshops that are sure to bring you out of hibernation and warm you up. The bright lights of Green Street will shine into the night beginning January 18th when the After School Program and Winter Session classes begin. And then the days and nights are filled with workshops in Flamenco and Social Media, a Salsa Social and Family Fun Day, classes of all kinds, and more. Check it all out below.
Ongoing Register online here or by calling 860-685-7871 for one of our
great winter classes. Here is a sampling of our offerings to tempt you:
Salsa Dance with Cori Presutti
Mondays | 7:30-8:30pm
Figure Drawing Open Studio with Elena Grossman
Tuesdays | 6:30-8:30pm
Writing in Motion with Christine Woodside
Tuesdays | 6:30-7:30pm
So You Got a Digital Camera with Shawn Hill
Wednesdays | 6:30-7:30pm
Yoga with Gia Khalsa
Thursdays | 6:15-7:15pm
Writer’s Out Loud with hosts Cocomo Rock & Al Bower
Thursday, January 20 | 6:30 pm – 8:45 pm Regular: $5; Member: $3
Prose writers are invited to share works-in-progress, socialize, and seek out constructive comments. Presentations are limited to prose short stories or excerpts under 10 minutes. Sign-up begins at 6:30pm, readings begin at 7pm.
Saturday, January 22 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Regular: $8; Member/Student/Senior: $5
Overcome the sub-zero temperatures with one of Green Street’s acclaimed Salsa Socials. Salsero Jason Pepin hosts an evening of hot music, open floor, and the best dance crowd in Connecticut. Admission includes refreshments and free instruction from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
¡Viva Flamenco! A Demonstration and Workshop with Marta Torres
Friday, January 28 | 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Regular: $8; Member/Student/Senior: $5
Marta Torres of Madrid will a demonstrate flamenco dance, and explain its history, concluding with a question and answer session. The final half hour will allow audience members to try flamenco for themselves – participation encouraged, but not required.
Using Social Media – A Two-Part Workshop
Instructor: Eric Lopkin
Saturday, January 29 | Part 1: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and Part 2: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Regular: $30 per session; $50 for the day | Member: $25 per session; $40 for the day
Part 1 covers the basics, including the different social media platforms (Facebook, Linked In, Blogs, etc.,) and how to get started with the right settings to protect yourself. Part 2 explores more advanced functions of all forms of social media, and prepares you to launch or enhance your home business, creative writing or political action.
Family Festival at Green Street – Come in from the Cold!
Saturday, January 29 | 10:00 am – 2:00 pm | FREE
Join us at Green Street for a day of family activities for all! Activities include Community Music Initiative, Creative Arts Workshop, Storytelling, Early Childhood music for parents with children aged 9 months to 5 years, Hip Hop and Breakdance for kids aged 7-13, and more! All ages are welcome; children must attend with a parent or caretaker. This event is free, but your donation of $8 per family will help us hold future events.
With all these activities, why stay at home? Call us at 860-685-7871 for more information or to join one of these events. We hope to see you soon at Green Street!
Green Street has some fantastic gift ideas for the holidays, and what better way to share them with you than to the tune of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” We hope this gives you some ideas and gets you into the holiday spirit. After reading this, we hope you’ll check out our Facebook page to view pictures from our Omnidenominational Holiday Celebration on December 3rd and the Winter Solstice on December 10th.
‘Twas the night before the Omnidenominational Holiday Celebration, when all through the Center
Every creature was stirring, even the presenters;
The lights were focused in the Performance Space,
In the hopes that Buru Style would soon take their place.
The children all practiced breakdance and ballet;
While teachers were putting artwork on display.
The staff was all ready for winter to start;
With classes like Tai Chi, Writing, and Acrylic Art.
When suddenly the phone rang with a loud bleat
A staffer picked it up, and said “Green Street!”
“Have you any classes for someone age two?
“Or something after school for kids to do?”
“My co-worker Lisa’s interested in art,”
“And Claudia would like her lesson to restart.”
“I’m happy to assist you,” the staffer replied;
Her voice clearly showing organizational pride.
“We’ve something for Lisa, and Claudia too.
And an After School Program you cannot outdo.
There’s Private Lessons in violin and guitar.
With a Gift Certificate, you can really go far.
Use them for classes, lessons, or events.
They will take care of your holiday presents.”
The caller was intrigued, she asked to hear more.
About the great gifts Green Street had in store.
“There are Memberships! Class Cards! Tickets galore!
Treat yourself to a night out, don’t be a bore.”
The customer then smiled to find she was done
With all the holiday shopping that she’d just begun.
The staffer was pleased to have served one and all
And Buru Style took their place in the hall.
The students performed their ballet and breakdance.
And the artwork received a second, or third, glance.
With a look through the Center, the staffer declared
“This is the best time of year!” and that opinion was shared.
Happy Holidays From Green Street
Submitted by Rachel Roccoberton Griffin
Give the Gift of the Arts this Holiday Season. Whether for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or someone else that will enjoy the experience of active creativity, Green Street makes giving art easy. Click here to view more information. To purchase any of these great items call (860) 685-7871 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Camille Martin and for the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Green Street Arts Center’s After School Arts and Science Program. I started at Green Street as an intern through Middlesex Community College. I would come and work with the After School students as a support staff member, assisting several classrooms, participating in dance classes, and greeting students when they arrived.
After a month I became part of the staff working Monday through Friday taking care of attendance and dismissal, visiting class rooms, and tutoring kids during our Academic Enrichment hour. I’ve watched the children flourish into mature, talented individuals thanks to the support of dedicated staff.
Just last week one of our students showed me her detailed watercolor painting, something she wouldn’t have been able to do four months ago. The teaching artists and support staff have worked very hard over these months to empower the students to do their very best in the classroom and in life. Each child has grown dramatically in character, as well as in talent, in their selected fields. Helping kids develop skills in their young life that will carry them into their adult life has been such a rewarding experience. From breakdancing to arts and science, our kids truly shine. It has been an immense pleasure to be a part of the After School Arts and Science Program.
Submitted by Camille Martin, After School Support Staff
Come see all our students shine in our annual winter show.
After School Stars: Winter Solstice
Friday, December 10 | 6-8pm | Free
Join us for our annual evening of performances, art exhibits, and multi-media presentations by the After School program. Enjoy performances by Breakdancing, Ballet, African Drumming, Songwriting, Storytelling, ThoroEnergy Hip Hop, and Videography classes, as well as exhibitions from Art and Science, Comic Book Drawing, and Creative Writing classes. Your support of local arts begins with our young artists—stop by and be amazed by the talent that surrounds you!
“It’s only half way through our After School Program year, but it is truly astonishing at how far our students have come and how much they have to share. Between the Cave Art and Dinosaur Sculpture exhibit from the Art and Science classes to the Beginning Breakdance Battle, our Winter Solstice event is a don’t-miss-opportunity for family, friends and neighbors to come and support Middletown’s youngest most creative minds.”— Sarah-Jane Ripa, Artistic and Education Coordinator
On Saturday, June 12th, the Green Street Arts Center was filled with excitement. The 6th Annual Arts Festival took place and, despite the rain, was a great success. With performances like “Pickles” from the Songwriting class and the debut of “Middletown: Our Town”, an animated video created by the Digital Animation class, the entertainment was energetic, captivating, and certainly inspiring.
Even before entering the building, the festival’s energy was already evident. Teaching artist Anna had a line of eager kids waiting to get their faces painted, the neighborhood ice cream truck was popular as ever, and Frank was busily handing out free popcorn. Upon entering Green Street, you could already smell delicious food provided by our partners at Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar, Iguanas Ranas Taqueria, and Firehouse Steakhouse. Jerry’s Pizza had a table with free pizza that was always surrounded by hungry Arts Fest attendees. Broad Street Books brought a great assortment of arts supplies and books, and DeFabrica Therapeutic Massage was very popular, constantly providing people with refreshing massages.
After satisfying their hunger, guests could choose from a variety of amusements. The African Drumming classes were set up in the Multipurpose Room, providing hours of rhythmic entertainment. Adults and kids alike were invited to do arts and crafts in both the Wet and Dry Arts Rooms. Meanwhile, across the hall in the Performance Studio there was constant action, with breakdancing, musical performances, salsa dancing, animated videos, hip-hop, and more, continuously provided enjoyment for an exuberant audience.
Students in the Breakdancing class staged a breakdance battle to showcase their unbelievable moves. Young musicians displayed their talents in solo performances, as well as collectively in the Songwriting class’s amusing song “Pickles”. The salsa class inspired the audience to move and grove to Latin beats, and the Digital Animation class highlighted their skills with a video called “Middletown: Our Town”. ThoroEnergy also wowed the audience with a dramatic and engaging hip-hop performance.
When Arts Fest ended, attendees left with smiles on their faces, students left with a sense of pride in their accomplishments, and the staff were pleased with the success of the event and happy to have made new friends.
If you are interested in learning more about how your child can get involved in one of these (or other) great classes, call us at (860) 685-7871 or email email@example.com. For more information on upcoming events and classes, visit our website at www.greenstreetartscenter.org.
Green Street’s Annual Arts Festival is something I, and all of Green Street’s friends, look forward to each year. This year’s Arts Fest will take place on Saturday, June 12 and is sure to be an afternoon filled with creativity, excitement, food, and fun. ArtsFest is a great way for our students to showcase their hard work and successes throughout the year, and for the community to join us and participate in the fun as well.
This year features performances from Fresh Obsessed
breakdancing crew, ThoroEnergy hip hop crew, salsa students, and music classes. I am especially excited for the West African Djembe Orchestra- a diverse group of people ages 7 to 57 from the After School program, adult class, and Cromwell Children’s Home residency program who will be performing together. With the strong lead of teachers Jocelyn and Aaron, the group will rock out the beats of Lamban, Makru, and Yankadi.
For the first time, our outside attractions will include delicious food from partners in our membership program. We are pleased to welcome Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar, Iguanas Ranas Taqueria, Jerry’s Pizza, Broad Street Books, and DeFabrica Therapeutic Massage to the festivities.
While enjoying live performances and great food, you will also be able to meander through the building to view the artwork, stop by a classroom for a free mini-class in Salsa or visual arts. You can enter a raffle to win a free Green Street class or even plants from Starlight Gardens in Durham. Don’t miss out on a chance to sign up for Summer classes right on the spot.
In addition to this scintillating array of amusements, mural artist Marela Zacarias will begin painting the new mural, designed by Green Street students, across the street at St. Vincent dePaul’s Place. All community members are welcome and encouraged to help out.
By the way, have I mentioned that all of this is free? It is! I hope to see you there!
Rachel recently sat down with b-boy (breakdancer) and Green Street teaching artist Bryan Giles to talk about the upcoming screening of Middletown B-boys and the Youth Dance Invitational.
Q: What is your dancing history?
A: I have been b-boying, exclusively, for the last 15 years. I got into it when I snuck into a party at Wesleyan University when I was 15. I saw it for the first time and it was just something I knew I wanted to do. I had no foresight that it would take me to the places I have been.
The opportunities and honors that b-boying has given me are huge. When I lived in Thailand, I was asked to dance for the queen. I was unable to perform but to be the first American b-boy asked to perform for her was a big honor.
Q: Tell me about Of Shadow and Earth.
A: Of Shadow and Earth is a b-boy crew of 15 active members, and 30 additional members. It’s not only that though; we are a family. We all started together, trained together and sessioned together. It’s great to be a part of a collective mind of people who are willing and looking to support each other, not just in b-boying, but in life as well. The crew began in Middletown and has branched out to include members in other cities and states. Bryan battling a fellow b-boy.
Q: What’s Fresh Obsessed?
A: Fresh Obsessed is a youth b-boy crew of 12 members based out of Green Street Arts Center. It started a few years ago because I wanted my students to know the other side of b-boying; not just the “academic” side of it. I wanted them to experience what it means to be a b-boy and to work and train hard to go to battles. More importantly, I wanted them to learn what it means to be in a crew and how to support each other. For me, I view the team as a great leadership opportunity for the kids. They all have their different strengths, which come through in their training.
Q: What is it like to teach at Green Street Arts Center?
A: Wow. It is such an amazing experience to have. Working with these kids helps me strive to be a better person and to be a positive influence for them, especially when what generally gets shown in hip hop culture is negative and excessively decadent. What I show them is true hip-hop culture, where money and race don’t matter. What does matter is building your own identity within hip-hop.
Some of the members of Fresh Obsessed have displayed such skill that they have gained the attention of members from Of Shadow and Earth and have been asked to battle in to the ranks of the crew. It’s something that I am very proud of and I am happy to give the students this opportunity.
Q: Tell me about filming the documentary Middletown B-Boys.
A: It was started in 2004 and was a fun experience if not a little weird at times. I was not used to having cameras follow me and peer into the intimate moments during practices and at events. It was a good experience for us. We, as a crew, were happy that someone was taking an interest in us and in our culture and wanting to document the work and process that goes into the style. And I think that a lot of people only see the end product, what comes from the time we spend training, and they don’t see what it is we have to go through to get to that point or what sacrifices we have to make. I think the film shares some insight into this.
Q: What is the Youth Dance Invitational?
A: TheYouth Dance Invitational is a kids’ dance battle for ages 8-16. It is meant to encourage dancing and the use of dance as a creative outlet to stay out of trouble. First of all it, is a chance for kids to compete. A lot of kids that are into street dance are not aware that there is a bigger dance scene than what goes on in their neighborhoods or their school dances. Secondly, it is a chance for them to meet and compete against kids in their age groups. And hopefully inspire them to become better dancers. We chose Green Street to host the Invitational because Fresh Obsessed and ThoroEnergy, a local hip hop dance crew, are based here.
Q: Tell me about the day.
A: When the dancers arrive they will sign in and there will be a warm up dance session. Then the judges will showcase their skills before competition begins. There are two competitions, one-on-one b-boy/b-girl and hip hop freestyle dance. All ages will compete against one another. We have a prize package from Losst Unnown for the first and second place winners in each of the two categories and trophies for the first, second, and third prize. We will also have DJ N.E.B who will be on hand to DJ the event. He has over twenty years of experience playing music for these types of competitions.
Thank you to Bryan for sitting down and talking with us. To see him in action be sure to come to the Youth Dance Invitational and the Middletown B-Boys film screening. Here is more info on the two events happening this weekend:
On Friday, filmmaker Bridget Palardy, Wesleyan University Class of ’05, will present Middletown B-Boys, a documentary following two B-Boy crews currently operating in Middletown, Of Shadow and Earth and 4-ONE. According to Palardy, the film “is a portrait of the two crews as they negotiate religion, race, drug abuse, and life in a small city.” Middletown B-Boys recently won an award from the Brooklyn Academy of Music and was officially selected by the Chicago International Hip Hop Film Festival. Following Palardy’s presentation the screening, there will be a cypher, or breakdancing event, between local crews.
The following day will feature a competition between the best local youth dance groups, hosted by ThoroEnergy, Of Shadow and Earth, and Losst Unnown, in partnership with Green Street. ThoroEnergy is a newly formed hip-hop dance troupe featuring several Green Street students and founded by alumnus Eric Quiñones. Prizes will be awarded for the top dancers in a one-on-one b-boy/b-girl battle and hip hop freestyle categories.
Middletown B-Boys: Film Screening and Breakdancing Event
FRIDAY, May 21, 2010 | 7pm
$8 Non-Members; $5 members/students/seniors