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WHAT'S HAPPENING

NBP Member Interview Series Featuring Brandy Lee Fritzen

Written by Rachel Nolte  • October 19, 2017

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Editor’s Note: Rachel is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) at NEHDA for the year. Her roll involves a variety of tasks, such as recruiting volunteers and applying for funding opportunities to plan really cool, really fun events that benefit the community. Rachel graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in psychology. She spent the past year serving in another AmeriCorps program where she traveled the state of New York to help out with various environmental projects. As part of Rachel’s work with NEHDA, she is writing some posts for us to share. All of her posts can be found under the “NEHDA” category. To learn more about NEHDA, visit their website and Facebook.

 

You in Motion

 

Brandy Lee Fritzen is the owner of a recently opened a studio for movement & meditation called You In Motion. Located on North Salina Street (across from Assumption Church), You In Motion focuses on the mental health benefits of motion through yoga and dance. Read on to find out more about Brandy and her studio.

 

Question: Where are you from originally?

Brandy: I’m from here, Syracuse, NY.

 

 

Q: How long have you been interested in running your own studio?

Brandy:  I think that it’s something that I secretly had a desire to do, and I didn’t really know it until the opportunity presented itself.

 

 

Q: Do you want to speak a little bit more about what you mean by that?

Brandy: Well, I think that I always wanted to but I never thought that it would be real, or that it could really happen. When the opportunity presented itself, it was just events that were happening that I didn’t—I was getting tired of teaching elsewhere and that made me have the desire to have my own space. I happened to drive by the space that was available, and that would be the opportunity, is that the space was there, it was open, and it presented itself.

 

 

Q: How long have you been teaching?

Brandy: I’ve been teaching Nia [keeping reading for an explanation of Nia!] since 2007. I am a Nia white belt, there’s a series of belts you can get as you grow and learn more through the practice.

 

 

Q: What’s the highest ranking?

Brandy: Black belt, and the black belt is a trainer, so you can train the trainers. So I’ve taken the first belt, and I trained, and I taught for a little while, and then I took some time off. And then I decided that I want to continue teaching again because it’s something that I love doing and I needed it in my life. So, I decided to take my white belt again to revisit the foundation of Nia and what it is and the purpose and why I want to do it, instead of continuing to excel on to the other belts. Now that I’ve got that done, I can continue on.

 

 

Q: For those who don’t know what Nia is, can you explain that a little?

Brandy: Nia stands for Neuromuscular Integrative Action and it is a dance-fitness, to say it plainly, that incorporates techniques from the healing arts, the dance arts, the martial arts. So all of these techniques intertwined into the choreography along with a set of 52 moves and it’s meant to stimulate the body and to find health through movement. So you’re stimulating all the body systems, like the musculatory system, the skeletal system, the limbic system, the circulatory system, and so on. The whole time you’re doing that, a class will last about an hour and fifteen minutes, depending on the instructor, the whole time you’re doing that, you don’t realize that you’re really cleansing your body and you’re opening up some tension and releasing—you’re opening up yourself in a lot more ways than just a physical way. I relate to it because I’m a really emotional person and I find a lot of emotion in the dance when I’m doing it. I find that exciting.

 

 

Q: What are the origins of Nia as a whole?

Brandy: Yes, Debby Rosas and Carlos Rosas, they were fitness instructors in the 1970s and in the 1980s, to be specific, in 81 when Nia was actually founded, they did research and studies on kinesthetics and body movements on what was most healthy and what was the most appropriate way to move your body to stay healthy without getting hurt. Because what they were finding was in their work, is that people were getting injured. Fitness was a really big thing, aerobics was a really big thing in the early 80s, but people were getting hurt. So they wanted to find a safe way to move your body. So this is how they incorporated Nia. They’re very close with all the instructors; it’s a growing community but it started as a very small, close knit community. Everybody who has gone through a Nia training is very close. It’s like a little family.

 

 

Q: Is it local to the area?

Brandy: It’s all over the world right now, Germany, Australia, it’s all over. Asia, all over those big continents. It started and originated where Debby and Carlos live, out west in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

Q: How did you get exposed to it?

Brandy: Okay, so, I was going through a life situation that was really traumatic. I mean, people have gone through worse things, I’m sure, but to me, in this moment, it was a very difficult time for me. I didn’t know where I was going with my life. And so my mom was taking this class, she had heard about it locally, she said, “Come and dance Nia class with me. You’ll feel a lot better.” So I went to a Nia class, my first class, with my teacher Pam La Blanch, of the Fit Biz—just saying, since we’re writing this all down, I’ll give her a little Kudos there—I love Pam, she’s an amazing, amazing woman—so I took my first class there and I loved it and I just fell in love with it. I don’t know why, but it was fantastic. The sensation that I got was one of the first principles of Nia, the joy of movement. I really felt that sensation—I felt joyful when I was dancing. It was a great outlet for me to express myself, my emotions, to build my confidence in a time that was trying for me.

 

 

Q: Your advertisements say “Gentle Yoga.” What kind of yoga is it?

Brandy: So having Nia certification opened up many doors. I found something new in my life that I loved. I started, what I thought would be my career in music therapy, which didn’t come through I guess, or didn’t happen—didn’t happen the way I thought it would. So I was really interested in therapies and healing and being a better person and helping people through that. With the instruction of Nia and being around that type of people all the time, I was introduced to Yoga Fit. Again, Yoga Fit was offering our community of Nia instructors—they offered Yoga Fit and I got the training for that and the certification. I started teaching yoga, and it seemed to just all go hand-in-hand.

 

 

Q: What is the target age range and ability for the yoga classes?

Brandy: Age range is for anybody. I do have a kids’ class on Saturdays, and that would be probably ages 3 to 6, depending on the attention level of the children and also for the older ones, if they’re 6, how tolerant they are of the younger ones. For the adult classes, any age, any ability. The class that I teach is really very relaxed and easy to do, so it’s very basic yoga, like yoga for the everyday busy person. Come and relax, stretch your body, breath in, breath out a little bit, and just feel good.

 

 

Q: What advice would you give to someone who’s interested in starting a business? 

Brandy: Oh boy. I have a lot of advice! I was thinking, I could teach people probably how to start a business ‘cause I’ve done everything wrong probably. I came into this not knowing anything, just, like I said, it just happened, and I was like, “Yay, one day, just open a studio!” I have a lot of passion and I think that’s great and I need that for it, but there were a lot of things I didn’t know. So, first things first—and forgive me, all professional entrepreneurs out there! I think that, to have your finances in order, to know what everything is going to cost, and line that up first. Don’t just jump into it like I did. I mean, that’s great. It’s exciting to do that, but to—I had to take care of things while I was trying to start the business and it was too difficult. Things such as getting the electric bill in my name and transfer over. Everything was a surprise, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing! I thought, Oh I just call and change my name. But no, they need all kinds of stuff. They need application, they need the lease, they have a deposit and things like that. So I would definitely, number one, make a list of all the things you need to be productive and to keep the business running, and make sure you have that all in place first. So, with hindsight, I think that probably you would need a couple of months to prepare, just to open a business or start your business, you need some time to prepare. There’s so many other things, but that would be my number one. And then organizing your clients, getting some advertisements and marketing set and put in place, because if you’re doing that while you’re starting your business, it’s challenging. So do it ahead of time. You can call me for more advice later.

 

Q: Will there be a fee?

Brandy: Yes. (laughter)

 

Check out You In Motion studio’s calendar  for a complete schedule of classes and events. You can also contact Brandy directly at cnyinmotion@gmail.com

“Wow, Syracuse. I want to go there:” Welcoming Economies Convening + Northside Tours

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 16, 2017

WE-Convening

 

Next week, organizations, business owners, and individuals across the United States will convene in Syracuse to learn more about “cutting edge policies, successful programs, innovative ideas, and a network of trailblazers in our emerging field of immigrant economic development.” The Welcoming Economies event begins on Monday, October 23rd and ends on the 25th.

The Convening features a number of workshops and community tours. We’re most excited about:

1. Northside Tours

On Monday afternoon, participants can choose from several tours, three of which focus on the Northside: Building Community Amidst Constant Change: The Realities of Northside Micro-Neighborhoods; Food on the Northside: The Language that Needs No Translation; Creating safe and inclusive spaces for Faith: The Journey of Converting a Historic Church into a Welcoming Mosque.

 

2. Ignite Talks and Welcoming Reception

The first day of the conference ends with a fast-paced session where organizations give a five minute presentation about innovative ideas they’re adopted. The Talks are emceed by Nicole Watts of Hopeprint and Joe Cimperman of Global Cleveland.

A My Lucky Tummy pop-up follows the Ignite Talks, with food from Burma, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria.

 

3. Community Organizing Case Study: Perspectives form Organizers and Community Members in the Near Westside Peacemaking Project

This panel is made up of leaders and participants of the Peacemaking Project, an innovative community organization model, that will share best practices with attendees.

 

We’re also excited to see the debut of a video about New Americans in Syracuse and their impact on the small business and workforce industries. Here’s two teasers to get you just as excited as we are:

 

To register for the conference, visit the We Global Network’s website. For those in Syracuse, you can use the local discount to save money on your registration. Go to the registration page and click on “Enter Promotion Code” in blue at the top of the registration form. Enter code LocalDiscount and press “Apply Code.”

This conference is hosted by CenterState CEO and  WE Global Network, a program of Welcoming America in partnership with Global Detroit. For more information about the Welcoming Economies Convening, visit CenterSatte CEO’s website.

Happy Anniversary Coop Fed: Dine and Dance with us on October 20!

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 12, 2017

Coop Fed Gala

Cooperative Federal is celebrating their 35th Anniversary this year with a Gala & Fundraiser at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo on October 20th at 5:30 p.m. Our staff will be there feasting on pecan crusted salmon, dancing to the beats of DJ Rondell with Ear Catcher Sound, and bidding on all the silent auction items. Proceeds from the event go to support Coop Fed’s youth programs, including their In-School Branches at Nottingham, Henninger, and Fowler High Schools.

For many years, Cooperative Federal has been a trusted partner in all of our Economic Inclusion initiatives at CenterState CEO and we’re excited to revisit the accomplishments of this community development credit union and look to the future for more ways to “foster economic justice, inclusion, and opportunity” in all of Syracuse’s neighborhoods.

Tickets are available on a sliding scale from $30-75 and includes dinner, dessert, entertainment, and access to the zoo. Purchase them HERE. Thanks to event sponsors, there are also a limited amount of free tickets for anyone who is unable to pay. Send inquiries to event@coopfed.org.

For more information about the event – including the music line up and full dinner menu – visit CoopFed.org or join their Facebook InviteCooperative Federal works to “rebuild our local economy in ways that foster justice, serve people and communities that are under-served by conventional financial institutions, and responsibly manage our members’ assets.”

Photo Friday: “How might we . . .”

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 6, 2017

Some of our staff + a representative from the Syracuse Northeast Community Center show off our hard work tackling a number of challenges. If the post-its didn’t give it away, we’re knee-deep in a Design Thinking course through Acumen: brainstorming ideas, creating prototypes, and asking “How might we . . .”

 

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October 2012: “A headdress of peacock feathers dripping with pearls”

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 5, 2017

Fairy Tales are beloved by children (and adults) generation after generation. And so are these paintings that hang in the White Branch Library. We’re throwin’ it back to a post from October 2012 when we dug a little further into the history of this local artwork.

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Depicting Fairy Tales: Artwork at White Branch Library (originally published October, 13, 2012)

It’s impossible to miss the three large paintings hanging in the Children’s Room at the White Branch Library. The art nouveau pieces in shades of orange, navy, green, and brown set the scene for three classic fairy tales: Cinderella, the Pied Piper of Hamlin, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Beautifully painted with fun details (the fairy godmother in Cinderella wears a headdress of peacock feathers dripping with pearls), the magic of these stories pushes the boundaries of imagination—no matter your age.

The panels were painted by Syracuse’s own Margaret Huntington Boehner, an award-winning painter. Born in Oneonta, New York in 1894, Boehner attended Syracuse University’s College of Fine Arts and began teaching there shortly after graduation in 1922. Early in her career Boehner painted the three panels that were given to the White Branch Library by the Friends of Reading of Onondaga County. The fairy tales remain on permanent display in the Children’s Room.

Although a Syracuse resident for much of her life, only a handful of Boehner’s works actually remain in the city. The three panels at White Branch Library are an important part of our local history, but also our personal history on the Northside, as patrons fondly remember the pictures from their childhood.

Visit the White Branch Library in order to appreciate all the details of Boehner’s vision. How do these fairy tales compare to your own imaginings?

 

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Introducing Northside Beauty at Apostrophe’S Art Gallery: “A celebration of artwork made by our New Americans on the Northside”

Written by Rachel Nolte  • October 4, 2017

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Editor’s Note: Rachel is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) at NEHDA for the year. Her roll involves a variety of tasks, such as recruiting volunteers and applying for funding opportunities to plan really cool, really fun events that benefit the community. Rachel graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in psychology. She spent the past year serving in another AmeriCorps program where she traveled the state of New York to help out with various environmental projects. As part of Rachel’s work with NEHDA, she is writing some posts for us to share. All of her posts can be found under the “NEHDA” category. To learn more about NEHDA, visit their website and Facebook.

 

 

1

Apostrophe’S (pronounced “Apostrophe S”) is an art gallery on the Northside of Syracuse that was founded by Holly Wilson and Allison Kirsch, two Syracuse University graduates. The gallery is located at 1100 Oak Street, across from one of the entrances to Schiller Park. The mission of the gallery is to “collaborate with creators to produce innovative exhibitions and events that share contemporary art with the growing Northside and the surrounding communities.” This mission is reflected in the name of the gallery: the apostrophe refers to the idea of inclusion.

In the two years that the gallery has been running, they have worked with various local artists, students, neighbors, and businesses. Apostrophe’S is a member of the Northside Business Partnership, the local business association for the Northside of Syracuse. Apostrophe’S also works with community organizations such as TrueNORTH and Friends of Schiller Park.

Currently, Apostrophe’S is partnering with NEHDA for an upcoming art show that will run from October 2nd until October 13th, 2017.  This show represents the culmination of a collaborative project between NEHDA, Apostrophe’S, North Side Learning Center, and New American Women’s Empowerment. This project is made possible with support of the County of Onondaga & CNY Arts through the Tier Three Project Support Grant Program.

 

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Artworks in the show were made by Northside New Americans in response to the prompt, “What does the Northside mean to you?” Materials include paint, pen, pencil, and collage. The resulting artworks include a range of colors, styles, and techniques. Some chose to represent a specific person or a building, and others chose to represent the Northside through abstract shapes and textures.

There will be a reception for the Northside Beauty: Art Show on the first Friday of October, the 6th, from 5:00-7:00 PM. The show is free and open to the public, with refreshments and a live performance of African drumming to celebrate the diversity of Northside culture.

To learn more about Apostrohe’S, visit their website and like them on Facebook. Currently, the gallery  is looking for exhibition applicants. Interested? Contact Apostrophe’S via their website . If you want to get involved with this project or future community projects, please contact Rachel at Rachel (at) nehda.org for more information.

 

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Photo Friday: At Play

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 29, 2017

This #FlashBackFriday is from last September’s Northside Festival. Looks like fun, right? Head over to Schiller Park for this year’s Northside Festival on Saturday: www.facebook.com/events/471176649930496/?ti=icl

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Baseball was Very Good to Me

Written by Joe Russo  • September 28, 2017

Editor’s Note:  Joe Russo is a “Nortsider”, a retired teacher, and an aspiring writer. We’ve asked him to share his stories of the past and offer his perspective on the present and future of our neighborhood. His posts will appear each month under the category, “Old Times on the Northside.”

 

Sign

 

Growing up on the old Northside in the 1950’s meant playing baseball almost every day in the summer. I lived on Mary Street directly across from North High School. The neighborhood was full of kids my age looking to get outside and play catch or shag fly balls. Even if we didn’t have enough kids to play a baseball game with the full complement of players we found a way to work in the imaginary man on second base. Which of course led to many heated discussions, for example was the imaginary man fast enough to make it home on a slow rolling ground ball to right field? It was a dispute we learned to resolve without adult supervision.

The games were organized by yelling at your friend’s house from the street. “Hey Tommy, tell your brother we’re starting a game at North.” “Yeah, yeah we know, go wake up Tony. He always sleeps late,” replied Tommy. And so the message was passed on from house to house no cell phones no instant messaging just an open window and some verbal jousting. Sometimes we even found a way to play baseball with kids we didn’t like, imagine that?

It’s the summer of 2017 and times have changed. I go to the Farmers Market every Saturday morning. I often find myself taking a detour through the old neighborhood. I am curious. I know the Northside has changed but just how has it changed. When I drive by my old house on Mary Street I can see that the old baseball fields at North High are no longer there. North High School has been torn down and a complex of homes for senior citizens exists in its place. A couple of Saturdays ago I was driving home from the Farmers Market on Park Street. As I approached Washington Square Park I noticed a group of kids playing an unorganized game of soccer. The park actually had a pair of official looking soccer goals. The group was a mix of teenagers and some who looked to be under ten years of age. Everyone was madly running up and down the field having a great time. Neither goal had a goalie. I suppose they could have had imaginary goalies. I wonder if the imaginary ones made any saves. Is this the new Northside? Has soccer replaced baseball? It is a new era. I find that I cannot truly understand the emerging world around me unless I can see this world through the eyes of our youth. They are growing and developing the Syracuse of the future.

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Photo Friday: Face the Sun

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 22, 2017

Seeing all the sunflowers popping up all over the neighborhood–in gardens, between houses, in front yards–makes these warm days all the more sunny.

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“What’s For Dinner?”: Featuring Anna Rupert

Written by Rachel Nolte  • September 20, 2017

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Editor’s Note: Rachel is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) at NEHDA for the year. Her roll involves a variety of tasks, such as recruiting volunteers and applying for funding opportunities to plan really cool, really fun events that benefit the community. Rachel graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in psychology. She spent the past year serving in another AmeriCorps program where she traveled the state of New York to help out with various environmental projects. As part of Rachel’s work with NEHDA, she is writing some posts for us to share. All of her posts can be found under the “NEHDA” category. To learn more about NEHDA, visit their website and Facebook.

 

 

Anna

 

 

Anna works for NEHDA as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Her job duties include grant research, community outreach, and administrative support for the Northside Business Partnership.  We look forward to seeing what she accomplishes during her time with us. 

 

Question: Where are you from?

Anna: I was born in Syracuse, at St. Joe’s.

 

Q: So you haven’t strayed far. Do you like it here or do you eventually want to end up elsewhere?

A: I want to experience living in other places, definitely. I wouldn’t necessarily say, 100% I would never come back here and live. But I definitely don’t plan on being here forever and not living other places first. I like it here, I just don’t necessarily want to stay.

 

Q: What keeps you in the area?

A: My boyfriend and his job. I went to school here, because it was cheaper.

 

Q: What did you study?

A: I studied Spanish and I studied sociology.

 

Q: So how did you end up here at NEHDA?

A: Well, I wanted to do something a little bit more meaningful with my break in between college and grad school, and I wanted a break because I wanted some time to figure out what I want to go to grad school for. So I found AmeriCorps, my mom gave me a flyer. I applied for all of the jobs that they offered in Syracuse . .  Mike ended up calling me, and I came here and I kind of loved it, so I ended up staying.

 

Q: Do you have a sense of what you want to go to grad school for at this point?

A: I’m torn between law or public policy, and education.

 

Q: So how does that relate back to your undergraduate degree?

A: Spanish education. So I would teach Spanish and dance, or law and public policy. There’s a whole bunch of different ways that Spanish and Hispanic culture and things like that tie into law and public policy. Whether it’s advocating for the Hispanic community, or just needing to translate, stuff like that.

 

Q: What initially drew you to this area of advocacy?

A: Well, I started dancing Flamenco when I was probably 7—

 

Q: How did you get into that?

A: I was looking for a new studio because the one that I had been going to, the woman terrified me and kind of made me not want to dance anymore. So, I was looking to switch, but before I committed myself to a studio, I wanted to take a sample class and see how the studio’s vibe was and what their teaching style was like, what the atmosphere of the studio was, ‘cause I didn’t want to bounce right back into another place just like the one I had left. So I went to Guzmán’s out in Fayetteville and took a sample class and the class that they had running at the time was Flamenco. I just kind of kept going with it, and I never really stopped. So then I started taking Spanish and traveling to Spain and studying Flamenco there, and it just kind of evolved.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about being here so far?

A: I really like going out into the community and meeting all of the community members. It’s really cool to be around people who really care about their neighborhood and have a strong sense of neighborhood community because growing up, my neighborhood had a very, very strong sense of neighborhood community, and I took that for granted, as like, “Everywhere is like this, and everybody has really great neighbors and knows all of their neighbors and their neighbors birthdays, and that’s just a normal thing. Everybody in the neighborhood is just like their family. Totally.” And then living other places, it just made no sense to me, that people that I went to college with didn’t know the names of any of their neighbors and my boyfriend didn’t know the name of the person who was living directly below him, and I was kind of shocked. So it’s really cool to be back around people who share that strong sense of neighborhood community.

 

Q: What do you see as being your biggest challenge you will face this year?

A: I would say being able to take all of the big ideas that people, including myself, have, and put them into something that’s actually realistic. Because, it’s very easy to get into this whole, “Yeah, this would be great if we could do this, and add this . . .” and create this really big, ideal world project, and then once you get down to trying to actually implement it, it can be very disheartening if you haven’t really thought about what’s actually realistic. For instance, yes, it would be fantastic if I could get public trashcans all over the Northside. That would be amazing. I would love to do that. But, is that actually realistic? Who’s going to maintain them? There’s a lot of other things that don’t necessarily come up at first, so I think it will be a challenge to keep that in mind and not try and catch a whale instead of a fish . . . I had a ballet teacher, growing up, one of my favorite teachers, who always said, “In an ideal world, this is what would happen.” She was usually referring to, “In an ideal world, you would all have perfect turn out, and be much more flexible than you actually are.” But, her point was just, “This would be ideal, but this is what you have, so work with what you have.” That’s a hard concept to grasp sometimes.

 

Q: What’s for dinner?

A: Leftover Chinese food from China Café in Armory Square.

 

Q: What did you get?

A: I . . . (pause) This order is for two people. Just keep that in mind. (Laughter) It’s gonna be a little scary. So, two orders of fried wantons, pork fried wantons, then a large pork lo mein, no vegetable, a large pork fried rice, no vegetable, two egg rolls, a small sweet and sour chicken, and a large General Tso’s chicken. Oh, and two things of white rice.

 

Q: Does your boyfriend not like vegetables?

A: No. He gets creeped out by the little corns.

 

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