the Drama Club Board of Directors and staff (minus Christine Bella). From left to right, David Blasher, Stephanie Adjei, Josie Whittlesey, Alexandra Cox, Naoko Montoya, Khristal Curtis, Kelly Brady and Jecoina Vinson.

the Drama Club Board of Directors and staff (minus Christine Bella). From left to right, David Blasher, Stephanie Adjei, Josie Whittlesey, Alexandra Cox, Naoko Montoya, Khristal Curtis, Kelly Brady and Jecoina Vinson.

1. Can you tell us about your QAF funded project?

Drama Club at Rosie’s will be an expansion of our theater programming to include the girls and young women incarcerated at the Rose M. Singer Complex on Rikers Island. The group will meet once a week over six months. During this time we will build ensemble as well as improvisational and devised theatre techniques. Once we have cultivated a base skill set, we will begin working to build an original piece of theatre together.  This piece will be performed for an invited audience of participants’ family members as well as fellow inmates. After this project has concluded, Drama Club will host a public forum about the event for residents of Queens with the intention of encouraging a discussion about the process and the importance of making arts programming available for these communities. Exact date TBD. To be added to our mailing list and receive a notification re. the public forum, please email info@dramaclubnyc.org.


2. How do you think this project will impact the community?

For those participating directly in our program at the Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers, Drama Club hopes to provide an opportunity for creative self-expression and validation through accomplishment.

For members of the Queens community, we hope to provide a free opportunity for networking, community dialogue and troubleshooting re. the importance of providing arts programming for marginalized populations.


3. How has QCA been helpful in the grant process?

Queens Council on the Arts has been a great resource during this grant process. We ran into several road-blocks along way. Due to the location and limited public access of this pilot program, which will be held at the Rose M. Singer Complex on Rikers Island, it wasn’t immediately clear whether or not we would be eligible to apply. Lynn Lobel, took time to meet with us prior to application submission, and helped us move through the specifics of the application and trouble-shoot how to determine whether or not we met the location and accessibility requirements. Furthermore, the QCA website has been an excellent resource for how-tos in grant-writing.


4. Here is your chance, what do you want everyone to know about your organization?

Drama Club is a non-profit organization that provides theatre programming to incarcerated and court-involved young people in the NYC area. We currently serve youth at Crossroads Juvenile Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn; Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx; the Robert N. Davoren Complex for Adolescents at Rikers Island; and, with support from the Queens Council on the Arts, we will be expanding our programming in 2016 to include young women at the Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers Island. For more information on Drama Club, visit our website at www.dramaclubnyc.org.

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