google-site-verification: googlec42731f708ac8dbd.html


for Immigrant and Indigenous Artists in Southeast Queens

We Want to

Hear From You!

Building Equity for Immigrant, Indigenous and Native American Artists is a pilot program from the Jamaica Center of Arts & Learning. Supported by a grant from New York Community Trust, it is dedicated to researching, engaging and promoting underrepresented artists in our community, and to providing greater access for audiences to see and to experience their work.

Please help us collect better data about our community by participating in our Building Equity survey. Your input is a testament to human uniqueness and will help JCAL create programming where we can collectively celebrate individuality.

The Tale of Anyabwile (The Unchained): Immigrant stories through Dance and Song

Dec 17th, 2020 - 7:00 PM

@JCAL YouTube Channel

The Tale of Anyabwile "The Unchained" is a work in dedication to the struggles of the African, Caribbean & Hispanic generations to highlight the obstacles they have overcome through immigration. This program highlights the contributions made by immigrant people of color and also showcases the extraordinary journeys they have endured. On December 17th, The Kingdom Tribe will show our finished dances, poetry, live singing & art that bring the struggle of Immigration to light! This is the finale of an 8 week, free intensive by teenagers of the NYC area, as well as an Adult dance intensive. Tune in Live to talk with some of the artists and the project’s Director Paige "Queen TuT" Stewart and Spoken Word Artist Cito Blanko.

The Syncretism of Borícua Cultural Tradition thru its Distinguished Custodians. A film by Don Angel L. Reyes Romero

Dec 18th, 2020 - 7:00 PM

@JCAL YouTube Channel

Summary: An investigative documentary of the fundamentals of the nuances of Boricua Bomba music and dance thru archival footage and in-person interviews with elders and culture bearers. This program will include a Q & A with Bomba masters, historical investigators and cultural leaders. Panelists includes: Don Angel Reyes, Don Felix Romero, and Kasike Roberto Múkaro Borrero.

Live Bomba Dance Workshop with Don Angel L. Reyes Romero

Dec 18th, 2020 - 8:00 PM

@JCAL Zoom

Join us for a Live Boricua Bomba Dance workshop with Don Angel L. Reyes Romero. Participants will have the rare opportunity to learn this form of dance from a cultural icon with live drumming, explanations, and interactive feedback.

Beading Workshop with Vera Solovyeva: Indigenous beading techniques from Siberia

Dec 19th - 3:00 PM

@JCAL Youtube Channel

In this workshop, participants will learn how to make a beaded sun-shaped necklace with Vera Solovyeva (Sakha, Russia) who will also make her own. According to the indigenous Sakha tradition, this type of necklace also doubles as a “protective-type of amulet” because of its sun imagery. The sun is very important to the Sakha. During this program, Vera will also discuss and show some of the related rituals which were performed during a summer solstice event that took place in California in 2014. She will also explain Sakha traditional patterns and their sacred meanings.

Litty Committee Presents: Poetry & Dialogue

Dec 19th - 5:00 PM

@JCAL YouTube Channel

Local Poets of Color will share poetry and stories including a Q & A session!

Puerto Rico Report Back and Poetry, Part II

Dec 19th - 7:00 PM

@JCAL YouTube Channel

Puerto Rico has suffered through extreme hurricanes, recent earthquakes, political unrest, and now the COVID 19 pandemic, but the people remain resilient. This program is part two of the update on the current situation in Puerto Rico, including a Q & A. The update will be presented by Ben Ramos and followed by poetry readings from Angel Martinez, Nancy Mercado, and Rafael Landron. This program is co-hosted by Prolibertad.

1,000 years a Witness

Dec 20th - 1:00 PM

@JCAL YouTube Channel

"1,000 Years a Witness" is a documentary on Shinnecock elders talking about their childhood days. Screening of episode one of 1000 Years a Witness: When the oldest and original people in America start talking about what they’ve learned over 1,000 years, it’s time for us to listen. Our very future depends on it. 1,000 Years a Witness is a Bulldog Studios production and the first in a series of documentary shorts capturing indigenous elder stories both in the U.S. and abroad. Directed and produced by Hamptons local Bryan Downey, produced by Ojibwe citizen Ginew Benton and Shinnecock Indian Nation citizen and Seventh Generation Stories productions' Alli Joseph in collaboration. Following the screening will be a “talk back” with Director Bryan Downey and Producer Ginew Benton. The session will be moderated by Tecumseh Ceaser, of the Matinecock Tribe of Queens and Long Island Turkey Clan, Wampanoag , Montaukett, and Blackfoot.

We Are Still Here: Caribbean Indigenous Peoples

Dec 20th, 2020 - 3:00 PM

@JCAL YouTube Channel

The United Confederation of Taíno People and the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization co-host a special program featuring Caribbean Indigenous Peoples, including cultural presentations by the Kasibahagua Taíno Cultural Society and a panel discussion on contemporary Indigenous Peoples from Borikén (Puerto RIco), Dominica, Barbados and Guyana featuring Tai Pelli, Damon Corrie and Irvince Auguiste. The program will be moderated by Kasike Roberto Múkaro Borrero and include a Q&A. 

Watch Here:

Kwanzaa 2020 - Global Edition

Dec 20th, 2020 - 6:00 PM

@JCAL YouTube Channel

Kwanzaa is a celebration held across the United States and in other nations of the African Diaspora. It is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga, called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba, consisting of what he called "the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world." Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). This year, things are going to be a little different, but the amazing quality of dance performances and good storytelling will still be the same! Following the celebration, tune in to “Meet the Choreographers” via Zoom.

Public Programs

About Building Equity Project

Building Equity for Immigrant and Indigenous Artists (Building Equity) is a pilot program supported by a two-year grant from New York Community Trust. It is dedicated to researching, engaging and promoting underrepresented artists in our community in a culturally sensitive and authentic manner, and to providing greater access for audiences to see and to experience their work. The Building Equity initiative will provide 10,000 hours of free studio/rehearsal space to artists new to JCAL, as well as 20 public programs, two culminating festivals, and digital access for all.

Crucial to the goals and values of Building Equity is an Advisory Council of African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American artists from Southeast Queens that meets regularly to identify and to reach out to artist peers; to propose and to conduct surveys and research; and to design and execute inclusive and diverse programming as part of JCAL’s ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA). 

The inaugural cohort of the Advisory Council (known as the “Core Council”) was formed in Fall 2019, consisting of thought leaders, community advocates, and fellow artists and administrators from the field. Working in collaboration with JCAL staff, the Core Council aims to strengthen JCAL’s community engagement by prioritizing a non-Western-based cultural canon that also encompasses marketing, fundraising, and local businesses and residents.

Core Council

The founding members of the Advisory Council are:

Roberto Múkaro Borrero

(Guainía Taíno), an Indigenous Taíno leader and a locally, nationally, and internationally respected human rights, cultural arts, and environmental advocate with over 20 years of public programming experience.

Trace DePass (Afro-Caribbean/Native American), a Queens-born author, spoken-word musician and poet.

Rafael Landrón (Taíno/Puerto Rican), a Queens resident and immigrant artist.

Vera Solovyeva (Sakha, Russia), an Indigenous traditional land keeper, scientist and local artisan.

In Memoriam:

Kevin Tarrant/Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective (Hopi/Ho-Chunk), a Native American traditional artist, community leader, and cultural advocate.

Tecumseh Ceaser (Matinecock/Wampanoag/Blackfoot), a Queens-based artist and tribe representative.

Romanee Kalicharran (Indo-Guyanese/Puerto Rican), a cultural leader and resident of Jamaica, Queens.

Kevin McEwan (West African American), a Queens-born choreographer and drummer, educator and community advocate.

Paige "Queen TuT" Stewart hails from Queens, New York; Working as a dance teacher at various public schools, dance schools, and arts centers as well as all over the Tri-state area instructing youth, autistic children, and also mentally disabled adults in movement & dance. She is the CEO of The Kingdom Dance company an artist collective that serves teens and adults in Dance, Spoken Word, and Acting opportunities and training. She is also a spoken word artist that has worked off-Broadway and professionally danced for BET, MTV MSG network, and many more amazing artists. 

The Building Equity Project is supported by the New York Community Trust. 

(718) 658-7400


161-04 Jamaica Ave,
Jamaica, NY 11432, USA


  • jcal you tube


©2018 by Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL)