QCA presents: Researching and Developing Your Funding Network as part of the Build Your Own Business (BYOB) Workshop Series.
Wed, November 13 & December 4, 6-8pm
Join representatives from New York Foundation for the Arts and City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s office alongside individual artist Mark Salinas for a moderated conversation about the local and national funding landscape.
Individual artists and non profit organizations will develop techniques and best practices for determining and approaching appropriate funding sources, including government, foundation, private and corporate support. Participants will develop the language they use to frame their work in various contexts, and learn what it takes to establish and sustain fruitful relationships with granting organizations, government offices and corporate sponsors. The first 12 artists to register for BOTH sessions will have the opportunity to have a letter of interest to a funder reviewed during the second session of the workshop.
Queens Council on the Arts
37-11 35th Avenue, (Entrance on 37th Street, under the blue awning)
Astoria, NY 11101
Admission: $10. (RSVP required)
RSVP for Part I on Nov 13, 6-8pm
RSVP for Part II on Dec 4, 6-8pm
Courtney Harge is a Program Officer for Fiscal Sponsorship at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) where she works to empower artists through NYFA’s services and resources. She provides technical assistance and fundraising support to artists in NYFA’s Fiscal Sponsorship program, Artspire. Prior to NYFA, Courtney worked at Gibney Dance as the Development Manager, where she oversaw both individual and institutional fundraising. Courtney has worked at the Public Theater, Theater for the New City, and the Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center in capacities that allow her to serve the full spectrum of artists. She holds a Masters, with Distinction, in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute and received her Bachelor’s Degree, with Honors, from The University of Michigan with a concentration in Theater Performance. In addition, Courtney has founded her own theater company, Colloquy Collective, for which she serves as Artistic Director.
Matthew Wallace is the Chief of Staff to Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, the Chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries. He has been the Council Member’s principal budgetary liaison where he helps organizations and artists navigate the City funding process. Matthew helps organize the office’s discretionary funding allocations and advises organizations who apply to the Council Office. He has also coordinated cultural events and hearings for the Committee as well as representing Council Member Van Bramer on the board of MoMA PS1 & the Museum of the Moving Image. Matthew has also sat on Cultural Development Fund panels at the Department of Cultural Affairs as a reviewer of grant applications. Matthew came to Council Member Van Bramer’s office in 2010 following law school where he specialized in environmental law. Matthew is also a member of the New York State Bar. He lives in Long Island City with his wife, Laura.
Mark Salinas is a Designer based in Sunnyside, New York. He received his BFA in Sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis, an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York City, and his certificate in Tailoring from Central St. Martins in London. After 12 successful years in the Fine Art, Film, and Fashion industry, Salinas launched his own design and fabrication studio, Arrows Up, in 2007, specializing in retail window displays and marketing props. His roster of notable clients includes Adidas, Chanel, Macy’s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and The National Kidney Foundation. Even while designing for others, his Sunnyside studio is kept busy with personal projects such as community beautification efforts, artist residencies, and creative collaborations. Salinas has been awarded a Queens Council on the Arts Visual Arts Grant both in 2010 and 2013 for community beautification projects. In 2011, he represented the USA at William Grant & Sons’ Glenfiddich Artist in Residency International Program in Dufftown, Scotland. These works resulted in a 2012 solo exhibit at Chambers Fine Arts gallery in New York City aptly named ‘NYC: Ceilidh’. Recently, Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris awarded Salinas with a 2014 Visual Arts Residency & Exhibition for his directorial debut of an evening-length dance production.
What do you like about HS2AS?
I love the atmosphere, finally I’m able to be surrounded by other kids who are just as serious about being an artist as I am. My teachers are amazing and they’ve helped me every step of the way, if it weren’t for their inspiration I’d still be hopelessly lost when it came to my work. I love how I can use different materials and how they’re free for me to use and I don’t have to worry about getting my own supplies, while at the same time I know not to be wasteful. This program also taught me how to keep my work station clean and how to take responsibility for any messes I’ve made and that at the end of the day I know I’m apart of a program that truly wants me to succeed.
How has it influenced you and your artwork so far?
Before, all I ever drew were cartoons and concept designs for characters, and though I’m still very much into conceptual art as I had been before, my work has grown tremendously in comparison. Because I’ve been exposed to others’ work and exposed to many different types of art and different medias, I’ve slowly been finding my way to a body of work that I like and I like experimenting with. I found out I was interested in things I’ve never thought of before, and probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon it if it wasn’t for this program.
What are you excited about this fall?
I’m excited about putting my portfolio together, finally, and being able to prepare for college! While I’m still really scared about the process and the possibility of being rejected, I know I’m in good hands and I’m going to have a finished, strong portfolio by the end of the program.
What have you learned about art?
I’ve learned a lot, actually. I learned that art just isn’t about pretty pictures on a paper, it isn’t about money and it isn’t about being aesthetically pleasing all the time. I’ve learned that it’s about making a statement, having something to say, expressing yourself, digging deeper and deeper and finally finding what they artist has been trying to say and being able to incorporate your real, raw thoughts into your work. Art is about a lot of things, and I still may not know everything about it, and so my learning continues with each passing day.
What do you get out of going to museums and visiting artists?
Before I always loathed looking and researching artists, because I always found the task to be incredibly boring and doubted I’d get anything out of it. Now, however, i find that there is much more to that and that I even find myself looking foreword to trips to museums. I look at paintings in a different light now, I wonder about the process of statues and artifacts and always wonder why things are made, what the artists was thinking, why did they get up that morning to create this? I never thought I’d be the type to visit an art museum, despite being interested in art as a career, but now i find myself pining after the adventure and opportunity and all the pieces of work I’ll get to see and pick apart that day.
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As artists in New York City, we know that you are always looking for more space in which to do the thing that you love: fabricate your latest installation, develop a new dance piece, rehearse an upcoming score or script, or write your next novel. And as your local borough wide arts council, we here at the Queens Council on the Arts strive to connect you with these creative spaces, and when we can, even provide them ourselves. That is part of the inspiration behind our 3rd Space, a cultural connector and direct response to the monumental growth of cultural activity in the borough in the past two decades.
The 3rd Space is an independent creative space where artists and the cultural community can gather in peer sharing, mini-workshops, technology events, literacy programs and networking events. Monthly events in the 3rd Space offer artists a platform to present and share their work and ideas with their peers. If you are interested in presenting work as part of 3rd Space at the Queens Council on the Arts, contact Lauren Zelaya at email@example.com.
It is also why we have been inspired (with the help of a fearless intern) to update our internal venue list so that we have a full and comprehensive listing of available work/performance/play spaces in the area available to our artists. Have a space to share with us? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Need more options? We recommend Spaceworks, a nonprofit real estate organization dedicated to expanding the supply of long-term, affordable rehearsal and studio space for artists in New York City. Spaceworks is new to our community and offers affordable options for artists.
We also support the initiatives of Green Space, The Oracle Club and Chain Theatre in Long Island City and Topaz Arts in Woodside, and forthcoming venues like the Paper Factory Hotel in our own neighborhood of Astoria (a converted paper factory scheduled to open soon as a unique hotel and art space).
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Nivedita ShivRaj is a composer, vocalist, instrumentalist and teacher of Carnatic music, the South Indian style of Indian Classical Music. Her main instrument is the ancient, multi-stringed Veena. She leads a world music band (Charanams), an ensemble (RagaChitra Veena Ensemble), and a Carnatic Choir (RagaChitra Carnatic Choir). On top of all this she runs a non-profit organization RagaChitra Foundation that teaches and promotes Carnatic music. Nivedita was awarded the DCA GNYADF grant for individual artists. Her “Carnatic jazz” band, Charanams will be performing “Ragas and Rhythms” Saturday, November, 16 at the Langston Hughes Library. More info can be found here.
Can you describe the experience of attending one of your performances for someone unfamiliar with Indian Classical Music?
Invariably, it’s a new experience. Often, it is the very first time they are seeing the instrument and the first time they are hearing this form of music. First-time audience members are very appreciative and often describe it as something soothing, that it touched their souls—very emotional.
With respect to my world music band Charanams, they find it very enjoyable and entertaining. Concertgoers identify various styles in it and often guess the stylistic influences in each song. Since the song has no lyrics the audiences are free to identify the emotions they feel while listening to the music. Often times they do express their sense of emotions for a composition we play and ask me if that is relevant; I find that they are mostly in tune with the emotions traditionally associated with the raga.
What percentage of your music is improvised?
I would say 50% is improvised, sometimes more. It varies from song to song. A traditional, classical performance will have more improvisation.
Can you describe the difference between Carnatic Music and Hindustani Music, the two main sub-genres of Indian Classical Music?
Carnatic music is spiritual in content and context. Carnatic Music originated in South India and is popular in the 4 southern states of India: TamilNadu, Andhra Pradhesh, Kerala and Karnataka. It follows traditions from the Vedic period (of almost 1000 years) and continues to maintain its religious and spiritual content.
Hindustani Music is popular in North India. Though both styles share origins in Vedic music, the divergence in styles took place during the reign of Islamic rulers. Hindustani music has influences of Persian music and is more secular
What is your biggest challenge as an artist?
Building an audience, promoting the music, finding gigs and marketing, just like any other artist. More so, it is a challenge as I have to create awareness for music fans unfamiliar with the style. I am trying to present in more mainstream venues and not restrict myself to a community that is familiar with the form. Spending time to promote and market while also creating music and practicing is a tough balance to maintain.
Can you describe your relationship to tradition?
My training in traditional music automatically grounds me to the traditions of music, culture and religion as they are linked to each other. Our music tradition is such that it cannot be separated. Carnatic music is often a way of life, a discipline, and as Carnatic musicians we practice and emulate a life rooted in cultural, religious traditions.
I believe that traditions are a big part of my identity and they shape my life; tradition gives me strength and confidence, helps me understand other cultures, helps me learn and experience new things.
Are there any other musical genres that you enjoy? Any guilty pleasure listening?
I enjoy listening to Western Classical, folk music of any kind, country music, and other world music bands. Actually my guilty pleasure is reading books.
How long have you been living in Queens?
For 13 years.
What is your favorite part of living in Queens?
The first thing I fell in love with were the libraries in Queens, I love to read and it’s a paradise. I love the multicultural atmosphere in Queens. The world is in Queens. And it is the most welcoming place for immigrants.
How has your experience with the Queens Arts Fund helped you?
It has helped me immensely. I have been able to create a world music band, and create and perform original compositions. The fund has helped me to organize concerts, which has opened up more opportunities; it has given me an identity and recognition as a musician in this country. It has given me the confidence to create a path to achieve my vision of popularizing my instrument and the music.
This post was written by Sam Dalsheimer, the Queens Arts Fund Intern for the 2014 grants cycle.
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Queens-based photographer Orestes Gonzalez reflects on Hurricane Sandy with the release of a new video of still photographs entitled Dark Sandy.
You can watch the full video via the link below, and read on to learn more about Orestes’ experience of the storm and reflections on the aftermath in his interview with the Queens Council on the Arts.
Dark Sandy from orestes gonzalez on Vimeo. See more of Orestes’ work on his website: www.orestesphoto.photoshelter.com
Where were you when Hurricane Sandy hit?
I was in my home and studio in LIC Queens.
Was your home/art studio affected by the storm?
Luckily the flood waters receded two blocks from my home, and it didn’t suffer any damages.
How did artists in Queens and beyond respond to the aftermath of the storm?
We all prepared for the worst and communicated with each other to make sure we were OK. Apart from inconveniences, and exceptions, most artists in Western Queens suffered minimally.
Why did you feel that it was important to document the city the day after the storm?
It was one of those once in a lifetime moments that i felt had to be experienced and documented. On the street, the sense of camaraderie was very special. And visually, it was incomparable… as the dark streets and lit up white sky (created by the lit skyscrapers north of 26th street) created a unique visual event.
What was your favorite image from this time?
My favorite image was actually one that I didn’t take that still bothers me (because its one of those that got away). I was driving, scouting for scenes to photograph in the financial district, where everything was flooded and totally dark. In the corner stood a lone Hot Dog vendor, all lit up in his shiny aluminum cart, waiting for customers that never arrived… The dangling string of lights, the steam coming out of his cart, the lone figure set against the dark empty streets… I thought “ill find another one like that soon” and kept driving towards City Hall… Needless to say I never saw that scene again.
What was the most difficult image that you saw during this time?
The most difficult images were the ones that came out of the devastation days after the event, and recorded by the news media. Everything that night was serene and quiet. Like everybody had left Manhattan.
What do you want the viewer to take away from your images of Sandy?
Those first two nights were eerily beautiful, and the city looked irrepressible. The mark of history was felt much more strongly as all the annoying street lights were off and all the buildings from different eras actually shone more in the dark to me. I want the viewer to take in the drama that was the aftermath, and celebrate the “I’m still standing” attitude of those first days afterwards.
How are the effects of Hurricane Sandy still being felt by you and your community today?
Well, we still have areas of The Rockaways affected by this hurricane. I drove by there 3 weeks ago, and some stores are still closed, boardwalks are still being constructed and many homes are uninhabitable.
Do you have images, reflections, experiences that you would like to share? Information for those interested in assisting affected areas still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy? Start the conversation here! We would love to hear from you.
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