"Ausgezeichnete Orte im Land der Ideen" Award Ceremony for the BronxBerlinConnection
• Deutsche Bank
• Germany - Land of Ideas
New York state of mind
That will be mine
Berlin City state of mind
We come together and our minds
will be in New York time
- Lyrics from BronxBerlinConnection youth song featuring both Berlin and NYC youth
Young Hip Hop performers from the BronxBerlinConnection youth exchange celebrated the program’s 6th year on March 19th, 2014 at the Bronx Music Heritage Center. This year the Deutsche Bank-sponsored “Ausgezeichnete Orte im Land der Ideen” award was given to Berlin-based street work organization Gangway e.V. for developing a youth program that has facilitated 10 international exchange trips, enabled three multi-lingual music compilations, and worked with nearly 100 young people from both cities.
The evening's festivities began with a Hip Hop "cipher," a collective circle of self-expression in which Hip Hop dancers, poets, and vocal percussionists improvise new work. Immediately following this brief, yet explosive performance, Farbeon Saucedo, Founding Director of the Hip Hop Re: Education Project – the lead NYC partner of the BronxBerlinConnection – greeted the audience with a warm welcome and pointed out the importance of such exchange programs for youth in both countries.
The evening's speakers included: German Consul General Busso von Alvensleben, Professor of African and African American Studies at Fordham University Prof. Mark Naison, Managing Director of Gangway, e.V. Elvira Berndt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board for "Germany – Land of Ideas" Holger Lösch, Head of Investor Relations for Deutsche Bank North America Reginald Cash, and BronxBerlinConnection Project Director and Founder Olad Aden.
Holger Lösch and Reginald Cash presented a certificate and trophy to Bastian Beiersdorf (also known as Vecz), a youth participant from Berlin who spoke about the positive impact of the program on his life.
Once the speeches and award ceremony concluded, the real show began. Youth from both Berlin and New York City performed an hour-long set that was developed during the two days leading up to the event. Fluidly alternating between both languages, these young performers demonstrated the strong bonds and lifelong friendships they had established.