Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning creates free online arts programs for southeast Queens communities

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Photo courtesy of JCAL

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) has shifted its classes, workshops and performances to JCAL Online in an effort to continue providing high-quality, accessible arts programming to southeast Queens communities.

The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, located at 161-04 Jamaica Ave., provides programs for children, teens, and adults that include a multicultural series of music, theater, and dance performances, film screenings and lectures, contemporary visual arts exhibitions and much more.

“JCAL is so proud to be able to continue to serve our community in a difficult time like this in our capacity. Since the lock down, JCAL swiftly moved our culture offerings on line to provide our students some normalcy and to support our parents at home, said Cathy Hung, director of JCAL. “We deeply believe that culture is part of our daily life and access to the arts and culture is a right not a privilege.”

This month, JCAL is highlighting the following free programs covering a wide variety of artistic disciplines and educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Daily Live-Streamed Pop-Up Classes (#jcalPOPUPclasses)

Led by top professional teaching artists, JCAL’s daily live-streamed free classes over YouTube feature programs on dance, songwriting, music, drama, art, and more. While the programs are geared toward school-age audiences, they are produced with every age group in mind. Stay active and creative from home every Monday to Saturday, 4p.m. on JCAL’s Youtube

Thursday Night Jazz 

A JCAL staple now offered exclusively online, audiences can support musicians as they share their music on an intimate scale. The next Thursday Night Jazz performer will be acclaimed singer, Thana Alexa, on Thursday, June 11, 8 p.m., free on JCAL’s YouTube. Read more about JCAL’s Thursday Night Jazz series here

Friday Nights @ JAC

This series, sponsored by City Councilman Daneek Miller, is dedicated to emerging artists performing for new audiences. Previously, artists submitted work-in-progress proposals for consideration. 

Now the series has shifted exclusively online as rising performers transform their homes into personal venues. Spoken-word artist J La Soul most recently performed on Friday May 15; more performances are coming soon. Read more about Friday Nights @ JAC here

JCAL American Stories (#JCALAmericanStories)

An online gallery located exclusively as part of JCAL’s website, JCAL American Stories captures snapshots of life and creativity from across the U.S. as well as in Queens. Everyonenot just artistsare invited to share and participate in this special community-curated project. Read more about JCAL American Stories here