Fine Arts Roundup

The Fine Arts department have been working hard all semester, and they were willing to prove it in their student exhibition.  Located on the first floor art gallery at York College, students showcased their murals, paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

The Fine Arts department have been working hard all semester, and they were willing to prove it in their student exhibition.  Located on the first floor art gallery at York College, students showcased their murals, paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

Flyers were placed around York College, welcoming all to come and visit their student exhibition, opening on May 12, 2016 in the art gallery. The first sculpture seen when walking towards the art gallery. Yocelyn Zare's use of different materials, colors, and texture made this head/body mask surreal. Tiandra Jones, Fine Arts Major, portrayl of African Americans having the blood of gold was amazing. Another sculpture by Tiandra Jones. Pictured is African cloth surrounded by a shattered, broken mirror. Photrography I student, Tiandra Jones, captured a mirroring photo through a glass building. The black and white photo 1/3 2/3 3/3 Photo by Photography II student, Ariana Naraine.  The black and white photo doesn't take away the value from the busy streets of NYC. "What is one of the worst things a man in your life has ever told you?" Evelyn Hernandez, Photography II student, asked a few women. These were their responses. Regin Simmon captured the beauty of the female body in black and white. IMG_0610 This self portrait as a landscape was created to represent Minerva Tavares. Symbolic cotton trees by Stacye Kay Muirhead. Nephtania Catul created high heels in her 3D visuals class. The magical, calming scene of waterfalls into a flowing river. This self portrait reflects Shohana Rahman's image inside and outside, through visual art. Always remember The Sky is the Limit, Photography by Mickeda Martin.

#BlackLivesMatter

Police brutality against African American men may have sparked the #BlackLivesMatter movement on social media, but that’s not the only reason this organization exists. It’s followers have taken their cries of inequality within the black community to the streets, marching in active rallies for change. Black Lives Matter intends to…

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York College hosts an event based on the #BlackLivesMatter movement following the death of student, Peyton Manwaring, on October 31st, 2015. Photo By: Jenelle Taylor

Police brutality against African American men may have sparked the #BlackLivesMatter movement on social media, but that’s not the only reason this organization exists. It’s followers have taken their cries of inequality within the black community to the streets, marching in active rallies for change.

Black Lives Matter intends to put an end to violence in the African American community throughout the states.  People join this political project with hopes that people will no longer systematically and intentionally target the lives of blacks.

York College hosted its own campus/community town hall meeting, addressing the epidemic of violence and murders, after the senseless killing of its student, Peyton Manwaring. Manwaring was shot to death in Queens on Halloween night, along with his best friend, who was also his neighbor.  The police believe this act of violence was gang related.  This had a huge impact on the campus.

York’s dean of students, Vincent Barney, had to attend all of Manwaring’s classes to speak to the students about the tragic incident.

“In one of the classes, one of his classmates ran out of the room,” said Banrey.  “We had to put her through counseling, which we offered in the school for those affected by his death.”

Dr. Ron Daniels, a distinguished lecturer at York College, worked on putting the event together for the last couple of months. He partnered with organizations in the community and York College students in order to moderate, “Do Black Lives Matter To Black People?”

“I wanted to show violence and murder in the black community,” said Daniels.  “Why is it occurring and what can be done to change what’s happening? I want a positive change to come out of it.”

Daniels has since collaborated YC Radio and WBAI, to issue a PSA and cover a segment on investigative stories and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Tune into WBAI 99.5 Vantage Point Radio on Mondays from 10am-12pm.

Does Discrimination Exist in the Acting World? CUNY York College Responds

African Americans and Latinos were torn down and labeled “the minority group” for several years…

CUNY York College's Performing Arts center responds to the backlash received from the Hamilton play casting call.
CUNY York College’s Performing Arts center responds to the backlash received from the Hamilton play casting call.

African Americans and Latinos were torn down and labeled “the minority group” for several years dating back in history. As they slowly begin to gain recognition in fields they once weren’t allowed to partake in, they celebrate the opportunity with joy and excitement. So should one be ridiculed and criticized for finally being able to fulfill their dreams the way they see it?

The thought of whether or not racial discrimination has declined in this modern society was overlooked during casting calls for Hamilton on Broadway.

Hamilton, broadways hit, sold out, hip hop musical, surrounds the life of Alexander Hamilton. Using the most prominent figures in history, the cast is set to explore America’s revolutionary beginnings. In order to relate the play to the way America looks today, the producer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, chose to use black and Hispanic actors to portray the main characters.

Producers posted on the shows website, “Hamilton is holding auditions for NON-WHITE men and women, ages 20-30.” The specification of race led to backlash and controversial headlines, wondering is racial discrimination still alive in the 21st century?

With hip hop, rap, and r&b coming from the African American community, actor and performing arts professor, Eric Frederick, believes these roles should be obtained by an African American or Latino.

“Honestly, I don’t think it would be as rich of a portrayal and presentation if done by a Caucasian. I say that because thinking of it in terms of culture, there are certain cultures that tend to lean towards rhythm, which is a physiological sense of who they are, compared to other cultures. It would be a richer experience, but it’s not to say a Caucasian person couldn’t do it,” he said.

Raydell Sanders, 22-year-old theater arts major, was surprised when social media and news organizations blew up surrounding the casting call.

“Are people that mad about this one ethnic play? Would this one play with many minorities take away from the other plays on Broadway? If you ask me, it’s about damn time you see a diverse cast in acting,” he said. “It’s not often you see that, besides maybe the Lion King or the Color Purple.”

What’s really mind boggling about the negativity surrounding the post is this is the norm in the theater and film industry. Producers often state the look they’re going for when casting for their plays, TV shows, or movies. They will go into details, specifying the gender, race, and age range they’re looking for to play their characters.

Studying television and film for 6 years, Kanal Kaul is getting ready to graduate with a Bachelors in Communications Technology. With hopes of landing a job focusing on editing, post production, or on set production, Kanal has gained a clear experience on how the show business works.

“Casting isn’t technically discriminating. If there’s a certain direction they’re going in, due to artistic integrity, they have a right to state what they are looking for. Even craigslist states what they’re looking for, including the gender, race, and age,” he said.

Producers stated, “It’s essential to the storytelling of Hamilton that the principal roles, written for non white characters, be performed by non white actors”

Therefore, I seriously question why one would think this subjects to racial discrimination in the work field. There’s no way you can view an open call for a particular role as advertising employment racism.

Randy Devaughn is looking forward to seeing Hamilton in 2017. Besides attending York for Theater Arts, he studies vocal training and auditions for musical theater shows. Touring and performing, he still believes there’s a long way to go before things are equal in the acting world.

“Being African American, my biggest fear walking into an audition is my complexion.  I just hope my talent makes up for my insecurity, which is my race. I’ve often even went to an audition where someone a fairer skin than me with less talent than myself made it to the next round.”

Devaughn sees Hamilton to be exercising the freedom of business, and doesn’t think Hamilton is discriminatory about their audition process. “As i said before, this is why I believe there’s a long way to go before things are equal in the acting world.”

President Obama took the time out to commend Lin-Manuel Miranda on producing Hamilton. Drawing attention to the shows casting choices, he stated, “with a cast as diverse as America itself, including the outstandingly talented women, the show reminds us that this nation was built by more than just a few great men, and that it is an inheritance that belongs to all of us.”

The Actors Equity Association prompted Hamilton producers to amend their statements. They wanted them to put out a general statement, welcoming all to come out and audition for the show.

The casting call was amended, and now states, “Hamilton is holding open auditions for singers and actors who rap! Seeking men and women, ages 20’s to 30’s, for the non-white characters as written and conceived for the currently running Broadway production and upcoming tours of ‘Hamilton!'”

Being a professional actor in New York City, Eric Frederick believes people should still go out and audition for a role, whether or not they match the criteria stated.

“In history there have been some shows where producers were looking for a particular type, but then someone just wowed them with their talent, what they brought, and their creative artistic energy. This has made them say, ‘hey we want this person.’ So sometimes the roles can be adjusted and the writers are open to interpretation.”