At Commonpoint Queens, the arts are flourishing during the month of June. Three of our programs serving some of our youngest and oldest clients – SU-CASA dance at the Sam Field Neighborhood Senior Center, COMPASS After School at P.S. 169, and the SU-CASA Queens Theatre Senior Ensemble at CAP NORC – got their turns in the spotlight with theatre and dance performances this month.
After participating in a six-week contemporary dance class and interviews regarding their personal migration stories with members of the Mari Meade Dance Collective, our seniors had the opportunity to share their stories through dance in a performance at our Sam Field Center on May 31. This opportunity was made possible by the SU-CASA collaboration, a program through the New York City Council’s Queens Council on the Arts that brings teaching artists to six-month residencies at senior centers across the city.
The Queens Theatre Education Department brings the magic of theatre to our programs for all ages, giving children and seniors alike the unique opportunity to perform at Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Teaching artists worked with our youth for three months in the COMPASS after-school program at P.S. 169 in Bay Terrace, culminating in the performance of an original play at Queens Theatre on June 2. This CentreStage program is part of the City’s Cultural After-School Adventures (CASA) programs, funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by Council Member Paul Vallone.
A teaching artist also worked with our seniors for three months at CAP NORC, the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community at the Clearview Gardens Cooperative in Whitestone. The seven seniors in the Queens Theatre Senior Ensemble performed songs, scenes, and monologues in a forty-five minute show attended by residents at CAP on June 14, and then also for the public at Queens Theatre on June 18. This initiative is also part of SU-CASA sponsored by Council Member Vallone in partnership with Queens Theatre.
These Commonpoint Queens rockstars prove that whether you are six or eighty-six, you have the power to bring joy to others through theatre and dance. We are inspired by the courage of our children and seniors in performing and warmed by the friendships and skills they have gained along the way. We are so grateful to Queens Theatre and the New York City Council for their continued support of our programs.