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 City Lore                                                                  May 30, 2013  


Bronx Rising!KhonsaySekou Sundiata Revisited: A Night with the POEMobile
Rocking the BoatBeba y su IslaArsenio Rodriguez Way
Egg Rolls & Egg Creams A night of salsa with Los Pleneros de la 21

Hi, Citylorists,

Please enjoy our Tours and Tales May-June 2013 e-letter!


Bronx Rising June 2013 flyer

Bronx Rising!: Music, Film, & Spoken Word of the Borough in JuneThe Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) Laboratory’s Performance Series curated by City Lore Folklorist Elena Martínez and Grammy-nominated musician Bobby Sanabria.

The recently opened BMHC Laboratory in Crotona East is a 1,400 square foot performance, gallery and retail space where Bronx artists can innovate and showcase their work, even before the permanent home to the BMHC opens in 2015. The Lab is a music incubator that hosts artists-in-residence, concerts, open mics, film screenings, galleries, arts retail, wellness events and roundtable discussions for musicians, artisans, and the community to enjoy. It is run by WHEDco (Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation).

June - Bronx Week upcoming events include:
Music: Legacy Women Drummers
Thursday, June 20th, 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Film: Braggin’ Rights: Stickball Stories and a Q&A by director Sonia Gonzalez and stickball player Frankie Martínez from the team, The Gold
Friday, June 21st, 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Palabras/Words: Book reading: Breaking Ground/Abriendo caminos by anthology editor Myrna Nieves and poets Elizabeth Cruz and Prisionera
Saturday, June 22nd, 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Please click each program title for more information.

And in case you didn't get a chance to check out this month's Sense & the City…

Caitlin discovers how two artists took the stuff of dreams and sculpted them into an experience. ‘Sleep No More’ has nothing on The Dream House. Click here to visit The Dream House.

Khonsay: Poem of Many Tongues City Lore is pleased to play a part in this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival taking place between June 26-30 and July 3-6 in Washington, D.C. It’s definitely worth the trip. The festival is featuring a special program on the world’s endangered and minority languages. Working with the poet and good friend Bob Holman we have put together Khonsay: Poem of Many Tongues. In the Boro language of India, Khonsay means to "pick up something with care as it is rare or scarce." Khonsay is a tribute and call to action to support the diversity of the world’s languages. The poem is a "cento," a lyric "stitched together" — each of Khonsay’s fifty lines is from a different language. Created by English speakers, Khonsay imagines the ecology of language through a world poem. It seeks to capture the luminous originals in refracted light. What cannot be translated is a measure of what is being lost with the disappearance of these many tongues. The poem is being blown up on a large banner as a centerpiece for the program. Here are the opening lines,

Ch’a tlákwdáx si. áat, tlél ch’as yá táakw.
It didn’t just start yesterday
   (Tlingit, Nora Marks Daveunhauer, U.S.)

Li’ to bu nakal le jme’tike
Come to the source of the word
   (Tsotsil, Alberto Gómez Pérez, Mexico)

Photo by Abby Ronner

Sekou Sundiata Revisited: A Night with the POEMobile Sekou Sundiata was a marvelous spoken word poet and a good friend of City Lore who performed at all of our People’s Poetry Gatherings. He died in 2007 at the age of 58. On August 22nd (don’t worry, we’ll remind you again!), City Lore’s POEMobile will once again be collaborating with Urban Word’s youth poets in the Words on Walls program to host an event that will incorporate spoken word, poetry projections, along with live music and dance in an appropriately vibrant tribute to Sekou. As part of the retrospective put on by MAPP International, Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, the event will memorialize a poet whose incredible life and work influenced many of today’s contemporary poets. We also recommend a performance of his classic monologues Blessing the Boats: the Remix from June 27-30. Stay tuned for more details!


Rocking the Boat’s Spring 2013: End of Semester Celebration Rocking the Boat will host a very special event celebrating the completion of a 29-foot Beetle whaleboat being built on commission for Mystic Seaport Museum. Two years in the making at a cost of more than $135,000 and involving 20 teenage boatbuilders from the community, the whaleboat is far and away the most ambitious construction project Rocking the Boat has ever undertaken. This event features the launch of the 29-foot Beetle whaleboat built for Mystic Seaport Museum, the launch and naming of a new 17-foot Whitehall rowing boat, live music by 7-time Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Aché, dinner provided by Rocking the Boat families, and demonstrations of Bronx River environmental research and restoration community rowing on the Bronx River.

When: Saturday, June 1st, 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: 812 Edgewater Road, Bronx, NY
Admission: FREE
For more information: Please see our calendar event.

Beba y su Isla: A family fun day & final celebration Join the LP21 and the Bomba & Plena Community Workshops Familias for a fun family fair and celebration to showcase the talents, skills and passion learned by their students all year-round! Los Pleneros de la 21’s THE BPCW NYC’s original community school for bomba, plena and Puerto Rican culture, music & dance celebrates its 24th Anniversary with a day filled with musical performance by our children, face painting, arts & crafts, story telling & poetry, games, food, and more!!

When: Sunday, June 2nd, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Where: East Harlem Children’s Center, 130 East 101st Street, New York, NY 10035
Admission: FREE
For more information: Please see our calendar event.

La Gente Del Bronx

"Arsenio Rodriguez Way" Dedication Ceremony and Reception A portion of Dawson Street between Intervale & Longwood Avenues,in the Bronx is to be hereafter known as "Arsenio Rodriguez Way". Belatedly, the Borough of the Bronx will officially have the street dedication and unveiling of the "Arsenio Rodriguez Way" street sign on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 10:00am. Arsenio Rodriguez is recognized and credited by musicologists as a transformative figure of what today is known as salsa music.The street designation serves as the crowning jewel after an arduous series of collaborative efforts and events produced last year that rendered tribute to the band leader and resident performer of the Longwood community. A reception will be hosted by Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, located at 928 Simpson Street in the Bronx, immediately after the ceremonies.

When: Thursday, June 6th, 10:00am
Where: Dawson Street between Intervale & Longwood Avenues, Bronx
For more information: Please see our calendar event.

Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival Chinese opera and acrobatics, klezmer music, Yiddish and Chinese language lessons, mah jongg, scribal arts, food and folk art demos, crafts, synagogue tours, and more! Don’t miss New York City’s best block party, a cross-cultural celebration of the Jewish and Chinese communities of our Lower East Side/Chinatown neighborhood.

When: Sunday, June 9th, 12:00noon – 4:00pm
Where: Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street NYC 10002
Admission: FREE but RSVP encouraged
For more information: Please see our calendar event.

Come out and enjoy a night of salsa with Los Pleneros de la 21! The Grammy Nominated and intergenerational ensemble – NY’s Bomba & Plena Ambassadors to the World, Los Pleneros de la 21, are doing it up again…sancocho style – where a dash of music, a splash of dance and a pinch of singing come together in a savory musical stew featuring Bomba, Plena, salsa, guaracha and MORE!!!! Join LP21 for the summer celebration of this swinging performance meant for only one thing – to get you moving, singing and enjoying the infectious rhythms from Puerto Rico. LP21 and friends take over the stage, this time in their own backyard, Los Pleneros often participates in City Lore’s arts in education programs, and you can see one of the residencies they did for us a few years ago at PS 213 here.

Music begins at 6pm and goes way past sunset… Bring your instruments, your dancing shoes and your appetite to get swinging!

When: Sunday, June 23rd, 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Where: El Barrio at Camaradas El Barrio, 2241 1st Avenue (at 115th St), NYC 10029
Admission: $10, for ticket information please see our calendar event!
For more information: Please call 212-427-5221 or

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Steve and Abby


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