Black Lives Matter

BCCP hit the streets at Millions March NYC and locally at the Flatbush Junction on Saturday to protest the recent grand jury decisions not to indict over the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Staff and students also protested blue on black crime in general. Students from BCAL and New Utrecht Programs participated. Jazmin Chavez from Latino Justice project came down to give a talk on Know Your Rights. Many students had never been to a protest before.


BCAL Saturday Starts October 4th, 2014!

erasmusportBCCP Saturdays are back in 2014-15 with a new line up of events and activities!

The fun begins on Saturday, October 4th.
• SAT prep (limited enrollment) with NY Cares
• Basketball – Section I with Coach O
• Beatmaking and Music with Entrfied the God of Sound
• Dance with Van
• Tutoring with Brooklyn College students
• Making with the Artist of the Month (Toy Design Starts on October 11 with Talya)
• Steel Pan with Kendall
• Technology Club with Makeela
• Basketball – Section 2 with Coach O


Special event GAME JAM on October 18th with Iridescent, Mouse, Global Kids and Exposure Camp. Plus arts festivals, open mics, trips and more. All this includes a free lunch and metro cards for BCCP network students.


Check the Saturday dates:
10/4, 11, 18, 25
11/1, 8, 15, 22
12/6, 13
1/10, 17, 24
2/7, 14, 28
3/7, 14, 21, 28
4/4, 25
5/2, 9, 16.

Pick up an enrollment form at a BCCP after school site near you or just come to Brooklyn College Art Lab or  BCAL at 301 Roosevelt Hall to enroll. This program is open to ALL High School students in NYC . Enrollment will be capped at 100!




DAY NINE: Assess, Facilitate, Celebrate!

IMG_6628The final day was packed with “studio critiques” of our redesigns of the BCAL maker space. We have big visions that include: a collaborative dance/fashion studio, a woodworking area, a hydroponic garden, a bamboo lounge, a removable stage, a sewing room, a mac/pc lab, a film screening area, a general working area, a recording studio, a kitchen space, a gym, lots of new doors, walls, windows, ways of flowing in and through the space; and honestly, too many more big ideas to write out on a silly blog post.



At 2 pm, we opened our doors to the public and gave personal tours of our prototypes from start to finish – the creation of our boxes to our final redesigns of the BCAL maker space. We included every little note and thought we had in between influenced by David from the New York Hall of Science, Quardean from Made in Brownsville, Meredith from MOUSE, Sharon from CEEDS, Steve, Diane, all of our site directors, teaching artists, and most of all, our awesome group of devoted youth.


We closed the day sharing what we each would take away from this experience. Shawnita loved collaborating with everyone, Lawrencia loved creating the fashion studio, Levon loved working with tools, Judy loved working closely with staff and students, and Tyquell loved so many things, he couldn’t choose.


Then, we all awkwardly laughed at each other, high-fived, and decided that moving forward we would start a BCAL maker space committee that would meet regularly to talk about the next steps in making this maker space happen!







Now that it is the final day of the maker space co-design, we can reveal our secret weapon. We will be using it (her) throughout the whole year and hopefully for several more years thereafter.

Hailing from NYU’s ITP graduate program, Wyna Liu, joined our team about a month ago and we could not be more thrilled to have her robust energy and mid-day yoga teaching self on board. Wyna is an artist and fabricator and is incredibly excited to be a part of this blossoming space where the paths of it’s future are being programmed to morph with it’s users and creators. (I’m talking about our maker space just in case you got lost in the flowery language. I couldn’t help it.)

Meet her below, but only for 18 seconds. You’ll have to come to the BCAL maker space if you want full access to her tips, tricks, and great thinking mind.


Raven states, “I love the pandiness of the panda room”, as we walked through our current set-up at BCAL to discuss how we should redesign the space to best fit our maker needs.


And then after a brief discussion about what we love (the openness*), what we hate (how we switched to Macs*), what we want to keep (recording studio + computer room*), and what we want to change (reorganize the puppets*), we delved into serious model making of how we really would want to redesign the space together.

If I could use two words to describe this effort — HOLY SCHHHAMOLLLYYYYYY.


So our duty today was to create an even smaller model than we did yesterday so that we could adequately represent the whole space. Souleymane noted that the drawback from what we did yesterday was that “we were looking so intently at one specific room that we may have lost sight of the larger whole”.

We worked in our groups again but were asked to redesign the space taking into account the structures that already exist in the space and how we can balance our dreams with the limitations of our resources. Speaking for her group, Iqra said, “We want to change the panda room into a rainforest-like room with a bamboo structure that creates some shade to block the bright overhead light from shining in. It will be a transformative space that makes you feel like you are somewhere else.”


We have really smart brains in this co-design. So come check out what we have done during our Open House tomorrow at 2 pm at BCAL. Whoop whoop!

*All subjective examples of some people’s desires.




Building Go-Karts

Remember when you were a child and you had nothing to do during the long hot summers when school was out and your parents were working? And how during that time of your life you were forced to get creative with your surroundings in order to create something to do?

Your resources at that time included your neighborhood, your friends, and any scrap of nature, potential trash, or borrowed goods from your house that you could get your hands on. And as you started playing with those resources, it usually resulted in creating. It was as if your imagination was granted an instant kick-start just by having a bunch of stuff placed before you in a specific space surrounded by a community of people.

Gosh, the good ol’ days.

Luckily, the maker movement is reinvigorating those long summer hours of pure creativity where we were free to rustle around in the bushes with like-minds, stray sticks, and maybe some of our mother’s favorite blankets and pots.

Dane, one of our site directors, recounts his experience as a bored youngster in Trinidad.



Were you beginning to think that we may start getting bored of being in the same space with the same people day in and day out for the past 7 days?

Think again! We love this stuff.

Yesterday, we got personal. Using Sharon’s knowledge of architectural modeling and studio shares, we broke into mini studio groups to redesign our space at BCAL. Each of us got to design a model of a room that we would want to see in the space. Lawrencia designed a fashion studio and recapped, “Today was my favorite day of the whole co-design because we finally got to create something that we wanted. We got to put our ideas into our models to make it ours.”

After we each made our rooms that we desired, we came back together with our group to decide how these rooms would best flow together. Judy remarked, “It was really interesting discussing in our group how we would arrange the space. It’s not something we are ever asked to think about.”

The day concluded with “studio visits” where each of the four groups explained what spaces for making they co-designed as well as why the floor plan they chose made sense.

Gosh, we gained so much enthusiasm yesterday after realizing that this whole project is about making our dreams for our maker space a reality where all of our ideas are heard!



Bird’s eye view of Shout Put

The title of this post reflects nothing more than a glorious game we played today to practice speaking very loud – a skill we all should acquire if we want to be creators and makers in our maker space.

IMG_6262 Beyond that we spent the whole day brainstorming and co-creating lesson plans that we then had to teach to the entire group. After teaching our lessons, we gave one another constructive feedback stating what went well and what didn’t. IMG_6325

We taught each other useful things like “how to build a grandpa (or grandma) clock”, “how to use hand tools”, “how to make a video”, and “how to map your future”.


I ain’t kidding, we are a smart bunch of youth. Now check out this interview between Raven, and teaching artist, Aaron.