Madaha Kinsey (248059)
Credit: YouTube

Almost 40 years ago, founder and executive director Madaha Kinsey Lamb developed a vision for an interdisciplinary arts facility for underserved young people in the Northeast Bronx. That vision has manifested mightily in the form of the not-for-profit Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center. This Saturday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., the community is invited to see what the original Mind-Builders vision has grown into. A street festival and open house will allow community members to sample some of the many aspects of Mind-Builders.

Mind-Builders will kick off its new season with their fourth annual Open House Street Festival and Youth Talent Contest. The open house gives community members an opportunity to sample free classes in dance, martial arts, salsa, African drum keyboard and violin. There will be tours of the newly renovated state of the art facility led by young people, and the community will have an opportunity to see the institution’s impressive collection of African art. On the street outside, Mind-Builders students will perform and there will be a highly anticipated talent contest that will be judged by the audience in a manner similar to the talent shows held at the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. Social media advocate Choyce Westbrook will host the talent show. Also featured will be vendors, local community leaders and several attractions for the entire family.

Mind-Builders currently serves more than 600 students from ages 3 to senior citizens. More than 190 classes are held weekly, and group and private instruction is available in music, dance and drama. There are several free programs for teens, including the Positive Youth Troupe theater company and a Community Folk Culture Program. Classes start the week of Oct. 3, 2017, but discounted registrations will be offered at the open house and festival.

Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center is located at 3415 Olinville Ave. in the Northeast Bronx near White Plains and Gun Hill roads. For information about the open house or festival or any of the Mind-Builders’ year-round programs, call 718-652-6256 or go to www.mind-builders.org. Mind-Builders is also on Facebook at Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center.

Basir Mchawi is producer and host of the award winning WBAI-FM radio program “Education at the Crossroads,” heard Thursdays at 8 p.m.