Creative Equations

In this time of COVID-19, when structural inequities are more clear than ever before, this series amplifies the many ways arts are innovating in communities and society. Through excerpted performances and screenings, arts leaders demonstrate how Brooklyn is championing creative…

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In this time of COVID-19, when structural inequities are more clear than ever before, this series amplifies the many ways arts are innovating in communities and society. Through excerpted performances and screenings, arts leaders demonstrate how Brooklyn is championing creative power for change. Naima Oyo, Executive Director of the award winning Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, shares the organization’s history of community development and vision for making every child count in a Census year. 2020 Grantee writer Willy Appelman uses comedic performance to explore one of Brooklyn’s most iconic collective-economics experiments, the Brooklyn Co-op. Anika Selhorst invites us into PowerHouse Arts’ lab as they explore models for inserting arts skills into strategies for workforce development in Brooklyn.
Anika Selhorst (she/her)
Senior Director of Education, Employment & Public Engagement at Powerhouse Arts
Bringing two decades of experience as an arts educator to her role of Director of Education, Employment and Public Engagement, Anika develops Powerhouse Arts’ programming and innovative partnerships, helping to facilitate arts learning experiences for diverse audiences. Before joining the team, Anika worked as the Director of the Art Center at 92Y and as the Director of In-School Programs for City Lore. She studied anthropology and visual arts at Brown, and received her Ed.M from Harvard.
Naima Oyo is the newly hired Executive Director of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy (“Ifetayo”). Inspired by the question posed by Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation “What are you willing to do with your privilege and what are you willing to give up?” Ms. Oyo made the decision to join the ranks of her deeply respected non-profit colleagues who work tiressly to make our world a more just and better place for all.
As a proud Brooklyn native, Naima brings an exceptional combination of corporate, foundation and community organizing skills developed through an African-centered life and work experience to Ifetayo. Ifetayo is a movement! It is a place where the values, strength, and creativity of the African Diaspora empower, embolden, and elevate youth and families. As a forward thinking and strategic Brooklyn-based institution, Ifetayo inspires current and future generations to develop a strong African-centered cultural identity so that the extended Ifetayo community understands their power and responsibility to transform social inequity- from Brooklyn to Zimbabwe!
Willy Appelman is an actor, comedian and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He currently writes/produces comedy videos for Fast Company. He was featured on NBC’s Bring The Funny in 2019 performing original characters. He has appeared in videos for Comedy Central, Sesame Street, Budweiser, TruTV and Google and has performed live at The Sundance Film Festival and Bonnaroo. In 2018, he appeared in “Our Town” at The Weston Playhouse alongside Christopher Lloyd, and in 2017 he was called “wonderfully comic” by the New York Times for his performance in Dave Malloy’s Off-Broadway musical “Beardo”. His writing, acting and directing have been featured on The Today Show, The Huffington Post, MLB.com, Elite Daily, Cosmopolitan and NPR’s “All Things Considered”. He is a member of The Story Pirates, Pipeline Theatre Company, Ten Bones Theatre Company and has performed at UCBT NY.
David Bernstein is a writer based in New York City. He has written for Upright Citizens Brigade Theater’s Maude Night (FAMBLY, Alamo, The Prom, Dangerous Woman), and written and performed in “California, USA!” A sketch show that the New York Times once called “a sketch show.” His work has appeared in/on Fast Company, Origin Films, Upright Citizens Bridge Theater, The PIT, McSweeney’s, Above Average, and The A.V. Club.

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