Park Profile: Beanca Christopher
Hi beautiful people! My name is Beanca R. Christopher. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I’m currently the Public Program Manager at Socrates. This past June, I graduated from City College of New York with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Studio Arts and Black Studies, which all hold a special place in my heart, along with food! Growing up in a Haitian household food is essential. Staying connected with my Caribbean and African diaspora roots, I joined a steel pan orchestra, CASYM Steel Orchestra in Brooklyn, NY in 2016. I play the six basses, which is also known as the steel drum. We performed in several panoramas, festivals, private events, etc.
I have been working at Socrates seasonally for three years now. I first came to Socrates in 2017 when I was an intern at the New Museum and my boss, Shaun Leonardo (artist & Socrates Board Member), took us to the Park.
We received a tour and warm greetings from former Director of Public Programs, Audrey Dimola. I was so amazed and captured by the culture and energies of the Park, but it was Audrey that made me feel as if I belonged. I wanted to stay in touch so exchanged contact information with Audrey.
When the positions of event and education managers became available in 2018, Audrey reached out to me to apply. At first, I was petrified! For starters, I live in Brooklyn, and we all know how the MTA is living in NYC – so I was nervous to take a job in Queens. Second, I was a full-time college student – so already had a full plate. However, she encouraged me and I applied for the Event Manager position. The rest is history!
I will always be thankful for Audrey. Being able to work with her closely for three years was an amazing experience and the event staff that she brought together has been like a family. Working at Socrates for three years has made me realize that I could be myself at all times. Coming from the New Museum where the work environment was safe, nurturing, and family-orientated, I found the same thing at Socrates.
When I started my journey here, I did not know one thing about planning and coordinating events and public programs. However, Socrates became a space where I was able to grow and learn with the support of our staff, partners, artists, and the public.
In 2019 I was promoted to the Public Program Coordinator and I was given the opportunity to work even more closely with Audrey – learning by shadowing her and assisting with coordinating our public programs. I officially knew this was something I wanted to do during our annual Summer Solstice Festival when I saw how all our stress, frustrations, and doubts leading up to the event translated into our partners, performers, staff, and all of the public who attended smiling, laughing, and just coming together to enjoy themselves. It was a celebration of the first day of summer and a celebration of welcoming space for everyone and anybody to be themselves. And this welcoming, nurturing, and community-building is what happens at Socrates every day.