The Long Island Arts Alliance earned a New York Emmy Award for its short documentary on Layla’s African Dance and Drum of Valley Stream.
The documentary was part of the LIAA’s Back in the Spotlight: Cultural Dance series with Waldo Cabrera. The Emmy was awarded in the category of Teen (13-19) Short or Long Form Content.
The 66th Annual New York Emmy Awards were celebrated on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 28 in a live ceremony at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many cultural organizations were faced with closure. As New York began to re-open, Back In the Spotlight aimed to capture the excitement within five unique cultural dance troupes on Long Island as they prepared to share their heritage in person once again and uplift their communities.
The 8-minute award-winning episode featuring Layla’s African Dance & Drum of Valley Stream follows students and parents as they celebrate the start of Black History Month and the restart of public performances after a long COVID-19 shutdown. The piece follows the dancers as they go back in the spotlight as the halftime entertainment for the world-famous Harlem GlobeTrotters at the UBS Arena.
“We are deeply honored to receive the NY Emmy Award for our ‘Back in the Spotlight’ series,” LIAA’s Executive Director Lauren Wagner said in a written statement. “It’s a privilege to have shared the stories of our resilient, creative community as they rebounded from the pandemic. The arts transcend being a mere ‘nice to have’ commodity; they are an essential force for the betterment of humanity. We all instinctively know that investing in the arts is important, but for some reason, they keep falling to the bottom of the list of priorities. The arts are essential to life on Long Island, and we are here to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve.”
Back In The Spotlight was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. In addition to the Emmy award, the episode on the Boys & Girls Club of Shinnecock Nation was selected into the Latino and Native American Film Festival, and the episode on Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company was awarded a Press Club of Long Island Award.
This is the first Emmy Award nomination and win for LIAA. They were nominated alongside MSG Networks, NYC Life, and My 9 News WWOR.