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2017 STooP Artists

2017 STooP Artists

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Click on the name of each artist for more information about them and the work they’ll share this summer . . .

Aleijuan Afuraka is a Brooklyn based artist, and storyteller. He is the only son of southern-­born, African­-American parents who raised him on christian schools, female-­led households, and pentecostal churches. His New York projects, and collaborations have found him working with amazing artists like Gregory Porter, Bilal, Erykah Badu, Tamar Kali, and Gabriella Caspi, to name a few. Further, among his honorable mentions, Aleijuan has been cited in The New York Times,, The Source Magazine, and The Village Voice.

Mermaidz Fr: Outerspace and the Afro-politan Puppet Theatre is a story of the Middle Passage, the rescue of enslaved peoples by African mermaids, and their escape into outer space told through puppet theatre.

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Allegra Jane melds classical training with deep Hip-Hop inspiration to create a Neo-Soul/R&B sound that is both familiar and completely refreshing.
Hailing from New England with immersive experiences studying music in NYC, Germany and West Africa, Jane blends diverse influences to create a sound that former Clipse road manager Sommer McCoy calls “effortlessly soulful”. Her fiery debut single, “So Damn Heavy,” is taken from her forthcoming EP, slated for digital release in March 2017 with accompanying performances throughout the NYC area.
The record is a collaboration with veteran producer Shareef “TekMaschine” Islam of Azteknique Productions. Over his twenty year career, Islam has worked with many genre luminaries including Lauryn Hill, Raphael Siddiq, Q-Tip, Mos Def, De La Soul, Jay Z, Busta, Rhymes, and Missy Elliot. He and Allegra Jane first forged a creative partnership while she was enrolled in his production course at NYC’s Dubspot music school. They have spent the past year honing a signature sound that weaves Allegra Jane’s velvety timbre through a mosaic of hazy RNB instrumentals.

For the past 2 years, Allegra Jane and producer Shareef ‘Azteknique’ Islam have been working to create an EP of Neo Soul/ R&B music. They will share their creations with the Bed-Stuy community with live musicians including a pianist, bassist, pad player and vocalist. Shareef is a renowned producer and teacher, representing the East Coast for Native Instruments and would be happy to engage the community in his up and coming web series tutorials about how to best use your DAW to express your creative vision. Theirs would be a combination performance/tutorial and an all around fun time to discuss creative tools and manifestation!

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Art of Legohn
Art Of Legohn® Visal Artists
Yaminah Legohn is the founder and artistic director of Art Of Legohn, LLC. Choreographer, teacher, motivational speaker, professional dancer and visual artist, she loves to combine movement while painting to express her inner self. Yaminah began focusing on her paintings eight years ago, which first started as a way of therapy turned into a passion.
Shayla M. Russell, self-taught artist from the Bronx, NY. Ms. Russel has been drawing since the age of 7 years old, and painting for 2 years. Essentially, her pieces are a reflection of the progress she has made in those two years. Shayla is inspired by New York City, social injustices of her community, nature, African American culture, other artists, life and love.
Hallie Kruger lives in Harlem and owns a small custom silkscreen business. Hallie graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2013 and has a wide variety of art interests including painting, gilding, sculpture and drawing. Hallie is also invested in the art of dance, allowing her to physically create and express herself using her body and inner self.

Art Of Legohn® Visual Artists will create art with the audience by combining visual arts and movement. The audience will create their own piece with music and choreographed movement while painting how they feel with that experience. Artists and audience discuss their experience afterwards.

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Babay L. Angles (Angelica Janabajal Tolentino) is a Brooklyn, NY­-based choreographer, dancer, interdisciplinary performance artist, educator, healer, and activist of Filipino descent. She was raised in South East San Diego, CA and Okinawa, Japan. She holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego and a Masters of Arts in Urban Education and Social Justice with a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Studies. She has over ten years of experience as an educator, mental health worker, and grassroots organizer in South East San Diego and Oakland, CA. She also has over 10 years experience battling/cyphering throughout the West Coast of the United States in the styles of Breaking and Rocking with Time II Rock Crew and Soul Heavy Crew and 3 years of studying modern/contemporary movement.
Babay L. Angles is passionate about utilizing dance to express the violence of our lives while still celebrating our resilience through conversation and community building in the language of funk and soul. She fuses Breakin’, Rocking, and Modern dance to create narratives of resistance to highlight the strength of people of color, womyn, queer communities, indigenous peoples and those at the margins.
Currently, she is most interested in utilizing improvisational movement to create site­specific work, which reflects and simultaneously transforms the historical memory of spaces of violence/desolation/dreaming within urban communities. Recent choreographic work, “Revolutionary Womyn,” which explores and documents the resistance of womyn of color, is being shown as part of the Human Odyssey Performance Series in Bronx, NY in Spring 2017.

“Dreaming in BedStuy” uses movement and sound that honors the loss, resistance, and hope of its residents. Movement will be informed and accompanied by soundscapes created by recorded audio from interviews asking BedStuy residents the following questions:

  • What or who have you lost/gained in BedStuy in the past ten years?
  • What are the current problems/patterns we see in BedStuy?
  • What does daily resistance, look, sound, feel like in BedStudy?
  • What does freedom look, sound, dream, and feel like in BedStuy?

Movement practices include the cypher, call/response, hand clapping games, live percussion, storytelling through testimonio, and social and street style dances such as breaking, Vogueing, Waacking, and Hip Hop. In a moment where our bodies as people of color have been marked as dangerous, hypersexual, or invisible, this work uses movement to witness and testify our stories of struggle and resistance, and imagine new stories and narratives for our community.

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The Brooklyn Music School’s Summer Vocal Arts Program (SVA) is designed to accommodate both highly promising student performers and accomplished adults, the SVA culminates in three fully produced shows: an opera, a cabaret, and a children’s vocal production, that will be presented to the Brooklyn community as a showcase for BMS talent.
For 2017, SVA plans to present C.W. Gluck’s rarely heard Echo et Narcisse, another gem in the Baroque operatic tradition. The fully produced opera including a chamber ensemble will be performed on August 17th at 7:30 p.m. and 19th at 7:30 p.m., 2017.
SVA will also perform an new 2017 edition of A Brooklyn Cabaret on August 12th at 7:30 p.m. This is a provocative, cheeky, and sultry showcase in the tradition of European cabaret, but with a contemporary Brooklyn-­centric twist.

The Brooklyn Music Schools SVA program is honored to preview excerpts from this year’s concerts at STooPS.

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Cat Del Bueno
Artist Cat Del Buono began drawing and filming at an early age, making her first Super 8 film at age 11. She received a BA from Boston College and an MFA from School of Visual Arts in Photography, Video, and Related Media. She also attended the NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program. Trained as a photographer and filmmaker, Del Buono creates video installations and public happenings that focus on social issues. Her works have shown in the US and abroad, including Bronx Museum, Vetlanda Museum Sweden, Fonlad Digtial Arts Festival Portugal, Fountain Art Fair, Chashama, and MoCA Miami. Awards include the Bronx Museum AIM Program, ISE Cultural Foundation Grant, Baang & Burne New Works Grant, Awesome Foundation Grant, NYFA Strategic Stipend, and an SVA Alumni Association award. She holds panels on domestic violence and has been a mentor and advisor for art students.

Tanya Jennings is currently a senior project manager at McCann HumanCare. She has worked in film and television for clients that include MTV and Spike Lee. Tanya also sang in a choir that opened for the Grammy Award winning Duet, BeeBee and CeeCee Winans. She strongly believes music brings people together.

Beauty Box is a one­-on-­one interactive performance where the public is invited to have a free “consultation.” I “examine” my visitor and instead of giving beauty tips or advising on what they need to change, I point out all that is beautiful about them, focusing on unique positive qualities.

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Christine Stoddard is a Salvadoran-Scottish-American writer and artist who lives in Brooklyn. Her visuals have appeared in the New York Transit Museum, the Ground Zero Hurricane Katrina Museum, the Poe Museum, the Queens Museum, the Condé Nast Building, George Washington University’s Gallery 102, and beyond. In 2014, Folio Magazine named her one of the top 20 media visionaries in their 20s for founding Quail Bell Magazine. In summer 2017, Christine will be the artist-in-residence at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Art Center, a Smithsonian affiliate in Dowell, Maryland. She is a graduate of VCUarts and is currently pursuing her MFA in Digital & Interdisciplinary Art Practice at CUNY City College in New York City.

I will do an interactive video art performance. In between performances, I will screen a slideshow of my photo collages (most of which were taken in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood).

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Clarivel Ruiz` is the daughter from the land called Ayiti Kiskeya Bohio (known as Hispaniola or the Dominican Republic and Haiti), a land colonized but never conquered. Our first poems were haikus when we were nine. Our poem Street Messiah was featured in the short documentary “De La Vega.” For several years we managed a youth program teaching students how to create documentaries, fighting for gun violence control and police reform through the Emmy and Sundance Film Festival Jury award winning documentary, Bullets in the Hood: A Bed-Stuy Story through community screenings and workshops. She is a previous quarter-finalist in the Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting and semi-finalist of the Sundance Screenwriter’s Workshop for the feature script 4 Parts and the Fade In Screenwriter’s Competition for the short script Grey. We performed in various mediums most recently with 100 Black Women Artists For Black Lives Matter @ The New Museum in 2016. Currently, we are part of the Hemispheric Institute’s performance activist EmergeNYC 2017 program and a 2016 Utopian Fellow through Culture Push for our artistic project Dominicans Love Haitians Movement which is bringing together Dominicans and Haitians to end the racial divides and unravel colonized myths in declaration of that bright burning star called our unconquered soul.

One of the things that I miss as I grow older is how my mother would inform me of the things that were happening in the neighborhood we grew up in. I remember her sitting by the window gazing out to rest from all her travels picking up grocery items and such. I wondered as I left my apartment, where have all these people gone, where are the women who would be playing with their children watching the world around them making sure the neighborhood would be well informed of each others activities.
Bochines (Gossip) is a women who tells it all about the world we are living in and doesn’t hold back. She uses her tongue like a sword to cut down any nonsense that is around or coming at her. Reflecting on the times we are living in.

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Fulton Art Fair, Inc. is a not-for- profit art organization and Brooklyn’s oldest Black visual arts event. It also holds the distinction of being one of the longest, continuing Black Arts group in the United States. The Fulton Art Fair was founded by local business woman, Shirley Hawkins. Its inaugural co-chairs were legendary artists Jacob Lawrence and Ernest Crichlow. Fulton Art Fair promotes visual, musical and performing arts that continues to be creative, to evolve and to be inspired by African, African-American, Caribbean, Central and South American culture.
The signature yearly event is the “On The Fence” a “Juried Art Exhibition” designed to assemble visual artists who are seeking new ways to promote their art work. Exhibiting artists include the renowned Otto Neals, Violet Chandler, and Emmett Wigglesworth who have collectively exhibited at this event since 1958.

Fulton Art Fair and WBGO present art work about Women in Black History. The work focus on women in history, famous entertainers and others. The work is done by artist from all over the metropolitan area.

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Andrea J. Fulton is the founder of the Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation, also known as the Fulton Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the performing arts aspirations of adults who later in life hope to learn and practice acting, singing, dancing or any number of performance art and stage production aspects. Fulton Arts independently and in partnership with other organizations, produces stage plays to provide opportunities for aspiring artists and also to bring live performances directly into neighborhoods that have not previously been so privileged to have great art available. Andrea, a graduate of Northwestern University is not only an arts org founder, playwright and producer; she is also a songwriter, poet, investor and philanthropist. Her work has been the subject of five AUDELCO Award nominations and one AUDELCO Award. She has received an Emerging Playwrights Award, a Pulitzer Prize nomination and most recently, the 2017 Barbour Playwrights Award. Her work has been performed dozens of times on stages in theater, college, community center, church and courtyard settings throughout New York City. Her scripts have been recommended to Samuel French, Inc. for worldwide publishing and, her work has been widely covered in such respected journalistic entities as Broadway World and the Huffington Post. To further her impact, she serves on the board of a multi-theater complex in New York City, advocating for cultural opportunities, helping to develop and provide them. She can be reached at with any questions or to arrange to have one of her plays performed at your favorite theater, school or church.

Fulton Arts Foundation will present one scene from three different plays.

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Ilona Bito is a dance artist and educator living in NYC. She has performed with Kathy Westwater since 2012 and currently also performs with The Commons Choir/Daria Fain. Ilona has also performed in the work of Sarah Rosner, Belinda He, Carla Barragan, and as a co­-organizer of Occupy Dance. Her solo and group choreography investigates improvisation, play, and the creative collaboration between teaching and learning, and has been presented at Glasshouse, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Outpost, Open Perform, House Fest, NYC Community Gardens, and more. She teaches dance and creative movement to children at Abrons Arts Center, Williamsburg Movement and Art Center, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, and with Movement Research’s Dancemakers in the Schools. Ilona holds a B.A. and MS. Ed. from Sarah Lawrence College.

Mat Time explores the authentic state of play that is gifted to us by children and animals in safe and present relationship. When we are invited to get down on the mat, stay in touch, let go of expectations, and have fun, we can return to a sense of unity and belonging in the world. This specific but spontaneous action may remind one of animals driven by preverbal curiosity, or erotic wrestling when effort arises, or cuddling when arms embrace sensitive rest.
I will facilitate 5-10 audience members playing on a 5×5′ alphabet puzzle mat. Each cycle ends with a clapping signal, before beginning again with another participant. The invitation to play is open to your own curiosity and fun, facilitated through careful listening and touch, and accompanied by live percussion and vocals by Anais Maviel, to compose a 10 minute ritual invoking the spirits of our inner children.

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Jordie Vásquez is an architect by training and an urbanist by heart with a passion for public space design and community development. She is interested in learning, writing and activating spaces at the intersection of social responsibility, creativity and environmental­-friendly practices. Currently she is a community development officer at LISC and a big supporter of the global Placemaking movement. Jordie runs a website where she exposes placemaking and environmental initiatives in public spaces and hope to use design and placemaking to bring consciousness about recycling, green practices and the nexus of art and community building. Lately her curiosity has been consumed by the significance of art in urban areas especially with the interventions of mosaics. Today, she hopes to develop art strategies around the art of mosaics in public spaces engaging the community through all decision-­making processes.

There is something captivating about mosaics, that for the eyes of the observer it calls for a “stop and contemplate” moment but for the eyes of the maker immersed creating it calls for peace. Mosaics art is one of the techniques that allows you to wonder out of: boundary lines, color coordination and rigid decisions in order to make a meaningful product that can be everlasting. Street mosaics should speak about the culture around it, the hands that made it as well as being installations of pride for the community. I hope to create lasting mosaics in whatever surface I’m allowed by the community with the community. Ideally the work will be on the stoops themselves, but if for whatever reasons that is not possible I would like to work with the items ornamenting the stoops and surrounding areas; planters, light posts, small exterior doors…etc. another important factor for me is what kind of tiles are going to be used. I’m working on contacting a few companies that are looking to re­purposing or have their tiles being recycled, therefore giving the tiles an excited new life and meaning.

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Lisa Sikorski creates intimately produced public projects that use food and other mediators to encourage inter/intrapersonal dialog. Looking for a way to more deeply activate the objects she was making in her early artistic career, she studied performance art with Doug Rosenberg at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she received her MFA in 2009. Her education started her down a path of long-term durational projects, working directly within community to develop her ideas. The successes of her small income generator “Bake Sale” solidified her interest as a social practice artist. She became a Laundromat Project fellow in 2013, to more deeply understand her work in and with communities. Her current project “(faux)H” is part of a long-term residency at the Wyckof Farmhouse Museum and promotes creative self expression and craft education through free public weekend workshops.

Breaking Bread/Saying Grace is a project based on a simple idea of sitting to eat a meal with a stranger, breaking bread with them and learning more about them through the mediator of food.
The project will encompass several different threads. One is the meal itself, which will take place several times a day and between STooPS visitors and myself. Two is the process of baking the bread, which will also take place several times a day and will be made by STooPS visitors and myself. Actions during the making of the bread will consider “needing/kneeding”. Conversations during meals will consider how we say grace, what we need grace from and who we can give grace to.

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Maria Elizabeth is a New York based artist, working in the mediums of printmaking and installation art. Her most recent series Tree Compositions have served as a catalyst for exploring relief printmaking outside of the medium’s traditions. She was recently accepted to Pratt Institute’s Masters Program in Fine Art.

I will share an interactive mural created from stamping. I invite everyone to contribute to this mural using stamps, either directly on to the mural or as a separate piece to be later added to the piece. Stamps will be approximately 1 inch sq and hand-carved in linoleum by myself, designs will include the alphabet, punctuation, shapes, etc. I will also gather elements (plant life, cement, rocks, etc.) from the neighborhood that can be used as stamps. Inks will be provided in the primary colors and black.

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Monica O. Montgomery

Monica O. Montgomery is an international keynote, graduate professor, museum director and cultural entrepreneur, curating media and museums to be in service to society. After election day, she delivered an inspirational Tedx Talk, ‘How to Be an Upstander’ centering on social good, creative resilience to uplift our communities. She is the founding director and chief curator of Museum of Impact the world’s first mobile social justice museum, inspiring action at the intersection of art, activism, self and society. She curates Museum of Impact’s traveling exhibits, examining current events, creative resilience, human rights and social movements. MOI is currently traveling their grassroots archives Upstander Love Letters™ collecting letters and stories of people making a difference locally and taking a stand for what they believe in globally.
Monica is an alumna of Temple University and LaSalle University, with degrees in Public Relations and Communication and winner of the 2016 Arts Entrepreneurship Award from Fractured Atlas. She is an adjunct professor at Harvard University, NYU and Pratt Institute, holding leadership positions in American Alliance of Museums, Museums As Sites of Social Action and Audience Diversity Academy. She is a dynamic empowerment speaker, educator and facilitator who keynotes at conferences throughout Europe and America.

Upstander Love Letters is an artful intervention shining a light on the bravery and brilliance of social movements and change makers. Make art and build power, articulating hopes and dreams for the future and the role you play in ‘being the change!’
Write and read, love letters to local leaders, public figures and future selves as movement builders. Engage in letter writing, creative expression and dialogue to build a community of witness for unsung heroes and the next generations of Upstanders.

Explore the archive in print and digitally and write letters of support to a combination of Upstanders you admire:

  • local leader, family member or friend
  • public figures or celebrity champions
  • Your future selves as movement builders and advocates

Write, draw, decorate and express your creativity, as we build a ‘community time capsule to document social justice here and now!

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Najee Omar is possessed. A Brooklyn­-based writer, performer, and educator, Najee uses the arts to engage and cultivate community. He is the recipient of fellowships from The Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Poetry Incubator for Emerging Poets, and The Poet in Paris. His selected features include Russell Simmons’ All Def Poetry, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and colleges and universities across the United States. Najee is the founder, director of Spark House: an arts education organization dedicated to developing youth voice and promoting social/emotional well­being with poetry as the point of access. As a teaching artist, he turns classrooms into stages by conducting poetry and performance workshops for inner city and high need youth in schools and juvenile justice facilities across the country. Najee’s mission is to activate the next generation of change agents, one word at a time. When he is not adulting, you can catch Najee trolling online at @najeeomar.

Najee Omar presents a poetry­-music hybrid, a mosaic of performance poems in conversation with a musician or two. Through performance, Najee investigates how the poem serves as a form of resistance, while paying homage to poet ancestors like Amiri Baraka and Lucille Clifton. Content speaks to Brooklyn community, identity, and the concept of “home.” Expect to play, be fully engaged, and participate!

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Named after one of the late Noel Pointer’s biggest jazz hits, the Phantazia String Players consist of Noel Pointer Foundation’s most advanced violin, viola, bass and cello students. To be accepted into the Phantazia String Players, students are recommended by their music instructors and go through a rigorous audition process. Many of the players began their studies at NPF and continue to excel both academically and personally because of their participation in the ensemble.

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SHOW:UP! was created in 2014 when college friends William Bryant Miles and Nickolas Vaughan collaborated with Chef Shellie Porter to create the Best Dinner Party Ever. The Best Dinner Party Ever fuses elements of immersive theater, reality television and interactive performance with a professionally catered dinner party to create an experience unlike any other. Team Show:UP! has successfully brought to life over 20 events in homes in Brooklyn, Harlem, Detroit and Washington, DC, powered in part by a successful Kickstarter Campaign. Most recently, Team Show:UP! expanded their services to provide event consultation and execution for private social events including weddings and birthday parties.

Show:UP! will transport audiences to a fabulous STooP party where anything goes. With the block as the backdrop, Show:UP! hosts will create a unique party atmosphere that blurs the line between performance and reality. As is the Show:UP! way, the work will offer guests something different depending on when and how they encounter the work, and encourage meaningful audience engagement.

With this project, it is our hope that audiences will be entertained, and develop a new understanding of their neighbors, both familiar and foreign.

Straw, Beach & Prana Rising – Straw’s music comes up out of her own visions, dreams, life experience and questions to herself and Source. Those questions have, in varying periods of time, served both to empower and to disempower. Strong wailer-oriented melody lines, on top of cinematic and soulful music are brought vibrantly alive by Beach’s buttery strings and the powerful and exploratory percussive container provided by Prana Rising.

Your Queens is the first is the first African Royalty Character and Costume Entertainment Company. Your Queens, launched in January 2015, is the first African Royalty Character and Costume Entertainment Company, where our mission is to evaluate, educate, and express the dynamic lineage of historic Queens and Kings. We bring Queens Amina of Zaria-Nigeria, Queen Makeda of Ethiopia, Queen Nzingha of Angola, as well as Queens Cleopatra, Nefertiti, Goddess Isis and King Tut of Egypt to life through storytelling, song and dance.

Each Queen and King will share their dynamic history with the audience, while bringing joy, building self-esteem and confidence.

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