Community Newsletter
June 2020
East Bay Center West African Drumming Faculty, Francis Kofi Akoutuah, helps distribute lunch to families at Nystrom Elementary School, part of South Richmond's Kennedy Family of Schools.
To Our Community,
 
We are grateful for your commitment to the Center and your solidarity with our students and our families as we navigate this difficult, yet hopeful, time of change. As we bring in summer in a new way with virtual graduations, online summer camps and socially distantanced civic organizing, the work might look a little different, but our hearts and whole beings aim to be more in step than ever. 
 
We would love to know how you are doing. Stay connected with the Center by sending us a note or sharing photos and videos of your art and tagging us.
Founded immediately after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 as a local Richmond response to the unrest, anger, frustration, and need for change, our foundational values remain rooted in civil rights, equity and justice, and yet, as a community, we all bear witness to how these values have been continually tested by the weight of racism and violence. 
 
In case you missed last week’s letter to our community, you can read it here.
When we think of our 60 faculty artists, we think of resilience, determination, and critical perspectives. In an evolving series, we began by asking our artists to share a brief statement about arts and culture during this time of challenge. Watch below – and be on the lookout for more voices going forward.
 
On a related note,  Howard Wiley (Center alumni, faculty artist, and Richmond Jazz Collective Director),  Tiffany Austin (faculty artist/teacher – voice), and Marcus Shelby are featured in an article by Andrew Gilbert in the June 15, 2020 edition of  San Francisco Classical Voice , titled "Songs From an Uprising." Photos and videos are embedded in the article! Here's the link .
Connecting Trust to Resources
  • The Center’s Emergency Response Fund, now in its 10th week, continues to connect with all of our main site families to provide support for food, housing, medical expenses and other critical necessities.  
  • Listening sessions, healing conversations, and help accessing community-based resources, ranging from web access to legal aid, augment our ongoing individual student and family support services.
Expanded Summer Instruction Opportunities
  • Summer group classes are free and open to all students until filled. If you know a child, youth or teen with a deep interest in music, dance or theater, please contact kwesi@eastbaycenter.org to learn about openings in classes. 
  • In partnership with the City of Richmond and EdFund West, we are offering arts programming through this year’s virtual summer camp, Camp Achieve! Learn more and sign up here.
Alumni Spotlight: Allyson Flores
Young Artist from our neighborhood gives back, heads to college.
We are excited to announce that Center alumna Allyson Flores was accepted as a 3rd year student at UC Santa Cruz last month. Allyson grew up just a five-minute walk from the Center and, at sixteen, enrolled in the Young Artist Diploma Program, which is later than most. At the Center, she studied piano, flute and voice. After high school, Allyson attended Berkeley City College while also returning to the Center as a teaching assistant for a weekly musicianship class and mentoring younger students with academics, as well as music theory. Always a strong science and math student, Allyson was recently awarded a grant that covers 50% of her tuition. She plans to earn both a Bachelor's and a Master’s degree in Math within five years. We are so proud of you Allyson!
Young Artist Diploma Program: Applications Now Open
Due to COVID-19, applications extended through August 31
The Young Artist Diploma Program is a six-year, tuition-free program for 7th-12th grade students with a deep commitment to training hard and attending college. The curriculum includes intensive courses in music, theater, dance, and filmmaking/digital media arts. The program also provides opportunities to perform in public, as well as create film, theater, music and dance works impacting community life in Richmond. Acceptance into the program includes long-term college readiness and college application support. 
 
Are you (or do you know) a student who might be a great fit for this program?
Dale forma a tu futuro
Shape Your Future
Hay mucho que depende del Censo 2020. El Censo determinará cómo se distribuyen los fondos federales en nuestras comunidades para la próxima década. Asegurémonos de que se cuenten todos los Californianos para garantizar recursos y representación justa que nuestra comunidad.
A lot depends on the 2020 Census. The Census determines how federal funds are distributed in our community for the next decade. Let's make sure that every Californian is counted to guarantee fair allocation of resources and representation for our community.
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East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. We appreciate your participation in our community.

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