This week, NYSCA grantees announce new leadership and new homes, and one museum realizes alternate visions of NYC.
New SPAC chief aims to rock the boat
“Music-lovers from around the region are excited for the start of the summer season at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, but possibly none more than Elizabeth Sobol. After the end of the famous venue’s 50th anniversary season, former leader Marcia White stepped down and Elizabeth Sobol took over in October as SPAC’s new president and CEO…While continuing longtime traditions like serving as the summer home for the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Sobol is implementing some new initiatives at SPAC. From collaborating with other area venues, to ordering a new and larger second stage, to inviting guests onto the amphitheatre stage for the first time and even letting the public in for free – Sobol hasn’t been afraid to rock the boat a bit…So far, one of the most well received new efforts is the SPAC on Stage series. These events will take place on Monday nights in August, featuring dynamic, genre-crossing artists whose music is pushing the boundaries of classical into new directions. Those acts are The Hot Sardines, Time for Three, Black Violin and Tiempo Libre. Still months away from the first show, this series is already close to being sold out, Sobol proudly reported, adding that 21 percent of ticket buyers are people who have never been to SPAC before.” NYSCA supports SPAC through our Presenting Program.
Artists Space Gallery Finds a New Home, in TriBeCa
“Artists Space, the nonprofit gallery and pioneer of New York’s downtown art scene that was forced to move from its SoHo home last year when its landlord planned to build a penthouse on the building, has found a place to put down roots: 80 White Street, in TriBeCa. Jay Sanders, who joined Artists Space a month ago as its executive director and chief curator, announced on Wednesday that the gallery had signed a lease for the new location, which has roughly 8,000 square feet on two levels…Founded in 1972 as a pilot project for the New York State Council of the Arts to help emerging artists, Artists Space grew into a key player in the city’s contemporary art scene, both as a gallery and as a venue for talks and debates among artists and curators. It has shown major artists in the early stages of their careers, among them Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons and Barbara Kruger.” NYSCA continues to support Artists Space through our Visual Arts and Arts Education Programs.
Art Alive 2017
“Each year, the community gets to take part in a stunning interactive display of creativity at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery… Art Alive empowers individuals and groups to come up with a tableaux that represents a work of art that is respective to the gallery. Each year, imaginative people of all ages come out of the woodwork to participate in this fabulous event. Visitors get a chance to walk around the outdoor exhibit site, viewing and analyzing the rooted performances…More than $1,000 in cash prizes is given to winning tableaux. Celebrity judges will select the Best Tableau from the Albright-Knox’s Collection or AK Public Art, the Handyman Award for Best Craftsmanship, and the Off-the-Beaten-Path Award for Most Unusual Entry. These awards will be given in each category (Grades K–8, Grades 9–12, and Adult/Family Group).” The event takes place June 3. NYSCA supports the Albright-Knox Art Gallery through our Museum and Regional Economic Development Council Programs.
Brooklyn Historical Society Launches DUMBO Satellite Museum
“The Brooklyn Historical Society now has not one but two museums to check out. A brand new satellite location in DUMBO is now open for visitors. The inaugural exhibit in the new space features historic photographs of the Brooklyn waterfront, from the industrial docks in Gowanus to the beaches at Coney Island. It’s also situated inside the Empire Stores building, which played its own role in 19th century Brooklyn history. ‘This area was called the walled city, because it was just a line of warehouses like this one. This building actually held coffee beans and jute and lindseed oil and all kinds of products from all over the world, and we’re going to get to tell those stories in this space,’ said Brooklyn Historical Society President Deborah Schwartz. The museum also offers unique views of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Manhattan Bridge and the East River. The new DUMBO location is open seven days a week. To learn more, check out brooklynhistory.org.” NYSCA supports the Brooklyn Historical Society through our Museum Program.
Queens Museum exhibit to feature the craziest plans for NYC that never happened
“Midtown isn’t under a giant glass dome, but it could have (should have?) been. At the very least someone brought up the idea: Back in 1960, architectural visionary R. Buckminster Fuller proposed putting a geodesic dome measuring one mile high and 1.8 miles over a stretch of Manhattan running from 62nd to 22nd Streets. Its purpose? To keep the busiest part of the city not too hot and not too cold…Fuller’s dome was just one of the countless, ambitiously wacky schemes for New York—from a system of pneumatically-propelled elevated trains crisscrossing town to a silvery Guggenheim Branch in Lower Manhattan—dreamed up over the years. Any one of them would have drastically changed the city as we know if realized, but what if all of them had actually been built? That’s the premise of a show at the Queens Museum coming up in September…The museum has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $35,000 for ‘Never Built New York,’an exhibition that looks at ‘200 years of visionary architectural and urban designs that never came to be.’ A central feature of the show will be 70 miniature models of futuristic fantasies installed within the Museum’s renowned Panorama of the City of New York—among them, a 1930 tower for MoMA resembling stacked Jenga blocks and a state-of-the-art stadium for Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens.” NYSCA supports the Queens Museum through our Museum and Arts Education Programs.
Heal and toe: Dance Africa Festival celebrates ‘Healing Light of Rhythm’
“The country’s largest festival of African dance will return to the Brooklyn Academy of Music this month to celebrate its 40th anniversary. This year’s Dance Africa Festival, starting on May 26, has the theme ‘The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond,’ [and] will honor both the past and the present, looking at the origins of traditional dances and also showcasing what is happening in the dance world now…This year’s show will feature a new twist — a collaborative performance between three dance companies, all of whom have performed at the Festival in previous years. The three groups — Bedford-Stuvesant’s Asase Yaa, Forces of Nature, and Illstyle and Peace Productions — will combine forces to present ‘The Healing Sevens,’ a multi-genre piece that combines of hip-hop, African, contemporary, and modern dances…The ‘healing’ portion of this year’s theme will be highlighted in a performance from Guinean dance group Wula Dance and Drum Ensemble, with a piece in response to lives lost or destroyed by violence.” NYSCA supports BAM through our Presenting and Electronic Media & Film Programs.