Community Cultural Initiatives
For more information on specific Community Cultural Initiatives, click one of the links:
An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture
The Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s cornerstone program, Community Cultural Initiatives (CCI), is a collaborative program model designed to identify, document and present performers of the highest artistic quality; to cultivate partnerships with individual artists and arts and cultural organizations within immigrant and ethnic communities; and to foster self-sustaining community interest in and financial support for the traditional performing arts. Ultimately, the Center’s Community Cultural Initiatives assist immigrant and ethnic communities to carry out independent activities, which help to preserve their cultural heritage and artistic traditions.
Community Cultural Initiative (CCI) programs annually bring to the stage many of the finest dancers and musicians in New York’s newest immigrant communities. Through its CCI programs, the Center builds new audiences for the traditional performing arts; strengthens community members’ sense of cultural identity; fosters an ongoing dialogue among immigrant ethnic artists, media and community organizers for the promotion of indigenous artistic expression; and educates the public about New York’s diverse cultural heritage.
CTMD has done extensive multi-year projects in New York’s Albanian, Arab, Asian-Indian, Chinese, Dominican, Filipino, Greek, Indo-Caribbean, Irish, Italian, Macedonian, Mexican, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Soviet Jewish, Ukrainian and West African communities. CCIs have nurtured the establishment of six community-based not-for-profit organizations and created performance opportunities for hundreds of community artists to showcase their rich cultural traditions to audiences throughout New York City and beyond.
One major outgrowth of CCIs is the Sharing Traditions program. The Center designed and implemented Sharing Traditions to reach out effectively to the youth residing in the City’s growing immigrant and ethnic communities, to educate these young people about the extraordinary artistic traditions within their culture, to provide a supportive environment for the study and celebration of these traditions and to empower these youth through self-realization. Sharing Traditions provides free after-school lessons in traditional music and dance forms in a number of public schools that have had their arts programs decimated in the wake of a challenging budgetary environment.
A recently completed CCI in the Mexican community (2001 – 2008) resulted in the creation of two new 501(c)(3) cultural organizations run by community members. Both the Mariachi Academy of New York (MANY), which provides after-school instruction to youth in Mariachi music and dance, and Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture without Borders, which presents music and dance programs that highlight the diversity of Mexico’s regional cultures, have recently received prestigious Union Square Awards from the Tides Foundation for innovation in grass-roots organizing.
A CCI project typically takes place over a five-year period and consists of three distinct phases:
• Initiation and Field Research – investigation and documentation of local immigrant artistic traditions; identification of traditional artists and master teachers; assessment of community needs, resources and opportunities; and establishment of relationships between the Center and members of the community (1 year);
• Community Collaboration and Program Development – program design and implementation, with technical assistance from the Center, as appropriate, in collaboration with community members, artists and cultural organizations (3 years); and
• Culmination – transition toward ongoing community-sustained cultural activities (1 year).
The CCI model is the Center’s most effective tool for advancing its mission of cultural equity – the right of every cultural group to express and sustain its distinctive cultural heritage.
For more information on specific Community Cultural Initiatives, click one of the following links:
An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture