This week, NYSCA grantees welcome thousands to a 500-performance, 10-day festival, announce new leadership, complete a mural showcasing Civil Rights leaders and more.
Rochester Fringe ready to open with ‘Big Bang’ in our night sky
The 10-day KeyBank Rochester Fringe Fest, which includes 500 performances at 31 venues opened Thursday. The festival has “grown dramatically in its first five seasons, drawing 68,000 people last year.” New at the Fringe this year is the Immersive Igloo, “a 40-foot dome of soothing light show and surround sound, created by a Rochester native now living in New York City, Tom Montagliano.” Additional highlights include:
- Rochester’s Garth Fagan company
- PUSH Physical Theatre
- Labyrinth, in which the Biodance company teams up with Eastman School of Music musicians at the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium
- Plasticiens Volants, “the French outdoor theater company that fills the night air with surreal inflatables bathed in projected light and moving to a thumping tribal jazz soundtrack in Big Bang”
“Plasticiens Volants has been active for more than 40 years, but this show, and a previous Sept. 2 performance at Artpark in Lewiston, Niagara County, mark the debut of the group in the United States. It has been a part of many high-profile events, including last year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.” NYSCA supports the Rochester Fringe Festival through our Presenting Program.
Viviana Bianchi named BCA’s 5th executive director
“The Bronx Council on the Arts, a non-profit focusing on locally-based arts, artists and programing, appointed Viviana Bianchi as its new executive director after a six-month search…’I believe in the power of arts to change and impact communities,’ she said…She added: ‘My goal is to make BCA the place to go for the arts.’…Bianchi…plans on collaborating with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs on a new cultural plan, engaging in ‘creative placemaking’ where artists work on meaningful social projects to improve communities and working with the Westchester Square Business Improvement District. Charles Rice-González, BCA co-chair, stated that Bianchi’s passion for artists and the arts would elevate BCA’s voice as an artist advocate. She came to the position from Mindbuilders, another borough-based organization that provides artistic [programming,] as well as sports activities for youth. She has extensive non-profit and arts experience in organizations in Florida, Washington D.C. and New York and in her native Argentina.” NYSCA supports the Bronx Council on the Arts through our State & Local Partnerships Program.
Freedom Wall welcomes visitors to Buffalo’s African American Heritage Corridor
“Buffalo is marking the completion of its latest public art project, a mural depicting 28 civil rights leaders. The Freedom Wall is located at the entrance to the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor at East Ferry Street. It was painted by four Buffalo artists as part the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative, which integrates art into public spaces. The work was painted over the course of the summer by John Baker, Julia Bottoms-Douglas, Chuck Tingley and Edreys Wajed, each a native of Buffalo who lives and works in the region and holds a degree from Buffalo State College. They were chosen to create the mural through input at a number of community meetings… Among the leaders whose portraits fill the wall are national figures such as Rosa Parks and Malcolm X, as well as prominent Buffalo politicians George K. Arthur and Arthur Eve. Additional figures are Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Toure), Mama Charlene Caver Miller, William Wells Brown, King Peterson, Angela Davis, Bill Gaiter, Alicia Garza, Al-Nisa Banks, W. E. B. Du Bois, Eva Doyle, Huey P. Newton, Shirley Chisholm, Frank Merriweather, Martin Luther King Jr., Mary B. Talbert, Rev. J. Edward Nash Sr., Dr. Lydia T. Wright, Frederick Douglass, Dr. Monroe Fordham, Thurgood Marshall, Fannie Lou Hamer, Minnie Gillette, Marcus Garvey and Harriet Tubman. A community celebration marking completion of the project was held Sunday.” NYSCA supports the Albright-Knox Art Gallery through our Museum Program and the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
‘Breaking Bad’ actor, Arthur Miller’s daughter among Woodstock Film Festival highlights
“Appearances by actor Giancarlo Esposito from television’s ‘Breaking Bad’ and Arthur Miller’s daughter Rebecca will highlight the 2017 Woodstock Film Festival, a cinematic extravaganza that this year will feature nearly two dozen films by female directors. The 18th annual Woodstock Film Festival will be held Oct. 11-15 in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Kingston and Saugerties. The festival’s annual Focus on Music program will include the New York premiere of the musical ‘Stuck.’ The film stars Esposito who, along with other cast members, will participate in a question-and-answer session following an Oct. 11 screening at the Woodstock Playhouse. Esposito and his fellow cast members will also perform songs from the film’s score. Rebecca Miller’s film about her famous father will be shown on Oct. 15 at the Woodstock Playhouse. ‘Arthur Miller: Writer’ is the festival’s closing night film and Miller will participate in a question-and-answer session following the screening…The 2017 Woodstock Film Festival will feature four world premieres, five North American premieres, one U.S. premiere, 20 East Coast premieres and nine New York premieres. The film festival’s centerpiece films are ‘Last Flying Flag,’ directed by Richard Linklater, who also directed ‘Before Sunrise’ and ‘School of Rock;’ and ‘The Square,’ directed by Ruben Östlund.” NYSCA supports the Woodstock Film Festival through our Electronic Media & Film Program.
HERE Was There and Will Surely Endure
“[In 1993] in Lower Manhattan, something wonderful happened. Two Downtown theatre companies, Tiny Mythic and the Home for Contemporary Theatre and Art, joined forces to create HERE Arts Center. The 2017-2018 season will be HERE’s 25th, which means the company will be celebrating its Silver Anniversary — no small feat given the failure rate of small arts organizations. ‘It was just a raw space when we found it,’ said co-founder Kristin Marting, of their location at 145 Sixth Ave. ‘It was 13,000 square feet of storage, full of refrigerators and appliances, with a loading dock. We had to gut and rehab the whole space ourselves, and our family and friends, with just sweat equity.’… Initially an organization with a $350,000 annual budget, that number has grown nearly sixfold. Once entirely volunteer based, HERE now employs nine full-time and nine part-time staff members. Equally impressive is the high quality of the work the company has produced over the past quarter century — including such groundbreaking productions as the premiere of Eve Ensler’s ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ Basil Twist’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique,’…Young Jean Lee’s ‘Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven,’ …[and] Taylor Mac’s ‘The Lily’s Revenge’… Other artists with a close association with the space have included Labyrinth Theater Company, Elevator Repair Service, Target Margin Theater, and The Talking Band.” NYSCA supports HERE through our Presenting and Theatre Programs.