COAHSI Receives National Endowment for the Arts Award for Folk Arts Programming

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The Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) is proud to be a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Award. With this award, COAHSI will highlight the rich cultural diversity on Staten Island by presenting exhibits and other public programs in collaboration with the New York Public Library.

“The Culture of Joy & Resilience: Reframing Cultural Conversations on Staten Island"

COAHSI is proud to help support community based arts which allow Staten Island to tap into the city’s greatest resource—it’s rich diversity and heritage.

The Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) is excited to announce it received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast-Track Grant.This is a great achievement for COAHSI, being one of only three Staten Island organizations to ever receive funding from the NEA since 2002.

With this grant, COAHSI’s Director of Folklife, Christopher Mulé, will bring his project, “The Culture of Joy & Resilience: Reframing Cultural Conversations on Staten Island” to neighborhood libraries across Staten Island. An opening ceremony to kick-off the series will take place on April 16, 2011 at 2pm at the St. George Public Library, located at 5 Central Avenue. This event is free and open to the public. Throughout the year, a series of large exhibition panels, each profiling four community-based folk arts practices, will be on exhibit and rotated throughout select New York Public Libraries on the island. Each freestanding exhibit will be kept at each library for a period of two months, and then shipped to the next library in the rotation. Each library, along with COAHSI, will host a live public event about select traditional artistic practices alive and well on Staten Island. COAHSI believes this project will stimulate and amplify the traditional arts on Staten Island and strengthen the sense of pride and heritage of art forms that are severely underrepresented and underserved

At the opening ceremony, visitors will meet the artists and watch live demonstrations and performances by the following Staten Island-based traditional artists: (1) The Mexican dance troupe Ballet Guadalupano (2) Kente Cloths and Weaving from Bonwire, Ghana (3) Liberian traditional drum and dance from the Century Dance Complex (4) Traditional Irish music by Linda Hickman, Iris Nevins, and Douglas Barr. In addition, throughout 2011, each artist will have an individual public program at a participating New York Public Library branch on Staten Island. Please visit the COAHSI Folklife blog at http://www.statenislandarts.org/folkblog to learn more.

Mr. Mulé has worked hard to forge relationships and build collaborations with several new and more established immigrant communities on Staten Island. Through fieldwork and careful documentation, he has been educated by several cultural leaders and scholars about their traditions, heritage, and art forms, as well as their daily challenges. His efforts have made a positive impact on those communities, by providing them with a platform to share their culture with the larger Staten Island community through exhibits, celebrations, performances, and demonstrations. COAHSI is proud to help support community based arts which allow Staten Island to tap into the city’s greatest resource—it’s rich diversity and heritage.

For more information about the NEA Grant, and “The Culture of Joy & Resilience: Reframing Cultural Conversations on Staten Island,” please contact COAHSI’s Director of Folklife, Christopher Mulé at 718.447.3329 x1006.

About COAHSI:
The mission of COAHSI is to cultivate a sustainable and diverse cultural community for the people of Staten Island by: 1) making the arts accessible to every member of the community; 2) supporting and building recognition for artistic achievement; 3) providing artists and organizations technical, financial, and social resources to encourage the creation of new work. COAHSI does extensive outreach to communities that are underserved geographically, ethnically, and economically. The organization works hard to impact the arts across all borders. For more information on the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) visit http://www.statenislandarts.org

About the National Endowment for the Arts:
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that has awarded more than $4 billion on projects of artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the National Endowment for the Arts at arts.gov.

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Christopher Mulé,
COAHSI
(718) 447-3329 1006
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Racquel Cornali
COAHSI
(718)447-3329 1003
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