I hope this message finds you safe and well as we all find balance academically, artistically, professionally and emotionally in this new normal. I have never been more proud to be a part of and lead DORILL through this crucial time. This is an incredible family that has unparalleled passion, creativity and grit. This week we mark a significant moment where we take our first steps forward in these unprecedented times. As an organization, we are continuing to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and will keep you updated weekly through our website on our efforts to serve our community. This moment is one that will redefine our resilience and hope as our world begins to move forward.
Nothing – not even the novel coronavirus – will deter us from continuing to live by our mantra #LoveThroughArt and remaining committed to our mission: to engage youth through artistic and creative expression, academic enrichment, and community engagement to ensure student success academically, artistically, and professionally. It’s more important now than ever to focus on the core goals and outcomes for our young artists and continue to do everything possible to position you to be successful young citizen artists who tell their story and transform communities through art.
Below are our updates for this week:
Saturday Arts Program and Dorill Difference Benefit have been postponed until further notice.
Our Leadership Team will be scheduling a Zoom Call this Saturday with our young artists and families in our Saturday Arts Program
Academic Tutoring is still active for our youth via phone and video conference calls.
Our Leadership Team and Program Team have mobilized quickly around developing
plans to continue to engage with our community
As you can imagine, program closures and our postponed benefit will have a significant financial impact on Dorill Initiative. Right now, the services we provide are needed now more than ever. We are committed to do everything in our power to continue to support our community in this time of crisis and trauma. Please consider making a donation of any size to help us through this transition so we can continue to support our staff, teaching artists and provide continued services to our young artists and families.
Our art form depends on connection and our belief is that this time will provide all of us a unique opportunity to work on our technique, artistry, self-care, self-love, self-discipline and self-motivation to improve our practice.
Today is a step forward, but I know that things will likely get harder before they begin to return to any sense of normalcy. The strength of the DORILL community is what will make that happen. Through patience and a deep commitment to each other, we will return back together in the studio creating The Dorill Way.
From wherever you are currently sheltered, please share the images and videos of the art that you are creating with #DorillDifference as well as a new hashtag especially for this time: #DorillCommunity. We will actively re-post and share the work from our youth, families, staff, board members and supporters through the DORILL social media channels more meaningfully than ever.
Our world desperately needs the empathy and joy that only art can create, and none of that is possible without you. I know that you will continue to spread love through art.
#LoveThroughArt #DorillDifference #DorillCommunity
Love and Light,
Tareake Dorill Ramos Founder & Executive Director
Hawk Newsome is an activist at the forefront of the New Civil Rights Movement. He has dedicated his adult life to the betterment of his community & our nation as a whole. The Bronx native was raised in a devout Christian household. As a youth, Hawk succumbed to the temptations of his environment and dropped out of high school. With the love and support of his family, mentors and athletic ability he was able to push forward and obtain a GED, Bachelors of Science, and law degree.
After graduating from Concordia College, Hawk worked for the Honorable Robert T. Johnson at the Bronx County Office of the District Attorney, as a paralegal, then as Special Projects Coordinator. As the DA’s liaison to the community, he worked with N.Y.C.H.A tenants’ associations and social service organizations throughout the Bronx. In his spare time, he organized drives to send medical supplies to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Hawk joined Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP as a project manager overseeing efforts in the law firm’s 22 national and international offices. During this period, Hawk founded the Bronx Sharks, an athletic club that has sent numerous at risk youths to college on scholarship. Hawk went on to follow his childhood dream of attending law school. Hawk attended the prestigious Howard University Law School in Washington, DC. and completed his Juris Doctorate at Touro Law School in Long Island, NY. After which he ran for City Council for the Bronx district where he grew up.
Throughout his life Hawk has engaged in protests and activities to combat injustice. Over the past few years, he has worked tirelessly leading protests and seeking justice for the families of those slain by overzealous police officers. Hawk a founding BLMgreaterNY. The organization is one of the most disruptive groups in the country and are continuously fighting against anti-blackness. Not only has he helped victims of police brutality, he works with members of LGBT community, victims of the human trafficking, the mental health community, founded Black Lives Caucus. The Caucus was the first group in NYC to endorse Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Hawk has been quoted in the NYTimes, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and has appeared on CNN, BBC, Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club and various new stations locally and internationally. He is currently a feature cast member on BET’s CopWatch America.
Hawk’s parents actually met at a civil rights rally in the 1960’s, so you can say that he was born into this fight. Hawk has a 16 year old autistic son and newborn daughter. Hawk loves his family, he loves his people, and he has pledged his life to bringing justice to this unjust system.
Pierre Dulaine was born in Jaffa, Palestine, but his family fled in 1948 at the creation of the State of Israel when he was four – It was in Birmingham, England at the age of 14, that Pierre began to dance, By 1972, Pierre ended up in New York City and together with Yvonne Marceau, won the British Exhibition / World
Showdance four times. In 1989 they performed in Tommy Tune’s “Grand Hotel, the musical” on Broadway for 2½ years, and were awarded the “Fred Astaire Award for Best Dancing On Broadway”. The New York Times dubbed Pierre a “Dancer and Teacher Extraordinaire.”
Pierre founded Dancing Classrooms in 1994 to build social awareness, confidence, and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance, and to date over 500,000 children worldwide have participated in the program.
In 2005 Mad Hot Ballroom, the hit documentary based on Pierre’s work with the New York City Public Schools children through Dancing Classrooms was released and in 2006, Pierre’s life was the focus of a major motion picture called Take the Lead, with Antonio Banderas portraying Pierre Dulaine and his
work with children.
Pierre’s latest project took him back to his place of birth…Jaffa…the documentary Dancing in Jaffa was released by the autumn of 2013; it followed his efforts to use dance in helping Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish children – and their families – to peacefully coexist.
Numerous awards have been bestowed on Pierre. The Americans for the Arts Award for Arts and Education and the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in homage to the outstanding qualities he brings to America while preserving the richness of his own heritage…to name just two of the many.
Carlina Rivera represents the 2nd Council District which includes the diverse neighborhoods of the East Village, Flatiron, Gramercy Park, Rose Hill, Kips Bay, Murray Hill, and the Lower East Side. Since taking office in 2017, Carlina has fought for the affordability and livability of New York City by championing issues around affordable housing, small business survival, equitable healthcare, transportation, and quality of life issues. In addition to tackling these tough legislative issues, she has taken a stand for gender equity as the Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus by sponsoring legislation on sexual harassment and the gender wage gap.
Born and raised in the Lower East Side by a single mother who emigrated from Puerto Rico, Carlina understands the unique challenges District 2 constituents face. Beginning her career as a community organizer supporting seniors and homeless people in the Lower East Side, Carlina is a staunch advocate for safe and affordable housing for all New Yorkers. It was with New York City’s housing crisis in mind that Carlina introduced and passed legislation that provides critical oversight to the short-term rental industry which has impacted the availability of housing.
Carlina is making sure that the small business owners who serve our communities are able to thrive. She has passed legislation that requires the city to provide additional resources to small business owners and to keep track of storefront vacancies. Additionally, she has partnered with community organizations to create a special low interest loan program to help revitalize struggling businesses.
Understanding that safe and effective transportation is crucial to the lives of so many New Yorkers, Carlina has also introduced and passed legislation supporting public transportation, cyclists, and pedestrians, making the city safer for all. Carlina passed Intro 1163, which requires construction sites that block bike lanes provide adequate alternative lanes for cyclists. Protecting bike lanes is one of the many ways Carlina strives to make New York a greener city.
As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals Carlina has fought tirelessly for access to better healthcare for all New Yorkers. She has prioritized reproductive justice by creating the nation’s first Abortion Access Fund, ensuring anyone who comes to New York can receive abortion care regardless of ability to pay. Carlina has also fought to ensure that no New Yorker feels alone in the overwhelming and bureaucratic health care system by introducing legislation that proposes the creation of an Office of the Patient Advocate.
In addition to tackling these major issues that impact all New Yorkers, Carlina has worked to address many of the common complaints New Yorkers face, including the noise that keeps so many of us up at night. In 2019 Carlina introduced legislation that will require the Department of Buildings to cap the amount of After Hours Variance permits it issues to construction projects. Since taking office, Carlina has received calls every day from residents who have been woken up by construction, making it difficult to enjoy their homes.
Carlina was inspired to run for office when the Lower East Side was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and she organized volunteers to provide food, water, and emergency services to communities abandoned by the federal government. She has since secured millions of dollars for her district to improve services, programs, schools, and cultural institutions.
Carlina lives with her husband, pug, and turtle. She graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Journalism after attending local schools her entire life.
Liethis Hechavarria: Principal Dancer, instructor and choreographer. Originally from Santiago De Cuba, Ms. Hechavarria received her early training as a dancer from her parents, dancers Danys “La Mora” Perez Prades and Sergio Hechavarria Gallardo. Later and Chuck Davis at Alvin Ailey American dance center. At a age 6, she was a member of Adiro Omode (Corazon de Niño) in Santiago de Cuba. She also attended Escuela Nacional de Danza Moderna de Santiago de Cuba. Ms. Hechavarria didn’t miss a step when she arrived in New York as a teenager. She took Afro-Cuban diasporic classes at Djoniba Dance and Drum Center, Ailey School and Balmir Dance Company Center. Ms. Hechavarria is a founding company member and principal dancer of Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble in New York City. She has performed at Jacob’s Pillow dance festival, BAM’s DanceAfrica, Latino Cultural Festival, La Tea Theatre, Heritage Sunday at Lincoln Center Outdoors, La Mama Annex stage, WOFABE African Dance and Music Festival, Los Angeles Center outdoor Dance Festival, and Minnesota’s International dance festival. Ms. Hechavarria’s teaching venues include: Alvin Ailey, New York University Faculty of Art and Science Music Department, Cumbe, Mark Morris Dance center, Present Peridance and more.
Régine Bellinger is an International Dancer, Choreographer, Actress and Curator. Born and raised in New York City is where she technically trained in Traditional West African, Jazz, Ballet and Modern. She later advanced and took a love for other world dances such as: Samba, Afrobeats and more. Bellinger saw herself being typed casted more compared to her colleagues and was encouraged to create an outlet for herself and many others alike struggling in the Industry. In 2015, she founded Conkrete Jungle Productions Incorporated and has since then kept the tradition of an annual Choreographers Showcase, showcasing emerging artists within the Tri-state area. Régine has also found hidden talent within Film. She is a Host of Hot Topics Live with Regine and currently features in Television programs and commercials. Régine has lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she not only trained Passista Style Samba and paraded in Carnival 2019, but she became a dance member of two notable samba schools in Brazil: Unidos de Padre Miguel and G.R.E.S Acadêmicos do Salgueiro where she annually participates in the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval. Bellinger is consistently striving to make more opportunities for herself— creating a legacy.
Conkrete Jungle Productions Incorporated was founded in 2015 by dancer, Régine Bellinger. Bellinger felt that New York City needed a platform for emerging choreographers to showcase work or works in progress. In an industry that is extremely cut throat and type-castes regularly, she felt this space was needed. Since 2015 she has successfully provided a platform called “Conkrete Jungle Choreographer Showcase” for emerging artists at The Dixon Place theater in the Lower Eastside with sold-out audiences.