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Arts and Music at BCNY: Professional Development hosted by Dr. Tao Leigh Goffe

February 23rd, 2024 

Gerry Clubhouse staff and Professional Advisory Council member, Dr. Tao Leigh Goffe, participated in a collaborative Call-and-Response learning session, developing new ideas and strategies for the arts and music at BCNY. Tao, an award-winning Black British writer, theorist, interdisciplinary artist (a PhDJ), and professor at Hunter College, shared resources with staff that support collaborative program development with members’ voices, interests, and choices at the heart of the arts and music at BCNY. 

Founder and Executive Director of Dark Laboratory, Tao discussed how we can integrate art and music back into boys and young men’s lives when challenges of access and economic disparities make pursuing them only seem worthwhile for money and external recognition. The arts are more than an elective, an extra thing on top of a busy schedule, they are something that can be fostered into a passion they live and breathe, something they can confidently say yes to. As after-school youth workers, we are well positioned to support boys and young men’s interest in the arts; an example of member-created and driven programming being last year’s Arts Showcase: “The Revival” held at Gerry Clubhouse. Members showcased the importance of fostering boys and young men’s passions in the arts with an impressive display of drawings, painting, origami, and live music performances.  

Tao reiterated that same point. One of the unique resources shown by Tao was a collaborative sonic map she created with her past students at Cornell University. It provided an interactive journey through the histories, sights, and sounds of New York, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Cuba- demonstrating how art and music can be used for boys and men to share and develop the skills they already possess to create something powerful. 

At BCNY we can cultivate the pursuit of art and music to build on both art and non-art skills and interests of boys and young men. Members can become engineer-artists, athlete-artists, or scholar-artists. The arts can be another avenue, another tool that boys and young men can use throughout their journey to realize their boundless potential.  

We want to thank Dr. Tao for taking the time with Gerry Clubhouse staff to collaboratively strengthen the arts and music at BCNY.  

See photos from the session here.