Jeannine Otis | Musician, Singer, Teaching Artist
“Artists cannot rest in pursuit of possibilities,” declares musician/singer/teaching artist Jeannine Otis. That statement speaks volumes about Jeannine’s presence and drive! She can be found regularly on local stages with Richmond County Orchestra, Staten Island Philharmonic, and Universal Temple of the Arts. Her recognition awards include the William A. Morris Award from the Staten Island NAACP, a NY City Council Proclamation awarded by Councilwoman Debi Rose, and the COAHSI Lifetime Achievement Award from our own organization.
Jeannine is also loved as one of Staten Island’s hardest-working teaching artists. You or your children might have been part of programs she created and led at Sundog Theater, Illuminart Productions, the Alice Austen House, Arts Horizons and Universal Temple of the Arts. She is particularly proud of having created Sundog’s “Soundtracks” program to address literacy and find approaches for students to manage social-emotional wellness. At Staten Island Arts, we are grateful for all she has done to mentor emerging teaching artists and place them in apprenticeships led by Sundog through the Staten Island Teaching Artist Institute.
But do you know how far her work stretches beyond our borough? Jeannine is deeply motivated and moved by spirituality and faith, and worship-based music projects are a focus of her work. For her work as Music Director at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, she received the Bishop’s Cross from the Episcopal Diocese of New York. She also directed and was a dramaturg on “A New York Lamentation,” a history of slavery in NYC and the Hudson Valley that was commissioned by the NY Episcopal Diocese’s Reparations Committee. View the video.
Last month, she collaborated with the legendary Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle, who founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles to address gang violence and transition people leaving prisons. Right now, she is collaborating with the Union Theological Seminary, developing a service honoring the Black abolitionist and clergyman Absalom Jones, and working with the Rural and Migrant Ministries for the Episcopal Church.
Though Jeannine’s public performing schedule is different in these days of the NYS Pause, you can find her recordings easily available in digital spaces. Listen and follow her on Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and YouTube.