Written by: Gabriella Alleyne
After seeing the lack of dance studios in New York that give artists the tools and resources to expand on their work, improve, and collaborate Skye Jackson Williams created ArtHub NYC. Skye is an 18 year old artist and aspiring entrepreneur. Continue reading this article to read the interview we had with Skye that discusses her future plans for ArtHub NYC, the power of social media in the arts, her as a dancer, and her future plans in life.
What is ArtHub NYC and how did you get the idea to start it?
So ArtHub is a new organization creating a space for artists to discuss their inspirations as well as to inspire others and share their work. And I got the inspiration for it because there are a lot of studios in New York, dance studios and rehearsal studios, a lot of places that don’t have the right equipment or the right things to help artists expand on their work and make things better than what they are. And I feel like ArtHub can be a place for that and we can make a studio that equips artists and all of their needs.
How do you see ArtHub NYC growing over the years?
Over the years, I hope to gain a bigger following especially for people in New York so that we can have a studio where we can host events, have classes for art mediums, and just have a place where everyone can come to.
Why did you decide to make a space for artists online using social media?
Basically, social media is just the easiest way to get people to know who you are. It’s what you can get attention from, and we spend so much time on our phones already, so this is the easiest way to make your voice and your mission known.
How important do you think social media is for the arts?
I think it’s really important because it’s just the easiest way to connect to people. You can even book a job. Let’s say you’re a dancer and someone finds your work on social media you can get booked right then and there. And it’s the easiest way to share your work with other people, find other people that are interested in what you do, and maybe collaborate with people like how we’re doing right now. Social media is really beneficial for artists.
How do you think we can use the arts and social media to create change in our communities?
I think making meaningful work and work that impacts people based on things that they believe in would be a way to make change. For example, with all of the protesting going on right now, I created a video to Nina Simone’s song Strange Fruit. And I got a lot of feedback on it saying how important it was and how meaningful the message was. So it’s even using the things you do in your everyday life if you’re a dancer, a writer, an artist. Just use what you know and make it about something more meaningful than just the work.
I know you mentioned that you are a dancer, so how did you get into dance?
I got into dance when I was really young. I think I was around 3 and at first, I absolutely hated it. I only took Ballet and Tap when I was younger, and I just did not like it, but then when I got older, around 8, I started to dance again. And I stuck to it. I eventually started taking Hip-hop, Ballet, and Jazz at this studio called Broadway Dance Center, and from there I got introduced to my Hip-hop crew Generation X. Which I’ve been in for 5 years now. And I attended LaGuardia High School, which I just graduated from.
Are you going to go to college for dance?
No, I’m not going to college for dance. I’m going for fashion business management. But I will still be dancing outside of school.
What style of dance are you drawn to the most?
My favorite style is probably Hip-hop just because I like the music, I like R&B, and I like everything about it. And also I just like to freestyle a lot, and Hip-hop has allowed me and taught me a lot of things about how my body moves, and so that’s why I like it.
How has quarantine affected your dance training?
So I’ve still been training on zoom calls and other websites. My studio and my crew have been rehearsing since March. We’re basically still training and still learning from a lot of choreographers and teachers. So yeah, it doesn’t stop just because we can’t be in the studio.
How has being a dancer of color impacted your experience in the dance community?
I wouldn’t say it has heavily impacted my experience in the dance community because I’m still surrounded by so many other black and POC dancers in general. But I would say in school, LaGuardia, it was a little different than my Hip-hop crew because there was only I think around 10 black students in my grade and we often stuck together through everything, but there would be times where the teachers would call us out on things that they would never do to any other student. And it’s just tough to explain the differences between us to our teachers because we may feel neglected or not feel heard. And that’s really my main issue with being a dance of color.
Do you want to be in the arts when you’re older?
Yeah, I always want to stay in the arts because it’s like my form of expression for me and I want to be more involved in fashion along with dance and also I do sing and I want to get into acting as well.
What is your dream profession?
My dream profession is to be a choreographer and entrepreneur. So I want to travel and teach and choreograph. And I also want ArtHub to be my biggest asset.
How do you define being an artist?
I define being an artist as someone who’s able to create something that has purpose and can impact an audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1 person or 500. If it means something to someone then you created something and you are an artist.
We hope you enjoyed reading the interview Kaleidoscope Teen Magazine had with Skye! To keep up to date with Skye, ArtHub NYC, and her journey you can follow her:
Youtube: Skye Jackson-Williams
ArtHub’s website: https://arthub.nyc/