2016 Holiday Extravaganza. HAI, Cultural Arts and Literacy. Our friend Monica Iken invites Good News to participate. We are fortunate that friends at Toys for Tots and Hugg-A-Planet help contribute to the happiness of the children. What a great organization. Videos and Podcast.

Our Holiday Extravaganza party is five hours of fun, activities, guest performances by local entertainers, live music and dancing! We light the Kwanza candles, we light the Menorah, sing holiday carols, the children make jewelry and design holiday cards for their parents, students enjoy a writing and art workshop, and of course, our celebrated “All Ages” Dance Contest!

For the past 18 years, Rev. Rhonda Akanke’.McLean-Nur, the staff and friends of HAI.have hosted the “Holiday Extravaganza”! This Cultural Arts and Literacy Holiday Extravaganza serves the population of homeless children and their parents who reside in the NYC temporary housing facilities. Each year participating families are bused in from the five boroughs of New York City to the event location. They are greeted with a fabulous holiday dinner and multi-cultural festivities. This event begins with giving thanks, a welcome address, and a delicious holiday dinner spread…we continue with a love for literacy celebration where the parents and children get to select as many book as they can carry! While games, entertainment and fun are enjoyed by all, we also provide breakout sessions for parents and children where they engage in literacy building activities. Children create written poems, stories and gifts for the parents in attendance and we end with a “Winter Wonderland” experience!

This event was originally developed and conceived by the Rev. Rhonda Akanke’.McLean-Nur as a give back, and charitable effort to assist the underserved population of Black and Hispanic families in the New York area through her ongoing ministry of Community work. Rev Rhonda has managed to attract many of her friends and members of the show business community to help plan, and entertain the families.
Rev Rhonda is an Interfaith Ordained Minister, with a plethora of education, experience and passion for the population she serves. She has been the “quiet giant” who has supplied the vision, fortitude and tenacity to bring life and sustainability to various bridges that propel people from poverty to opportunities, education and empowerment to find purpose and live a better life.
Rev. Rhonda Akanke’ McLean-Nur has been an Arts Administrator in the Education Dept. at HAI (Hospital Audiences Inc.) for the past 18 years. She has served as The Program Manger for the “ShowMeTheWayHome” Arts and Life skills programs for homeless families; The Managing Director of “The Respect Project, a youth theatre company directed by Tony Award Winner George Faison; The Professional Development Trainer for the NYC Dept. of Education and the Program Director for several DYCD fundedafter school Programs. Rev. Rhonda is a mother, actress, griot, drama therapist and ordained interfaith minister who believes in the Arts as a transformational tool in which every person, child, teen or adult may find purpose and meaning in their lives.