Trilok Arts Offers After School Programs for Youth and Adults

Allison Lee, 5, showing off her work after a lesson about artist Wassily Kandinsky’s paintings of circles. (Photo courtesy Crystal Durant)

Now in its sixth year, the after-school program at the Trilok Fusion Center for Arts and Education is now offering cooking, music, language, visual arts and dance classes to students 2 and older.

“We have much more diverse choices,” said new visual arts teacher Crystal Durant, referencing the classes that go beyond the average course offerings of ballet and jazz, to incorporate Indian, African and Tai Chi movement classes.

Durant said the staff also adds a lot to the curriculum.

“A lot of the teaching artists have so much experience,” Durant said. “Plus, the facilities here are fantastic: big rooms, open spaces and great materials.”

Founded by artists Sudha Seetharaman and Anand Kamalakar, Trilok Arts moved into Fort Greene in 2004, before relocating the same year to where the non-profit now stands, at 143 Waverly Avenue. In 2007, the arts organization added a preschool and an after-school program to what was already a fast growing network of support for artists in the area. The classes, Durant said, are more support, providing in-depth teaching and challenges for students.

“In the cooking class, they’ve done everything from cookies to spaghetti dinners,” Durant said. “It’s more multi-level things, as opposed to ‘Let’s make toast.’”

In the arts class, which Durant will teach this year, Durant said she will build from past curriculums, which offered afterschool students an opportunity to learn across all mediums.

“They’ve worked with clay, they’ve done soft sculpture and they’ve done paper making,” she said.

Performance classes, including theater, music and dance, will perform at the close of the fall and spring semesters.

Durant said the difference between Trilok and other schools at which she has taught is the energy Trilok co-founder Seetharaman brings to the after-school programs.

“She’s so dedicated to what the programs are,” Durant said.

Though classes started on Monday, registration is still ongoing and Durant said the school will prorate courses for those students who enter courses late.