The Spotlight Series
The latest addition to the podcast is a new series that focuses on those making a difference in the arts and beyond. These bonus episodes are interspersed between the regular WINMI episodes.
Highlighted organizations so far...
Only Make Believe - Their mission is very simple, to give joy and inspiration to as many sick children as we can. They do this by bringing professional actors into the hospital wards to entertain the children with specially created plays designed for their needs and to encourage their participation. Teams of actors are sent in for six consecutive weeks with six different shows, so the kids can get to know our actors and our actors get to know and love the kids.
The plays are performed against a simple backdrop with a trunk filled with costumes and props used by both actors and children. The painted trunks, all different and all painted by our wonderful volunteers, stay in the hospitals as a permanent gifts to be enjoyed long after the actors have finished their performances.
OMB started performing interactive shows in one hospital in 1999, and now, thanks to private and corporate support they’re in more than 50 hospitals in New York City and Washington D.C.
New York Youth Symphony - One of the most awarded youth programs of its kind in the nation, recognized for its innovative, educational programs for talented young musicians. Founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area’s most gifted musicians ages 12-22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, and jazz. They perform at world class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Their mission is to educate and inspire young musicians through exceptional ensemble training and performance opportunities. And in keeping with that, one of their core values is never to exclude any musician on the basis of their ability to pay. Also, through its commissioning program First Music, the NYYS has commissioned over 150 works from young composers since 1984.
Drama Club NYC - Founded in 2013, Drama Club is an organization that provides theatre programming to incarcerated and court-involved young people. We are a mobile drama club, bringing our classes into juvenile detention centers, jails and community centers throughout the city. It started as a rehearsal process of a play at Crossroads Juvenile Center, which was presented as a staged reading for staff, fellow residents and family members. The success of this project blossomed into a consistent year-round program.
We use improvisational theatre as our core curriculum, because improv is play which involves healthy risk-taking and empowers young people to tell the stories they want to tell, in the ways in which they want to tell them. Students learn to cultivate focus and practice impulse control in a safe environment. Kids with various literacy rates and even different languages can participate in improv, exploring boundaries in a world they have created. In stark contrast to their school environments where they were often disciplined, our classes become positive, transformative spaces where they can learn and grow. Drama Club kids say "Yes, and..." and keep coming back to our classes over and over again. Some have even become peer mentors for other youth after they are released.