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Our Story

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Art Defined was created to build platforms where artists, of varying skill, can create, develop, and see their work come to life. Since its conception in 2010, Art Defined has developed a number of programming to satisfy its mission. Art Defined seeks to establish a collective that will present its works to the underserved communities throughout New York City starting with various areas in the Bronx. Our organization aims to present developing artist’s works to the community, engaging individuals to discover the rewarding benefits of exposure to the arts and culture.

Art and art education is vital to the development of the community, providing an artistic platform will increase literacy and creativity. Establishing an educational platform for new artists to participate and for members of the community to explore the opportunities presented by ADP. Ultimately, ADP strives to bring the artist and the community together, to develop a collective that will inspire an artistic movement.

Art Defined was founded by artists, which provides insight into the hardships many artists face within the artistic community. Opportunities to share artistic works in a nurturing environment are challenging to find. Our organization wishes to create this environment through workshops, showcases, productions, and a mentorship program. These platforms will help to cultivate an environment that will produce genuinely moving works, both new and original, from actors, writers, and in general, artists alike.

Many programs were developed during its ten years, like The Poetic Affair series that started in 2010; first as a successful yearly event, then to a quarterly series, and now finally as a monthly series. It is currently the longest-running Spoken-word showcase in the Bronx. They have produced original children’s theater-like The Case of Humpty Dumpty: A Hard-Boiled Mystery and Count Cavity, a Halloween special. On that note, they produced A Nightmare on Bedford: A week-long Halloween festival filled with theater, dance, and even a movie day. This provided a safe and fun way to enjoy Halloween for the entire family. This year marks the beginning of several new programs; two types of writing workshops starting in September, a mentorship program/artist counseling, a collaboration with the Bronx Library Center to create arts programming, and finally, a Bronx-wide Scavenger Hunt. All these programs are free or low cost to increase availability to the community.

Art Defined Productions is composed entirely of artists, almost all of whom were born and raised in the Bronx. While beauty surrounds our beloved borough, its full potential has been obscured by struggle, lack of support. Art Defined Productions seeks to be the fire the catapults a modern renaissance and reimagining of the Bronx as a leader in the arts.  

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Amira Mustapha is an artist.

 

Born and raised in The Bronx, she was always captivated by the ability of art influencing and connecting community members. Writing ever since she was young, she developed the appreciation for storytelling and performance. It wasn’t long until that appreciation became love. It soon became clear that her mission was to travel through our compelling earth spreading artistic magic by connecting with artists of similar energy and ambition. 


Her artistic spirit has led her to 14 adventurous years in the performing arts where she developed her skills as a performer, playwright, poet, stage manager and theater technician. Her first defining moment was her acceptance into Lehman College, where she pursued her Bachelor of Art degree. Within four months of graduating, she began working on her first off-Broadway show Break Out, as a light operator. This first opportunity into the theater industry was her second defining moment, encouraging her to work hard for this international touring dance comedy. It would soon pay off as she worked on several notable shows and spaces such as The French Institute, Merkin Concert Hall and the Tribeca Performing Art Center.

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Founder

She found a home in the off-Broadway production of Avenue Q until it’s closing in 2019. Understanding that she was achieving an education, she set herself on a course to give back and received her Masters of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Lehman College in 2019. 

 

She currently works as the Director of Production Services at Lehman College, where she oversees a staff of 20. This position offers her the opportunity to pass her knowledge to the diverse students and community members she hires. She equips her employees with tools to succeed in their pursuit of being theater technicians in the professional world and in the city where the heart of theater lives. She utilizes her professional connections to help mentor exceptional employees by sharing job opportunities that will grow their skills. This act of giving back inspired her most significant defining moment.

 

In March 2010, she established and created her 501c3 non-profit in her hometown of The Bronx to create a platform for literary and performance artists. This platform is where artists explore, create, develop and experience their work come to life in front of their own shared communities.

 

Nearly ten years later in 2019, she continued her dedication to the company where she was recognized and became the recipient of The Bharati Foundation Leadership Award, given to “…leading individuals in various career fields… for their service, dedication, and commitment to connecting resources to those in need.”

 

Today, her mission is growing, as she continues to inspire others in their defining moments.  

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Amira Mustapha is a Ghanaian-American Bronx-based artist who, in 2010, founded Art Defined Productions, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to create a platform for literary and performance artists to explore, create, develop, and see their work come to life. As part of her mission, Amira has developed a successful and well-attended monthly spoken-word showcase and open mic called Poetic Affair, which also highlights a featured artist. Additionally, Amira is spearheading a community for artists to grow and prosper through a mentorship program forthcoming in 2021.  

 

Amira Mustapha has been awarded multiple Community Arts and Arts Fund Grants from the Bronx Council on the Art since 2013. She also garnered yearly support from the “nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers” Poets and Writers, Inc since 2014. In 2019, The Bharati Foundation Leadership Award was presented to Amira for her service, dedication, and commitment to connecting resources to those in need.

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Founder &

Executive Director

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Facilitator &

Board Member

Peggy Robles- Alvarado is a 2021 Jerome Hill Foundation Fellow in Literature, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and a 2020 Atticus Review Poetry Contest winner. She is also a  BRIO award winner with fellowships from CantoMundo, Desert Nights Rising Stars, The Frost Place, VONA, Academy for Teachers, and The Home School.  Peggy is a three-time International Latino Book Award winner who authored Conversations With My Skin (2011), and Homage To The Warrior Women (2012). Through Robleswrites Productions, she created The Abuela Stories Project (2016) and Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement, and The Muse (2017). Her work has appeared in The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, ¡Manteca! an Anthology of Afro- Latin@ Poets by Arte Publico Press,   great weather for MEDIA, What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump and The Soul Sister Revue Anthology.

 

Online she has been published in Tribes.org, The Quarry at Split This Rock, The Common,  92Y.org  #wordswelivein, Centro Voices Letras Literary Journal, NACLA.org and served as guest editor for The Acentos Review: Performance of Breath issue August 2019.  As a performance poet her work has been featured in HBO Habla Women, Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, Pregones Theater,  Harlem 9 Presents: 48 Hours En El Bronx, Smithsonian Institute- Museum of the American Indian, Pen America World Voices Festival, Harvard University, Association of Writers and Writing Programs Tampa, FL, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and NYU Latinx Caribbean Poetry Festival. For more visit Robleswrites.com.

Juan Ramirez, Jr. is a Borinquén-Chapín-Bronx playwright, monologist, director, screenwriter, filmmaker, poet and producer. His play Calling Puerto Rico made Second Round for the Austin Film Festival, is a Miranda Family Voces Latinx Finalist with Repertorio Español, a 2020 BAPF Finalist and a recipient of the 2019 BRIO Award.

 

Notable produced works include Ridin‘ Shotgun (Best Play Downtown Urban Arts Festival), The American Dream (NAV Playwrights Festival, BBTF), Wall (LaTea, Cimientos), Stroke of Madness (Ingenio Milagro, Cimientos) and Don Juan (Dixon Place). Semi-finalists include Jimmy’s Tab (2011 Princess Grace). His horror short Alone With My Demons won Inwood Art Works’ NYC Quarantine Film Festival’s Best Bronx Film. He is a Dramatist Guild member, 2020-2021 Dramatist Guild Fellow, the founder of The PlayPen collective and R&R Productions with his wife Cristy Reynoso. He is a film assessor, script reader, dramaturg and teaching artist. He received his B.A. from Lehman College and his MFA from NYU Tisch. www.JuanRamirezJr.com

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Facilitator