Important breaking news and events

A 25 story building coming to Chrystie Street….

Talking Transitions event. New Yorkers for Parks hosted an informative discussion on what to do about income inequity in Parks.

Squadron’s Park plan. This is an article the New Yorker that talks about the Transitions Tent event (above). Squadron proposes to address the inequality in Parks by asking the richer Conservancies to give some % of their funding to a parks fund.

NY Rising is Governor Coumo’s NY State planning process in the wake of Sandy. Give your input on what you think needs to happen here!
The idea is that all of these “planning process” (Rebuild by Design – Federally funded) will at some point dovetail so there isn’t duplication….

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The HOW of Affordable Housing: Information for Lower-East-Siders, Artists, and the Creative Community

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How do you find affordable housing in New York City?
How do you know if you’re eligible?
How can you best prepare yourself to apply?
…And what does “affordable housing” mean anyway?

This two-hour seminar will address rent stabilization and privately-owned, government subsidized housing city-wide, with a focus on artist housing and the Lower East Side/East Village. Please note that emergency or immediate-term options will not be covered.

Thursday 12/12 from 6-8PM
At La MaMa Studios
47 Great Jones St. between Bowery and Lafayette

Presented by
The Actors Fund, Cooper Square Committee, Fourth Arts Block, and La MaMa E.T.C.

RSVP Required!
Please email to let us know you are coming.

For all other questions, contact Rebecca Saur at 212-221-7300, ext. 126 or

See map: Google Maps
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Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award

This is an opportunity for artists to submit proposals to our local Sara Roosevelt Park where the work will be sited.

2014 Application Guidelines

Deadline: January 13, 2014
Installation: July, 2014 (subject to change)

The Award
Clare Weiss (1966-2010) was the Public Art Curator for New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation. During her tenure she curated more than 100 outdoor public art installations throughout the city and organized complex, thought-provoking and visually compelling thematic exhibitions for the Arsenal Gallery. Clare’s passion, humanity, energy, courage, and collaborative zeal were valued by all who knew her.

The Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award is granted annually to one emerging artist who submits the most compelling proposal for an outdoor sculpture in a New York City park. The location changes annually and is determined based on the site’s visibility and proximity within a neighborhood underserved by public art.

Sara D. Roosevelt Park, located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side has been selected as the location for the 2014 Award. All proposed artwork must be sited for the plaza between the basketball courts and the stairs located on Houston Street between Chrystie and Forsyth Streets. Please note, there should be ample room allowed between the basketball courts and the sculpture, the proposal should allow for pedestrian flow and objects cannot be attached to trees. If the sculpture is anchored into the pavers, the budget should allow for the cost of replacing damaged pavers.These guidelines should be taken into consideration when drafting proposals for this park. Photographs of the site can be found on the Parks website. The selected sculpture will be exhibited for a maximum of one year.

Artists are strongly encouraged to visit Sara D. Roosevelt Park before submitting a proposal. Applicants must take into account the site’s terrain and submit proposals that will stand up to the park’s particular urban outdoor environment. Sculptures installed in New York City’s Parks must meet the department’s safety requirements and be able to withstand the effects of weather and public interaction.

No proposals for sculptures previously exhibited will be accepted. This award is open to New York City-based emerging artists only.

The chosen recipient will be granted an award in the amount of $10,000.  The recipient is highly encouraged to procure in-kind support and other additional funding necessary to support this installation.

The Award recipient shall be solely responsible for the installation and removal of the artwork and shall provide at his or her sole cost and expense, all labor, services, and supervision necessary.  Additional expenses the artist will be responsible for include fabrication, insurance and maintenance. At the end of the award term, the artist is responsible for returning the park location to its original condition. This project must adhere to Parks’specifications for public art.

The Parks Department will assist the awarded artist with technical logistics such as permitting and site specifications. The artist will be responsible for engineering documents if they are necessary.

The Award recipient will be selected through an open application process. Proposals will be reviewed by a jury comprised of an artist, an independent curator, and a Parks Department representative. Proposals will be judged according to artistic and creative merit and suitability to the site.

Proposals will only be accepted from New York City-based emerging artists— artists who have specialized training in their field (not necessarily gained in an academic institution), who are at an early stage in their career, and who have created a modest independent body of work. Artists who are enrolled in a school, college or university are not eligible for the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award.

Timeline (all dates are subject to change)
January 31, 2014: Proposals due. Proposals can be submitted earlier.

February 2014: Award Recipient announced
July 2014: Sculpture installed in Park with dedication ceremony and opening reception

Application Proceedure
Proposals must include:

  • Resume with current contact information
  • One-page statement describing artist’s work in general
  • Proposed sculpture
    • detailed description of no more than 2 written pages
    • representative drawings or renderings if sculpture has not been fabricated
    • images of sculpture if it is already fabricated
    • list of materials proposed/used; dimensions (including weight)
    • installation recommendations
    • maintenance recommendations
  • Names and full contact information of two references who are familiar with artist and artist’s work
  • 5-6 images of previous work (8×10 color prints or if emailing jpegs no larger than 1 MB each); each image should be labeled and succinctly described
  • Self-addressed, stamped postcard if you would like to receive notification that your proposal was received.

Materials will not be returned. All materials must be received by January 31, 2014. Proposals should be sent or emailed to:

Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award
Art & Antiquities
City of New York Parks & Recreation
The Arsenal
New York, NY 10065

Check out parks website:

Download application guidelines

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Mysterious Leaf Circles

Last week, mysterious circles of fall leaves appeared in the Pit between Broome and Delancey, only to be dispersed by the wind and romping children. Today, the mystery was solved. Mosco, a genial LES resident and ex-graffiti artist, was sweeping leaves into perfect rings outside the M’Finda Kalunga garden and in the Rivington Street playground. He likes the idea that the circles amuse and fascinate and are ephemeral.

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2013 Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference

bfurga_imageThe 2013 Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference will be held on November 8 – 10, 2013 in New York City. The Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference is a gathering to enhance the critical relationship between food and health in the Black community by empowering growers, eaters and activists.The conference strengthens networks and inspires new ideas among people working across disciplines to address the food-related issues that contribute to inequities in health, wealth and justice in black communities.  These inequities are well documented: Our farmers are in peril:

  • In 1920, over 14% of U.S, farmers were African American.
  • In 2007, less than 2% of U.S. farmers are African American.
  • Only 110 of more than 56,000 farmers in New York State are African American.

Our communities are malnourished:

  • Nationally, the typical low-income neighborhood has 30 percent fewer supermarkets than higher-income neighborhoods.

Our health is suffering:

  • Nearly 50% of African American children will develop diabetes at some point in their lives.
  • About four out of five African American women are overweight or obese.
  • In 2007, African Americans were 1.4 times as likely to be obese as Non- Hispanic Whites.
  • Deaths from heart disease and stroke are almost twice the rate for African Americans as compared to Whites.
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Juneteenth Celebration in the Garden

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that all enslaved people were now free. Juneteenth is a commemoration of African-American heritage, and a celebration of self-development and respect for all cultures.

This Saturday, June 22, the M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden will host its annual Juneteenth celebration. There will be readings, poetry, arts and crafts, and performances by a wonderful drumming and dance group from New York named Kalunga. This is from their website…

In the summer of 2011, master percussionists Javier Diaz (Disney’s Tarzan, ASO) and Madeiline Yayodele Nelson (Women of the Calabash) joined forces with some of the best artists in New York City to create a new group called KALUNGA. Their goal was to highlight not only amazing drumming and dancing, but to reveal the depth behind it.

KALUNGA is a new and unique experience based on ancient traditions.

KALUNGA artists hail from all over the world with influences from Africa and the African Diaspora, specifically Cuba, Peru, and Haiti.

KALUNGA performances provide audiences an experience that exalts the human spirit and celebrates all cultures.

KALUNGA promotes creativity, diversity, and respect for the earth.


Click on the link below to download the flyer for the event.



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Local Spokes Opportunity for Teens this Summer


Would you like to make a community art installation and explore neighborhood bike lanes?
Apply to be a part of a six week summer program for high school students.

Schedule: July 9 – August 15, 2013
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10am- 3pm
Deadline to Apply is JUNE 21

TO APPLY: Please submit application online to For more information, please call Shelma Jun at Hester Street Collaborative: 212.431.6780 ext. 110

Click to download the flyer

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