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Our Workshops

The Creative Arts at Fortune isn’t just a program.

WE ARE A COMMUNITY

We offer workshops in MusicCreative WritingActing, and Visual Art 5 days a week, year-round. Plus, opportunities for community members to  perform and amplify their work, and to attend Broadway shows, open mics, exhibitions, film screenings, performances and artist talkbacks. 

Our programming and creative expression offerings are also greatly enhanced through our network of incredible Community Partnerships.

In a weekly songwriting and recording workshop, participants craft and record songs in-person at the on-site music studio at our Long Island City service center. The original compositions are shared with the public through various platforms including YouTube and Soundcloud, and during special events throughout the year. The fruits of the community’s artistry include the release of the first EP in the organization’s 54-year history. Entitled, Success Stories Vol. 1, the songs and spoken word pieces were entirely created, recorded and produced by program participants. Each track is steeped in positivity and a socially conscience outlook - with topics ranging from police brutality to the benefits of talking to a therapist.

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The feelings of acceptance, affirmation and joy are central to our creative expression writing workshop that meets twice a week. During each virtual session, which is rooted in the anti-racist model, participants nurture self and community as they hone the craft and power of telling their own stories through poetry, short story, open letters, playwriting and more. Opportunities are offered year-round to publish, perform and collaborate with other artists and organizations.

 

Through our weekly virtual Drawing sessions, community members refine their talents and explore personal identities. The sessions are led by resident teaching artist, Guy Woodard, with no previous experience necessary. Artists also have the opportunity share their creations throughout the year at public events and through exhibitions on display at our Long Island City and Harlem locations.

 

The Acting workshop is an opportunity for community members to build/sharpen performance fundamentals while discovering and understanding more about themselves and others and to develop empathy. Through scene study work, lively discussions, improvisational and other theater exercises, participants build community while strengthening their acting technique and speech skills. All classes are held virtually. Performances/public sharings occur throughout the year.

 
 

We deeply value our network of diverse Arts partners and are grateful for their expertise, spirit and commitment to healthier communities through the Arts. Collaborators include:

 

  • The Public Theater – Public Works

  • Studio Museum in Harlem

  • Museum of Modern Art

  • MoMA PS1

  • The Drawing Center

  • MasterClass

  • Music on the Inside

  • St. Ann’s Warehouse

  • Socrates Sculpture Park

  • Theater of the Oppressed

  • OPEN DOORS

  • Zing! Music Group

  • Re/Creation

  • The Kite

  • The Petey Greene Program

  • Project Attica

  • Jenny Polak

  • Shaun Leonardo

Please reach out to Jamie Maleszka at jmaleszka@fortunesociety.org with any questions or suggestions.

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Other Programs

Every Thursday from noon to 1 pm EST, the Fortune community gathers for a lunchtime performance to showcase their talents through song, poetry and more. Now held virtually, the Music Cafe is open to the public. Please contact John Runowicz for more information at jrunowicz@fortunesociety.org

Voices of Fortune

Voices of Fortune is our annual print publication of art and writing for freedom. Shared nationwide, it amplifies the creative vision of the Fortune community, including participants, people currently incarcerated, staff members, and arts partners. View the 2020 edition here. Please reach out to Jamie Maleszka  at jmaleszka@fortunesociety.org with any questions.

ARTrition

A collaboration with our Alternatives to Incarceration Program, ARTrition is an art-focused community benefit project entirely conceived by participants. It is a free, hands-on workshop that is equal parts Art enrichment and nutrition education. A take on “sip and paint” events, Fortune community members co-facilitate drawing lessons with resident teaching artist Guy Woodard while providing nutritious smoothies and tips on healthy eating habits.

 

To date, ARTrition workshops have been shared at nursing and rehabilitative settings and in-patient treatment facilities across the five boroughs. We look forward to resuming ARTrition in-person when it is safe to do so.

Please contact John Runowicz at jrunowicz@fortunesociety.org for more information.

The Castle Play

As our original Fortune production, The Castle play features the lives of four individuals directly impacted by incarceration who once lived at our housing facility, “The Castle,” and are now leading fulfilling lives in the community. We are always eager to share the play with new audiences, including churches, universities, community centers, correctional facilities, and other nonprofits.

For more information or to schedule a virtual performance, please reach out to John Runowicz at jrunowicz@fortunesociety.org.