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April 2012
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East New York is not Least New York

Jesse Ward for New York Daily News

East New York is not Least New York, says artistic duo creating website celebrating the Brooklyn neighborhood

Artistic director Catherine Green and marketing exec Raphael Niles see the website as ‘a virtual destination for all things positive’ about East New York

By Clem Richardson | Daily News | Monday, April 9, 2012, 4:00 AM

Japanese Taiko drums and Irish folk dancing are not things most people would associate with Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood.

Yet Catherine Green, executive director of ARTs East New York Inc., brought both international art forms to her neighborhood last summer as part of Summer Saturday, an eight-week program she created that brings “performance artists not normally accessible to the community” to stages set up at the weekend farmers market at 613 New Lots Ave.

Green, 35, started ARTs East New York in 2009 to make it easier for residents of the east Brooklyn neighborhood to create and experience art and, in part, to counter East New York’s reputation as a too-often violent place to live.

“We want to highlight the beauty of the people who live here and are making art and culture in the community,” she said. “If you are raising a family here it is costly and difficult to access events in Manhattan and other parts of the city.”

ARTs East New York has exhibited local artists in its gallery, including photographer Erika Pettersen’s first solo show. They offer a variety of classes of children and adults, including ballet, Hip-Hop, African and modern dance, sculpture, and yoga, as well as financial literacy classes for adults.

More than 50 children are enrolled with the various programs, Green said. Prices are low, as little as $5 a class.

The group also sponsors ARTsPLOTION, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony held on the New Lots Triangle Plaza at New Lots Ave. between Ashford and Cleveland Sts.

Now Green, partnering with Raphael Niles of Masai Marketing, is launching ARTs East New York’s most ambitious project yet.

They’re creating a website celebrating the beauty of the community they call home, and they’re asking anyone of like mind to submit photographs, short stories, poems and other works of art in that vein to be used on the site.

Read full story HERE


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