A Partnership Grows In Jamaica

York College and Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) have done the inevitable. The two downtown Jamaica entities have teamed up to bring outstanding cultural and educational programming to the Queens community. Dr. Ivelaw L. Griffith, York’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, is a member of JCAL’s Board of Directors. Among the first of his duties this year will be to moderate a panel discussion following the screening of the film Before They Die, a 92-minute documentary about the survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.

In addition to Provost Griffith, the panel will comprise filmmaker Reggie Turner and Andrew Jackson of the Langston Hughes Library, who also teaches in our Cultural Diversity Program. The February 18 event is free and is part of JCAL’s Black History Month program. “We have begun strengthening the JCAL–York relationship, starting with the York Big Band,” he says. “We’ll also be exploring extending the partnership in the theatre area and in internships. I view my chairing the Black History Month event as part of that partnership.”

Founded in 1972, the Center features a 1,650-square foot visual arts gallery, a 99-seat proscenium theater, painting, dance and ceramics studios and soundproof music studios. It further serves the community by providing programs for children, teens, and adults. Programs include a multicultural series of music, theater, and dance performances; film screenings and lectures; contemporary visual arts exhibitions; in school artist residencies; a series of nearly 50 different arts workshops; and free or low-cost after -school and summer programs. Housed in a landmarked Neo-Renaissance building located at 161-04 Jamaica Avenue, JCAL is a stone’s throw away from York.

From Academic Affairs Update, Vol. 6, No. 1, February 2012

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