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A Recap for MM 2023

In 2023, Moving Mountains faced its most challenging year yet, and we shared our journey with parents, donors, and supporters. Our young artists engaged in various projects, from capturing black history through monologues to performing at the esteemed Henry Street Settlement theatre. Additionally, we welcomed summer interns for the first time and successfully launched our new program, "Actors Club." Throughout the year, we were blessed to encounter numerous young creatives eager to explore the performance world.

The journey began in January and February as we prepared for our Black History Performances. Students showcased monologues from award-winning films such as Hidden Figures, Da 5 Bloods, Crooklyn, and more, all centered around global African American culture. Transitioning from film to stage, students concluded the month with a performance at the Sigma Delta showcase in Harlem, NY.

March marked a significant shift as we intensified production rehearsal for our stage performance scheduled for May. We emphasized to parents that consistent attendance was crucial for a successful show, given our limited weekly meetings. Missing a Saturday meant missing a week of rehearsal. In addition to stage exposure, we recognized the importance of providing students with experience in dialogue, scene study, and on-camera acting for film.

April brought the casting for our short film, "Unerasable," coinciding with ongoing stage rehearsals. The students demonstrated a high level of dedication, transitioning between stage and film sets. Gaining invaluable experience, understanding the nuances of performing under different circumstances, whether on stage with light cues and choreography or on a film set with lights, cameras, and production assistants.

In May, our efforts came to fruition with a stellar stage rendition of Sister Act at Henry Street Settlement. Following the successful performances, we immediately shifted focus to our short film, conducting camera tests and rehearsals in preparation for filming in June.

June witnessed the filming of "Unerasable," Produced by Jamie Hector and Directed by Dèon Ragin in collaboration with Brooklyn film Director of Photography Maxmillien Papopulous. Over three days, our students successfully translated their stage skills to the big screen.

The year was far from over, as our next challenge was securing funding for our summer program. At our annual fundraiser held at BAM, we honored NBA Hall of Famer John Starks, who generously shared words of wisdom after witnessing our students' performances and testimonies from long time supporters.

July marked the commencement of our summer program, expanding to two locations in Brooklyn. From PS46 to the School for Career Development, our students engaged in a multitude of activities, leaving with headshots and an extended family by the end of August.

As we returned to our basics in October, welcoming new students and building foundational skills in vocal, dance, and drama. We entered November with a focus on monologue preparation. Including Trips to CIBC bank, where students learned trading and financial independency, Community Give Aways where students gave essential bags containing food, water and self care necessities. And finally, Christmas caroling in Bryant Park were part of our enriching experiences just in the month go giving.

December wrapped up with classes for the Christmas break, culminating in a holiday party to express gratitude to our friends and supporters. Continuing to uphold the mission of Moving Mountains, we concluded the remarkable year of 2023.


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