2015 at ELA

In January, we opened “Mother Tongues” at the City Lore gallery, the first-ever exhibit dedicated to the languages of New York City. In the same month, PBS premiered the documentary Language Matters with Bob Holman, produced in conjunction with ELA and screened nationwide to critical acclaim. Throughout February and March, ELA presented events featuring Garifuna arumahani, a traditional, now endangered song genre; Yiddish folk music; and the languages of the Caucasus. April marked the beginning of our three-year project, funded by the National Science Foundation, to build Kratylos, a new tool which aims to revolutionize language research. May brought an amazing Breton-Garifuna musical collaboration and our All You Can Speak Language Buffet at Ideas City, and in June we started classes in K’iche’, an indigenous language of Guatemala.

In July and August, we continued our documentary work on Ikota and Gurung; in September and October, our Mixtec literacy workshops continued in collaboration with the East Harlem Neighborhood Network; in November, our Jewish Languages of Brooklyn fieldtrip, our first language and culture tour, drew a big crowd. In December, we started making plans for a public, digital archive devoted to the endangered languages and cultures of New York. Two things we’re particularly excited about are Kichwa (Ecuadorean Quechua) classes set to begin next week in our office, and programming we’re planning with the Queens Museum for May 2016. Stay tuned!

To learn more about everything ELA is working on, dig deeper into our website, which we’re constantly updating, and visit our Youtube channel, with over 200 videos of languages you will hear nowhere else. Keep up with us on Facebook!

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