Last month, The Newark Mosaic joined forces with Newark youth arts group Wu Kah Ki Theater Workshop to produce the November episode of their monthly cable access TV program “Wu Kah Ki TV.” We’re proud to post three segments from the show here on The Newark Mosaic.
“Community Action” features the Franklin St. John’s Community Center. “Artists on Air” features emerging singer and actor Khari Hughes. “Nikki’s Closet” features Newark’s Fashion Design Training Institute.
In this segment -Community Action- Marqwasia Holmes interviews Ms. Debi Hall-Dean, Executive Director of the Franklin St. John’s Community Center in Newark’s South Ward.
Ms. Dean shares with us the many programs sponsored by the Center, including food, hygiene, and toy banks, holiday gatherings, and collaborations with other local organizations. Ms. Dean also gives us a tour of the Center and opens her heart as she describes the most gratifying aspects of doing community work.
The Franklin St. John’s Community Center was established in November 0f 1998 as a not-for-profit, faith and community based service organization aims to be a positive presence and resource for the community. Through the years, they have offered a variety of services including After-School Care, Summer Enrichment Programs, Basketball Camps, Agape Food Pantry. Recently, they joined forces with Newark Now and Congregation Oheb Shalom of South Orange to implement a Brighter Harvest campaign, providing 100 families with turkeys and a basket of “all the trimmings” for Thanksgiving. They also partner with Bridges of Summit to provide homeless children and seniors with a festive Christmas meal and gifts of clothing and toys. The Community Center / Partners in A.C.T.S. is almost entirely staffed by dedicated volunteers.
The Wu-Kah-Ki Theater Workshop is an arts program designed to empower youth in the Newark and Irvington areas. The purpose of this program is to develop the participant’s interests and knowledge in the Arts. The program offers students workshops in the areas of dance, theatre, vocal music, writing, and media production. Workshops are led by college seniors, graduate students, and professionals specializing in the arts. The program will also serve as a platform for the urban youth to express their concerns around specific issues affecting the city’s youth.