Honored for Helping Make Church Street School 'What It Is Today'

Winsome Brown raps her affection for the Church Street School for Music and Art during a ceremony honoring her and her husband, Claude Arpels, left, at Tribeca Rooftop. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Mar. 06, 2019

Each year, Tribeca’s Church Street School for Music and Art throws a big fundraiser called “The Event.” It’s a gala that recognizes people who “have helped transform Church Street into the institution it is today,” as Lisa Ecklund-Flores, the school’s co-founder and director put it. The honors, on Tuesday at Tribeca Rooftop, went to Claude Arpels and Winsome Brown, and Lisa de Armas and Joe Maclsaac.

In their remarks, the honorees lauded Ecklund-Flores and the schools contribution to arts education. Church Street, now in its 29th years, is the only non-profit school for the arts below Canal Street.

“Finding real community is something that’s difficult to do and creating it is even more difficult,” said MacIsaac, a former board member and, with de Armas, a supporter of the school for more than 10 years.  “So I really think we should tip our hats to Lisa, who created this fantastic community.”

Standing beside the couple’s two sons, Ryan and Dylan, who have been Church Street students since they were toddlers, MacIsaac noted that the arts will be with them all their lives, regardless of what profession they choose. “It’s something they will always have inside them,” he sad. “That’s a gift we will all be able to give to our families.”

Ecklund-Flores called Arpels and Brown, “the model for the kind of fully engaged family that has helped Church Street school get where it is today.” Brown, an actress and writer who served on the school’s board for five years, paced the stage in stiletto heels, rapping her remarks, which concluded:

To always be curious

Calcification is injurious

Our souls flow and breathe

Schooled by the spark we call


When expiration is breath not death

The flow is our wealth

Our health

Depends on us opening up our heart

To listen

Call it community; call it art

We have a school to govern it

And Claude and I we are lovin it.