Film by David Schwittek
August 4, 2012
Multi-Grammy Nominated Latin Jazz Musician Bobby Sanabria Brings Musical Message to Bronx Children’s Museum’s “Dream Big” Celebration
Dance to your own music! That’s the message of the Bronx Children’s Museum’s Dream Big program, which on Saturday, August 4, celebrated the completion of its third summer of children’s workshops at community centers throughout the borough with a day of festivities hosted by Cardinal Hayes High School.
Honored guest Bobby Sanabria, Multi-Grammy award nominee, is a graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School. He was joined at the school, on the Grand Concourse and 153rd Street, by a number of surprise guests including the 2010 honoree, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, along with Congressman José Serrano in addition to state and local officeholders or their representatives.
Parents, public officials and invited guests were treated to demonstrations of music and dance that 120 children spent four weeks developing at Abraham House, East Side House Settlement and Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Centers under the direction of the Afro-Caribbean dance group ¡Retumba! Morning workshops with museum instructors, Carmen Hernandez, Alan Nunez, and Omar Perez rounded out the day’s events.
This year, the program focused on the inspiring life story of South Bronx born and raised Bobby Sanabria. A drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer and educator, Bobby has performed with a veritable Who’s Who in the world of jazz and Latin music. He brought all that to the children, visiting them at their summer workshops. He told the children to follow their own drummer. For Dream Big Day he brought his Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band to perform with the children onstage.
Longtime museum supporter Sonia Manzano — "Maria" from Sesame Street — was the emcee. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor established an instant rapport with the kids, who crowded around and hugged her. “Bronx kids deserve what young people in other boroughs take for granted, a Children's Museum,” said Sonia Manzano.
"This is the Bronx Children’s Museum’s third Dream Big Day and it just keeps getting better and better. This year we celebrated another true Bronx success story, Bobby Sanabria, and were joined once again by Sonia Manzano and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It just doesn’t get much better. The kids were wonderful and had a great time showing off all the things they learned during the summer. This is what we want to bring to every child in the Bronx,” said Board President Hope Harley
Founding Executive Director Carla Precht added, “Children need positive role models to look up to and aspire to be like. By teaching children through the arts about the rise of real live people like Bobby Sanabria, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sonia Manzano who grew up in the Bronx, children automatically get that they are no different and have the same ability to follow and realize their own dreams and passions. And there is no better language than the arts to teach about the truth.”
"The key to a young person’s developing a sense of worth and purpose is in finding their cultural identity. As a Son of “Da' Bronx,” working with the Bronx Children's Museum has been a joy as they are supremely dedicated to this concept and the future of the borough," said Bronx Walk of Fame inductee and Dream Big Honored Guest Bobby Sanabria.
U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano said, “The Bronx Children's Museum is doing it again! We are so proud of the work they do to inspire Bronx children to dream big and follow their dreams. Highlighting and celebrating, through the arts, the lives of people like Bobby Sanabria in your 2012 Dream Big summer programming will do so much to inspire and motivate our kids. A program like this which allows kids learn from and then to interact face-to-face with outstanding role models, sends the best message imaginable to the children and the world. Today we all join the Bronx Children’s Museum in saying to the children in our community don’t be afraid to Dream Big!”
“I am proud to honor and congratulate the children of the Bronx—Bobby Sanabria, Sonia Manzano, and the Bronx Children's Museum—for showing us in a very concrete way how dreaming big is the first step to becoming the best you can be. The lives of Bobby Sanabria and Sonia Manzano are fantastic examples of how hard work and dedication, together with dreaming big, can help you accomplish your goals. The Bronx has always been an incubator for musicians, artists, writers, poets, dancers, singers, and now it has its very own children's museum: a place that is nurturing the minds and voices of our youngest Bronx citizens. Thank you, Bronx Children's Museum for shining a positive spotlight on our collective dreams and high aspirations and expectations for our children,” said Bronx Borough President Rubén Dîaz Jr.
Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs Carol Robles-Roman said, "Providing children with an opportunity to learn, explore, and Dream Big is crucial for creating a generation of future leaders in the Bronx. I want to congratulate the Bronx Children's Museum on another great season of Dreaming Big and providing healthy, fun alternatives that enhance the cultural diversity of our city."
New York State Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson said, “there is nothing more heartwarming than to see children learning together while having fun and expressing themselves. The Bronx Children's Museum Dream Big initiative is more than a summer program...it gives us, the adults, a glimpse each year of the magnificent power of the arts to unleash one's creativity and to dream big. Our children, like Bobby Sanabria who grew up on the same streets, are to be revered and celebrated!”
“I am delighted that the Bronx Children's Museum is honoring yet another Bronx hero, Bobby Sanabria, in its Dream Big Programming this summer. The 120 children who have participated in the Dream Big program have a lot in common with Bobby. They have seen first-hand that if you dream big and put in hard work many things are possible. I can't think of a better way to inspire our children than with people like Bobby who have soared to the top of their field while never forgetting their roots in the Bronx,” states New York City Councilman Joel Rivera.
“I am pleased that the Bronx Children's Museum is honoring Bobby Sanabria, one of our greatest musicians in the Bronx, through its Dream Big arts program. As a long time Bronx resident and advocate for children and families in the Bronx, I know how important it is for our children to have positive role models and to feel pride in their roots and the Bronx. Bobby's life is a good example of what our children can do with their lives if they put their mind to it,” said New York City Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo.
“I would never imagined from the day of our initial meeting and introduction that the Dream Big project would be such an exciting and engaging project for our staff and participants to participate. Thank you for selecting SEBNC to participate and we look forward to working with you in the future. I was so impressed with the event yesterday, and further excited by the enjoyment and pleasure each of our participants and parents expressed. Our camp director Ms. Michelle Beverhoudt enjoyed working with you and the artists as well. Thank you for all you have shared with Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Centers, Inc. It surely made me feel good that you were so elated with the children’s performance and I know our executive director will be just as happy. Thanks and appreciation.” - Clyde Thompson, Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Centers
“Thank you so much for allowing East Side House to participate in this special event. The looks of enjoyment, accomplishment and pride on the children’s faces made thoughts of the temperature disappear instantly. Best wishes and we look forward to an amazing museum someday soon!”
-Leslie Mantrone, East Side Settlement House