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”.
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