Recap: The Bronx Museum Of The Arts Presents “Bronx Stories”

It’s time for those stereotypes towards the Bronx to be challenged!  On December 9th, 2011, The Bronx Museum of the Arts held a thrilling event, “Bronx Stories”, which packed in a full house of both young and old.  “Bronx Stories” was definitely one of the greatest events I’ve ever been to.  There was poetry, live performances, freestyle, music, food, and even open mic for anyone who wanted to share their own Bronx stories.  Charles Rice-Gonzalez, an award winning playwright and author of the novel “Chulito” was the perfect host, getting the audience pumped up with the words, “We have fire in our hearts”.

Photo Credit: publicdiplomacypressandblogreview.blogspot.com

I enjoyed listening to the stories that people shared because each story spoke to me.  Jennifer “Skye” Cabrera proudly spoke, “That thrive, that thrive, that need to progress…I love the Bronx”.   I especially loved her piece, and look forward to reading more of her words in her book “Music For Caterpillars”.

Musicians played a huge part of the evening.  Craig Tindal’s musical performance was witty, entertaining, and funny, including compelling lyrics about Bronx’s liquor stores.  “Free expression is the most valuable lesson you can learn”, these words escaped the lips of Latanya DeVaugn who has captured an audience at several successful open mic nights in Manhattan.

Another performer, Alex, reached out to me, and I have to confess, I loved his performance most of  all.  It captured the essence of him serving his country, the performance appropriately entitled: “I Bleed Red White and Blue”.

Words were given to certain individuals and they were asked to give a response on the open mic.  One man had the word “strength” and I was touched by his response: “Growing up in the Bronx definitely gives me strength”.  Powerful stuff.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts offers free admission every Friday.  The first Friday of the month, they host “First Fridays”, which features film, art, performances, music, and other special events.

WHERE: The Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse at 165th Street
Bronx, New York 10456 

 

By: Jean-Luc Marin

 

13 Comments

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  • Great review of the show, Jean-Luc. I, too, attended Bronx Stories this show and was blown away with the talent of the artists, the visual artistry behind the artwork and the welcoming ambiance that encompassed The Bronx Museum of the Arts that evening. I had been wanting to attend a Bronx Stories event on several occasions, but the long trek from NJ always caused issues. But, when I was told Latanya DeVaughn would be featuring and sharing her Bronx Story, I knew I had to strap on my boots and hit the pavement – get my way to the Bronx.
    I know of Miss DeVaughn from her behind-the-scenes work as curator of events in the Bronx and NYC area, so to see her on stage for a change was a must-see for me. Her story was one that will stick with me forever. I especially appreciate how she incorporated her High School Spoken Word students into her story; allowing them to face their fears of performing their art on stage. It was a magical night for me. And I plan to make the trek out to The Bronx Museum of the Arts several times in 2012.
    To read more about the Bronx Stories event on December 9th and to learn more about Latanya DeVaughn and her work throughout the Bronx and NYC, visit http://www.spokenwordnewyork.com.

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks Nicole! We’ll definitely check out your website to get more info on spoken word in the Big Apple!:-)

  • This was a great review! Just a minor correction my open mics take place in the Bronx. I started out in Manhattan but felt the messages presented during the events should be heard in my “backyard” being The Bronx.

    It was an honor to be part of this event.

    L

  • Jay says:

    Great recap – I have to agree, I loved this event also. Reinspires me to know how much our community unites together with their roots and reminds me of why I serve everyday. The Bleed Red White and Blue tribute was moving indeed. Awesome free entertainment I wouldnt miss for anything! Thanks for sharing – will be bringing my girls to the next Free Friday museum day!

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