Not Quite Heaven In Mott Haven
43% of Mott Haven and Melrose residents live below the Federal Poverty Level; it is the third-poorest neighborhood in NYC. The six highest-poverty neighborhoods in NYC are in the Bronx. -NYC Health Community Health Profiles 2015
But it if wasn't for the Bronx! The Bronx is beautiful, brilliant, and like many other inner cities around the world plagued by poverty, and social inequality, broken and at times barely breathing. My wife and I live and work in the arts and education here in the Bronx, and see first hand the handsome history, the promising potential, and the wretched residue of ruin that rests on the robbed, and run down- people, and property of our community. This is why I am super duper extra ultra excited about the local faith based art happening right here in the hood called The_Ology.
I recently caught wind of this event on IG, and finally made it out this past Saturday. The_Ology (as explained on their FB page) is the premier monthly christian arts showcase in The Bronx held at the Mott Haven Bar. Created to celebrate ALL christian artists. When you have 5 kids, work multiple jobs, and serve in just as many ministries, you don't just go out, you go out. That being said you know wifey and I made it a dinner date night as well. Conveniently, The_Ology goes down right inside one of our fav spots to eat. Mott Haven Bar & Grill (Formerly Bruckner Bar & Grill). So we had dinner, and slid into the art gallery afterwards. At this point I'm already a fan. It was somewhat odd at first to see so many people that I know, but never actually met. Social media is notorious for producing this type of social weirdness. Hey I think I know you. uhhh- nice to... Meet you? First things first I got to chop it up with Eli from UNYC, and copped a dope T-shirt that I'm ultra hype to rock during #Trainsformers Ministry. It wasn't long before the founder of The_Ology Odane Whilby was blowing the packed room away with his amazing soulful voice. Comedian Christian King hosted the show and brought a ton of comical relief, this brother is slap your knee in the face funny! Whatever that means. A few other incredibly talented artists graced the stage including singer songwriter Liz Mott, poet/emcee Sincerity, bassist/singer Tony Mclendon, all excellently broken up by an impromptu freestyle with Hip Hop artists Angie Rose & R.Q.Tek. Finally singer song writer Jay Cabassa head lined the event with a powerhouse set singing from the depths of his soul as if determined to be heard from miles away. Wifey and I had to dip quickly to relieve the baby sitter, but I'm sure the fellowship went on into the night, as Christian creatives connected organically in a spirit of love and unity. I am thrilled to see this event happening here in a hurting neighborhood, where both Christians and non Christians alike can come and experience Church in the wild. The_Ology brings a hint of heaven to Mott Haven. Be sure to check it out! Click here for more info via their FB page.