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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts and the black revolution II

Siegel, Marcia B.
Notes and discussions: starting with dance,   pp. [504]-508 PDF (5.4 MB)

Page [506 and 507]

projects, the Jazz Mobile, has toured the    507
city for the past two summers and is now
an independent program. Last summer
the Council sponsored a Dance Mobile,
which is expected to be duplicated in other
cities this year. An exhibit, The Evolution of
the Afro-American Artist, at CCNY created
a stir of interest in the art world.
"We aren't a producing outfit," Taylor
explained, "but when we have to produce
to get something going, we do. We want to
let the arts develop in their own way,
we only require that the work we sponsor
be of the highest quality. If we had
more money, there are a number of
other projects we'd like to undertake, such
as providing artists-in-residence at city
The Head Start project was engineered
by dancer Carole Johnson, who is the
dance representative on the Harlem
Cultural Council, and Liz Wiener, who
administers arts programs in the
ghettos for the New York City Office of
Cultural Affairs. Miss Wiener, a former
teacher, helped organize the first Central
Park Happenings three summers ago
under former Parks Commissioner
Thomas P. F. Hoving.
"We work with different agencies in
poverty areas," Miss Wiener said recently.
"There are nine preschool centers that we
visit every week with the Cinemobile, which
was originally funded by the U. S. Office
of Economic Opportunity. We show the
kids experimental films, and then have
classroom sessions with discussion,
painting, music and so forth. These dance
performances are being shown to all the
children in the preschool groups, about
2,000, plus about 500 in Harlem who
aren't part of the regular Head Start
program. Rod's kind of dancing is great
for kids of this age group. I think they can
respond to its abstract quality more fully
than to work that is pointedly all-Afro.
This reaches them on a beautiful level,
which is the kind of thing they don't
normally get enough of."
The city's underlying philosophy in
sponsoring arts programs was described by
Doris Freedman, Director of the Office' of
Cultural Affairs. "We want to expose kids
to the mainstream of art, to bring the
most creative work to the places where
Rod Rodgers talks with young admirers after
performance in a Head Start Center.

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