What: A dance and music enrichment program
Who: Approximately 25 2nd-3rd grade children
When: Twice weekly, two-hour sessions for eighteen weeks from January-June
Where: P.S. 5
Funders: This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, through a CASA grant from City Council District 8 and Diana Ayala.
The Bronx Children’s Museum Dream Big After School program worked with 24 children in second grade at P.S. 5 to provide 33 dance, music, and fine art sessions, 66 contact hours, twice a week from January to June 2019. Teaching artists Luss Nigaglioni, John Robinson, Dr.Valerie Capers, and Yvette Martinez from Retumba! guided children in a multidisciplinary exploration of music, dance, and art to inspire students to create their own original artwork, music, and dance compositions that celebrate the rich cultural traditions of the Bronx and Afro-Latino cultures.
The program began with a field trip to visit Bronx-born Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at Hostos Community College. Students learned about her life story and how she “dreamed big” to accomplish her goals. Students used this as a starting point to explore other Bronx luminaries such as Valerie Capers who visited with the students nine times to create a percussion composition with students along with teaching artist John Robinson. Students also learned about the life of Bronx-born, Grammy-nominated musician Bobby Sanabria. The students used these Bronx heroes as inspiration to create their own self portrait paintings using acrylic paint on 18 x 24 inch canvases exploring their dreams and goals for the future. Students worked with Yvette Martinez from Retumba! to explore African and Latin dance compositions such as salsa, merengue, and the cha-cha. Students then created their own contemporary dance compositions inspired by these traditional dances. At the ending celebration on June 3rd, 2019, students performed their original songs, dances, and displayed their artwork for all after school groups and caregivers, for a total of 189 people. Children performed for this audience and enjoyed food and dancing with their peers.