For 17 years, outstanding people and organizations have been honored during the Uptown Arts Stroll. In 2019 the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance is pleased to recognize the talents and contributions of Mino Lora, Founding Executive Director – People’s Theatre Project (PTP); Obrien Luna, singer songwriter; Dance Theatre of Harlem, on their 50th Anniversary; Hike the Heights celebrating 15 years, and Warner Bros., filming Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” uptown this summer.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Mino Lora has been living and working as a theatre artist, activist, educator and arts administrator in NYC since 2000. As a theatre director, Mino has directed over 40 plays and staged readings with children, youth and adults. She is passionate about the creating process and working together with Latinx and playwrights of color on plays that address issues of identity and race. Over the course of her time as a theatre director, she has collaborated with dozens of playwrights and supported them in the creation of new plays.
In 2009 Mino co-founded People’s Theatre Project (PTP), and currently serves as its Founding Executive Director. As Executive Director for PTP, Mino launched and oversees the three branches of the organization: PTP Partnerships, leading programs in collaboration with 18 schools in Upper Manhattan; the PTP Academy, a rigorous arts and leadership program in Inwood for immigrant youth and, finally, the PTP Company, the professional devised theatre touring company of the organization. During her tenure with PTP, the organization has grown to serve thousands of young people and employ dozens of Latinx and immigrant artists. PTP won the prestigious Union Square Arts Award in 2010 and the Mayor’s Cultural Impact Grant in 2018 and 2019.
Obrien Luna was born in the Dominican Republic and at age 16 he played drums for his local church, which years later brought him into the realization that his true passion for music laid in singing and playing guitar. He moved to New York where he has become one of the most successful representatives of bohemian music within the city’s Hispanic community. Obrien has been performing five to six nights per week for years at all the best venues in NYC and has shared the stage with many well-known artists including, Francisco Cespedes, Sergio Vargas, Pavel Nunez, Rafa Rosario, Felix D’Oleo, Ruby Perez, Ramon Orlando, and Victor Victor, among others. Obrien’s musical influences come from artists such as Juan Luis Guerra, Pavel Nunez, Joaquin Sabina, and others. His first EP from his own composition called “Un cuarto para La Seis,” was released on December 11, 2015 at Subrosa NYC and is available on most of the online music platforms including, Tunes, Spotify, and Rhapsody. Obrien plays at Manolo Tapas on Saturday nights and at Guadalupe on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday evenings.
Listen on Spotify
Dance Theatre of Harlem
For 50 years, Dance Theatre of Harlem has provided access to ballet for all. Comprised of an international touring company, a training school and a celebrated arts education and community engagement program, Dancing Through Barriers, DTH demonstrates the power of art to transform lives. Compelled to make a positive impact following the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the legendary Arthur Mitchell started a school with his teacher, Karel Shook. Mitchell’s idea was to offer children in the Harlem neighborhood where he grew up the opportunity to change their futures by challenging themselves against the rigors of a classical art form. In 1971, only two years after its founding, The New York Times called Dance Theatre of Harlem “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings.” Now in its fifth decade, DTH has an extraordinary legacy based on thrilling performances and artistic excellence predicated on providing opportunity where none had existed before. Through performance, training and education, the impact of Dance Theatre of Harlem continues to be felt across the globe.
New York Times Article April 14, 2019
Hike the Heights
Hike the Heights is an annual community hike and celebration in northern Manhattan parks that promotes the use of the Giraffe Path, an urban trail that connects the Cloisters to Central Park. This family-friendly event began as part of a project of the Community Research Group (CRG) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in January 2004. Led by Mindy Fullilove and Lourdes Rodriguez, CRG established City Life Is Moving Bodies (CLIMB), a northern Manhattan community-based initiative founded on the belief that safe parks and neighborhoods are essential to community health, and that all communities, regardless of socioeconomic background, are entitled to access to safe parks and neighborhoods. Composed of a diverse group of individuals and organizations working together as the a consensus group, CLIMB has organized Hike the Heights on the first Saturday of June for 15 years, bringing community members and organizations together to celebrate and encourage community ownership over and activity in the parks in northern Manhattan.
Warner Bros. Pictures is bringing a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In the Heights to film in the Washington Heights and Inwood communities. The film will highlight the streets and businesses that bring the authentic character of the neighborhood to life on screen. The screenplay for In the Heights is by Quiara Alegría Hudes based on the musical with lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the book by Hudes. Both Miranda and Hudes are producing alongside Scott Sanders, Anthony Bregman, and Mara Jacobs. In the Heights follows a vibrant cast of characters — including an upbeat bodega owner, a struggling Stanford undergrad, an ambitious taxi driver, a hardworking hairstylist, and the beloved neighborhood matriarch — striving, dreaming, and falling in love in the Washington Heights neighborhood.
read more in www.patch.com