Dispelling Bronx Stereotypes
Think you know the Bronx? Think again.
Bronx, NY, March 1, 2011 – The Bronx Museum of the Arts is launching Bronx Talks: Bronx Stories, a public program highlighting the diversity of experiences that exist in the borough, as expressed through personal narratives. Storytelling, a powerful way for people to connect with one another and with art, will be the main feature. Bronx Stories will showcase performances by storytellers, musicians, poets, artists, and dancers that are inspired by their Bronx experiences and by artworks in the museum’s exhibits. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own stories to share.
For the March 18th debut from 6:00 – 8:30 PM, storytellers Michele Carlo, Tom Lee, Will Lee, Rick Patrick, and Miriam Tabb will share insightful stories that will make the audience think twice about the Bronx. The evening will begin with participatory art-making activities and a screening of the documentary “Richie Perez Watches Fort Apache: The Bronx,” chronicling an activist’s campaign against negative depictions of Puerto Ricans and blacks in the South Bronx. Storytelling will commence in the museum’s main galleries as storytellers lead us through their personal interpretations of selected works of art. Audience members will have the chance to tell their own stories during a reception after the performances. The public is invited to workshops on April 1st and May 6th that will guide participants through crafting stories for upcoming Bronx Stories performances on May 20th and June 10th, 2011.
The mission of Bronx Stories is to challenge preconceptions about the borough by portraying the diverse realities of residents and revealing the Bronx beyond stereotypical images of urban decay. The program aims to strengthen community and provide a platform for voices from the Bronx community to be heard. It is also an opportunity for deeper engagement with art: through personal encounters with selected pieces in the current exhibitions the audience will explore art as a source of inquiry, inspiration, and self-expression.
Michele Carlo is a writer/performer who has lived in four of the five boroughs of NYC and remembers when a slice of pizza cost fifty cents. She has been published in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood’s Lost & Found: Stories From New York, Chicken Soup For The Latino Soul and SMITH magazine, and told her stories everywhere a person can tell stories in NYC--including the MOTH Mainstage. Her memoir, Fish Out Of Agua: My life on neither side of the (subway) tracks, was published by Citadel Press in August 2010. www.michelecarlo.com
Tom Lee Tom Lee has told stories professionally for twenty years. His interest in stories began while living in a small fishing village in Scotland and has developed into a deep dedication to sharing ancient and traditional stories with audiences of all ages. His stories connect the eternal past with the immediate moment. Tom directs the artsVOYAGE program for Spencertown Acadeny Arts Center in the Hudson Valley. He performs regularly at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Yale Center for British Art and has been featured on BBC-TV and NPR. www.tomleestoryteller.com
Master Lee is the co-founder of Talkingstick, a monthly true story series that has been at the Rubin Museum of Art for the last 5 years. He has curated and performed at the cathedral at St. John's, Friends Meeting House, Tibet House, the National Arts Club, Bowery Poetry Club and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. In performance, Master Lee taps the unconscious, and uses catharsis and joy to connect with the audience. You can find out more about Talkingstick online at www.talkingstick.us
Mr. Patrick, co-founder of Talkingstick, has dedicated his life to sharing truth by the sharing of personal stories from his life. Working twenty years in silence, communicating only through his painting and gardening (and a few miracles), he has nurtured the nature of being, for all. An advisor to world leaders, sought out by the spiritually honest, disparaged by the rest, he now speaks to the greater good through truth-based storytelling. His films have been at the Aspen Comedy Festival, his private life on the BBC, and his performances often on MNN.
Miriam D. Tabb is a Bronx native and current resident. She is very active in several local based community groups that advocate for a better quality of life for Bronx residents. Most recently, she is volunteering at The Bronx Museum of the Arts and Bronx Lebanon Medical Center. While attending Bronx Community College, Miriam became editor in chief of the campus newspaper “The Communicator”. She was a member of NYC Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). This will be Miriam’s first storytelling performance.
Bronx Stories is made possible though the support of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.
THE BRONX MUSEUM OF THE ARTS
Founded in 1971, The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a contemporary art museum that connects diverse audiences to the urban experience through its permanent collection, special exhibitions, and education programs. Reflecting the borough’s dynamic communities, the Museum is the crossroad where artists, local residents, and national and international visitors meet.