November 2014
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After a year of intense planning, zoning research, engineer’s reports,  and brainstorming with dozens of artists, architects, bankers, attorneys, activists and other local residents, STH is finally ready to announce plans for the re-creation of our Gowanus Arts building, located at 295 Douglass Street in Brooklyn. 
This Month @ Spoke

While parents vote, kids can “elect” to dance, make music, and write at Gowanus Arts all day long!

Citizen Kids can elect to participate in the following activities:

    Through drum circles, fun music games, and tons of jamming, kids get a taste of what it means to be a real recording artist.
  • SMARTYPENS: Multimedia Journalism 
    Children will interview and investigate, use digital cameras, and publish stories as they see them.
  • SPOKE THE HUB: Art & Movement 
    Students get to dance and create original artwork, plus learn some groovy new moves in Hip Hop class. 

Registration deadline is 5:00pm, Monday November 3rd.

Featuring Jamie Courville's "Squirrels Stories", 
 Beth Disharoon Wright performing "Dances By Isadora Duncan"
and other special literary and musical guests...

Tuesday, November  18, 2014 @ 7:30pm

STH Re:Creation Center - 748 Union Street. @ 6th Avenue - Park Slope
Suggested Donation: $5
Cash Bar

Says Jamie: "A linguist once told me "squirrels" is the hardest word in the English language to say. Squirrel Stories is the place for the things that are difficult to talk about. The first Squirrel Stories are audio portraits told in the first person of people living with cancer."

Ms. Courville spent well over a decade in the film business on projects large and small including doing continuity for Muppets, editing video art and documentaries, and founding a video collective. These days, she likes to record the voices and faces of people who are seldom heard and share them. She is also currently working on a film documentary with her husband on the rapid changes and gentrification of the Gowanus and is recording locals thoughts and feelings on these changes - come Tuesday night and tell her what you think!   

The Salon @ Spoke is an informal Tuesday night cultural, often literary, “gathering” where artists of all stripes, at all stages of their careers,  share their works-in-progress in an informal and supportive setting. Interested in being part of an upcoming Salon? Please contact: with proposals, bios and length of presentation.



This year’s annual Capricorn’s Birthday Bash will be Sunday afternoon, January 11th (unless you talk us into a different date!)

Capricorns are a resourceful and tenacious bunch of do-gooders by nature, but they also like to party down, and since so many Spoke the Hubbers have birthdays on either side of the New Year, we thought we would, once again, throw ourselves our own collective “partay” and raise money for a worthy cause in lieu of presents. Past parties have raised thousands of dollars for Heifer International, Kiva, The Consolation Center-Haiti, and Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. This year, we feel we need to support our healthcare workers battling on the front lines of the ebola crisis, so we will be raising funds through fun this year for Doctors Without Borders.

If you are a Capricorn -- or feel you are secretly a Capricorn at heart -- and want to join the goat girls in making this next birthday bash your own celebration too, contact and let’s get busy!

Our birthday party concept this year is: “Learn Something New!”an afternoon of workshops where old goats and friends learn new "tricks" (such as How To Make Sushi or How To Design and Silk Screen Your Own T-shirts.) The afternoon culminates with birthday cake, dancing and a champagne toast, naturally. 

Got a skill or craft you would like to teach (or suggest a skill or craft you would like to learn?)  If so, please contact .


Spoke the Hub’s 2015 Calendar is now in production. If you have wondered how to get you and your family’s special “red letter days” listed in our annual calendar, now is the time to send in your name and birthdate before we go to press. Also, if you have taken any fantastic, high resolution photos at any STH event this past season that you think deserves a spot in our 2015 calendar, send your image in for consideration. The deadline for calendar birth date and photo submissions is is November 14th.

Also, please order your own STH calendars NOW. Calendars are $15 each, but if you order 5 or more calendars before November 21st  you will receive our pre-Thanksgiving holiday bulk discount of $10.00 per calendar.

All proceeds from calendar sales go toward supporting STH’s ongoing community dance, art and fitness programs for children and adults of all ages.

SIGN UP NOW for STH's 14th Annual "Winter Follies!" Come perform 5 minutes of whatever you do best and have a shot at winning 50 hours of free rehearsal space and your own fully produced fall concert at Gowanus Arts!! Performance slots are first-come first-serve.

» Apply Now


STH is seeking individual artists, performance groups, certification programs or continuing education programs to rent our studio spaces in the evenings and weekends during the summer months of July and August. We welcome proposals from local or visiting freelance professionals or organizations - from our Brooklyn ‘hood, across the country, or around the world -  who might need an annual New York City summer retreat, classroom space, rehearsal, performance and or teaching space to run your workshops, certification programs, or other summer adult intensives. (Yes, our spaces are air-conditioned!)  Please send inquiries and proposals to  and forward to others who might like to explore this summer space partnership now for next summer. 

*Discount lodging options will also be available for out-of-towners at several new, local hotels in the area.

» Find Out More



Saturday, December 13 @ 5:00pm & 7:00pm
Sunday, December 14 @ 5:00pm
Gowanus Arts – 295 Douglass Street (between 3rd & 4th Avenues)

ADVANCED TICKET SALE ONLY:  $20 Adults and Children seated on chairs / $5 Children who can sit on floor; babies and small children who can sit on a lap come free. Tickets available on line starting: Nov. 10th

Spoke’s annual Student/Faculty Benefit Concert is a chance for our stellar faculty and student body to showcase the fine work they’ve been creating during the first fall semester of classes at Spoke the Hub. All proceeds from the Benefit Concerts will go toward covering the costs of our expanded summer scholarship program, as well as helping to defray production costs of STH’s annual LOCAL PRODUCE festivities, which present free Dance, Music, Theater and Art by local artists to the general public each spring in Park Slope’s most luscious community green spaces.

Can you help out at the Benefit Shows? We need volunteers to help with concessions, box office, ushering, set-up and clean up. Please e-mail if you can help.

Donate Baked Goods: Donations of baked goods are needed for our bake sale and refreshment stand with all proceeds going to support STH community arts programs. Please e-mail if you plan to donate a treat for the sale.

Genuine Aromatherapy

for the Holidays

with Dolores Natividad  

Join yoga teacher, exercise physiologist, and personal trainer, Dolores Natividad, for this one-evening workshop on holiday stress reduction and self-care through Aromatherapy. Learn about the healing properties of different oils and how to use them yourself. Make your own personalized winter moisturizer to take home and a chance to win free products.

Tuesday, December  2, 2014 at 7:00pm
STH Re:Creation Center - 748 Union Street @ 6th Avenue -  Park Slope
Advanced tickets online $20 | At the door $25 | Cash Bar


Allow us to ding your credit card just $10 each month and you can receive great benefits including special discounts on STH and Teaching Associates’ Classes, Party Space Rentals, Performances and a wide array of services by local merchants and businesses! You will save money and help yourself while also helping support the ongoing programs of our 35 year old, not-for-profit, community arts center, called a “neighborhood staple”, a “community treasure”, and one of the most “exhilarating art spaces in Brooklyn.” >>Find out more

STH's 2014-2015 Performance Season will feature over 30 mostly family friendly indoor and outdoor shows of all genres this year - thus, your ads can reach over 10,000 upbeat, culturally aware and active Brooklynites and visitors in 2015! 

There's a new way to support STH’s work at no cost to you. Thanks to Amazon Smile, you can now shop with a purpose. Amazon Smile is a new program that remits a small percentage of purchases made using to charities like STH. Simply sign in to Amazon using each time you shop.

STH is taking part in this year’s #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. Please consider making a donation to STH this year and help support our ongoing programs plus our upcoming “Stairway to Heaven” Gowanus Arts Development Project Capital Campaign. 


As of November 1st, the GOWANUS ARTS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT will formerly launch.  This new, million dollar plus “makeover” of the current Gowanus Arts building -- a 15,000sf former 1880s soap factory which has served as home to Spoke the Hub and dozens of other artists of all stripes since 1985 -- is a desperately needed facelift and re-structuring of this well loved community arts facility.  The "new" Gowanus hopes to serve as a model of sustainability for other small, grass roots community arts organizations to replicate, in addition to better meeting the needs of local artists and community residents into the next millennium.

In addition to installing a much needed new stairway, the proposed building improvements include: 

GROUND FLOOR: Plans include a new, expanded, ADA compliant theater/community event space; a community art gallery and artists’ collective under the direction of master print maker and teaching artist, Gail Flanery; a studio art teaching space; and a new, lobby and box office area. Peter Karl Recording Studios will continue on the ground floor.

SECOND FLOOR: Brooklyn Music Factory’s newly expanded music school, practice rooms, and new music performance space will take over about 3,000sf of the 2nd floor (headed by Nate Shaw and Peira Moinester); artist Dale Williams and photographers Marc Goldberg and Jaime Bermudez Esteban will also continue working out of their 2nd floor studios. Additionally, a 1,600sf green roof and terrace will be added on the 2nd floor, accessible to all building tenants and guests.

THIRD FLOOR: Spoke the Hub will continue our dance, theater, art and wellness programs in two expanded and improved studios on the third floor, plus a new lounge area outfitted with a community kitchen, headed by natural foods chef and teaching artist, Chef Sung Uni Li; additionally, a 4,400sf green roof we have dubbed “The Gowanus Sky Farm” is being designed by Gwen Schantz of the Brooklyn Grange where STH hopes to grow fresh produce for upcoming healthy cooking classes and catered events.

Needless to say, we here at STH are beyond excited about this new project and we have many, many people to thank for getting us to this beginning point! In particular, we wish to thank Roger Kapsalis, Director of Capital Services at Massey Knakal, for helping us secure initial financing, as well as architects Bob Braun, Ben & Susan Baxt and attorney Ian Kelley for helping us conduct our initial zoning research and general advisement on feasibility. 


Our construction loan will only go so far and we need to keep our current programs up and running while we create this fabulous new community arts and wellness facility for all residents and guests, of all ages and all income levels, to enjoy, study, and celebrate in.

For those of you who are feeling uber flush and altruistic and want to create this community center with us, here are some donation options:


  • For a $500,000 contribution or more, we will name our new 2,000sf theater and event space after you, your family, or a loved one;
  • For a $100,000 we will name our new 2nd floor green roof, garden and terrace after you, your family, or a loved one;
  • For $ 50,000 contribution, we will name our new community kitchen after you, your family, or a loved one;
  • For $25,000 contribution, we will name our new 3rd floor lounge after you, your family, or a loved one;
  • For $ 10,000 contribution - don’t laugh - we will name a rest room after you - after all, where would we be without rest rooms (and a sense of humor?);
  • For $5,000 contribution, we name a step in our new “Stairway to Heaven" after you.


Elise Long, Founder/Artistic Director of STH, in collaboration with Claire Weissberg of Claireware Pottery on Union Street, will create two new community mosaics next year, one on the front facade of the STH Re:Creation Center on Union Street, and the other somewhere within the new Gowanus Arts complex on Douglass Street.

  • For a contribution of $1,000, Clairewaire will make you an original name tile you can designate for placement in either arts center’s new community mosaics. 
  • For a contribution of $1,500, you can have your name tiles embedded in both arts centers as a memorial to your generosity for posterity.

Every little bit helps. Brick by brick. Tile by tile. We thank you, in advance, for your continued support and patronage.

Spoke the Hub is a tax-exempt, 501c3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.


In the next month, STH hopes to be soliciting bids and gathering “our people” together to build the new, improved Gowanus Arts center. Former dancer and CetraRuddy architect Ceacy Cooke will be donating her services to design the plans for our new center.

What can you do and will you join us in this community building effort?

We will be seeking:

A Progressive, Resourceful, Unflappable and Very Creative General Contractor, plus
  • Electricians
  • Carpentars
  • Plumbers
  • Masons
  • Metalworkers
  • Solar Installation Experts
  • Landscape Designers
  • Stained Glass Artists
  • Sculptors
  • Painters
  • Craftspeople of every ilk
  • Farmers and Garden Stewards

We are particularly seeking a general contractor who would be willing to donate and/or barter some of his/her services, and we are extremely interested in hiring women in the trades to work on this project with us. We hope to have plans ready for bidding soon.

If you - or someone you know - fits this description and might be interested in being part of this exciting renovation, please contact We hope to have plans ready for bidding in the next few weeks.


Call For Master Teaching Artists: Interested in presenting a skill or particular domain of expertise in a one-shot workshop on a Tuesday night this fall, please contact: with proposals and length of presentation. 

Goldie Baum Schimdt 

Goldie, a long-time STH fan and poster girl for many of our senior movement programs, passed away October 14 in Hollywood, Florida. She was laid to rest there next to her husband, Solomon Schmidt.  Her daughter, Cissy Schmidt, and family were there with her during this peaceful passage.
Goldie believed in moving, all of her life, every day. She studied yoga and practiced water aerobics until the very end of her days. Although Goldie was a holocaust survivor, her horrific experience during the war never dampened her love and enthusiasm for life, art, nature and her family and friends. Goldie was an inspiration to us all and a joy to be around. In her honor, we have planted a grove of trees in her much loved Kentucky to help with the reforestation efforts there and that "she may continue to add beauty and love to our world."  
Mei-yin Ng of The Laurel Project is pleased to announce a new addition to her family - please meet her beautiful new son, baby Caine!
Caine is now close to 8 months old and is currently still in Malaysia with Mei-Yin's family.  STH hopes to welcome him in-person to Brooklyn very soon.
Qi Gong Class with Annie Reibel-Coyne Returns
Spoke the Hub Re:Creation Center  
Mondays |10:00-11:00am
Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese art & science of becoming aware of our energy (Qi) and learning how to control its flow through a precise choreography of posture, movement, and breath.  
» Find Out More
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