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CARIBBEAT: Pros teach Caribbean costume wire-bending skills and steelpan at free West Indian American Day Carnival Association workshops

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 2/10/2019 By Jared Mccallister, New York Daily News

Feb. 10--Wire bending -- a framing technique at the foundation of Caribbean carnival costume creation -- is being examined, discussed and taught in beginning, intermediate and advanced classes, organized by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.

The carnival association is also touting a steelpan workshop, highlighting the versatile, Caribbean-born instrument.

All the events are free and part of an enhanced community outreach effort by the carnival association, which presents the annual colorful New York Caribbean Carnival along Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway in partnership with veteran masquerade bands and steelband orchestras.

The basic and intermediate master wire bending workshop classes run from May 4 to June 29 (except May 26). Basic sessions run from 10 a.m to noon. Intermediate classes will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Successful completion of the basic master bending classes are required as a prerequisite for intermediate training.

The basic and intermediate classes will held at D'Midas International Mas Camp, 1619 Nostrand Ave. in Brooklyn.

The advanced master wire bending workshop -- hosted by the Antoine International Mas Camp, 245 E. 34th St. in Brooklyn -- will be held Saturdays, from March 2 to April 27. Registration is required by Feb. 28, and the intermediate bending workshop is a required prerequisite.

The basic steeband workshop will be held from April 6 through June 28. Sessions for youngsters aged 6 to 12 will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And classes for those ages 13 through 18 will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Participants must register by March 22.

To register and complete applications, contact the West Indian American Day Carnival Association at (718) 467-1797 or send email to Visit for information on the organization.

Cicely's 'Optimism'

Time magazine's second annual issue on positivity on the planet, "The Art of Optimism: 34 People Changing How We See Our World," features award-winning actress Cicely Tyson.

The 94-year-old Caribbean-rooted, New York-born entertainer is also featured in the special Time issue, guest-edited by filmmaker Ava DuVernay.

In the issue, available on newsstands now, Tyson -- the daughter of Nevis immigrants -- discusses her personal optimism and why she plans on never retiring.

Over her impressive career, the actress has won three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award and an honorary Academy Award, among others.

Benefit for UWI students

The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies' 2019 Legacy Awards Gala is coming to New York on Feb. 27, and the black-tie benefit is all about the students.

The big fund-raiser -- including a reception, dinner, an awards program, a performance by reggae artist Christopher Martin and an after-party -- will be held at The Pierre hotel, 2 E. 61st St., between Madison and Fifth Aves., starting at 6 p.m.

The major benefit funds scholarships for the university's students.

Honorees for the 2019 event include Bahamas Prime Minister Hubery Alexander Minnis, Turks and Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, St. Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris and British Virgin Islands Premier Orlando Smith.

The university system celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. The foundation was founded in 1956 to develop an endowment fund in the U.S. According to the foundation, the university community consists of member countries and territories -- Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks and Caicos.

For information, visit or call (212)759-9345.

'Comix' at BAM

Comic books take center stage in Brooklyn on Sunday at the second Black Comix Expo at BAM -- featuring the work of illustrators and writers of color.

The daylong event is free and will be held at multiple BAM locations in Fort Greene -- including the Peter Jay Sharp Building, the LePercq Space and BAM Rose Cinemas.

Presented by the Black Comics Collective, the free daylong event includes exhibitors; the "Afrofuturista: Representations of Black Women in Sci-Fi" panel discussion; the "How Comics Are Created" children's art workshop; a "superhero cosplay showcase," and "VR Experience: NeuroSpeculative Afro-Feminism," a "black hair salon" virtual reality exhibit.

The expo begins at 10 a.m. For a full schedule of events and information, visit

Free college in USVI

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, education is now being celebrated with action -- starting with the 2019-20 academic year, USVI high school graduates can get financial aid for tuition at the University of the Virgin Islands.

The initiative -- Virgin Islands Higher Education Scholarship Program -- is available to residents of the USVI who have graduated from a private, public or parochial high school without regard to age, date of graduation or household income.

"With the passage and signing of Act 8155, the Virgin Islands becomes the first territory and the University of the Virgin Islands now becomes the first historically black college and university that provides comprehensive free tuition to students within its state or jurisdiction," said University of the Virgin Islands President David Hall. "This is one of the few programs in the nation that provides free tuition for baccalaureate degrees."


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