After 2 weeks of inspired events all across the borough of Queens, the young community driven Queens Art Express festival pulls into its final weekend. Hits from this Saturday, June 13th: the Jackson Heights Historic Garden tour, A capella and Carribean music at Langston Hughes Library, International Family Day–a sub-festival directly under the train at 103rd St in Corona, Q& A with artists and curator at the Y Gallery, performances at Topaz in Woodside. It is a solid Saturday. We could go on-and-on. But we have to get to Sunday at some point.
Meet up with the kids of Safari 7 who are doing a run from Grand Central to Main Street on Sunday afternoon. Safari 7 provides downloadable podcasts describing the environment under the tracks. At 3pm, the Noguchi Museum in L.I.C hosts singer-songwriter, Taylor Brow, for a afternoon in the dazzling Noguchi “stone” garden, while across the street a only-in-New York “State Fair” is featured at Socrates Sculpture Park. And then the parties begin, Dean Project is hosting pre-Creek post-concert drinks and appetizers at 7 followed by debut of 2009 Live at the Gantries summer performing series at the East River oasis, Gantry State Park. The “final” Art Express Closing party featuring VJ Pixalot caps off the entire festival in Creek style (9-12pm). A lot to digest. All of the event information is on the Calendar page; here is a breakdown of how this last Art Express weekend looks under the 7.
Saturday, June 13th, 2009
10:45-2:00pm(82nd Street-Roosevelt) Historic Jackson Heights Garden Tour
The Jackson Heights Beautification Group in celebrating Jackson Heights, the first planned garden and cooperative apartment community in America- and a City, State, and Federal Historic District.
The “Historic” Weekend begins at begins at the Community United Methodist Church at 81-10 35th Avenue with an exhibition of vintage photographs and memorabilia of Jackson Heights followed by a tour in the early afternoon. Slide lectures at 10:45am and 12:15pm at the Community Church, 81-10 35th Avenue. Rain or Shine . Garden Tour from 12 noon to 4:00pm (Raindate: June 14th).
“Men of Distinction,” A capella group -gospel, soul and doo-wop,”Quake USA” a Caribbean folk choir
Saturday June 13, 2009 2pm to 5pm. See post below.
1-6pm(52nd Street or 63rd st) Truth… is Topaz Arts
An open rehearsal with John Jasperse Company, Contemporary Artistic Process/ Explored & Revealed
Schema CorpoReal a solo exhibition by new-media artist Hector Canonge
Opening Reception: Sat, June 13, 3-6pm
1:30-6pm (103rd Street) INTERNATIONAL FAMILY DAY: Corona Plaza: a sub-festival of Queens Art Express directly under the train at 103.
Join the Queens Museum of Art and Corona Action Network for an afternoon of music and folkloric dance that showcases the diversity of the neighborhood. Featured performers include, Blue Pipa Trio, and Charlie Cajeres Salsa Ensemble. Plus grab a complimentary copy of the Healthy Taste of Corona cookbook featuring recipes from neighborhood restaurants and organizations, and then take advantage of special discounts at local ethnic eateries.
1:30 to 2:00: pm Mariachi America 2000
2:00 to 3:00: pm Balet Nueva Juvantud- Mexican Dance, Modelamos Talent Agency, Talent Performers from Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador & more!
3:00 to 3:40 pm: Blue Pipa Trio
Chinese Vocals, Guitar & Bass
4:00 to 6:00 pm: Queens Museum performers including
Charlie Cajaras, el Abogado de la Salsa
5-8pm (82nd street/Roosevelt) Y Gallery, MILAGROS DE LA TORRE, BULLETPROOF, Opening reception, 6-8pm, Panel Discussion with artist and curator (Cecilia Jurado), 5 pm
Y Gallery is pleased to present BULLETPROOF, the first New York solo exhibition of artist Milagros de la Torre, curated by Cecilia Jurado. Throughout her career Milagros de la Torre has investigated the censored and the forgotten along with the fearful, the painful, and the fragile. She captures and probes thoroughly as would the most demanding detective while releasing the resulting product to our eyes without judgment. In De la Torre’s work, the human presence seems to disappear easily leaving the objective evidence behind as narrator.
(great Q& A with artists at the Y Gallery, performance at Topaz arts. It is a rock solid Saturday.
SUNDAY , June 14th
1pm-3pm (Grand Central and Flushing Main) Safari 7 – a tour of urban animal life along the 7 line.
Safari 7 is a self-guided tour of urban animal life along New York City’s No. 7 subway line. Safari 7 circulates an ongoing series of podcasts and maps that explore the complexity, biodiversity, conflicts, and potentials of New York City’s ecosystems. Safari 7 imagines train cars as eco-urban classrooms, and invites travelers to act as park rangers in their city. Safari 7 plans to engage the broadest range of New Yorkers, from commuters and school children to urban explorers and designers, in active research and exploration of their own environment.
1. Download the Safari 7 podcasts at http://www.safari7.org and load them on your mp3 players.
2. Meet at the front of the No. 7 platform at Flushing Main Street at 2:00pm. We will ride the subway from Flushing to Times Square.
Join Safari 7 at the front of Grand Central platform (Manhattan-bound train) at 1pm for voyage across queens and return trip leaves from Flushing Main platform at 2pm.
3-5pm (Vernon Blvd/ Jackson) Second Sunday – Music in the Garden series 2009–Taylor Brow, Singer/Songwriter. Performance begins at 3:00pm and is free with Museum admission.
For more information, please visit www.noguchi.org
4pm (Vernon Blvd/ Jackson) Socrates Sculpture Park, Spring exhibit entitled “State Fair”www.socratessculpturepark.org
6-7pm(Vernon Blvd/ Jackson) FREE STYLE ARTS-StringSculpture, Gantry State Park.
As part of Queens Art Express, people walking through Gantry State Park, people will suddenly find themselves building a giant assemblage sculpture attached to human pedestals. Free Style Arts Association, will be setting up a large participation-based String Sculpture in LIC in order to create an art piece that truly engages and reflects the people in the community they were created within.
7-8pm (Court House Square) Dean Project will be hosting post-concert pre-Creek drinks at the Dean Project. So, stop by the gallery for one before heading over to the party.
Open bar and appetizers from 7-9pm on Sunday June 14th – lead-up event to Live at the Gantries and the 2nd closing party at the Creek: Featuring a new exhibition on view – “Miradas Divergentes” our annual summer invited guest curator Juan-Ramón Barbancho, Spain, opening June 13th.
7-10pm (Vernon Blvd/ Jackson) Live at the Gantries: Hungry March Band, Presented by Queens Theatre in the Park
Fresh off a tour of France, NYC’s legendary street brass band marches back to Queens in style. Put on your dancing shoes and break out the fancy threads because they’ve got a party going on – a blazing parade of flesh, blood, steel, brass and wood. They are the music of the people!
The first show of Live at the Gantries will also be the final performance of the Queens Art Express festival produced by the Queens Council on the Arts. Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director of QCA said, “It is great to gather at the gantries for another hot summer of cool performances in Long Island City.
9- 12pm (Vernon Blvd/ Jackson) Art Express Closing Party: The Creek
Happy hour between 11-12p, $2.00 off drinks. Live Vinyl DJ and VJ loops Set from the festival.
VJ Pixalot: Pixalot’s live music/vj/dj performances have taken him to Canada, USA, Czech Republic, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil and Korea, playing everything from raves, small clubs and festivals to concert halls and international art festivals along side artists such as, Afrikaa Bambaata, DJ Goldie, DJ Spooky, DJ Markie and DJ Hype amongst others.
Queens Public Television offers Not-For Profit organizations a free outlet to provide the community with announcements. The PSA’S are cablecast throughout the day with events, news and useful information.
The following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts for the preparation for taping a PSA. They are as follows:
Do not wear white clothes, opt for bright colors instead.
Do not memorize script, it will be presented on a teleprompter for your convenience.
Do not wear reading glasses, the font size on the teleprompter can be adjusted.
Do bring a business card for distribution.
Do time yourself, the PSA should be no longer than 58 seconds.
Do include in your PSA your mission statement, the services that you provide, your website address and most importantly, introduce yourself.
Do be on time or a few minutes early for your scheduled appointment.
Do email your script to MJ@QPTV.ORG before your scheduled date (optional for QAX participants).
Do provide supporting photos in jpeg format, if you are using photos.
Most importantly, Do come with a smile!
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Friday, December 11th, Rosalyn Nieves and the crew from Queens Public Television (QOTV) hosted the December QAX 2010 Bootcamp meeting. Great hosts. Great interactive workshop! Every single member of the QPTV staff was friendly, hard-working and open.
Rosalyn outlined the partnership opportunities available at QPTV for the Queens Art Express community:
Become a QPTV producer and/or provider: Technical requirements for sending in a video
Posting on QPTV’s Electronic Community Bulletin Board
Workshop sessions: EEP (Electronic Field Production ),10 weeks, $85.00; Studio Production, 10 weeks, $85.00; Editing, 10 weeks, $85.00
Grant opportunities: From time to time QPTV may provide grants based upon financial or technical need, to not-for-profit organizations located in Queens to produce educational, cultural or artistic programs which are not available through commercial broadcast media
Web linking: Web sharing is a simple method to create traffic between websites
Hoong Yee Krakauer from QCA, Janna Naylor, Program Director of Salvatore Larussa Dance Theatre, and Shown Choi from Flushing Town Hall were on hand to record PSAs for their respective organizations.
Next QAX Bootcamp is Thursday, January 14th, 10am, in Jackson Heights.
Community United Methodist Church, 81-10 35th Ave.
The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded Queens Council on the Arts (QCA) a 2 year- $100,000 Cultural Innovation Fund grant to support the ArtXphone; an interactive cell phone tour of the artistic and cultural communities under the No. 7 train for the upcoming 2010 Queens Art Express (QAX).
NYTimes ArtsBeat mentioned our “interactive cellphone cultural map for the No. 7 subway line.” More…
The September 17th kick off meeting at Crossing Art in Flushing was attended by Jennifer Junkermeier, Teri Osborne of the Tourism Council, Shawn Choi from Flushing Town Hall, Steven Hitt of LPAC, Hoong Yee Krakauer, Lynn Lobell, David Bromley, and Diana McClure from Queens Council on the Arts, Rolando Brown of Parrallel MVMT, and a handful of new QAX friends.
• Hoong Yee and David introduced how they were going to implement the restaurant component of QAX 2010 by working with individual chambers of commerce, community leaders, and BIDS (Business Improvement Districts) before taking the plan to the actual business owners.
• In scheduling 2010 David put these questions to the venues: How did you like 2009? What can we do to change and expand on year 1? How long should the festival be? 3-weekends, 1 weekend?
• Rolando Brown of Parrallel MVMT spoke in depth on the technology portion of the marketing strategy for 2010 which builds on the 2009 strategy of turning “subway commuters into cultural tourists.”
Alyssa Bonilla from Sunnyside Shines and Edwin Westley from the Jackson Heights Beautification Group graciously volunteered their spaces for the next two meetings. Ed is an integral partner to establishing relationships with small businesses in Jackson Heights and will be setting up the November meeting at a local restaurant.
Word on the street is plenty of folks are already jumping aboard QAX 2010: Queens Museum, Langston Hughes Library, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, JHBG, Queens Theater in the Park, Dean Gallery, QPTV, Sunnyside Shines are confirmed for next year’s festival; others are buying their Metrocard today.
• Queens Council on the Arts in partnership with MTA is posting an open call this September for Queens-based venues or organizations who are interested in participating in QAX 2010. For more information send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caribbean Folk Music (Quake USA), meets American doo wop & A Cappella harmonies (Men of Distinction), at the courtyard of Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center this Saturday, June 13th, 2-5pm. Assistant to the Executive Director of Langston Hughes, John Crow, took time out from his loaded schedule as a doting father, community leader and television talk-show host to chat with the Queens Art Express crew.
John Crow, what is your subway stop?
Depends on where I’m going to or coming from. From home to work, it’s the 103rd Street Corona Plaza stop, transfer to the 23 bus to Northern Boulevard, walk 2 blocks. Or weekends, sometimes it’s the last stop on Main Street. At the end of the day, the commute is the # 7 to Time Square or Grand Central and transfer to the Flatbush IRT 2 or 5 trains heading to Brooklyn.
What is the best musician or artist you saw performing on a subway platform?
I enjoy all of the performers and performances on the subway. They are all darn good-legit or without credentials. They are all remarkable. At one time I was one of them. There seems to be lots of Andian music.
You do a wide array of work at Langston Hughes Library-what is your title?
I’m a Community Outreach, Community Resource, Information and Referral Specialist; an events planner, calendar coordinator an assistant program Manager and an assistant to the Executive Director with Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center of Queens Library. Anything one wants to know about anything they ask me. 311 calls me to verify some of their information…
What do you do for fun in Queens or the metropolitan area?
Take care of my young family. My son Sebastian is 4 years old and growing fast. His speech, word choice, and his overall intelligence fascinate me every day. My wife Debra gets all the credits.
This is the first year of Queens Art Express so we need all the help we can get–do you have questions for us at Queens Art Express (QAE)?
Can this QAExpress become one of those annual events?
What was your first art/performance experience like? Where was it?
First in this Country, back of the Brooklyn Museum, as part of the Caribbean Carnival Celebrations-We were a hit.
Tell me about some about the television program Caribbean Classroom or some of the other programming you are working on now?
I provide accurate information to visitors to the Langston Hughes Library and to the larger Queens Community, through Caribbean Classroom via the public access center on the 4 channels of Queens Public Television. I also teach video production to grown men and women-camera/field & studio production and video editing–lots of fun doing that. Visits to the Queens Hall of Science, Queens Museum, Flushing Meadow Park and most of the cultural institutions scattered throughout the Borough of Queens.
This month’s LIVE episode of Caribbean Classroom and the musical concert for Queens Art Express on June 13, which features Quake USA-A Caribbean Folk Choir and Men of Distinction-A 5 Man a cappella group that sings in sweet harmonies. Caribbean Folk Music meets US A cappella harmonies-exhilarating!!!
I’m also working on a presentation on “Single Mothers Raising Black Boys Alone” by Cathleen E. Williams, who is an RN and an attorney and a single mother whose son, Sean, recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon University.
What’s in the future for John Crow and Langston Hughes Library?
There is always one in the pipe line. There is an author talk that takes place towards the end of the month.
QUEENS LIBRARY Enrich Your Life®
Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center
present Men of Distinction & Quake USA: Caribbean Folk Music meets American A Cappella Harmony
Plus A Surprise or 2 Saturday June 13, 2:00 PM
Court Yard Performance (weather permitting)
An afternoon of sweet voices & Spicy Musical Sounds
100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona.
Funding for this and most programs at Langston Hughes is provided through grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York State Education Department, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Office of The Borough President of Queens, Queens Borough Public Library, and The Library Action Committee of Corona/East Elmhurst, Inc.. Please visit the Langston Hughes Library and take out a book. See you at the library. Queens library is an independent not-for-profit corporation and is not affiliated with any other library system
“100 Degrees” is a public Intervention Art project created by Jackson Heights-based artist Hector Canonge and Taiwanese artist Chin Chih Yang. The interactive installation and on site performance raises awareness about the environmental state of the planet and encourages audiences to participate in the creation of a temporary site-specific multimedia media sculpture. In preparation for “100 Degrees” on June 6th, Hector answered questions from Queens Art Express.
What is your subway stop?
I use the # 7 train daily. I’ve been doing a lot of work in various neighborhoods along its route. Right now is the 33rd St. / Rawson St. stop because I swim daily at La Guardia and will be doing the installation of the Public Intervention project “100 Degrees,” right under the elevated tracks.
What is the best musician or artist you saw performing on a subway platform?
One day, late at night, I was waiting for the E train on 14th Street when suddenly I heard the sounds of a saxophone. The melody was an old Spanish ballad that my grandmother used to sing. It transported me to the time when I was a kid and I relived those days when grandma, Machida, we called her, sang in the morning while doing her morning activities. As I moved in the direction of the sound, the song “Besame Mucho” engulfed my entire being. The man who was playing the old saxo was lost in his music, and I was lost in my memories. I talked to him, and found out he was from Ecuador, he played other ballads and music, I stayed for at least one hour. I bought his CD, and few months later, I did a documentary about him.
Do you regularly see other artists performing in the area (if so what type)?
Yes, in the same spot, a few years after the sax player, I met an interesting older Russian woman. She was singing in Spanish and playing a portable children’s keyboard. Amazingly enough, she was singing “Besame Mucho.” I talked to her, and she was incredibly Zen and good energy. Somehow she moved me deeply. I was supposed to interview her the day after, but did not see her again until a year later. She was riding on the # 7 Train, and playing a Cuban danzon.
What type of work do you do?
I’m a New-media artist. I work integrating emerging and old technologies to create projects in relation to geographies, identity, gender roles, image appropriation, and the politics of migration; I explore contemporary issues affecting diverse urban communities. What do you do for fun in Queens or the metropolitan area?
Queens is my home-fun! Somehow I always manage to hang out in Jackson Heights, Flushing Park or at the Queens Museum. My favorite place to eat is “La cancha” this Argentine, hole in the wall, pizza-restaurant place where they have the best empanadas, homemade ñoquis, house wine, Quilmes beer, and they always have soccer matches on TV. The 82 Street movie theater is great with movies with Spanish subtitles, and cheaper than the multiplex. At night the clubs and bars along Roosevelt Avenue are a true adventure -not for the weak at heart. In the city, I’m a flaneur, I like walking and discovering new things in the city. My recent venture, the Mexican outpost in Spanish Harlem. My favorite Dominican restaurant is Margot in Washington Heights.
Do you have any questions for us at Queens Art Express?
I will be doing sound walks in relation to my project 18 Beats (On view as Queens Beats at the Discover Queens Visitor Center at Queens Center Mall) in September. You wanna contribute?
What was your first art/performance experience like? Where was it?
My initiation with my New-media work was when my project “Ciudad Transmobil” was featured at the Queens International 2004. Prior to that my work was in film with documentaries and short fiction films. The experience of taking over a gallery space, working closely with the curator, installers, having friends and loved ones helping me in putting up the project was definitely something that I wanted to repeat. Since then my work and projects have grown, but I still get the same rush and exhilaration. It’s probably like giving birth…
What are you working on now?
I am getting ready for 2 projects. One, “100 Degrees,” is collaboration with Taiwanese artist, Chin Chih Yang, as part of the Queens Arts Express. The second is “Germinal” a project about genetic modification of seeds, as part of my present residency at City Without Walls, cWOW, in Newark, New Jersey. I will also have a show at Aferro Gallery, “Deceptive Landscapes” in relation to my work and research as visiting artist at New Jersey City University.
What are you working on in the future?
I have an upcoming solo show, “Schema CorpoReal,” at Topaz Arts, and had just gotten the news that I was selected for the Dyson Residency program for the Summer at Pace University. There I will work on the cataloguing and future installation based on family correspondence of the past 15 years. After that, I will disappear for 2 weeks in August probably go north to Maine, I am not revealing where or with whom though…
The information about the sonic project in Queens is on my website: “18 Beats” now on view as “Queens Beats” at DQVC. www.hectorcanonge.net/18beats.
Saturday, June 6th, Queens Art Express rolls to Long Island City and Sunnyside. LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, 5 subway stops into Queens (33rd St), has an innovative event at 2pm with dance companies from both sides of the Queensboro, Graham II and MAD About Dance. To celebrate the centennial of the Queensboro bridge, Queens and Manhattan are playing nice.
Speaking of playing nice, Steven Hitt, the towering Managing Director of LPAC, and Handan Ozbilgin, his lovely young Assistant Artistic Director told us about the LPAC LAB program and transitioning LPAC from a traditional performing arts center to an artistic incubator for up-and-coming local talent.
Handan and Steven what are your subway stops? StevenH.: 207th Street on the A-Train. My subway stop for work is 33rd Street on the 7 line. HandanO.: I take the 7 train to the N train and N train to the 6 train, to East Harlem. It sounds like a long journey but it is not as bad as it sounds.
Wow, you have such a positive attitude. I always want to jump in a taxi and watch the skyline of Manhattan take me in as I cross the Q-boro. O.K., let’s keep our focus on the 7 train, what is the best musician or artist you saw performing on a subway platform? StevenH.: I’ve seen many talented people performing in the subways over the years I’ve lived in New York. Last week I was in Times Square waiting on the A Train and heard an incredible Jazz Singer. HandanO.: There was a guy dancing with a baby doll at 42nd street. They were a great couple. I think he believed she was real. The way he held her was very real. I haven’t seen them for a long time though.
The blind accordion player I see him every once in awhile. He changed the song he is playing. However he hasn’t changed his opening line “your donations greatly appreciated”.
Steven H.: Lately on the 7 and A trains I have heard a lot of Mexican musicians. Some are good others are ok. I also see a lot of kids Break Dancing on the subway cars. I think it is kind of dangerous and worry about people getting hit. At the same time I love their energy and enthusiasm, as well as admire some of the moves they make.
What do you do for fun in Queens or the metropolitan area? StevenH.: I like to eat out with friends and see films and shows. I see a lot of live performances because that is my job, but I also really enjoy it. It does keep me from seeing other things I really want to see for enjoyment.
HandanO.: I used to live in Astoria so I really like Astoria. I used to go Greek Restaurants; Uncle George, Athens Café, and I loved Astoria park. Now thanks to Queens Art Express I discover other parts of Queens. Last Saturday I discovered Queens Botanical Garden.
Do you have any questions for us at Queens Art Express? HandanO.: No questions just a comment I am very happy to be part of this festival as both a host venue and also as an enthusiastic audience member.
What was your first art/performance experience like? Where was it? HandanO.: I formed a theater group as a child in Turkey. I was the director and producer. Of course I didn’t know what “director” and “producer” meant . We performed in my backyard and there were other groups competing against us to bring the most audience. But my group always won. I knew how to draw an audience. I gave away free gazoz( soda).
StevenH.: As a performer I was 11 years old when I first walked on stage in the Music Man. The curtain rose and I knew I wanted to be an actor for the rest of my life. I got lucky and worked, but the dreams change. The first professional show I saw was a tour of Sound of Music when I was 13 starring Ann Blyth. The sets were beautiful, the acting and singing were incredible. I never knew anything could be that good, and it became an inspiration to fill my own dream.
What are you working on now? HandanO.: Now. Bridging The Arts. I am sending an email blast to remind people the event is this Saturday at 2pm. I can’t wait to see Martha Graham and Michiyo’s group MAD About Dance at the same event.
StevenH.: The Future. Building a season for next year. The success of our LPAC Lab program has proven that working with local talent pays off. We are partnering with several emerging theatre groups and choreographers to give them space to develop new work. We tried it this year and I was very pleased. We are going further in that direction next year. I think it is very exciting. I love the creative energy I see in our theaters every day.
Queens Council on the Arts would like to thank The Honorable Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, The Queens Delegation and especially The Honorable Councilmembers Karen Koslowitz, Mark Weprin and James Van Bramer for their support of Queens Art Express.