When the children of PS 65, Queens, are suddenly energetic and cheerful, you know Christopher Celiz has just entered the building on his sleek skateboard. Celiz, an integral part of the Scarsdale Strings faculty, is far from your conventional music teacher. He is a four-time American Beatbox Championship Finalist and one of the founders of the Beatbox House, a weekly showcase of amateur and experienced beatbox talent. Working with Scarsdale Strings he is motivated and empowered to maintain a balanced schedule and develop what he loves. In May 2015, Celiz will be travelling to Berlin as a mentor to inner city youth who are participating in the Hip Hop Re:Education Project.
The Hip Hop Re:Education Project is an exchange program that gives inner city youth between 18-24 from New York and Berlin a chance to experience each other’s city and culture by sharing their work in hip hop. The project was conceptualized to foster creative understanding and cross-cultural mentorship to youth who often do not have the opportunity to travel nor have a safe space to incubate their ideas. At Scarsdale Strings, we work in conjunction with our community partners to engage different stakeholders in K-12 education. With this, we aim to create a safe space for students even beyond their classroom. We laud the efforts of The Hip Hop Re:Education Project to do the same for young adults.
Chris Celiz is passionate about mentoring these youth. He works hard to pursue what he loves- beatboxing- and strives to make sure that other young artists and students are exposed to similar opportunities. He aims to create a sense of community for artists in New York. He joined the Re:Education project as a teaching artist in 2012 and credits the experience for broadening his perspective, a virtue that has really helped his art. His past experience with the project will help him be a successful mentor.
Chris Celiz is a Scarsdale Strings instructor at PS 65, Queens. Scarsdale Strings believes in linking creativity with service to foster a sense of community. Celiz has inculcated this ethos in his practice and Scarsdale Strings encourages him to bring this into our classrooms. He is currently guiding his talented after school students to create a performance in dialogue with the prolific poet-activists of Nuyorican Poets Cafe.