Tags archives: non profit

  • Modern Rendition of Cymbeline to Premier this April at NYC’s Historic Theatre 80 St. Marks Director/Producer Alexis Confer and Art for Progress Founder Frank Jackson are proud to announce their upcoming production of Cymbeline at Theatre 80 St. Marks this spring. This production will use the classic language of Shakespeare, but approach the Bard’s “fairytale” with a modern lens. The audience will be transported to a world floating between the blurred morality and frenetic energy of a Vegas-like kingdom and the stark, colorful beauty of the American Southwest.In order to bring a fresh, nuanced and uniquely comedic performance to the stage, the company is intentionally made up a variety of performance backgrounds from musicians to stand up comedians, from classically trained Shakespearean actors, to improvisers. Led by Confer’s direction, the tight-knit cast has done several Shakespearean shows together in 2015-2016 - Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream produced by OFFLINE Productions and Much Ado About Nothing produced by Art for Progress.Most importantly, the goal of the show is to create a great live performance experience while raising awareness and funds for arts education. All profits from the show will go to Art for Progress’s programs for children and young adults - helping to empower NYC’s young artists.Art for Progress’ Arts Education Community provides under-served youth with dynamic artistic programming that promotes reflection and self-expres[...]
  • There was once a professor who consistently lamented people not spending time with a work of art. She felt that consuming art became speedy, mediums were not fully appreciated in their details, and therefore a lot of great artwork may never get proper recognition. It's safe to say this is true for many people, and even those like myself who studied art have definitely overlooked pieces due to the extreme saturation of available art to see, especially in a metropolis like New York City (though it is something I greatly try to avoid while in a space.)I was stuck in front of Scott Williams' painting 50th Street Maspeth this past weekend, due to the intimate space at Art101 being packed with people, but I'm glad I was. His work first appears like an impressionistic modern landscape - a view of the street, cars parked, sunny day, fence to the side - but the more I stared at it the more odd I found it. I noticed his use of perspective is based on traditional one-point perspective yet it is shifted off to the side thereby disrupting the everyday banality of this type of setting. Furthermore, his use of oil paint appears both deliberate, in regards to shadowing and color, and accidental in regards to the application of paint itself. This imbues the scene with a sense of randomness and further complicates it. He writes of his "chance" paintings - "For on site, 'plein air painting', a map of Queens and Brooklyn was marked with gridded coordinates. Throwing numbered and lettered coi[...]
  • https://vimeo.com/124416402As we arrive at the conclusion of another school year, Art for Progress arts ed programs are developing and evolving in new ways. The music program at Humanities Prep has been flourishing, and we recently held a student and faculty talent show, showcasing the wealth of talent that has been incubating within the school. Performances spanned a wide range of instrumentation and repertoire, and even included some original pieces and songs written by the performers. AFP's Young Adult Enrichment Program has now spawned three bands, which are now gigging around NYC. Statik Vosion, the core project of the program, also recently played alongside my own band, Bad Faces at the AFP live music series “We Deliver” at The Bowery Electric on Manhattan's storied Lower East Side. Other projects are in the works for the summer, including a recording project to produce an EP release for Statik Vision and a music enrichment program in partnership with the Upper West Side JCC which will provide music instruction for under-served elementary school students. I taught the classes last year and if was a blast!At Humanities Prep, in Chelsea, I have been teaching music to high school students for the past three years. Some of the talent that has been emerging from the program is truly unbelievable. I have seen a number of students who had never played an instrument before become capable, and even inspired players, while others have come to me with some experience and s[...]
  • Haven: Saturday, July 25th at The Mothership, Brooklyn- 7pm - 1am It's summer and it's time to celebrate with great music and art!  AFP is co-hosting this rooftop soiree with our good pals over at NOoSPHERE Arts.Barry Komitor's (AFP's Art Education Manager) band Bad Faces is set to perform with solo music performances from Lesley Kernochan and Charles Davi.  Also, AFP's Executive Director Frank Jackson (aka DJ Gatto) is breaking out some select choices from his vast vinyl collection, and longtime friend DJ/Producer SR SERGE will be spinning a late set for your dancing pleasure.  To add to the flavor, we have AFP artists Daniel Maldonado (Gashouse Films) and Jeanne Wilkinson creating video installations, while Cat Del Buono will present her "Beauty Box" installation. Last but not least, the very talented performance artist Duckie L'Orange will intrigue us with her creativity. Check out the invite below, grab a six pack or a bottle of wine and let's celebrate!!
  • It was a cold Saturday afternoon, but I was motivated to trek over to Chelsea to check out the Kitchen Girls & Toy Boys show at Rush Arts Gallery.  Artists Sindy Butz and Sol Kjok are participating artists in the show and have both worked with AFP on various projects.It didn't take long for me to identify Sol's very large piece, "Strings Attached" as I walked into the gallery.  Her figurative work bursts off the canvas with great detail and her use of color brings out the emotion in her characters.  In this piece the characters are strung together and appear to be grasping and climbing over each other while still maintaining a certain co-dependence.I was impressed with the overall quality and diversity of the work in the show.  The work of Reinhold Gottwald caught my attention. His colorful, small, abstract pieces on wood are hung/arranged as if they are a group of  planets sharing the same solar system. I found Markus Fiedler's beeswax sneakers quite intriguing and an interesting piece(s) to be included in the show. I was impressed with the incredible detail he was able to achieve using beeswax.I noticed Sindy crouched down on the floor, but I didn't realize that her performance had already begun. What is she up to this time? Sindy's not afraid to take on the not so obvious social issues of the day. Her thought provoking work continues to evolve and this performance would not disappoint.  The message on the floor read, "The West Tastes like Gold." As Sind[...]
  • For the past couple of weeks, the focus of the AFP Young Adult Music Program has been an in depth study of the basic mechanics of jazz. We have been working on Etta James’ “At Last” for the past couple of months, but we have now begun to break down the chord progression into a series of key changes, and to investigate how we can navigate those changes using scales. We have been breaking down the requisite parts of the chords into the bass movement, the harmonic color notes, and the melody notes, and observing how each note relates to the key, to the chord, and to the function of the chord in the progression.Jason has been learning to walk the bass, playing the notes that clearly indicate the movement of the chords, while Raymond, Alex and Gabriel have been learning chord voicings on guitar and piano, observing the movement of the functional character notes from chord to chord. We have been identifying which notes change from chord to chord and which ones stay the same. This is helping to elucidate how the flow of the song works. We have also been looking at how the order and character of the chords indicate which key we can play in at any given time, and where to modulate to a new key.With this knowledge, we can determine exactly what function each note of the melody plays from a diatonic harmony perspective. All of this is very analytical and confusing of course, but with the foundation of knowledge these guys have accumulated over the past four years, it is beginnin[...]
  • There isn't a more musically diverse city than New York. The boroughs boast every kind of venue, from coffee shops to concert halls. From Barclays to The Bowery to The Silent Barn, there is a constant flow of musicians moving amongst, around and through NYC. Whether they are defining or defying a genre, each strive to make their mark. This blog aims to explore that journey and report on what the natives and newcomers are coming up with. On the 3rd and 20th of every month we will post on the up and coming, the established, the solo acts and the full bands, doing our best to bring you what's news and what's new. Open mic nights, co-headlined tours, battles of the bands and quality buskers are all fair game; we aim to bring you a mix of everything. We want to include the five person Balkan brass bands, the shoegazing indie rockers, head-smashing metal acts and whatever else this city may culture in its midsts. We understand that the NYC music scene is ever changing and we plan to keep pace. We won't tell you who to see or who to listen to, but if you would like suggestions we're here to help. We will be posting interviews, concert recaps, album reviews and any related news, all with the aim of making you a better informed listener. Welcome and we hope you enjoy the ride.About your blogger: Zoe Marquedant grew up listening to, playing and illegally downloading (whoops) music. Nowadays there is rarely a moment when she does not have her headphones in. Although a longstand[...]
  • I recently saw “Ernest Cole Photographer” which is on display through December 6 at the Gray Art Gallery at New York University. This is the first solo exhibition of Cole's work in the US which was organized by the Gothenburg’s Hasselblad Foundation. The exhibition features 120 photograph which stem from his time working as a photojournalist in South Africa in the late 1950 and 60s.Cole was born in 1940 in the township of Eersterust, Pretoria. Several years later his family was forced to relocate to Mamelodi as a result of the Group Areas Act of 1950. Growing up in a very politically charged time in South Africa greatly affected how Cole would come to view the world. Cole began taking photographs at a young age which would turn into a life long passion for him.In 1958, Cole began working as a dark room assistant at DRUM Magazine, a publication geared towards black lifestyle located in Johannesburg. Working under the supervision of fellow photographer and artist Jürgen Schadeberg, Cole started to become politically active. During this time he met various artists, musicians and political leaders who were also fighting in the anti-apartheid movement. With Schandeberg's help, Cole enrolled in a correspondence course with the New York Institute of Photography. Cole would go onto to document the political situation in South Africa while working as a photojournalist for various newspapers. These photographs would become the basis of his 1967 book House of Bondage which w[...]
  • Strictly Rhythm. Nervous. Emotive. These seminal New York labels, along with a handful of others, evoke a time in the late ’80s and early ’90s when the local variant of house music, one that combined depth, emotion and soul with the raw rhythms that had been coming out of Chicago, took form. But there was one other local label that was equally influential—and it wasn’t even based within the five boroughs. Its name was Movin’ Records, a label (and record shop) led by Abigail Adams and based in East Orange, New Jersey.Between 1987 and 1995, Movin’ released some of the most beloved songs of the era—Phase II’s stone-cold classic “Reachin’" among them—and its lineup of vocalists and producers and included such notables as Kerri Chandler, Kenny Bobien, DJ Pierre, Ce Ce Rogers, Blaze’s Kevin Hedge and Josh Milan, Ace Mungin and Tony Humphries. That last name is key: A symbiotic relationship formed between the club that Humphries deejayed at, Club Zanzibar in nearby Newark, and Movin.' Though they were both just a few miles west of Manhattan, the Movin’-Zanzibar affiliation resulted in a sound with a different feel than what was going down in Gotham, a feel that amped up the gospel- and R&B–tinged passion beyond what the big city had to offer. It’s a style of house generally referred to as the Jersey Sound—and its effects can still be felt on the club music of today. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the gracious and friendly Adams, her love of the music still shin[...]
  • Beth Fiedorek has been creating psychological narrative paintings and performance based work since 2007. Fiedorek who is a graduate of Yale, tackles issues surrounding everyday experiences while also commenting on "the improvement oriented culture" we live in within her art. Beth's introspective and insightful approach to the art making process adds a level of complexity to the work she is generating. Fiedorek who has lived in Brooklyn since 2012, has taken part in the Gowanus Open Studios as well as performing in festivals such as FIGMENT, which occurred this past June. I recently spoke with Fiedorek about her art making process, what some of the challenges she has faced as a working artist have been and her take on the Brooklyn arts scene.Something Invisible to Others, Oil on MDO board, 48" x 48". Image courtesy of Beth Fiedorek.Anni Irish: How did you get interested in art?Beth Fiedorek: I always liked making things, ever since I was really young. I have found that materials tend to speak to me, sometimes more so than people which can prove to be awkward.As I’ve gotten older, making art has become more about communicating and processing experiences. Figuration and materials carry symbolic energy that I try to use thoughtfully, highlighting strange moments I find intriguing. In painting, there are psychological narratives that emerge over time and it is not always something you can control. For me, the process and re-evaluation of materials are deeply [...]