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  • Another exciting school year has ended and AFP’s impact and our programs continue to grow. The Sansom Foundation recently awarded Art for Progress a $20,000 grant which was a thirty percent increase over last year’s grant! We are ecstatic that the foundation has increased their support for the program.  Though the funds are very important we believe the vote of confidence from the Sansom Foundation is even more important as we focus on applying for more funds to expand our important work in the NYC Public Schools.

    A special thank you goes out to Barry Komitor who has been instrumental in the development of the program in many ways. His passion and dedication to the organization and the students is unwavering.  If we just had a few more Barry Komitors, we can do so much more!

    In the following video, Barry and some of our students at Bronxdale High School offer some insight into AFP’s Music Program. Thanks to our intern Fred Hua for doing such a great job working on this video.

  • As we gear up for the launch of our new monthly at The Paper Box, we’d like to share some videos featuring some of the highlights from AFP’s Brooklyn Beat Festival. The videos include performances from Ze Luis, Comandante Zero, Lachi, Minnie and Aya and other participating artists.

    The monthly event will also be a multimedia experience featuring live music performances, performance art from Caridad Sola as well as art and video installations from AFP artists. AFP’s DJ Gatto will be the resident DJ with special guests each month.

    Confirmed dates and live music performances:

    Saturday, July 21st: Mariami, Morning Fuzz, more TBA

    Saturday, August 18th:  The Disappointment, Muj more TBA

    Saturday, September 15th:  Heavy Birds, Ellis Ashbrook, more TBA

  • Day 3

    As some families started to arrive early Sunday afternoon, they were greeted with the sounds of John Coltrane and Joao Gilberto, but it wasn’t long before Sindy Butz was ready for our first performance of the day. Sindy’s piece titled “Moral Decay” was  an interpretation of how society’s morals have deteriorated over time.  Sindy’s strong use of   symbolism and association resulted in a gripping performance that left our guests with much to ponder. Our first musical performance of the day was from Jon Samson of CoCreative Music. Many of the kids joined Jon on stage as he sang his playful, yet educational songs for everyone to enjoy.  The kids were truly excited by Jon’s performance, but as soon as they saw the organic mini-cupcakes from Francesca Cake they darted for the table filled with treats.  A few kids did stop on their way as they saw Allyson Jacobs interactive balloon dress, and they just had to add their own balloon to the growing skirt. Jewelry designer Paula Collins was also working on a very creative piece utilizing chains. Paula often works with metals in her line of beautiful accessories.

    Back on stage, blues singer/songwriter Inky Glass delivered the perfect Sunday afternoon of blues with a touch of soul. As Inky Glass finished her set, AFP’s DJ Gatto dropped a classic house set to keep the energy flowing. The next performance art piece on Sunday featured White House entertainer and master of escape, Thomas Solomon.  Mr. Solomon challenged our guests with questions about the real value of a dollar as he used his  deceptive skills to fool the crowd.  After this quick break from the music, Liquid Sound Lounge host/DJ Jeannie Hopper took over the decks for a great set of eclectic tunes as only Jeannie can deliver.  Out in the art garden, Caridad Sola presented her clever performance piece “El Paredon.”  This interactive piece involved several participants who believed they were going to soak the artist by shooting her with water guns.  Little did they know, the water was dyed red to look like blood. When they shot the guns, it truly looked like they executed her in this all “too real” shocker.  Earlier in the art garden, Ryan Hawk presented his piece “Inside/Out”which deals with personal identity and the transformation of ones self.

    Our final live music performance of the festival was one that won’t soon be forgotten. Grammy nominated Ze Luis and his band played an extended set of blistering jazz that left everyone in a state of bliss. It was actually the perfect set up for the short film screenings curated by Daniel Maldonado of Gashouse Films. As expected, Daniel put together a brilliant program of award winning films.

    “Autumnal” by Scott Nyerges

    “That Which Once Was” by Kimi Takesue

    “Episode 21 (The Hidden)” by Daniel Maldonado

    “The Story” by Joey Huertas

    “Tigba-­‐id (Bladesmith)” by Janice Perez

    Art for Progress would like to thank everyone who came out and supported, participated and sponsored AFP’s first music & arts festival.  We’ll be back at The Paper Box Saturday, July 21st for a new monthly multi-media event. Stay tuned for all the details!

  • Day 2

    As we arrived on Saturday, we found our friend Gilf in the early stages of her impressive  Wall(Russ) mural in the art garden. We’re so thankful for her hard work, as she completed the mural in about 6 hours! Saturday’s musical festivities began with a set from DJ Jago. Jago is a young man who we’ve had the pleasure of seeing develop over the last few years after he won AFP’s Clash of the Artists competitions at age 13.  Jake has developed a  forward, high energy sound that appeals to anyone who likes to shake it on the dance floor. Taking the stage around 7:30pm, Minnie and Aya delivered our first live music performance of the day, and they did not disappoint.  Their smooth, soulful sounds were the perfect start to a great night of music.  Next up, was long-time friend of AFP and talented DJ Sal Leone. Sal treated our guests to a mix of deep and classic grooves as we got ready for Lachi and Meridian Gold to perform.  In the art garden, Caridad Sola was preparing for her performance piece, “Deliver us from Eve-Il” which morphs the urban legend of razor blades in apples with the story of the forbidden fruit and original sin.  Caridad has a way of enticing people into her world, and then completely turning the tables on what’s expected.  Sherri Aliberti’s “Green Cocoon” performance piece was also a crowd pleaser, while Iliana Quander‘s interactive “Trash Couture” installation involved some unexpected additions. We’ll just say that the takers likely puffed away as they strolled up Meadow Street on their way to the L train.

    Back on stage, Lachi was showcasing her distinct voice and thoughtful lyrics that take over a room when she performs.  Taking over on the decks, Time Out NY’s Bruce Tantum treated us to a quality set of funky tech as the room began to fill in anticipation of Comandante Zero‘s performance.  With a bunch of new tracks to showcase, the band took the stage with much anticipation, and the result was more than impressive.  Comanadante Zero has performed at many AFP events over the last several years, and you can be sure that you’ll be seeing them at many more!  Apollo Heights was next to take the stage for our final live music performance of day 2. We have been trying to book this band since we met them at PS1 a few years ago, and we were happy to finally have the opportunity to present them.  Their guitar driven psychedelic sound was the perfect ending to a very diverse line-up of artists on Saturday.

    As the night winded down, DJ Bass Control took over the decks with a set of his fresh, electro beats that we have grown accustomed to at AFP events. Overall, it was another thrilling night at The Paper Box!

    To be continued with a Day 3 review..

 
  • After some much-needed rest, we’re back at work here at AFP, and we’re more than ecstatic about this past weekend’s Brooklyn Beat Festival! I’m not sure where to start, but the overall theme and feedback from the weekend was quality.  Personally, and this is something that is always a focus for us is diversity. Diversity is always a big part of what we do. One of the goals of AFP has always been to be inclusive and open to all art and artists.  Art for Progress is not only about providing opportunities and exposure for artists. AFP is also about providing access to the arts and turning people on to new art forms. In other words, expanding and growing the arts in the community. I think we achieved all of this over three days/nights at The Paper Box.

    Day One

    Friday’s festivities began with an exceptional performance from El Pueblo.  I had the pleasure of talking to some of the members of the band, and they are also educators and involved in charitable projects.  I hope we have the opportunity to work with them again. Our next performance was from Redheadphone. We really enjoyed their international collaboration of sounds and world styles.  Speaking of which, the youthful and prophetic School ov Thought contributed to the increased energy in the room, as Brett from Boundless reminded us of Chuck Brown, go-go music and his eclectic style.  But, Push Method took the stage with a level of energy that was unmatched and their message came through strong, particularly when they performed “Scars and Stripes.” Argotec took the stage for the final live music performance of the night and they did not disappoint with a set of bombastic beats and lyrics from Alex Argot.

    After the rain, Kervyn Mark popped in for a set of new deep tracks. In the art garden, Jeanne Wilkinson‘s array of video art mesmerized our guests as they sampled the taco menu with a Bomb Beer to wash it down.  If you weren’t in the mood for tacos, “Dip N Dill” (Meghann Snow performance piece) offered the opportunity to snag a pickle with your teeth. John Henry Edington was the first to have a mini cucumber. John Henry? While Sweet n Salty enticed people to delve into her garden installation, Alicia P. featured her creativity with an impressive design of her own.

    to be continued with Day 2 and 3..