Rikers: A City in Itself
Text by Tommy Demenkoff
It was – in every way – a life-affirming event. The delightful animation of not only the lads but the representatives from the Stella Adler Studios who took part – and most keenly – the very special officers involved made it entirely invigorating.
I had sensed in advance that this would be the case knowing full well that the Rikers Island Arts Programmes are steered by the extraordinary visionary that is Tommy Demenkoff. (Tommy’s official – and well-deserved – title is: ‘Director of Arts Education / Programs & Community Partnerships for the New York City Department of Correction.) Whilst there I was also blessed to meet with and work alongside another canny alchemist, Alexandra (‘Zon’) Wylie, who is every inch Tommy’s match. Such benevolence; such assiduity – especially in a world where detail is ALL: Such an exceptional team.
Even now I’m planning my return to Rikers for January/February 2022 when I hope and pray the Covid intermission will have well and truly finished, allowing us all to move on to our next acts. In three words: I can’t wait.
After the programme, Tommy kindly wrote:
Please let us know when you see yourself returning to the Big Apple – and the gates will once again open for LSW. ….