Dozens of NYC middle school students will display original manuscripts about heroes in their communities

Top three teams will work with Darryl Makes Comics to create professionally printed comic books featuring their characters and stories

On Wednesday, April 27, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Bill Chong and hip-hop legend Darryl “DMC” McDaniels will join dozens of NYC middle school students for a midway exhibition of “DYCD Heroes Project,” a comic book creation initiative.

In collaboration with Darryl Makes Comics and The Comic Book Project, the literacy-focused comic book initiative challenges middle school students in all five boroughs to develop stories about heroes, real or imagined, in their own communities. Since March, more than 250 students from 25 DYCD-funded afterschool programs and community centers have been designing original manuscripts and will display their work during the event at the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center in Manhattan.

Hip-hop legend and Darryl Makes Comics Publisher and Founder Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Editor-in-Chief of Darryl Makes Comics Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, and Michael Bitz, Founder of The Comic Book Project, will pick the top three teams during the event. The winning teams will work with a team of professional comic book artists from Darryl Makes Comics to develop their manuscripts into a professionally printed comic book featuring their original characters and stories. The finished products will be displayed in June.

“The DYCD Heroes project is a great opportunity for our young people to engage in positive programming that is educational, creative and fun,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong. “Along the way, they’re honing reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. I want to thank Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez and Michael Bitz for their continued support in helping participants develop their own comic book and display their unique drawings and storylines.”

“We are tapping into the potential of these students by using creativity, art, and reading and writing to ignite the power of knowledge and learning,” said Darryl “DMC” McDaniels. “I became a superhero in this same manner! There is much greatness in these city streets and the DYCD Heroes Project makes it known to the world! There are superheroes inside of all our youth!”

“As a former educator and community worker, I feel it’s especially important for New York City’s youth to have a platform to share their experiences via comic books,” said Editor-in-Chief of Darryl Makes Comics Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. “Many young people in our city struggle every day to have their voices heard. The arts are the perfect vehicle to relay their messages. Superheroes inspire us all, no matter race, religion or class. Giving young people this opportunity to contribute their stories and original characters via the DYCD Heroes Project empowers them and shows them that they are indeed heroes for working so hard to present their ideas to the city at large.”

“The art and writing that the participating youths have created is an excellent example of how creativity can inspire learning,” said Michael Bitz, Founder of The Comic Book Project. “I look forward to seeing the manuscripts at the event on April 27. These works will lead to some truly amazing comic books by youths from across New York City.”

Wednesday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 1700 Third Avenue, Manhattan, 10128

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