The mission of Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet is to use the expression of dance integrating multiple art forms to uplift all communities through performances, education, and cultural programming. The soul of our work is rooted in social justice, and spiritually connecting one another through the arts.
For the past twenty-six years, Artistic Executive Director Jamel Gaines has been a force for good in the Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhoods of Brooklyn. His non-profit has relentlessly served a beautifully diverse pool of constituents including children, teens, professional artists, adults and seniors. Creative Outlet is a multi-tiered arts organization that includes five main branches of programing. These programs are:
· Creative Outlet: the critically acclaimed dance theater company that celebrates arts and culture through showcasing racially diverse, highly professionally trained dancers that present Jamel Gaines’ choreography comprised of classical and modern techniques with African-American soul and spirit. The company annually pays tribute to Black History Month, Earth Day, Juneteenth, and Martin Luther King Day. For the last twenty-six years, the company has been a staple in Downtown Brooklyn and has also traveled extensively nationally and internationally achieving high honors such as winning the Palm Spring Dance Festival and highlighted in the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. The company has been presented in New York, Miami, Washington, Cuba, Spain, Oklahoma, and California. Creative Outlet presents works that bring social and cultural awareness of ethnically diverse dance to the American theater. These works celebrate the accomplishments of minority communities as well as highlight modern struggles and disparities of marginalized peoples. In addition to performing and touring, the company offers dance workshops, choreographic artist mentoring, master classes, and fitness & movement classes for the community.
· Young Artist Program: is a full scholarship to diverse youths ages twelve to eighteen. This program offers %100 sponsored dance training in ballet, modern dance, African dance, jazz, tap, hip-hop, theater and vocal training. The teachers of the Young Artist program act as mentors with a personal investment in the student’s technical abilities, artistry and professionalism that can extend itself to a career in dance or in any other professional avenue. This prestigious program builds peer collaboration, discipline, and self-esteem. The Young Artist program has reached over two thousand young adults who have gone on to professional careers in dance companies, on Broadway, in television, film and arts administration. Top students in the Young Artist program have the opportunity to not only have performance opportunities with their fellow students, but if selected, they also have the opportunity to apprentice with Creative Outlet, the professional dance company.
· Cultural Arts Program, The Creative Outlet School: is dedicated to the physical, mental and ethical development of children, teens, adults and seniors through cultural and creative enrichment. With the application of competent assessments, the students have the opportunity to enroll in a variety of technique classes including ballet, modern dance, African dance, Hip-Hop, Jazz and tap. Other cultural classes offered are drumming, theater, and vocal technique. The school provides high-quality professional technique classes, ensuring that students of diverse backgrounds have access to this top level of training. The school on average sees up to three hundred students enrolled annually. Eighty percent of our students are BIPOC and %50 of our students come from under-served communities.
· Arts In Education: brings Creative Outlet teaching artists into the New York City school system -universal pre-k to high school seniors. Although we serve all five boroughs, all races, ages, and backgrounds, we target underserved communities that may not have ample exposure to high-level arts in education programming. Our teachers offer a rich array of cultural learning experiences in dance, music, art, and theater with a focus in cultural arts including but not limited to drumming, mask making, African dance, and Horton dance technique. Other arts classes include film-making, photography, script-writing, and production. Our curriculum is designed to align with the goals of the New York State Standards and Blueprints, providing the skills needed to move children forward with confidence. In a normal operating school year schedule, Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet services approximately thirty to forty schools per year.
· Summer Programming: is broken into three different programs. The first is our JCGO Summer Arts Camp for ages five to fourteen. This is a six-week culture arts program where children and teens study dance, theater, voice, music and art. In addition to daily classes, our students visit museums, performances, and parks. The second program is the JGCO Summer Intensive. This intensive is a two-week professional dance program with classes and workshops in modern dance, African dance, ballet, floor-barre, jazz, hip-hop and yoga. The preprofessional dancers and advanced students learn Creative Outlet repertoire and are closely mentored by the teaching staff and guest artists. There is a strong emphasis on professional artistic development including lessons on how to behave in a professional setting, rehearsal and class etiquette, audition preparation, and performance techniques. The third component of summer programming is our partnership with New York Summer Youth Employment. Each summer, we hire on average sixty New York City youth ages fourteen to twenty-four to train, perform and intern for six weeks with our non-profit organization.
The mission of Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet is to use the expression of dance integrating multiple art forms to uplift all communities through performances, education, and cultural programming. The soul of our work is…