Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The E.T.C. Spring 2009 Expo
By Ryan Ngala
Published May 19, 2009

HARLEM, NEW YORK – The students from the Employment and Technology Center (E.T.C.) of the Harlem Children’s Zone went to finish up their projects in art, music, and theater, which all required intense memorization and team work. Starting in February of this year, their four months of hard work proved that practice makes perfect.

The Expo took place at the National Black Theater at 2031 5th Avenue on 125th Street in Harlem. Nicole Vear, the Assistant Program Coordinator and James Horton, the Assistant Director of E.T.C. both the individual groups as well as all the groups together in a final dress rehearsal. During these final rehearsals leading up to the Expo, there was a lot of anticipation mixed with nervousness on the part of the kids. They all worked to practice all their lines and speeches. All this preparation so that by show time they were all well prepared.

The show started once all the students and their parents had been seated. It was a full house. Desean Jenkins was the MC and he was so hyped-up that many audience members were clapping for him, alone not just for the performers he introduced.

The first group Desean called up was the I.H.O.P Films crew who showed a documentary them interviewing people in the Harlem community who volunteered as community activists – including E.T.C. kids who were part of the Community Service program.

E.T.C. Science Tutor, Tina Kacandes handed out various awards to students who had achieved good grades in school, and acknowledged those who had been accepted to college. This was done under a large PowerPoint presentation that was projected on the wall behind her by Ramon Ibanga. Jessica Cuevas – the Education Coordinator read off the names of those students who had been accepted to college.

The Graphic Design crew contributed their art work in the form of a magazine called “Iconic”. The theater presentation crew got their part in the Expo by performing excerpts from the play “Choose Wisely” during which they spoke in the loudest voices I have ever heard.

The Music Production crew took center stage to perform Spoken Word. I had the pleasure of being the Youth Presenter along with Nakell Smith. There were performers doing the R&B Song, Revolutionary Rap, Native Tongue, and the Gangsta Rap joint. The Music Production did very well on stage. Ramon Ibanga and Miles Thomas were very proud of the students. They both had a big tune battle between the two of them.

Last but not least was the Film Production crew. They introduced themselves and then showed Episode 2 of “I Wanna Be Down” in the Sho’ Nuff Production series and also “Not Another 70’s Show”. The theme for the whole project was “Iconic Moments: Voices of Change”.

As each group performed, the audience that was made up mainly of parents lit up with pride and all the talent on display at this Expo. Kristen Levine and James Horton were all very proud of all of us.

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