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  • As we gear up for another school year, we’ve been hard at work applying for two new grants (Lily Auchincloss, Investors Bank Foundation), developing our new artist blog site, and planning events for the fall.

    In June, the Sansom Foundation awarded AFP another generous grant for the fourth consecutive year. The funds will help support an expanded effort to market AFP’s Arts Education Programs to new schools and partner organizations. We developed a great new brochure and we have been reaching out to many new schools across NYC over the summer. If you’re a teacher or school looking for dynamic artistic programming, let us know!

    We’re equally excited about our new artist blog site which was launched in June. We have several great bloggers writing across various art genres. Hooking us up with fresh news, interviews and reviews in visual art, performance and such is Anni Irish. Anni’s a Brooklyn based writer & editor and a graduate of NYU. You can check out her new posts in the middle of the month and the end of the month. Heading up our nightlife, parties, clubs blog is none other than former TONY’s nightlife editor and all around great guy, Bruce Tantum. Bruce has DJ’ed at many AFP events through the years and when this opportunity came up I couldn’t think of someone we would rather have on board. Bruce’s blog titled, “We Learn Dances” posts on the first of each month. AFP’s super duper, all around volunteer and fashion guru Allyson Jacobs heads up the fashion blog. Allyson has already posted a few things to check out for the fall season. Barry Komitor, who is hard at work with all things arts education, is providing regular updates in the blog on our programs. His latest post highlights some of our summer projects including a special jazz focused project, recording sessions and our summer enrichment program with the JCC on NYC’s upper west side. Long time AFP artist and talented filmmaker Daniel Maldonado is keeping us in tune to the happenings in the film world and has shared some personal experiences in making his first feature film. Pete Trombino, who has played a big role in our “Homegrown” music series will be our featured blogger for music.

    Speaking of which, we are about to re-launch the live music series at Bowery Electric with 3 schedules shows. The first is coming up on Wednesday, October 15th, which is followed by a November 19th show, and a December 17th date. AFP’s next visual arts exhibition will also be opening in October. The group show, titled “Deja vu” will open on October 30th at NOoSPHERE Arts on Houston Street, NYC, and run through November 11th. We’ll have many more details coming up for this show. In addition to these events, we are working on a Brooklyn, Shorts & Beats event for mid October. Once we have the details, we will share. Unfortunately, the big event we were planning for September had to be postponed. The New Museum turned out to be not so friendly to other non profits. If you’re on the prowl for a fun time this Friday night, the LSL folks have put together a special discount price for AFP list members. LSL is hosting their annual boat party and it’s always a great time. Jeannie Hopper will be spinning along with the awesome Victor Simonelli. Check out the following details. We hope to see you soon at one of these functions. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    Aug 22, 2014: Liquid Sound Lounge Annual Summer Soulful House Boat Dance Party, 15th Anniversary!
    Tix/Info: LiquidSoundLounge.com

    LSL love AFP! Proceeds to benefit Art for Progress.
    Special discount for Art for Progress Members online password/code:
    AFP (all caps) = $20tkt+surcharge at the dock night of = $30.
    Get your Tix

  • When Saturday evening rolled around the lines started to form outside an old police precinct in Gramercy Park, but this wasn’t your ordinary art opening. Our friend Robert Aloia and his crew were at it again as they took over the building and invited many great street artists to do their thing. The sprawling 5 floor show features many great artists with an impressive range of work which included several installation pieces.

    The show runs through next weekend. Here’s a list of participating artists.

    Adam Dare, Al Diaz, Amanda Marie, ASVP, Bad Pedestrian, Ben Angotti,BEAU, Bill Claps, Bishop203, bunny M, Cash4, Chris RWK, Chris Soria, Coby Kennedy, Curb Your Ego, Curtis Kulig, D. Gaja, Danielle Mastrion, Damon Johnson, Dasic, Dizmology, Duel, ELLE, Erasmo, Esteban del Valle, Faust, Ghost, GIZ, Hellbent, Hue, Icy & Sot, Iena Cruz, Jesper Haynes, Joseph Meloy, Justin Carty, Ket, Lexi Bella, Li Hill, Lorenzo Masnah, Matt Siren, Mr. Toll, N. Carlos Jay, Nepo, Net, Never, Nick Tengri, Noxer, Pesu, Phil, Pixote, Queen Andrea, RAE, Rambo, Ricardo Cabret, SAE, Savior Elmundo, Sheryo & The Yok, Shiro, Smells, Tone Tank, URNY (Ski & 2esae), Vexta,VFR, X-O, Zoens

    Hosted by: Albert Diaz & Frankie Cedeño

  • On August 4th people in Times Square were exposed to a unique art experience–digital billboards were changed from their usual advertisements to iconic American art pieces. This art intervention in a public space won’t stop there and will also include a print campaign that will be seen on public transportation and throughout the city and in other locations. This is being done through the efforts of Art Everywhere US a collaboration between five major art museums and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. According to an article in the LA Times, the campaign will run from August 4-31 and will feature fifty eight images which will be displayed in close to 50,000 commercial locations in all fifty states. All the images were voted on by the public and the museums involved include The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Dallas Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    The event was first conceived of by Richard Reed who produced a similar campaign in the United Kingdom in 2013. This included a similar collaboration between the Tate Modern, Art Fund and the UK out of Ihome advertising industry. Artists in the US nation wide campaign include: Andy Warhol, Winslow Homer, Cindy Sherman and John Singer Sargent among others.

    INSTALL-IMAGE-11-774x1024
    Art Everywhere U.S. Times Square installation, featuring Winslow Homer’s “The Water Fan” (1898-99, The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Dorothy A., John A. Jr., and Christopher Holabird in memory of William and Mary Holabird)

    The Whitney Museum’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs Donna DeSilvo said,
    “The Whitney Museum of American Art is proud to be part of Art Everywhere US, and especially to see it launch in our home city of New York. It is a project that situates extraordinary images by great American artists in the unique cultural landscape that is the United States.  It’s always exciting to think about encountering art in the course of everyday life, whether inside or outside.”

    DeSilvo is right in saying that Art Everywhere US does promote a way of thinking about art in an everyday context. While this is an exciting prospect for people to encounter art in a new way, it also points to larger issues surrounding public art in general. Living in a city such as New York where public art based work is on the rise through the work of organizations such as Creative Time and the Art Production Fund among others, I wonder where Art Everywhere US fits into this larger milieu.

    The history of public art in New York is extremely rich and in thinking about the scale to which Art Everywhere US was produced, it does seem to challenge the current model. On some level Art Everywhere US could offer a different way to frame the way in which public art is made. However, given the fact that the images were crowd sourced, voted on, and came from prominent American museum collections which were than reproduced also seems to render the role of the artist as invisible on some level. Or perhaps efforts such as these are helping to re-imagine what the art making process art is, how art is produced and the ways in which it is viewed.

    While efforts such as these may offer another way to think about public art and the way in which it can be interacted with on a daily basis, these are images of famous art pieces that have been reproduced on a massive scale and have been strategically placed in locations throughout the US. Although the logistics of this program are quite impressive, I am still reluctant to completely back this model. Art Everywhere US is doing important work in terms of situating art against a quotidian backdrop, however there is still work to be done in terms of how projects such as these either are creating new models or simply working within the confines of existing ones.

    Art Everywhere US is on view through August 31. To visit it’s interactive map click here to learn about where various artworks are located near you. The project is also encouraging people to use the hashtag #ArtEverywhereUS
    –Anni Irish

  • Art for Progress’ summer music education program has met two more times since my last post, and a lot of great stuff has been going on. We have been exploring jazz theory, analyzing Etta James’ “At Last”, using the solfeggio system to develop ear training, and have delved into some vocal exercises in order to tune up our voices, and to reinforce the ear training work. Participants have each been asked to select a song to work on, and we’ll be applying the new techniques we’ve developed to singing those songs in the upcoming final session. One student, who is originally from Bangladesh, is even working on a song by his favorite Bengali pop band! In addition to all of this subtler harmony work, there’s been some good ol’ rocking out, as well. The group has expanded its original repertoire of rock songs, and has been honing the arrangements to prepare for our final recording session of the summer. We have recorded versions of four original songs thus far, and as we get closer to the perfect take, we have also been studying the various tools used in the recording and mixing process, and learning how to make the tracks pop out of the speakers.

    “At Last”, by Etta James is a timeless classic, which was revisited a few years ago by Beyonce in the movie “Cadillac Records”. While the melody is arresting and unforgettable in its uniqueness, it also contains some very exemplary chord changes, which are great for illustrating the use of ii-V-I progressions and some other essential jazz concepts, like altered dominant chords. Technicalities aside, we have been learning the musical devices used by the masters to describe and evoke emotions in classic songs. To better understand the elements of these musical devices, we have been reviewing the solfeggio system: do re mi fa sol la ti do, and observing how scales and chords are organized. Singing solfeggio requires any musician to be able to reproduce pitches with his or her voice, which requires a greater degree of focus and intention than many other instruments that are fretted or otherwise produce fixed pitches. It’s a great way for musicians to hone their ears, and an essential tool for tuning up one’s voice for singing. Since all of the participants in this summer’s program have expressed an interest in singing, it also provides an excellent segue into that, and I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s selections.

    As I mentioned earlier, the core group of students attending this summer’s program have formed a rock group, and have been developing an original repertoire. The band has been through several singers, but they haven’t found the right match yet. This has been a motivating force, however, and now they all want to learn to sing their own songs. In the meantime, we have been recording ever-evolving versions of the songs they have written, and learning about the equipment and software used in the music production process. We have learned how to use compression and equalization to bring drum sounds to the forefront of the listening field, as well as to thicken and focus bass and guitar sounds to improve the clarity, and live energy of the performance.

    During his week’s final AFP summer music session, we’ll be recording some new material, and digging a little deeper into jazz harmony, but I’m mostly looking forward to hearing everyone sing!

    Here are some photos and a video from this summer’s art ed activities, enjoy!

    IMG_2242 IMG_2230 IMG_2259 IMG_2260 IMG_2361 IMG_2362 IMG_2367 IMG_2372 T-10 Session July

  • There is nothing like mid-August to get us thinking about a fresh start. Maybe it’s the long standing habit of buying school clothes, but refreshing one’s wardrobe will soon be the order of the day. The interesting thing is that, now more than ever, there really are no rules in fashion. From solids, stripes and color blocking, silhouettes are crossing the spectrum. Even florals were trending in the resort collections this year.

    What this means for self-expression is all good news. Recent trends and collections feature both Boho and structured looks, along with strong colors and varied skirt lengths. With a full range of both staples and frivolous accents, our options are endless. The best part of having no rules is that we can focus on self-expression and individuality with pieces we already have in our closets. By adding in a few fresh separates or colorful accessories, an entire wardrobe can be revived. So here’s to enjoying these last few weeks of summer, while looking forward to getting dressed again. Not to mention NY Fashion Week in September!

    Fashion and art are always flirting with each other, finding ways to intertwine craft with creativity and function. When it is successful, it allows people the freedom to be creative while maintaining their integrity. The fall 2014 collections showed us how color, functionality and creativity come together. A few standout collections seen on Style.com from Dries Van Noten, Christopher Kane, and Billy Reid menswear….

    Dries Van Noten, fall 2014, photo by Yannis Vlamos

    Dries Van Noten, fall 2014, photo by Yannis Vlamos

    Christopher Kane, fall 2014, photo by Marcus Tondol

    Christopher Kane, fall 2014, photo by Marcus Tondol

    Billy Reid, fall 2014, photo by Gianni Pucci

    Billy Reid, fall 2014, photo by Gianni Pucci

    -Allyson Jacobs

     

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