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NOW CASTING FOR: KALEIDOSCOPE

March 9, 2015

Dear Friends,

I'm thrilled to announce that a dream project of mine has finally come to fruiton! In an exciting partnership with UJA, Bechol Lashon and the 14th Street Y, I am directing a monologue showcase featuring Jews of racial and ethnic diversity called Kaleidoscope. The submission / casting process is now open! Seeking Jewish writers / performers of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds for the Kaleidoscope showcase. The Kaleidoscope showcase was sparked by a desire to give voice to Jews of varied backgrounds who feel marginalized in today's Jewish community. Applicants of all ages, levels of experience, religious observance and inter-faith backgrounds are welcome to submit.

Please use the online submission link below, and spread the word about this opportunity widely. Thank you!

SUBMISSION LINK: CLICK HERE


Kaleidoscope

Program / Initiative Goals
 

The Kaleidoscope multi-media project was sparked by a desire to give voice to Jews of diverse backgrounds and observance levels, who feel marginalized in todays Jewish Community. Through the documentation of monologues, stories, spoken word and hip hop, Kaleidoscope will delve into the ever-popular question “What Does Jewish Look Like To You?”
 

Kaleidoscope will create a central hub for people interested in engaging in this conversation. The hub will focus on an interactive website with a series of filmed live spoken word performances, a link where people can publish their own stories, sample writing exercises and a supplementary educational curriculum / discussion guide for teens and adults to follow the film’s viewing. There will also be an opportunity to bring a representative of the Kaleidoscope Project team to your community to facilitate a screening and post-screening discussion. These discussions would be appropriate for high schools, adult programming at Temples, Jewish youth organizations such as BBYO, Salons and JCC’s.
 

The first step needed to launch the Kaleidoscope project is the implementation of the Kaleidoscope Showcase:

The Kaleidoscope showcase is a theatrical storytelling journey designed to help Jews explore their diverse Jewish identity through monologues, stories and spoken-word. Through a series of group writing workshops, rehearsals and one-on-one coaching with professional spoken word artist/actress and director Vanessa Hidary, the unique experience and expression of each cast member will be developed using an experimental approach to storytelling. The workshops and rehearsals will culminate into 3 NYC based public performances. These performances will be professionally videotaped and used for the future Kaleidoscope website and curriculum program.
 

The diverse cast will be found through social media and an extensive reach out to Jewish numerous organizations to ultimately create an experience and community that reflects diverse racial, ethnic and cultural Jewish populations. The cast members need not be professional actors or writers. Everyone is welcome to the process and will work with Vanessa to develop and strengthen their personal stories.


The Kaleidoscope showcase model is based on a show produced in 2007 by Birthright Israel NEXT, called Birthright Israel Monologues, where Vanessa worked with Birthright Israel alumni to create an evening of stories that reflected the impact of their trips and their personal stories of Jewish identity. Over a two-year period, the highly successful show consisted of 18 rotating cast members, traveled around the United States and engaged 2,000 people live. Digitally, the show has since engaged at least 75,000 people through Facebook, YouTube and other social networks.


Our goal is take this model and revamp it to reflect the less represented, ethnically and culturally diverse Jewish experiences in the community. Through her many years as a professional performing artist, Vanessa has seen first hand what a powerful vehicle spoken word can be in the exploration of cultural identity and social enlightenment. Her popular poem tackling Jewish stereotypes and identity titled “The Hebrew Mamita” debuted on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and quickly went viral, garnering half a million YouTube hits and igniting widespread discussion among Jews and non Jews alike from The Bronx to South Africa. We believe the personal monologue opens up our ears and hearts through what has been referred to as “edutainment:” the act of learning through a medium that both educates and entertains.

 

Project Objectives

  • To bring to life real stories that are representative of real people
  • To educate Jews and the general public about Jewish diversity in a touching, humorous and thought-provoking theatrical experience.
  • To strengthen the Jewish community by breaking down stereotypes and promoting inclusiveness (not based on ethnic/racial differences) within a relatable forum.
  • To help Jews of diversity find an outlet and community to share their unique experience with.
  • Our hope is that this project will inspire a necessary dialogue to tackle the changing faces of modern Jews and that these performances will speak to those Jews who live “outside the box,” and have a powerful story to relay regarding their Jewish identity. In order for the Jewish community to be relevant to all Jews, it must open its ears and doors to the ever- changing questions and experiences of our modern world.

SUBMISSION LINK: CLICK HERE




SEEKING ASSISTANT FOR KALEIDOSCOPE MONOLOGUE SHOWCASE
January 5, 2015


Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Exciting news for 2015:

I will be partnering with UJA and the 14th Street Y, in NYC to produce a Monologue Showcase that represents Jews of Ethnic and Racial Diversity. This has been a long dream of mine, to create a vehicle for these underepresented voices in the Jewish Community, and I'm looking for a kick-ass administrative assistant to help me bring this to life! See all details below. Please email resumes and inquiries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Kaleidoscope Showcase is a theatrical storytelling journey designed to help Jews explore their diverse racial and ethnic Jewish identities through monologues, stories and spoken-word. 
The Kaleidoscope project was sparked by a desire to give voice to Jews of diverse backgrounds and observance levels, who feel marginalized in todays Jewish Community. Through a series of group writing workshops, rehearsals and one-on-one coaching with professional spoken word artist/actress and director Vanessa Hidary, the unique experience and expression of each cast member will be developed using an experimental approach to storytelling. The workshops and rehearsals will culminate into 3 NYC based public performances. These performances will be professionally videotaped and used for the future Kaleidoscope website and curriculum program.


Position Duration: Mid March - Mid July

Qualifications:
 Candidate must be highly organized, reliable, social network savvy and computer friendly. Artistic background is a plus, but not necessary. Though this is a Jewish Community based project, candidate need not be Jewish.


Stipend:
$1,500

 

Responsibilities Include:

  • Availability: 2-3 hours a week from Mid March 2015 through July 2015 
    ** The week before show opening would include one 4-hour tech rehearsal on a Sunday, in addition to the weekly hours
    ** All rehearsals / auditions / workshops will be held on weeknights and / or Sunday afternoons in Manhattan
  • Organizing submission system and guidelines
  • Reading submissions - feedback encouraged
  • Contacting performers and organizing audition schedule
  • Attending and assisting in running 2 audition sessions (each session 2 hours max)
  • Emailing performers with all group rehearsal schedules and one-on-one sessions
  • Coordinating with institution to confirm rehearsal space and time
  • Attending 2 performance workshops (Writing Workshop attendance is optional)
  • Social Networking - create and update a Facebook page for the event
  • Assist in putting together a blurb and link to send to various sites and blogs
  • Attending and assisting in the organization of one 4-hour tech rehearsal
  • Attending the 3 performances in July

The Kaleidoscope showcase is a part of a larger multimedia project, so there is the possibility of staying with project for next steps.


Detailed description of the project itself:

 

Kaleidoscope

Program / Initiative Goals
 

The Kaleidoscope multi-media project was sparked by a desire to give voice to Jews of diverse backgrounds and observance levels, who feel marginalized in todays Jewish Community. Through the documentation of monologues, stories, spoken word and hip hop, Kaleidoscope will delve into the ever-popular question “What Does Jewish Look Like To You?” 
 

Kaleidoscope will create a central hub for people interested in engaging in this conversation. The hub will focus on an interactive website with a series of filmed live spoken word performances, a link where people can publish their own stories, sample writing exercises and a supplementary educational curriculum / discussion guide for teens and adults to follow the film’s viewing. There will also be an opportunity to bring a representative of the Kaleidoscope Project team to your community to facilitate a screening and post-screening discussion. These discussions would be appropriate for high schools, adult programming at Temples, Jewish youth organizations such as BBYO, Salons and JCC’s.
 

The first step needed to launch the Kaleidoscope project is the implementation of the Kaleidoscope Showcase:
 

The Kaleidoscope Showcase is a theatrical storytelling journey designed to help Jews explore their diverse Jewish identity through monologues, stories and spoken-word. Through a series of group writing workshops, rehearsals and one-on-one coaching with professional spoken word artist/actress and director Vanessa Hidary, the unique experience and expression of each cast member will be developed using an experimental approach to storytelling. The workshops and rehearsals will culminate into 3 NYC based public performances. These performances will be professionally videotaped and used for the future Kaleidoscope website and curriculum program.

The diverse cast will be found through social media and an extensive reach out to Jewish numerous organizations to ultimately create an experience and community that reflects diverse racial, ethnic and cultural Jewish populations. The cast members need not be professional actors or writers. Everyone is welcome to the process and will work with Vanessa to develop and strengthen their personal stories.


The Kaleidoscope showcase model is based on a show produced in 2007 by Birthright Israel NEXT, called Birthright Israel Monologues, where Vanessa worked with Birthright Israel alumni to create an evening of stories that reflected the impact of their trips and their personal stories of Jewish identity. 
Over a two-year period, the highly successful show consisted of 18 rotating cast members, traveled around the United States and engaged 2,000 people live. Digitally, the show has since engaged at least 75,000 people through Facebook, YouTube and other social networks.


Our goal is take this model and revamp it to reflect the less represented, ethnically and culturally diverse Jewish experiences in the community. 
Through her many years as a professional performing artist, Vanessa has seen first hand what a powerful vehicle spoken word can be in the exploration of cultural identity and social enlightenment. Her popular poem tackling Jewish stereotypes and identity titled “The Hebrew Mamita” debuted on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and quickly went viral, garnering half a million YouTube hits and igniting widespread discussion among Jews and non Jews alike from The Bronx to South Africa. We believe the personal monologue opens up our ears and hearts through what has been referred to as “edutainment:” the act of learning through a medium that both educates and entertains.

 

Project Objectives

  • To bring to life real stories that are representative of real people
  • To educate Jews and the general public about Jewish diversity in a touching, humorous and thought-provoking theatrical experience.
  • To strengthen the Jewish community by breaking down stereotypes and promoting inclusiveness (not based on ethnic/racial differences) within a relatable forum.
  • To help Jews of diversity find an outlet and community to share their unique experience with.
  • Our hope is that this project will inspire a necessary dialogue to tackle the changing faces of modern Jews and that these performances will speak to those Jews who live “outside the box,” and have a powerful story to relay regarding their Jewish identity. In order for the Jewish community to be relevant to all Jews, it must open its ears and doors to the ever- changing questions and experiences of our modern world.

 
IF INTERESTED, PLEASE EMAIL RESUMES & INQUIRES TO  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

Peace-

Vanessa



SHANA TOVA! WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR!
September 2013

Hi Friends! 

Hope you are having a great Summer. I recently returned from a fantastic trip to Israel, and am now back in NYC getting ready for a busy Fall. I'm currently booking gigs so please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested in bringing me to your community.

Peace-
Vanessa




A BITE OUT WITH THE HEBREW MAMITA... IN JOHANNESBURG!
July 26, 2012

Limmud South Africa is proud to partner with Eat Your Heart Out in bringing the Hebrew Mamita to the heart of Jozi! This is an event that you don't want to miss! 

flyer




THE HEBREW MAMITA AT THE WHITE HOUSE

April 12, 2012

Last week I was thrilled to be a guest at the White House reception honoring Jewish American History Month.
It was truly an honor to be among the guests and tour some of the beautiful rooms.
And yes, I got to shake the President's hand! 

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You can see more pics from my trip to the White House HERE.

-Vanessa



LADINO ROCK
April 12, 2012

I've collaborated with Ladino Rock singer, Sarah Aroeste, on a track from her new CD, "Gracia."
You can listen to it HERE

-Vanessa

 

HAPPY PASSOVER, HAPPY EASTER
April 6, 2012

Dear Friends,

I love Passover for many reasons. For the beautiful family memories, and for the inclusive message it relays, reminding us in the passage of Exodus "to not oppress the stranger, for we were once strangers in the land of Egypt." 

Passover calls for not only Jews to be free, but to remember we seek freedom for all races and religions that are needy, hungry, enslaved, and oppressed.

Have a beautiful holiday!

-Vanessa 

 

TWO EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENTS...
April 6, 2012

I am honored and humbled to be included in the "Voices of Antisemitism" podcast series as part of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. I am told one can listen to the podcast at the museum itself as well as online. More details HERE.

I have also been invited to perform at the annual Limmud conference in South Africa this August. More details coming soon. So excited! 

 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
UPDATED: January 26, 2012


Tablet Magazine
Performer and poet, Vanessa Hidary, the Hebrew Mamita, mashes up her Jewish identity with that of a Puerto Rican - and unsettles stereotypes.

"[The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega] is a confession of how Hidary switches tribes, how she is not culturally loyal to one ethnicity but to many, and why cultural dislocation is her milieu."

My Jewish Learning
A Kaiser Roll In The Bodega

"Hidary's work reflects a combination of cultures, and a confusion of them. Her book's first words, 'L'Chaim and Salud,' sets forth her agenda, which includes embracing multiculturalism while remaining distinctly Jewish, and distinctly herself."

Poetry: He Said, She Said

A Review of: The Last Kaiser Roll In The Bodega

"I don't know Vanessa Hidary personally, but I know her work... it's personal. [The Last Kaiser Roll In The Bodega] was all that I expected but nothing that I expected all wrapped in one. // I hate to even call it a book. It is more than that. It is life unbound."

2Deep: My Mother's Daughter
A Ph.D in Her: Vanessa Hidary

"The Last Kaiser Roll In The Bodega, the book written by the poetically talented Vanessa Hidary, was unlike anything you could have expected. Then again, when dealing with Vanessa, to expect anything specific or standard is already your first mistake..."

BSN: Black Star News
The Hebrew Mamita: Spittin' Rootz, Rhymez, & Religion 

"Raw strength, sheer vulnerability, witty charisma, thug stance passion, rose-petal fragility, good-girl-gone-bad, or bad-girl-gone-good, Vanessa Hidary aka The Hebrew Mamita embodied it all and then some..."

 

 

JEWISH COMMUNITY HERO AWARD NOMINATION
October 3, 2011

L'Shana Tova. A sweet Happy New Year to those that celebrate, and Happy Fall to everyone!

I'm honored to announce that I have been nominated for a Jewish Community Hero Award, and I need your votes to have a shot at being one of the finalists!

YOU CAN VOTE FOR ME HERE!

One can vote for me every 12 hours until the voting ends on November 10th, 2011. So if you'd like to help me out by voting daily I would be so grateful! And of course, please spread the word :)

 



I'M BEYONG THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF MY FIRST BOOK:
"THE LAST KAISER ROLL IN THE BODEGA"

May 30, 2011

"The Last Kaiser Roll In The Bodega is a collection of Vanessa's signature poems, prose, and excerpts of her nationally acclaimed one-woman show; Culture Bandit. Vanessa draws inspiration for her work from issues of cultural identity, unrequited love, hip-hop and more.

Please visit the online store to purchase your copy and maybe a gift for someone else :)
I will personalize each copy with a signature upon request.

Thank you for all your support!

Enjoy-
Vanessa

The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega

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