We are honored to have poet/songwriter Raquel Denis perform at our event, Women Manifesting Systems of Care!
Raquel Denis is a poet, teaching artist and musician from Phoenix, Arizona. She received her undergraduate degree from ASU in the English Literature Creative Writing program where she studied Poetry. Raquel writes about her life as an Afrolatina in Arizona and the experiences her community faces, and she is now about to put out her first EP as a musician.
We are grateful for the generous support from the New York Archival Society! Thanks to their gift, we are able to fund a portion of the dance performance that will kick off our virtual event!
If you are interested in supporting our ongoing GoFundMe campaign to for our event, you can visit HERE.
We are also pleased to announce that we have been able to secure community partnerships with Bronx Community Board 5, the New York Public Library Francis Martin Branch, and the Davidson Neighborhood Center. Many thanks to our supporters!
Women Manifesting Systems of Care will open with Elements, a new interactive performance directed by Alona Weiss, in collaboration with performers: Kris Lee, Rachel Mellis, Mor Mendel, and Saretta Morgan. Elements will present a celestial online conference with a group of 5 performers who will perform a ritual, embodying the spirits of worldly elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. Each spirit will log-in from her respective sphere of strength to share an offering for the collective ritual, summoning the spirits of divine futures to inspire us to care, move, change, heal, and listen.
Kris Lee is a Philadelphia based Performer and DJ, she received her BFA in Dance at The University of the Arts. Recently she has been on tour with Nora Chipaumire and her trilogy (#Punk,100% Pop,*N!GGA)
Flutist Rachel Mellis is a Los Angeles-based performer and recording artist. She specializes in Classical, Contemporary, and Film/TV/Video Game music, in addition to regularly performing and recording on flutes from around the world.
Mor Mendel is a Brooklyn based performance artist, choreographer, and educator. She is invested in somatic and dance as therapy and a healing tool and leads a practice of movement exploration and therapy to diverse populations. She believes and follows the wisdom and knowledge of the moving and breathing body.
As a writer and artist, Saretta Morgan’s current work uses text, etching, sculpture, and video to engage relationships between ecology, Black diaspora, and migration in the United States Southwest. She is based between Phoenix and Mohave Valley, Arizona where she teaches creative writing at Arizona State University and is an active member of the grassroots humanitarian aid organization, No More Deaths Phoenix, which supports the safe passage of migrants in the U.S. Mexico borderlands.
Saretta is author of the chapbooks, Feeling Upon Arrival (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018), and room for a counter interior (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2017). She has received support from the Jerome Foundation, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, Virginia Piper Foundation, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Recent work can be found at Triple Canopy, The Colorado Review, and Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day.
Alona Weiss is a Brooklyn based visual artist who works with video, performance, text, graphic design, and installation. Through her practice, she explores the transient nature of belief systems and the interpretation of public monuments.
Women Manifesting Systems of Care will center women and women-identified voices as we reflect on the centennial of Women’s Suffrage in the U.S. and create spaces for expression, civic debate, and creativity around how we can envision systems that build community resilience via collective imagination. The event will include Elements, a new interactive performance directed by artist Alona Weiss, and Systems of Care, a panel discussion moderated by Cynthia Tobar, Artist/Oral Historian and Head of Archives at BCC. We’ve got a great cross section of women and I’m thrilled to gather such an inspiring group for this virtual event!Elements is a new interactive performance directed by artist Alona Weiss.
Elements will present a celestial online conference with a group of 5 performers who will perform a ritual, embodying the spirits of worldly elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space. Each spirit will log-in from her respective sphere of strength to share an offering for the collective ritual, summoning the spirits of divine futures to inspire us to care, move, change, heal, and listen.
The panel conversation will include Maria Aponte, Author/Performance Artist; Bridget Bartolini, Oral Historian, and founder of Five Boro Story Project; Spirit Tawfiq, Antiracism Educator & Storyteller; and Alona Weiss, Visual Artist and the director of Elements.
We’ve got a great cross section of women and are thrilled to gather such an inspiring group of guerreras for this virtual panel event for September 25!
Systems of Care – Roundtable conversation moderated by Cynthia Tobar, BCC Head of Archives.
Our panelists are:
MARIA APONTE is a Poet/Performance Artist/ Community Arts Activist/Educator. Maria was interviewed on BronxNet TV, Bronx News 12, NBC Latino and on TEIMPO WABC-TV. She is a two-time recipient of the International Latino Book Award for Transitions of a Nuyorican Cinderella listed on RockThoseReads selected books about Harlem by Total Equity Now. And The Gift ofLoss, her memoir dealing with the loss of her parents as a young teenager/adult and the healing process from that loss. Maria has her Master’s Degree in Latin American/Latino Studies from the Graduate School of Arts & Science Fordham University. Maria is the Assistant Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion in Career Services at Fordham University.
Maria is founder and President of Latina 50 Plus™ a nonprofit program honoring Latina Pioneers. In 2016, Maria was selected by the Bronx Times to be one of 25 Bronx Influential Women. January 6, 2017, Maria was honored as one of the Madrinas for El Mueso del Barrio’s 40th Annual Three Kings Day Parade for her work in Latino Arts for women, and diversity programming at Fordham University. Maria is a recipient as one of “Lo Mejor de Nuestra Commindad” awards from Comite Noviembre. These awards honor Puerto Ricans whose pride in their heritage and strength of character have empowered themselves and inspired others to make a significant impact on our community
Bridget Bartolini is a socially engaged artist, educator and oral historian who uses story-sharing to strengthen community connections. Inspired by her love for New York City, her belief in the power of storytelling as a tool for social justice, and her frustration with the lack of cultural programming in areas like her home neighborhood in Queens, Bridget launched the Five Boro Story Project in 2013. She produces community storytelling events that bring New Yorkers together through sharing true stories and art inspired by our neighborhoods. Her creative process involves working with community members, organizers, activists, and artists to collaboratively create tributes to the people and places that make up our homes. Bridget holds a Masters in Community Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and was a 2013 Create Change Fellow and 2014 Commissioned Artist with The Laundromat Project, a 2015-16 Creative Community Fellow with National Arts Strategies, and an artist in residence with More Art’s Engaging Artists 2016 Housing Justice Residency. She received the More Art Prize for Public Art in 2017, and in 2018 joined the Oral History Masters Program at Columbia University.
Spirit Tawfiq is the project coordinator for WomensActivism.NYC, a project spearheaded by the NYC Dept. of Records & Information Services (Municipal Archives) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the United States. WomensActivism.NYC features women activists and change-makers – known and unknown – from NYC, the nation, and the globe! The stories collected will be preserved in the archive in perpetuity. Spirit is also the founder of “Roots of the Spirit”, an organization created to uproot racism through storytelling, education, and the arts. She is the creator and host of the “Roots of the Spirit” podcast, a space to have honest conversations about identity, race, racism, and social justice.
Spirit is an alumna of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (BA) and the Clinton School of Public Service (MPS).
Be sure to sign up for upcoming Women.NYC and New York City Municipal Archives events that Spirit is spearheading to celebrate the Women’s Suffrage Centennial!
Alona Weissis a visual artist born in Israel and based in Brooklyn, NY. She works with video, performance, text, graphic design, and installation, to explore the transient nature of belief systems, and the interpretation of public monuments.
Recent presentations include The Hall of Fame For Great Americans (Bronx, New York); 601 Artspace (New York); Lesley Heller Workspace (New York); The Haifa Museum of Art (Israel); Columbia University School of The Arts (New York); The Beijing Film Triennial (China); Arad Contemporary Art Center (Israel); El Museo de Los Sures, (Brooklyn); The Kitchen (New York); Genia Schreiber Gallery (Tel Aviv); Local Projects (Queens), and Fikra Biennial, (United Arab Emirates). She received a Master in Fine Arts from Parsons, The New School, NY, and a Bachelor of Design from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, in Jerusalem.
Cynthia Tobar is an artist, activist-scholar, archivist and oral historian who is passionate about creating interactive, participatory stories documenting social change. Cynthia is an Assistant Professor and Head of Archives at Bronx Community College, where she creates captivating, socially-engaged art programming and leads community-based archiving and storytelling projects.
As a part of our upcoming Women Manifesting Systems of Care virtual event, the BCC Archives is holding a writing contest, sponsored by our community partners at Bronx Community Board 5, the Davidson Neighborhood Center and the New York Public Library, Francis Martin Branch!
Writing contest guidelines:
All youth are invited to send in a story or essay or other written work highlighting a woman (or women) that contribute to the health and well-being of the community, you, your family or in some way made the community better. We ask that these works be no longer than 2 pages in length. What you want to write about, how you want to write it: essay, biography, story, poem, etc. is all up to you!
Women Manifesting Systems of Careis a free virtual event open to all that will take place on Sept 25, 2020. We will gather women-identified artists and thinkers to explore how we nurture and strengthen our communities during these uncertain times, through our storytelling, performance, and community engagement work. The event will include Elements, a new interactive performance directed by artist Alona Weiss, and Systems of Care, a panel discussion moderated by Cynthia Tobar, Artist/Oral Historian and Head of Archives at BCC.
We need a little help to make this happen, so we started a GoFundMe campaign. You can visit the campaign HERE. Any contribution would be a tremendous help. All proceeds will go towards funding Alona’s wonderful corps of performers as well as production costs for our virtual event this September!