The thing I found interesting about this event was the sheer determination on the part of the hosts not to place emphasis on "Haves vs. Have Nots" - about a quarter of the people in attendance were volunteers...who obviously hadn't any Thanksgiving dinner yet - it was 11 in the morning after all. So just about everyone was interested in eating. Not just the "less fortunate."
They thought of everything except music. So people (full and happy people) started making music of their own.
A few hours later, everyone left. Some to attend to their families, others to their memories of an unusually warm Thanksgiving Day.
We all know what others think about Newark. We know what the anonymous cowards publish online, we know what the comedians have to say, we even know what some people within the Jersey borders think. But what do Newarkers (people who actually live or work or hang out here) think? And what are they doing day to day?
So who's first? Someone who wants "to put NYC in the background for once."
I've been following the work of Yuri Alves ever since I met his Dreamplay Productions team at the 07102 launch. Their work gets to me because of the obvious cinematic quality and general indie goodness. I sat at Art Kitchen a few days ago (duh, with a red velvet cupcake...okay two) with Yuri to talk about artists in Newark, his film at Cannes, The Original Brick City (his skyline-filled short film labour of love and gift to the City - no seriously, ask him about the footage!) and some of Dreamplay's current gigs and projects - including the short film, Broken Clouds, and the elusive deadline of his first feature film, Ironbound.
Who knew this was happening in Newark?
Since then I've heard of a few other filmmakers from Newark, working in Newark just like Dreamplay. So that got me thinking, "What else is going on here?"
If you know of an individual or business (artists, causes, people running a business, people who are just too interesting to leave under the radar) whose work demands "play" - send 'em on over. We'll sit somewhere in Newark and make it happen.
Solo Project #9: Nyugen E. Smith "To the Kapitol" (Everybody Come)
May 7, 2011 – June 24, 2011
Nyugen E. Smith: "To the Kapitol" (Everybody Come)
My recent immersion into information about the struggle for independence from European colonizers in West Africa and the West Indies has informed the ideas and direction of this body of work. The exhibition in its entirety, captures the energy and spirit of the "Kapitol" as a place of commerce-both sanctioned and underground markets, entertainment, crime, and the place where laws benefiting the colonizers are created, upheld and enforced.
Everyday Man Version:
Right now, I'm learning a lot about West Africans and West Indians fighting to get free from the European colonizers. The more I learn, the more I want to know. All of this information is affecting how I use color, what materials I use, and how I assemble each work of art. Capturing the hustle and bustle, the sounds, smells, dirt and grime, and coping strategies and the ruling iron fist of the colonizers is the ultimate aim for this exhibition.
Who: FP Youthoutcry (a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help youth and families in need)
What: Our 1st Annual Breaking Bread with You Ceremony
Where: Military Park, Downtown Newark, NJ
When: November 26, Thanksgiving Day at 11am (volunteers should be there by 10am)
How: FP and volunteers will bring, serve and eat a Thanksgiving meal (family style) with those individuals who are less fortunate. Volunteers are encouraged to bring at least one dish/tray of food as well as help set up, serve and clean up that day.
About the Organization:
FP YOUTHOUTCRY, a non-profit entity with 501c3 status formed in 2006, is comprised of members who share a common love and desire to improve communities around the world, starting with our home, Newark, NJ.
For more information: http://fpyouthoutcry.wordpress.com