Hook Arts Media: Making a Way out of No Way


A Way Out of No Way
The past year has certainly tested us. With fewer resources and ever-pressing questions about safety, health, and equity, we faced a year riddled with far more challenges than opportunity. But we made a way.

Over the past year:
- Our In Transition: Media and Digital Connections programs expanded to accept more students.
- We launched crucial professional development series to help teachers incorporate new technologies AND adopt trauma-informed pedagogy into classrooms.
- We’ve served hundreds of NYC’s young people as they faced one of the most challenging periods in recent history.

This was not the time to give up on NYC’s most vulnerable young people. It was the time to make a way out of no way.

But the challenges of the past year have not completely ended. The rising costs of space, security, and equipment threaten to edge out the already limited number of seats available in these vital programs. Please make a way forward with Hook Arts Media and support NYC’s young people.



This Giving Tuesday,

Help Hook Arts Media Forge the Way


Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you all well-as we face the challenges of a

new school year, of going back to work in-person, of storms

and fires, floods and fears of what the future might hold. As I

look back on the past year, it was definitely a time we made a

way out of no way and perhaps into discovering more just and

equitable ways to be with and without each other.

From the day we closed our doors on Friday the 13th of March

2020, our staff and teachers worked tirelessly to adapt our

programs to the ever-changing conditions caused by COVID-19.

We worked alongside our school partners to pivot to online

instruction. Our onsite after-school media programs found

creative ways students could use their phones to make films that

helped them process the terrifying and lonely days of isolation

and remote learning. We delivered podcasting equipment to

students’ homes from one far end of the city to another.

As time passed we saw new needs to support our teaching

artists with the professional development that helped them

restructure their classes for online learning and understand what

trauma-informed pedagogy is as they navigated the emotional

needs of their students. As the protests ignited by George

Floyd’s tragic murder, surged, our media students processed

their complicated emotional reactions through their films.

Lastly, our 2021 Red Hook Fest brought the unexpected joy of

Laura Anderson Barbata and the Brooklyn Jumbies to the Red

Hook Houses and used the Open Culture permit to present dance,

live music, and DJ-ed dance party to the streets of Red Hook.

We could not have forged this path through the pandemic without

your support. We serve some of the most resilient but also

vulnerable students in NYC, so please continue to generously

support our work providing critical, creative outlets to this next

generations of changemakers. And come meet them! We are

always thrilled to have you visit our programs.

Read on to hear our news.

With Appreciation,

Laura Anderson Barbata and The Brooklyn Jumbies

at 2021 Red Hook Fest by Frank Veronsky.

Martha Bowers, Executive Director

Without question, Hook Arts Media

made a way out of no way . . . ”

– Deirdre Hollman, Program Evaluator 3.8.21

Making A Way Out of

No Way

Young people, educators, families, and caregivers

found themselves tasked with the impossible in March

of 2020. Vital programs shuttered; crucial resources

disappeared. Standards diminished.

In less than a week, Hook Arts Media:

● Took its programs online

● Found a way to continue to pay

participants in its community-based


● Began sharing resources for educators,

students, and families

● Kept our staff, teachers, and many

students employed

We all know just how important arts and media

education is. We live in an economy increasingly

dependent on media literacy and creativity. Arts-rich

students and communities are more likely to succeed

in college and career. Arts-rich young people have the

skills to navigate socio-emotional challenges.

All young people deserve this

crucial support

Despite the difficulties of 2020 and 2021, Hook

Arts Media educators and staff knew it was more

important than ever to ensure that our community of

students and educators got the support they needed.

As restrictions ease, we reopen to a new chapter

still riddled with stress and strain. Young people’s

educational needs include patience and competency

for the trauma borne of the past year and a half.

Hook Arts Media is uniquely positioned to support

young people and educators in this time and beyond;

however our resources are limited. We’re proud to

have made a way out of no way, but we need your

help to forge ahead and serve the thousands of NYC

students whose needs continue to go unaddressed in

this pivotal time.

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From Student to Teacher: Ramisa

We met Ramisa when she joined our media programs

some five years ago.

As a recent immigrant from Bangladesh, she was

searching for a place she felt at home in this new

country. According to her, she found it at Hook Arts

Media and has been delighting us with her astute,

funny and sometimes heartbreaking films ever since.

And she has become a Tik Tok super star! We have

hired her to teach in our film programs and happily

follow her as she continues her studies at Brooklyn

College. We are so proud of her.

Hook Arts Media has become my second home, where I can be myself and

express my ideas freely. The environment is just amazing and peaceful. They

make me feel as if my ideas are being heard and that I am being heard. I

had my first job there and it has taught me so much, including job skills and

social skills.” – Asma Ramisa

Red Hook Fest

After more than a year in our homes, Hook Arts

Media returned to Red Hook with two weeks of

performances. In an effort to mitigate the spread

of COVID-19, Red Hook Fest offered smaller, more

localized events but just as much fun!

The following week, on Saturday June 12th, the

festival came to a close with vibrant music and dance

performances on Richards Street. Jive Poetic DJ’d

the event, which featured performances from Los

Cumpleaños, LayeRhythm Jam, and Mateo Vidals

featuring the choreographer, Phoebe Pfaffman, and

Dahsir Hausif in partnership with Cora Dance.

As we’d done the year before, Hook Arts Media also

made the festival accessible to virtual audiences

throughout the month. People tuned in from as far

away as Texas, Greece, and even Australia. But we

were most thrilled to share the experience with

the vast majority of viewers who watched from

the comfort of their own homes in our Brooklyn


On Saturday, June 5th, Laura Anderson Barbata, The

Brooklyn Jumbies, and Cornelio Joseph’s Drum Line

led a processional through the Red Hook Houses

to Coffey Park, where over a thousand participants

gathered in celebration. Rajonna Lewis led a free

West African Dance class in the grass while we

donated free pineapples to local families.

We’ve Done So Much With So Little

Imagine What We Can Do With Your Support

For more than 2 decades, Hook Arts Media has served

New York City’s most marginalized young people. With

unique, student-centered programs and unparalleled

teaching artists, Hook Arts Media continues to

pioneer new programs that create healthier, happier,

and more engaged school cultures.

As we all work to co-create a better future from

the difficult lessons we’ve hard-learned in recent

years, one thing has become crystal clear: we cannot

abandon young people.

In the midst of multiple crises, NYC youth deserve

programming that addresses their many needs while

preparing them to take agency over their futures.

With your support, Hook Arts Media can extend these

vital opportunities to more New York City students.

With Your Gift of:






we could provide more cleaning kits

for our filmmaking programs

we could accept another filmmaking

student off the Spring waitlist

we could purchase a new camera for

our film students

we could expand Digital Connections to

include another Film Fellow

we could subsidize an in-school program

for an NYC public high school

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 =

Maximize Your Impact

We actively fundraise just once each year, but our

students’ needs don’t disappear as seasons change.

Make a monthly recurring donation to support our

students year-round at hookarts.org/donate.

Just $25 per month can provide MTA

passes for our students.


executive director & founder:

Martha Bowers

director of education: Maria Soriano

director of marketing: Heather Harvey

director of media programs:

Jordan Campbell

workforce deveopment coach:

Kenard Bunkley


board president: Sam Sills

secretary: Audrey Anastasi

treasurer: Elise Bernhardt

Nyeema Bailey, Christopher Brown,

Martha Bowers, Corinthia Carter,

Kamau Ware


development: Bryony Romer

finance & hr: The Lortel Foundation

2021–2022 TEACHING


Jordan Campbell

Trace dePass

Cornelio Joseph

Erik Maldonado

Jive Poetic

Asma Ramisa

Justus Snyder

Hook Arts Media is extremely grateful to our many supporters, including: the Valentine Perry Snyder Fund, The Pinkerton Foundation, the Two West Foundation, the

O’Connell Family Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Con Edison, Erie Basin Marine Associates, Seventh District Foundation, Investors Fund, New York Community

Trust, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and

the New York State Legislature, the NYS Dept. of Labor, NYSCA-REDC, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the NYC Council, and NYC Council Member

Carlos Menchaca as well as our individual donors.

Hook Arts Media is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all

deductions are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by the

law. To make a donation by check, please make it payable to:


Enclose this insert and mail it with your check to:

Hook Arts Media

480 Van Brunt Street, Suite 203

Brooklyn, NY 11231-1014

Please find my donation of $





You will receive an acknowledgement of your gift.

To make a donation with PayPal or credit card, please visit:


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