Gotham Professional Arts Academy!

I had the enormous pleasure today of speaking with a few of the talented youth in the senior class of Graham Academy’s Brooklyn location.

We’ve been following a Brookyn Public School Mural Guru @jeffbeler for a while now,. Jeff is responsible for the memorial mural at PS9, and the principal loved it so much that the project grew into 78 muralists, and stretched all around the building and then spilled into the courtyard and playground. His latest PS curation can be found at PS321.

Recently Jeff invited me to speak to a class he facilitates at the Gotham Professional Arts Academy. The Academy provides a unique learning environment for young creatives discovering their personal and professional identity.

I wanted to engage these creatives right away so I went around the room and asked each person to say their name and what their dream is, or what they are working toward.

Some upcoming play writers, illustrators and photographers revealed themselves as they proclaimed their career destinations.

I felt awkward talking about myself so I may have shared a little nervous babble, but I had my trusty notes, and even though the 45 minutes went much faster than expected, I was able to touch on every topic I wanted to discuss with the class.

Mainly TRULYBROOKLYN, Social Media, and how we use it, “Financial Literacy” and “Climate Change”.

I left the names of two books that have helped me find my way. “Where good ideas come from” and “Think and grow rich”, and ended it all with a link to “Extinction Rebellion”.

I realize how public speaking can really fluster some people, and even if you’re not flustered by the presentation, the engagements and the timing, all that is still enough to keep things interesting for me.

I really enjoyed visiting the school, and the opportunity to speak to the young artists there. The faculty there seemed really connected to the kids. I saw a lot of active engagement and encouragement through the visible support and guidance they provide.

These youth are really fortunate to have this school. Look them up and see for yourself what else makes them so special. Find their calendar and ways to donate at GOTHAM PROFESSIONAL ARTS ACADEMY!

Words by Damani

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