CREATE Project announces fall programs

Submitted photo Chautauqua Brass members, Landon Gray, Bobby Fisco, Devin Bennett, and Daniel Marion join forces with visual artist Renee Pye and the CREATE Project to present a fall 2019 Community Music and Arts Program.

With a trumpet blast of excitement, The CREATE Project is proud to announce their Fall 2019 Community Music and Community Arts Programs! Enjoy and make wonderful music! Create fun arts and cultural crafts! Savor tasty refreshments! All while spending a relaxing time connecting with your family and community.

Four world-class musicians and a regionally recognized teaching artist, are joining forces with the CREATE Project. On select Thursdays, September through December, 2019, Chautauqua Brass (musicians Landon Gray, Devin Bennett, Bobby Fisco, and Daniel Marion) and visual artist, Renee Pye, will present a spectacular series of interactive performance and arts workshops. All ages and abilities are welcome at these great inter-generational gatherings.

The time is 5 to 7 p.m. The location is the Steger Apartments Community Room, a clean, safe, handicapped accessible and comfy place where friendships form and family can gather. Program dates are: Sept. 19 and Sept. 26; Oct. 10 and Oct. 17; and Nov. 14 and Nov. 21. Individuals are not required to attend all program dates. However, pre-registration is required. Space is limited, so participation is on a first come, first serve basis. The program is free, but donations to the CREATE Project are much appreciated. Call Valerie at 680-0266 to pre-register.


Renee Pye

Renee Pye is a local teaching artist in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. As an artist in residence for 15 years, Pye has shared her professional skills with organizations such as Chautauqua County Arts Council, Infinity Visual & Performing Arts, Jamestown Community College, and the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy. She has also designed educational art classes for various programs, camps, libraries and festivals. Her experience in cultural education includes teaching about the Iroquois Nation, various native ways of life, and folk arts. Pye strives to make art fun, easy, and available for everyone. A sculptor, painter and custom doll maker, she uses art to help adult and youth student artists build self -confidence and worldly, hands on experience. Her father, a Seneca Indian, passed on his heritage to Renee. She has presented lectures and taught classes on Native American traditional arts and history at Jamestown Community College, the Daughters of American Revolution, Jamestown schools, churches and other locations.

CHAUTAUAQUA BRASS (www.chautauquabrass.com):

Devin Bennett

The resident Canadian of Chautauqua Brass, comes from the mountains of British Columbia, where he has hidden away the past few years. He was raised in International Schools all over the world, and loves to experience different cultures. He has since settled in the Chautauqua area to make beautiful music with Chautauqua Brass, and works with Musicians Wellness of North America. Bennett loves to move, whether it is to climb, bike, swim, or ski! His teaching experience includes teaching at Musicians Wellness of North America, Lakewood and the CREATE Project Summer Arts Program at Dunkirk City School. Awarded a BA in Music Trombone Performance, SUNY Fredonia Bennett’s education also includes UNT Bachelor in Music Trombone Performance, Denton, TX; Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, MI; Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the American School of Doha, Qatar; and the Seoul Foreign School, Korea.

Landon Gray

Landon Gray earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas in trumpet performance. As an orchestral musician, Gray has performed with the Ukiah Symphony and the New York Summer Music Festival Orchestra. His experiences have taken him across South America, visiting major cities in Uruguay and Argentina. While attending the University of North Texas, Landon continued to perform in the Dallas Fort Worth Area. As an improviser, Gray performed weekly at the Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth. An active chamber musician, he frequently performed classical repertoire and Jazz arrangements with the group Braz Quintet. Gray believes music is a special form of communication everyone can take part in and loves to get people started making music of their own. Originally from Santa Rosa, California, Gray hold a degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of North Texas. Now a member of Chautauqua Brass, he enjoys playing a diverse selection of music.

Bobby Fisco

Originally hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Bobby Fisco comes to Chautauqua Brass from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he completed his Masters of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University. His primary teachers have included Jan Kagarice, Ed Zadrozny, Peter Sullivan, and Jaime Morales-Matos. He serves as the arranger for Chautauqua Brass, which he describes as a fun challenge given the unique and adaptable instrumentation of the ensemble. When Fisco is not performing, arranging, or teaching, he likes to go out swing dancing or stay in with a good book or movie.

Daniel Marion

Rounding out the bottom of the ensemble, Daniel Marion is Chautauqua Brass’ Bass Trombonist. Marion was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas where he discovered a love for music in early grade school. He made the switch to bass trombone in high school upon playing in the school’s big band and never looked back. After he graduated from The University of North Texas with a bass trombone performance degree, Marion joined Chautauqua Brass in the summer of 2018.

The CREATE Project

The CREATE Project is an arts-based intervention designed to help our community become free of child-trauma, abuse and neglect, and to become a place where children can grow to their highest potential. The need for such a project is great. Chautauqua County has the 8th highest rate of child-abuse in New York State. In the County, 2000 children are affected by abuse and neglect annually. Child abuse and neglect are taboo topics. Lack of awareness and understanding concerning the psychological, social, historical and cultural roots of child-abuse and neglect contribute to its multi-generational transmission. A patchwork of services makes community consensus difficult to achieve. Our project aims to channel the various patch-work of services available for improving this situation into a relevant and effective arts-based program.

The CREATE Project does not replicate existing child-abuse prevention efforts provided by such respected agencies as CAP (Child Advocacy Program), CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate Program), CASAC (Chautauqua Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council) or Head Start. CAP and CASA provide their services for parents who have been mandated by the courts to participate. CAP also makes available outreach to the community to participate in a classroom setting to learn specifics of child abuse topics. CASAC delivers information through workshops and counseling on issues related to substance abuse. Head Start offers some parent coaching for parents of children who attend their pre-school program.

While agency-based programs are invaluable and address specific aspects of child abuse, the CREATE Project’s unique design tackles this family and culture-based problem through a family and culture-based solution. The CREATE Project, a grassroots initiative, fills a gap and reaches into the heart of the community. The program makes healing and positive parenting practices fun, personally relevant, and highly accessible. Through “Share Sessions,” adult and youth community participants learn arts and traditional arts practices that have been integrated with positive child-rearing approaches. Equipped with recognized training for child abuse, neglect and trauma prevention, Share Session facilitators (tradition-bearers and artists) share their skills and positive practices relating to children. In the program, the artists, musicians, and local tradition-bearers pass on their folkways and arts skills to all generations at local gathering places. In this way, The CREATE Project complements and enhances agency efforts.

Community interaction and continuity supports families. By integrating the arts, music, interpersonal and relationship skill building, food, and fun in community gatherings, the CREATE Project hopes to strengthen families. Internationally recognized psychiatrist Dr. Bruce Perry has found remarkable healing effects of the arts on young children in trauma. Participating in art, music, movement, and storytelling activities not only develops language, mathematics, science, and social skills, but these activities also strengthen the synapses between brain cells. These synapses grow stronger through active participation in the arts. For example, neuroscientists feel that the combined arts used in rhythmic movement activities (words and music) can help the young brain develop to its fullest capacity. Research has revealed that the arts, experienced in a nurturing social environment, can help heal trauma, enhance family functioning and be applied to everyday family life. Dr. Perry has stated, “The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.” Perry is a member of the CREATE Project Advisory Board.

Learn more about the CREATE Project at its website: www.create-project.com. To see the program video or to make a donation, please visit: gofundme.com/create-project.