A Modern Day, Multicultural, Multitasking, Mother of Two Making A Difference!!!
Being born and raised from a mother that went from Jehovah Witness to Catholic religion was confusing for Jackie Rosa at times, but the one thing that remained consistent growing up was her love for music and film. Like most young Latina’s, dancing around in her living room to the tropical rhythms of Salsa music was a traditionally, joyful, norm. Listening to Hector Lavoe, Eddie Santiago and Celia Cruz were a given on most days as her mother blasted the stereo speakers. However, Jackie humbly admits that she couldn’t escape becoming Americanized when creative Icons such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince were at their all-time peak, influencing the way she viewed society through their creative outlets as they exercised their freedom of speech in racy music videos and provoking lyrical songs.
And there you have it! Another youngster infected by the creative inspiration to fight back societies manipulative ideologies to keep people controlled and asleep! But not this fierce individual. She was awakened by the music in her soul that needed to express itself in order to not only live, but to thrive!
It all started at the age of 8. Going from a God-worshiping church vocalist in a Christian choir, to witnessing her favorite boy band, Menudo, shake their asses on stage for screaming fans in Madison Square Garden, sent Jackie one clear message: She needed to perform, and nothing would stop her.
How she managed to enter the Art scene started with a leap of faith sprinkled with some good old fashioned L.O.V.E. As an aspiring entertainer, Jackie landed her first gig as an Actor/Educator at “El Puente”, a community center based in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, NY.
While bringing the show on the road, she traveled the city teaching the youth about protecting themselves from contracting STD’s and AIDS through theatrical plays and activities. It was through those experiences, that the idea of using her talent as a tool to spread a positive message gave birth to her first not-for-profit organization called “Artists for Creative Theatre”.
“I founded this out of pure love to give back to my community,” quotes Jackie. “And to give the youth a platform to express themselves through music, poetry slams, theatrical plays, art projects and more.”
In a city where the cost of living sky rockets faster than the blink of an eye, Artists for Creative Theatre offers free to low cost rates to join, which includes access to workshops, open mics and entry to their annual film festival called “ACT Film Festival” where they feature shorts produced by indie film makers. In addition to her personal venture, Jackie Rosa, is also the event coordinator for the annual International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival created by Veronica Caicedo. This year, the festival will run from November 12th – 16th at Mount Sinai Hospital and the MNN El Barrio Firehouse.
Despite Rosa helping out heavily with the IPRHFF, she also believes in the beauty of how interracial projects unify and strengthen the community rather than dividing it. For example, the IPRHFF, promote films that celebrate the Latino culture in conjunction with a mixed cast. As long as one lead or supporting Actor is Latino, then the film can be submitted for viewing because they welcome all ethnic backgrounds due to the undeniable fact that Latino’s interact with people from all walks of life – especially in a country that was founded by a variety of descendants.
In sharing Rosa’s passion for diversity, we decided to do a multicultural photo shoot revealing the joys that come from real, divine, human connections. As the last month of summer crept up, right before the weather cooled down in time for Autumn, a crew of multicultural friends met at the legendary Coney Island Beach where photographer Katie Kay snapped casual pictures of friends having a great time! Since the ocean represents vast opportunities and spiritual cleansing, we thought it was a great omen of success to feature Rosa in the midst of an interracial gathering which included Greek, Columbian, Dominican, African, Irish, Panamanian, Japanese, Italian, French and Puerto Rican people on the beach.
Shortly after, within that same week, breaking news broke out nationally on the shooting of African American teen, Michael Brown, which sent the country into an ugly racial battle between Blacks and Whites as the town of Ferguson (Florida) first rioted, and then protested for long days and nights. Unfortunately, promoting an interracial photo shoot can not bring back a life that was ended shortly, but the more love we invoke into the atmosphere, then the less strength we’ll give to hate. It may in fact, be the only cure.
As our country evolves throughout the years, all forms of creative artists play a major part in shaping and influencing our social environment. Revolutionists like John Lennon, Bob Marley and Michael Jackson were humanists who used their artistry and fame to spread light amongst the people, and for this reason, Jackie Rosa, hopes to make a difference by providing a platform for young children to develop their skills and hone in on their crafts. She wants the youth to pursue their dreams, not kill them. To write plays and film scripts with such strong content and thought provoking themes that audiences can’t help but to be touched by them. For starters, children as young as 6 years old can participate in a series of art workshops hosted by Jackie Rosa and Nelson Santiago which is also powered by Artists for Creative Theatre. Together they teach and mentor children how to draw and illustrate creative projects that build their self esteem, and light their flames to become future trail blazers.