Our Yonkers, Our Youth, Our Stories

Our Yonkers, Our Youth, Our Stories explores the role of the seer, the doer, the visionary who makes a difference in our community by creating, leading, developing essential and innovative programming that involves youth. 

The "OYOYOS" events explore essential youth programs in Yonkers, along with the amazing people who develop, create, and run them: presenting opportunities to hear, to make connections, and to, perhaps, share your own story. At the end of our program(s), the audience is invited to share a two minute story about an educator that made a difference in their lives.

Recent Events

5/8 Theatre Making and Youth

Our special guests are SLC alum, Paul Kwame Johnson, STEP Academics and Arts - Artistic Director and Executive Yvonne McFall and Lauren Raphael Fofana, respectively. Kwame Johnson is the founder of the world-renowned Youth Theatre Interactions. Youth Theatre educator who has influenced generations in Yonkers and Westchester County and beyond.

OYOYOS is pleased to present the premier video presentation of the play Vape, Vape, Vape- Don’t Believe the Hype written and directed by Paul Kwame Johnson that features performances by Navaiya Williams, Laniya Sabb, Juliana Gentile, and Vanessa Gentile. The play interrogates the tobacco industry's directed marketing strategies for vapes and e-cigarettes that target teens and youth ("replacement smokers"). Discussion to follow.

4/11: LGBTQ+ Youth Programs

4/11: LGBTQ+ Youth Programs

Our special guest is Lisa Scott, Director of Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) Center Lane. WJCS Center Lane is an LGBTQ+ youth ages 13-21.

3/14: Spoken Word, Music and Youth

3/14: Spoken Word, Music and Youth

Our special guests are Marcus C. John and Tyreek Kidd. Marcus C. John is an American poet, singer and, songwriter. Born and raised in Yonkers, he started an open mic in Yonkers which evolved into Soulbox Entertainment. In 2018 John published The Book Of John: A Collection of Poem, Prose, and Rhyme. Tyreek Kidd is a Yonkers born Artist, Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Rapper, and Musician.

2/14: Forty years of Youth Theatre

Paul Kwame Johnson and Navaiya Williams. Kwame Johnson is the founder of the world-renowned Youth Theatre Interactions. Youth Theatre educator Paul Kwame Johson has influenced generations in Yonkers and Westchester County and beyond. Navaiya Williams has been a student of Kwame's at YTI for the past five years. Annie Lanzillotto is our host. Annie is a poet, social activist, performer, storyteller, songwriter. She is also a Sarah Lawrence College alum and a Yonkers Resident.


Series Details

Hosted by alumna and Yonkers resident Annie Lanzillotto MFA ’90—a poet and storyteller—OYOYOS has highlighted Paul Kwame Johnson ‘74, co-founder of Youth Theater Interactions, a youth performing arts studio and education center in Yonkers

Our Yonkers, Our Youth, Our Stories is made possible by support from the Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Program, the Mellon Foundation, the Yonkers Public Library and more. Special thanks to Melissa Frazier, Caden Manson, Mara Gross, Aixa Rosario Medina, and Mellon Foundation Fellows Kishauna Soljour and Yeong Ran Kim.