Brooklyn Community Foundation Announces Peter Jay Sharp Youth Arts Fellows for 2011-12

The Brooklyn Community Foundation, through the generous support of the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, is pleased to announce the first recipients of the Peter Jay Sharp Youth Arts Fellowship for promising Brooklyn high school students in the arts. Ten fellows were selected from nominations submitted by Brooklyn-based arts organizations for the 2011-12 inaugural cohort. Each fellow’s affiliated arts organization will receive $2,500 toward scholarship support for students in its programs; fellows will meet with arts executives in Brooklyn, attend professional performances and trainings, and receive expert advice and support on pursuing careers in the arts.

Over the 2011-12 school year, the ten fellows will make behind-the-scenes visits to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Mark Morris Dance Center, Brooklyn College, and the Brooklyn Museum. The first meeting of the program took place on October 13th at BAM, where students met with BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins, toured the Peter Jay Sharp Building, and attended a performance of Symphony for the Dance Floor – part of BAM’s Next Wave series.

The Peter Jay Sharp Fellowship, seeded by a $75,000 three-year Peter Jay Sharp Foundation grant, 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 Brooklyn Community Foundation invites ongoing public support of the fellowship through tax deductable gifts to the fund.

“We’re thrilled to help extend the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation’s generous capital support of the arts to the next generation,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber. “We want to enable Brooklyn students to dream big while gaining the knowledge and understanding of how to face the challenges ahead. We hope this fellowship will provide the access and opportunity for talented students with interest in the arts to benefit from our borough’s rich artistic resources.”

The 2011-12 Peter Jay Sharp Fellows are:

Kyle Gordon-Andall of Crown Heights, an 11th grader at Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School, submitted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the specialty of photography;

Bahati Barton of Flatbush, a 12th grader at LaGuardia School for the Performing Arts, submitted by Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy in the specialty of dance and voice;

Gabriella (Gabby) Grafakos of Clinton Hill, a 12th grader at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, submitted by Groundswell Community Mural Project in the specialty of muralist and flutist;

Tanya Kamenskaya of Brighton Beach, a 10th grader at Leon M. Goldstein High School submitted by Covenant Ballet Theatre in the specialty of dance;

Bryan Luna of Kensington, a 10th grader at Telecommunications High School, submitted by Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music in the specialty of saxophone;

Christina Pineda of Ditmas Park, a 12th grader at Brooklyn High School of the Arts, submitted by the Brooklyn Museum in the specialty of visual arts;

Isaiah Segarra of Williamsburg, a 12th grader at High School for Legal Studies, submitted by STREB in the specialty of “Pop Action” movement and Tae Kwon Do;

William Suarez of Bath Beach, a 12th grader at Brooklyn Technical High School, submitted by Brooklyn Youth Chorus in the specialty of vocal performance;

Alyssa Venable of Williamsburg, a 9th grader at Benjamin Banneker High School, submitted by Dancewave;

Anna Vomacka of South Park Slope, a 12th grader at Beacon High School, submitted by Brooklyn Arts Exchange in the specialty of dance.

Pictured L to R: Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber, Kyle Gordon-Andall, Tanya Kamenskaya, Bahati Barton, Anna Vomacka, Alyssa Venable, Bryan Luna, Gabby Grafakos, Isaiah Segarra, Will Suarez, and Brooklyn Community Foundation Senior Program Officer Stuart Post.