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Brooklyn Community Foundation Announces Winners of Peter Jay Sharp Youth Arts Fellowship

Three winners hail from Bedford-Stuyvesant

Brooklyn Community Foundation announced on Tuesday its second group of Peter Jay Sharp Youth Arts Fellowship winners, ten high-schoolers, three of whom are Bed-Stuy residents.

The winners are Brooklyn residents representing a diverse cross-section of local arts groups including Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, Brighton Ballet, Groundswell Mural Project, Noel Pointer Foundation and Girls Write Now.

The Peter Jay Sharp Fellowship, seeded by a $75,000 gift from the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, is administered through the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Arts for All Fund, which promotes access and affordability throughout the borough’s vibrant creative community. The 2012-13 Fellows were selected from competitive nominations submitted by Brooklyn arts and cultural organizations.

This year's Bed-Stuy winners were Mercy Carpenter, a 10th-grade musician from Essex Street Academy representing Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls; Faith Robinson, a 12th-grade Filmmaker and Actor from Brooklyn Preparatory High School representing Reel Works Teen Filmmaking; and Shelise Taylor, a 10th-grade dancer represented by her high school, Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School.

"After I found out I got the fellowship, I felt excited that I was finally going to be able to take long-term classes in music which I otherwise would not have gotten a chance to participate in," Mercy Carpenter told Bed-Stuy Patch. "I always loved singing and wanted more training but could not afford it. With the help of the Peter Jay Sharp Youth Arts Fellowship, I get to have this experience."

Other winners were Kristasiah (Krissy) Daniels, a writer from Crown Heights; Fabio Gomez, a writer from East New York; Theodore Perevalov, a dancer from Midwood; Nelson Perez, a clarinetist from Sheepshead Bay; Tabia Smith, a violinist from East New York; Kasiem Aboti Walters, a dancer from East Flatbush; and Rahiem Williams, a singer and musician from East Flatbush.

Each Fellow’s organization will receive $2,500 to support instruction for the winning Fellow. Whatever is left over then goes toward additional programming at the organization, free to others. Over the school year, Fellows will participate in one-of-a-kind experiences at world-renowned arts institutions in Brooklyn to support their careers pursuits in the arts.

“Every year, more and more people in the arts are migrating to Brooklyn and making it their home,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber. “Our fellowship program is designed to ensure that they have every opportunity to realize their creative dreams and connect with all the incredible professional artists and cultural resources Brooklyn has to offer."

On September 28, the Fellows visited the Brooklyn Academy of Music to see the new collaboration between jazz composer Wynton Marsalis and the Garth Fagan Dance Company, Lighthouse/Lightning Rod, part of the BAM Next Wave Festival.

And prior to the performance, they enjoyed a private movement class at BAM Fisher to learn more about Garth Fagan’s choreography and inspiration. In November, fellows will head to Williamsburg to meet with choreographer Elizabeth Streb and participate in a S.L.A.M. (the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics) class and see a S.L.A.M. performance.

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