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august 2011

GRANDSTREETNEWS mohammed hossain outside his pizza shop (left); yassin aref after posting bail in 2004 (right)

arts against repression a first friday event you can’t miss On Friday, August 5th the Muslim Solidarity Committee along with a dozen other cosponsors will be holding an event that will bring not only the community together to experience a variety of art forms, but will shed light on two individuals from the Capital District, Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain who were wrongly convicted in 2004 of terrorism related charges. Both of these men were sentenced to 15-years in prison. Since their sentencing, there has been

features first friday ...............1 youth arts play ........2 yo! harvest dinner ...2 vacant lot opening...2 youth fx ..................3 grand street eats ....3 african dance .........3 gsca thanks............4 upcoming events....5


much community support. From petitions, dozens of letters to the judge, vigils, and education forums. Aref grew up in Iraq and currently lives in Albany, NY. He has written a number of poems and a memoir Son of Mountains (published in 2008). Mohammed Hossain lived for many years in Bangladesh before coming to the United States. Hossain is the owner of “Little Italy” a downtown Albany pizza shop and founder of the Masjid As-Salam mosque. Performers for this event will include: Taina Asili & Gaetano Vaccaro of the Banda Rebelde; NYC Jazz Musician and brother of Tarik Shah, Antoine Dowdell; along with Subil Allyson & Roots of Change with Roger Mock.

There will also be poetry and short speeches from those affected by preemptive prosecution and a display of beautiful solidarity banners. If you would like to participate you can either: GATHER, 5:30PM at the Masjid As-Salam Mosque, 278 Central Ave, Albany, NY! MARCH, 6:15PM to Grand Street Community Arts PERFORMANCES, 7-10PM EAT There will be an Iftar meal during intermission at sundown. If you’d just like to come for the performances and check out the banners, GSCA will be open from 5-10PM on the First Friday circuit. If you would like more information on this event, please contact Kathy Manley, (518) 596-3851 or email Hope to see you there!

OUR MISSION to create unity and connection especially through the arts, in an inner-city neighborhood with racial and economic diversity.

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GRANDSTREETNEWS august 2011 kids club kids playing in the park!

youth arts first ever production come see its two plays, 8/12 Our Grand Street Kids Club, which is one of our summer programs for youth ages 4-12, will be putting on their first ever show! Join us on Friday, August 12th at 6PM to see the production of “The Bear Song” along with the re-creation of Esphyr Slobodkin’s book “Caps for Sale”. Since the beginning of Grand Street Kids Club in mid-July, its youth participants have been working diligently, twice a week, in two small groups divided by age on their performances. “The Bear Song,” is complete with choreography and props and has been worked on by students ages six and younger. “Caps for Sale” will be a production by students ages seven and older. This will be GSCA’s first in what we hope to be a long line of productions and the students have truly taken it to heart, turning our alter in the sanctuary into a complete stage. With generous donations from local artist Adam Plass and various community partners, we look forward to sharing our work with the entire community. We hope to see you there on Friday, August 12th. Performance is free but any donations will benefit our Youth Arts programming!


youth organics participants cooking up a summer squash & pasta dish.

YO community harvest come out and celebrate, 8/12

vacant lot opening! 43 catherine st, 8/11

The end of summer programming is just around the corner, we can’t believe how quickly time flies! To commemorate a job well done and eat some tasty food in the process, Youth Organics will be hosting their annual Community Harvest Dinner at the YO Garden (South Hawk and 3rd Avenue), Friday, August 12th at 5PM.

Join AVillage, Grand Street Community Arts along with the City of Albany’s Vacant Lot Beautification Program as we celebrate the grand opening of “Our Children’s Garden” at 43 Catherine Street, Thursday, August 11th @ 5:30-7:30PM.

The dinner is free but donations are gladly accepted. All money collected will benefit the upcoming season of Youth Organics.

Community members, city officials, Mayor Jennings, and other stakeholders will be present. We want YOU to be there too! If you have any questions, email Willie White at

Don’t miss out on this event, come and see what’s been harvested! For more info, please email Rana Morris at


summer youth fx participants working on various projects

youth fx does it again slated to appear in woodstock film festival We’re excited to announce one of the 2010 Youth FX films, Seeds of Hope, a short documentary film has been selected to screen at the Woodstock Film Festival. The festival is one of the premiere festivals in the country and this is a huge honor for the filmmakers and our program. This will be the 12th annual Woodstock Film Festival and will run from September 21st-25th. Seeds of Hope was directed by Mohamed Gardner (age 13) and Imani Peterkin (age 14). Seeds of Hope is a short documentary film about a mother determined to turn tragedy into hope and her struggle to bring positive change to her neighborhood in the South End of Albany, NY. Not only has Seeds of Hope been honored with a selection from the Woodstock Film Festival, but it was been picked as a finalist for Project VoiceScape, a national showcase for emerging teen artists curated by the PBS series POV and Adobe Youth Voices, the Ballston Spa International Film Festival, and aired on TVFilm, which features the best indie short films from across upstate New York. The Woodstock Film Festival has an innovative Youth Initiative project which commits itself “to youth and education as a means to positive development, conflict resolution and growth opportunity.” There will be a number of special workshops and seminars designed to provide to those in the community who may not be afforded the opportunity to participate in film and digital media. We wish all the filmmakers of the Youth FX program continued success, we’re so excited for you! To keep up with Youth FX, please visit their website at

grand street eats: one mile urban harvest a benefit with the chef’s consortium, 8/25 Stay tuned for more information in the next couple of days, but Grand Street Community Arts in collaboration with the Chef’s Consortium led by Noah Sheetz, the Governor’s Executive Chef and our Youth Organics visiting cooking teacher, will be putting on a benefit for GSCA, Thursday, August 25th from 6-9PM @ GSCA. The event will be $20 and there will be a number of participating local restaurants providing tastings of their menu, along with music to accompany your evening. Ingredients used will be coming from local purveyors including our own Youth Organics garden on South Hawk and 3rd Avenue, with an emphasis on food produced within one mile of GSCA!


NEW african dance class starting weds, 8/10 We are excited to announce our new AFRICAN DANCE class with teachers Zorkie and Felix Nelson from Ghana, Africa. All are welcome. Master your coordination, get in shape and build self-esteem! Schedule: Wednesdays 4:30-5:30 / Kids class FREE 5:30-6 Cost: $10 walk-in / $8 student / $40 for 5 classes

Email for more information.



we couldn’t have done it without you friends, family, foundations and others


State & Local Sponsors

Outstanding Community Members/Partners

NYSCA The City of Albany The Community Foundation Standish Family Foundation Bender Family Foundation Charles L. Touhey Foundation Times Union “Hope Fund” Stewart’s Foundation The City Club of Albany Key Bank Berkshire Bank The DeWein Family & Friends Siena AmeriCorps*VISTA Program Waste Management Keep America Beautiful Foundation

These are individuals/partner organizations who have donated their time & commitment to GSCA’s success.

Trinity Alliance Albany Housing Authority AVillage,...Inc. SNUG-Ceasefire Program The Stakeholders Bank of America Freihofer’s Walkers Shanna Goldman Harrison Watkins Musa Zwana Marsha Carlson Ira McKinley The GSCA Board All of our summer program volunteers!












YO 8:30-12PM GSKC 9-3PM YFX 10-4PM Hip-Hop 6-9PM

YO 8:30-12PM GSKC 9-3PM YFX 10-4PM Zumba 6-7PM

YO 8:30-12PM GSKC 9-3PM YFX 10-4PM

SE Partners


8-9:30AM YO 8:30-12PM GSKC 9-3PM YFX 10-4PM


YFX 10-4PM 1st Friday “Arts Against Repression” 5-10PM







YO 8:30-12PM

YO 8:30-12PM GSKC 9-3PM YFX 10-4PM Zumba 6-7PM

YO 8:30-12PM GSKC 9-3PM YFX 10-4PM African Dance

YO 8:30-12PM GSKC 9-3PM YFX 10-4PM Vacant Lot Grand Opening @ 43 Catherine St

LAST DAY SUMMER PROGRAMS YO Comm. Harvest Dinner 5-7PM Youth Arts Theater Showcase

GSKC 9-3PM YFX 10-4PM Hip-Hop 6-9PM EC 6-7PM Diversity Committee

4:30-5:30 (Adults) 5:30-6PM (Kids)

GSCA Board Meeting 6-7PM Community Meeting 7-8PM










Hip-Hop 6-9PM

Zumba 6-7PM

African Dance

SEP 8-9:30AM

GSCA Presents Local Bands (TBD) 7-10PM

4:30-5:30 (Adults) 5:30-6PM (Kids)







EC 6-7PM Diversity Commmittee

Zumba 6-7PM

African Dance

Grand Street Eats “One Mile Harvest” 6-9PM

Living Walls: Living Cultures Tasting @ NYS Museum 6-9PM

4:30-5:30 (Adults) 5:30-6PM (Kids)






Zumba 6-7PM

African Dance 4:30-5:30 (Adults) 5:30-6PM (Kids)





SEPTEMBER important dates: 9/2-First Friday, BoardedUP Auction, 6PM 9/10-Discard Avant Garb Fashion Show, 6PM 9/14-GSCA Board Meeting, 6PM-7PM, Community Meeting, 7PM-8PM 9/16-9/18-Living Walls Albany Conference (various locations, check GSCA website or visit If you’re interested in having an event or ongoing program at GSCA, please contact our Events Coordinator, Harrison Watkins at or visit



gscaNEWS 8-2011  
gscaNEWS 8-2011  

Grand Street Community Arts August 2011 Newsletter