Category archives: Non Profit

  • With an unprecedented climate of change and concern dawning in the United States, Art for Progress arts education programs are more essential than ever. AFP is embracing the ever-growing need for alternative and supplemental art, music, theater, and fashion programs for young people representing the voice of true expression in our city. Once again this has been an exciting semester for existing Art for Progress arts education programs in New York City’s public schools, and there are some new programs in the works for the second half of the school year.Our flagship music program at Humanities Preparatory Academy, which includes school day sessions as well as after school, is flourishing and has produced and cultivated a bunch of wonderful talent this semester. Everyone at the school is looking forward to the talent show on February 16th, which will include solo vocal and instrumental performances, and a variety of ensemble pieces and even a dance number.  AFP’s after school program at the James Baldwin School is also going strong and was well represented in the recent school-wide talent show on Friday, January 20. Students from both schools have been working hard after school every day, choosing songs and rehearsing. Especially impressive is the spirit of mutual encouragement among the students as the shows approach.As for AFP’s Young Adult Music Enrichment Program, tracking is nearly completed on Bronx rock band Statik Vision’s full-length album, and we are preparing [...]
  • On September 24, the National African American Museum opened its doors to public. And while the museum's timed passes are sold out for the rest of the year,  it's still a great time to learn about what's currently on exhibit.And if you are wondering if there's a showcase at the museum that relates to the world of fashion, you're in luck. The museum will be showcasing a selection of Ann Lowe's dresses, and they are a must-see!Ann Lowe — a highly sought after designer in her day —  is the first world-renowned black designer who created dresses for socialites and brides. She created looks for families including the Auchinclosses, DuPonts, Kennedys, Posts, Rockefellers, and Roosevelts. She is also the first black designer to own a boutique on Madison Avenue. And her stunning creations were also sold at Henri Bendel, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus. Pink satin and organza ball gown, designed by Ann Lowe, 1959, once owned by Patricia Penrose Schieffer, wife of CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane. Photo courtesy of NMAAHCFamously, Lowe designed Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding gown in 1953. Lowe crafted a dress made up of fifty yards of ivory silk taffeta for the Bouvier-Kennedy nuptials, and cost approximately $700  — roughly $13,000 factoring today's inflation, according to Racked's Danielle Kwateng-Clark .And as Kwateng-Clark deftly sums up, Lowe "did the impossible in the Jim Crow-era by making a name fo[...]
  • Art for Progress’ after school music enrichment program at Hudson High School for Learning Technologies was especially inspiring this spring semester because of a dynamic group of multi-talented, and eager students. The program was reinstated this spring thanks to the efforts of principal Nancy Amling. The program had been inactive for the fall semester because a lack of funding, Ms. Amling was influenced in her decision to restart the program by an exceptional young student and musician named Terelle. Terelle’s enthusiasm and hunger for new knowledge were the ultimate catalyst for the formation of the program.Tarelle wanted to learn about how music works beyond the shapes he was learning on the guitar. Hudson HS currently offers a beginning guitar class as a part of the school’s regular curriculum. The class is focused on the mechanics of playing the instrument, but like most beginning guitar classes, it did not address the underlying music theory necessary for students who to build their skills beyond the basic guitar vocabulary.The group of students that comprise the AFP after school program at Hudson range from 9th-12th graders, and are led by Terelle.  He expressed a desire to learn some more universal musical concepts in order to set up a foundation upon which to develop their musicality. They were made up of aspiring singers, guitarists, pianists, and bass players of varying levels of experience. We explored the construction of scales, chord building and common[...]
  • At The James Baldwin School in Chelsea, AFP's program is in its 3rd year, offering after school digital audio production, musical instrument instruction and performance coaching. Students range from 9th to 12th grade and come to the program with a variety of individual goals in mind. The sessions vary, and participants usually work individually or in small groups.The class combines a combination of elements which are often going on simultaneously. One group may be learning how to sequence beats to a metronome track on one computer, while another student is involved in the more advanced stages of a fully fleshed out track on the next. At the same time a vocal duo may be working out harmonies to a rock ballad, while others are learning how to build scales and chords on the piano. In all cases, the fundamentals of music making are uncovered and explored. The focus is always on building a working musical vocabulary and developing the ability to use music for self-expression.This year at Baldwin I have seen remarkable progress on every front. Beat-makers have progressed from struggling at playing simple kick and snare patterns, to building complete tracks and having their friends rap over them. Drummers who had never played a drum-set maintain a groove behind a full band. I’m especially impressed with Reshwan and Katana who had never met before. Within a few short months they have  become a powerful cohesive duet act eagerly learning the theory to support their development[...]
  • The Art for Progress music program at Humanities Preparatory Academy, now in it’s fourth school year, is the flagship of AFP’s arts education programs. Instituted in the Fall of 2012, the program serves two classes of 12-18 students four days per week, with each day’s lunch period serving as an additional class period enabling students to seek further instruction or individual practice time. The class is open to students of all high school years (9-12) allowing a rare occasion for teens of different ages to interact on a level playing field in a collaborative setting.There are also two after school sessions per week, which give students an opportunity to either practice alone, or to join in group music-making, which is the ultimate intention of all AFP music programming. Faculty also participate, further enriching the overall experience of the students, and the teachers learn just as much as the kids!The goal of the program is for every student to be able to play at least one complete song. Toward this goal, all students learn the basic mechanics of music in general, and to develop proficiency on least one instrument. Although much of the class time is spent building and developing skills, the focus of the program is ultimately on giving students the tools to express themselves.The semester begins with discussions about students’ musical interests and experiences, with everyone having an opportunity to choose a song by an artist or group that they like to share wi[...]
  • "Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task." Henry James' words are apt in describing the art-making process, and how it can explore uncertainness through introspection. In the process, the artist and viewer enter into an intangible, unpractical, and highly emotional place that is ultimately the most passionate because it allows them to explore the more ambiguous realms of the self.This is exactly the intent and effect of "I DREAMT," New York performance artist Nicholas' Gorham's recent production. In it, he lip syncs sound bites by Delia Derbyshire, a leading British electronic musician from the 1960s. He was utterly fascinated by their evocative beauty, and knew he would eventually incorporate them into a performance. The sound recordings are different voices describing a nightmare of being chased, and Nicholas switches from one character to another in a matter of seconds. This is achieved by having light projections of different outfits cast onto his body, which is the sole illuminated presence in a darkened room. Coupled with the haunting repetition of phrases, such as "I'm running away...running, and running, and running" in each of the different voices, the result is dark, painful, but incredibly engrossing especially if you have ever had nightmares.He plans to take this the exploration of the subconscious further in his upcoming Christmas theater production, also focusing on time, space, identity, and superficiality but with a stronger social co[...]
  • The turkey has been eaten, the in-laws have left, the traffic has settled and the flurry of the Thanksgiving has finally subsided. We were meant, during the holiday, to reflect and give thanks for all that we have in our lives, but those sentiments sometimes get lost in the craze surrounding Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday. We forget the “giving” part of Thanksgiving. To counteract this, “Giving Tuesday” was launched by organizations like 92nd Street Y, the United Nations Foundation, the website Mashable and the brand (RED). The day is meant to remind us to pause our consuming (figuratively. you can keep working on those leftovers if you want) and give back this holiday season. Here are five charitable organizations, both for the music and by the music, that you could give to this Tuesday:Dear Jack FoundationThe Dear Jack Foundation (DJF) was founded by Andrew McMahon of Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. While on tour with his first band, Something Corporate, McMahon was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). After undergoing treatment, he resolved to ‘initiate change and provide a voice for the generations of young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer.” With the specific aim of helping adolescents and young adults (AYA), DJF aims to support organizations, ‘which recognize the unique challenges the AYA community faces, during and post-treatment.” The programs that have benefited from DJF include the UCLA stem cell transplant progr[...]
  • NYC Arts Non Profit Heads West in Support of Local Arts Programs Convergence: Saturday, November 14th, Studio Maesto, Santa Monica, CA. On Saturday, November 14th New York City based non-profit Art for Progress (AFP) will host a fundraiser in support of Studio Maesto’s Arts Collective Program in Santa Monica, California.  The event will take place at Studio Maesto’s dance and photography studio at 1547 6th Street, Santa Monica, and will feature visual art from three Los Angeles based artists who have exhibited with AFP in the past- Sona Mirzaei, Lichiban and Pablo Damas. The night will also showcase live performances from Barry Komitor (NYC based band Bad Faces), DJ sets from NYC’s Gatto, LA based DJ/Producer Elliot DeHoyos and a myriad of local performance artists. Net proceeds from ticket sales and a percentage of art sales will go to support the studios arts collective program (details below). Tickets ($15) will be available at the door. Tickets include a drink and light fare. Additional beverages will be available for purchase. Studio Maesto, 1547 6th Street, Santa Monica, CA - Hours: 7:30pm – 11:00pmOver the last 12 years, Art for Progress has produced over 50 major events in NYC, Miami, San Francisco and Washington DC. With a focus on multimedia productions, AFP has garnered valuable press coverage for artists in world renowned publications such as The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily and The Village Voice.  While supporting and promoting artists through these[...]
  • Hosted by nonprofit Art for Progress and Brooklyn Fashion Week, the event will take place at Habana Outpost during Brooklyn Fashion Week on Friday, October 23rd from 7-11pm. The event will serve as a fundraiser for Denim Day, which serves to raise awareness of campus sexual assault worldwide. The $10 cover charge includes live DJ’s, a free margarita and a fashion show. We are asking all participants to wear denim jeans during the event to represent the Denim Day cause. AFP's DJ Gatto and Brett from Boundless will be dropping the beats!
  • I once had a friend ask me, "What exactly is graphic design?" The answer seemed pretty easy, as the name appears self-explanatory: design using graphics. But, truthfully, it was harder for me to get into the details of what exactly it is, even though it has been one of the most prolific and widely-used art forms in the modern era. And not unlike some other forms of modern art, there is the hackneyed response, "I could totally do that" while viewing graphic design that has been elevated to a higher status. In fact, I even heard it at the Cooper Hewitt's long-running installation How Posters Work.Amazing to hear that response, given the museum's breadth of information presented about not only about the history of the medium but also contemporary approaches to it. Furthermore, the beginning of the exhibit, before really immersing the viewer in the posters themselves, contains a section attempting to relay just how graphic designers see, and how it subsequently affects how we decipher messages from images, be they subversive or overt. For example, how designers use black space, how they visualize colors to lay over each other and blend, and the ways in which they see text aligned on a poster to result in certain reading patterns. That was particularly interesting as areas of posters are darkened except one swirl-type shape, and it notes that eyes begin at the thicker portion of the illuminated swirl, and move down to the thinner part across the page. Images are placed alo[...]