We are thrilled to announce the 2015 SPARC Artists in Queens!

Artists were selected through a competitive application process and evaluated by representatives from QCA, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department for the Aging and the senior center at which they were eventually selected to be in residence. We congratulate these eleven finalists and are excited to see their projects get underway. To all those who applied, we thank you for your time, efforts and interest in SPARC and hope you will consider applying again in the future.

As a reminder, SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) is a community arts engagement program that places artists-in-residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. The program provides selected artists with a stipend and in exchange for the creation and delivery of arts programming for seniors. This initiative seeks to connect artists with seniors in senior centers and positively impact the well being of seniors through arts-based activities.

 And now, without further ado, the 2015 SPARC Artists are:

 Josh Rice, CCNS Bayside

 Ian Wen, HANAC Harmony Innovative Senior Center

 Rudolph Shaw, ASA Roy Reuther

 Chia-mei Tseng, KCS Flushing Neighborhood

 Carol Sudhalter, NORC Forest Hill

 Mollie Hosmer-Dillard, Rego Park Senior Center

 David Mills, Rochdale Village

 Steve Palermo, Selfhelp Clearview

 Marilyn Rogers, Selfhelp Innovative Senior Center

 Evie McKenna, Sunnyside Community Services

 Hillary Ramos and Henry Holmes in-residence at Ridgewood Older Adult Center

We are poised for a robust program this year thanks to the incredible group of artists and senior center staff. Congratulations to all of our 2015 SPARC Artists and please check back frequently for updates about SPARC and to see how these residencies develop!

NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Greater NY Arts Development Fund for Organizations    

  • American Bolero Dance CompanyTablao Flamenco – A summer performance series of once-a-month Andalusian Flamenco, and other Spanish dance and music styles, performed in a cabaret-type setting, similar to the flamenco clubs (or tablaos) of Spain
  • Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert: A free outdoor concert presenting the music of Sunnyside jazz pioneer Bix Beiderbecke
  • Braata ProductionsThe Black That I Am – A play about identity, blackness, ethnicity and nationalism seen through the eyes of a Jamaican immigrant living in the US

    Braata Productions, Not About Eve

    Braata Productions, Not About Eve

  • Center for the Holographic Arts: HOLONOMIC – A holographic art exhibition that investigates perception with glass holographic images of sculptures and light on water
  • Con Brio Ensemble: Three Sunday Afternoon Chamber Music Concerts: Includes works by Marcello, Beethoven Schumann, Kreisler, and others
  • Conjunto Kathari: A concert series of Afro-Caribbean music set to Gospel lyrics as well as traditional and contemporary Gospel music
  • de novo dance fiscally sponsored by The Fieldshut.eye - a multimedia, interactive dance theater piece about sleep, dreams, and consciousness
  • Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce: “Jazz Thursdays” – Free outdoor, world-class Jazz Concerts held in the heart of the Forest Hills business district
  • Jackson Heights Beautification Group: Summer Sundays in the Park is an annual series of 8 free concerts and theater performances by ethnically diverse ensembles presented in Travers Park in Jackson Heights
  • Life Light Street Productions: “Camp Me TV” is a three-month training program where media professionals teach teenage program participants how to produce social change documentaries that shift public perceptions
  • Queens Jazz OverGround fiscally sponsored by Convergence Arts: Spring Jazz Fest – A day of free jazz workshops and performances for the Queens community
  • Rego Park Green Alliance fiscally sponsored by The Open Space Institute: Queens Art Intervention – 50 outdoor art interventions happening over two days in all parts of Queens, from LIC to the Rockaways, ranging from performance art to collaborative projects
  • Rural Route Film Festival fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas: The Rural Route Film Festival highlights works that deal with unique people and places outside of the bustle of the city that are often overlooked by the mainstream media
  • Salvatore LaRussa Dance Company: Free Sunday dance performances throughout summer highlighting emerging choreographers
  • The Secret Theatre fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas: Secret Theatre’s 2015 Season – including Romeo and Juliet set in the Civil Rights era, a stylistically updated staging of Hair, Secret Academy’s Student Showcase, and more
  • SEVA Immigrant Community Advocacy Project, inc: Queens Documented is a community storytelling and music series that brings together Queens residents
  • Sunnyside Shines: Third Thursdays at Bliss Plaza – a free, monthly public performance series in Sunnyside’s new public space: Bliss Plaza at 46th Street and Queens Boulevard
  • Theatre 167 fiscally sponsored by Fractured AtlasCHURCH OF WHY NOT and MONSOON – six free readings in three locations of two new plays-in-progress that celebrate cultural diversity and are inspired by the company’s Jackson Heights roots

New York State Council on the Arts Community Arts Grant for Organizations    

  • 7 Train Murals / Mark Salinas fiscally sponsored by YMCA of Long Island City: “Two Queens for Queens” – Two youth mural-making classes in the summer, yielding community beautification murals that are inspired by patterns on Queen playing cards, in LIC and Sunnyside
  • Akasha, Inc.Night Bird Song: The Thomas Chapin Story – a documentary on the late Queens-based jazz artist Thomas Chapin
  • American Bolero Dance CompanyTablao Flamenco – A summer performance series of once-a-month Andalusian Flamenco, and other Spanish dance and music styles, performed in a cabaret-type setting, similar to the flamenco clubs (or tablaos) of Spain
  • Ayazamana Cultural Center, Inc: Over thirty performers will present a show that will consist of two hours of traditional music and dances from Ecuador
  • Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert: A free outdoor concert presenting the music of Sunnyside jazz pioneer Bix Beiderbecke
  • Bayside Glee Club: Spring and Winter choral concerts open to the public
  • Braata Productions: “Ole Time Grand Market” is a recreation of a Jamaican Christmas Tradition, featuring themed costumed characters on parade, traditional food, drink and gift items specific to the Caribbean, and topped off with a concert
  • Center for the Holographic Arts: “Space:Light:Time” – a three-day program of optical installations and events at the Flux Factory gallery
  • Central Queens YM & YWHA: Acrylic and Watercolor Courses for senior citizens at the Central Queens Y
  • Chhaya Community Development Corporation: The 4th Annual Chatpati Mela is a community-led event celebrating South Asian arts and activism in New York City
  • Con Brio Ensemble: Three Sunday Afternoon Chamber Music Concerts: Includes works by Marcello, Beethoven Schumann, Kreisler, and others
  • Conjunto Kathari: A concert series of Afro-Caribbean music set to Gospel lyrics as well as traditional and contemporary Gospel music
  • Cultural Caravan Productions: Public TV program which highlights African American arts, culture, and cultural history
  • Cultural Collaborative Jamaica: “Arts in the Parks” is a six week, summer arts program for children and “Holidays on the Ave” is a community celebration for holidays
  • Drumsongs Productions Inc.: African Drum Carving Workshop Series – A 10 week workshop series for adult participants in the traditional craft of African drum carving
  • Fresh Meadows Poets: A youth poetry contest, public reading and mentorship opportunity that increases public appreciation of poetry
  • Hip to Hip Theatre Company: Free, family-friendly, professional performances of two Shakespeare plays in eleven Queens parks, covering every geographical area of the borough
  • Hour Children Inc.: Youth Empowerment through the Arts (YEA) is a LIC based pre-teen/teen theater group bringing together underserved youth from two communities to do performance-driven theater while learning social, listening and communication skills
  • LICArtists, Inc. [LIC-A]: “Celebrating Artists in Queens: LIC Artist’s 30th Anniversary Exhibition” is a curated exhibition of members’ work plus a visual overview of the history of grassroots artist groups in Queens
  • Local Project: “Public Mural Hall” is a series of murals painted by artists in a room dedicated to mural art
  • Mare Nostrum Elements, Inc.: “Emerging Choreographers Series” is a ten-week mentoring and space grant program (throughout Queens) for 10 emerging choreographers, who will debut fully staged work at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City
  • Multicultural Sonic Evolution (MuSE): “Sounds of Arts Festival” featuring 5 completely different programs: Dance, Musical, Opera, New Music, and Cabaret
  • Onipa-Abusia Inc.: A series of master classes in African Dance conducted by choreographer and dancer Nana Esi Ayisi Dinizulu
  • Queens Jazz OverGround fiscally sponsored by Convergence Arts: A day of free jazz workshops and performances for the Queens community
  • Queens World Film Festival: An annual 5-day, multi-venue, international event and throughout the year we run a free Young Filmmakers program, free films for Senior Citizens and free encore screenings
  • Salvatore LaRussa Dance Company: Free Sunday dance performances throughout summer highlighting emerging choreographers

    Salvatore LaRussa Dance Company

    Salvatore LaRussa Dance Company

  • Sunnyside Community Concert Series / Alexander Boostrom fiscally sponsored by All Saints’ Anglican Episcopal Church: Monthly concerts at the All Saints Church performance space with various musical styles to be included to represent the diverse Queens culture
  • Sunnyside Shines: The Sunnyside Kids Arts Fair is a public street festival featuring free hands-on arts projects for kids, performances and an opportunity to connect local residents to community arts programs
  • thingNY: “This Takes Place Close By” is a new opera centered around the stories of people affected by our ongoing battle with weather disasters

NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Greater New York Arts Development Fund for Individual Artists  

  • Catherine Lan: “In the Mist of Lights and Shades” – A series of new textile artworks using faux-fur and scissors to cut out negative spaces that become soft relief paintings
  • Claudia Prado: “First Memories” – A poetry writing and video making process that will conclude in a collective performance around a central theme: the first childhood memory of people of varying ages and backgrounds
  • Cindy Salgado: “Sorry” – A multimedia dance theater piece about two individuals who find themselves on a journey of communion, conflict, and reconciliation, told through the language of movement, poetry and multimedia
  • David J. Wilson: “Standing Waves On A String” – A sculptural installation using collected and refused Steinway pianos that were originally designed and built in Astoria, Queens at the Steinway Piano Factory
  • Dennis Lichtman: “The Jazz Borough” – Ten pieces of new music inspired by jazz luminaries from 1920’s Queens, performed by an all-Queens band
  • Diana Pettersen: An original dance series engaging residents with the arts and community gardens in Queens
  • E.W.S. LinThe Waking Life of Sela Mar (working title) – A young adult novel about a Chinese American high school student and her misadventures, and workshops to raise children’s awareness of the lack of diversity in books and how to ask for it
  • Guowei Wang: “Passages” – Erhu musician and composer Wang Guowei premieres new work for chamber ensemble of Chinese and Western instruments
  • Ian Antonio: “Five Sonic Postcards” explores Queens through audio explorations that combine field recordings and composed music using sounds and materials found on-location throughout the borough
  • Izumi Ashizawa: “Mysterious Lake” – A magical-realist play tackling issues of environmental sustainability and the cultural conflict of the East and the West
  • J. Julian ChristopherOso Fabuloso & The Bear Backs – A musical about a gay Latino “bear” singing the blues to shake off his recent breakup
  • Jared Harel: A poetry collection which explores the thrills and challenges of domesticity and raising a child, culminating in a reading event entitled “Poets & Parents”
  • John Trevellini: Hack-a-Puppet is a full-immersion puppet building event re-purposing found objects into up-cycled works of art, culminating in a staged puppet performance
  • Judith Sloan: “Cross Cultural Stories in Sound” is a project of sound and audio pieces incorporating storytelling, music, and sampling to create a body of stories that will be both an installation and aired on radio and on the web
  • Jules Suo: “Dosi” (screenplay) – The project will consist of five readings, editing of the screenplay and a final live performance
  • Kento Iwasaki: “Beloved Prey” is a new portable opera based on a true story about a lioness who adopts an antelope, performed with western instruments and the Japanese koto
  • Kerri Edge: “4 Little Girls: The Cinedance” is a short film where choreography is the primary element in the depiction of the tragic story of the 16th Street Church bombing
  • Lawrence F. Mesich: “Distributed Risk” is a sculpture that transforms the facade of One Court Square into an ever-growing, unending building displayed across four concurrent video monitors and supported by a steel lattice structure
  • Lea Bertucci: “Auditorium” – is an extended evening of site-specific electronic and electro-acoustic performances organized by artists/curators Lea Bertucci and Tristan Shepherd who will also be presenting new work
  • Leah Montalto: “The Arc of Triumph” – A series of new paintings
  • Magali Duzant: “Live Streaming Sunset” – Tracks the progression of the sun setting across the globe in all time zones, chronologically, projected to a public space in real-time
  • Marcy Chevali: A new sculpture project consisting of seven net-like sculptures from glass and white mohair yarn
  • Martine Bellen: MOON IN THE MIRROR is a monodrama opera and a modernized rendition of the legend of Chang E, the Chinese demigoddess who fled her marriage to escape to the moon
  • Mayen Alcantara: Drawings generated on walks with Queens’ residents through various neighborhoods are translated into abstracted “sheet music” along with sound compositions played through converted music boxes
  • Meera Nair: “11372: Stories” – A collection of short stories set in the uniquely American immigrant neighborhood of Jackson Heights
  • Mollie Hosmer-Dillard: “Painting Poems” – A series of ten oil paintings in response to ten poems, culminating in a three-week exhibition at the Ridgewood Public Library and an event with school groups
  • Okechukwu Okoye Ofiaeli: “Queens Vegetation: Waste to Wealth” – A green art sculpture project using dead Sycamore Tree branches to promote sustainable art practices and the beautification of Queens
  • R.G. Vasicek: “Zig” – A novella about Zig, a nomad who sleeps in a motorbug under the Hell Gate bridge in Astoria, Queens
  • Richard Jeffrey NewmanWords for What Those Men Have Done – a book of poems exploring the writer’s experience as a survivor of child sexual abuse and how it has shaped the artist’s life, personally and politically
  • Roxanne Jackson: Feral Flora - an elaborate installation of mixed media sculptures interacting with indigenous plants

    Roxanne Jackson, Interstella

    Roxanne Jackson, Interstella

  • Savannah L. WinchesterListening Station is a stop motion animated narrative short that explores the visceral qualities of sound using documentary field recordings and experimental sound design
  • Shervone Neckles: “The Give-and-Take Tree” series is a personal ethnographic study on the implications of language and image to negotiate the social meaning of identity and cultural authenticity
  • Su-Yee Lin: White Snake, Green Snake is a collection of magical realist short stories inspired by Chinese folktales with an emphasis on place and identity
  • Victor Ilyukhin: Two and Twenty Troubles – A documentary following a group of disabled actors of Nicu’s Spoon Theater
  • Lily & Honglei / 4GentlemenShadow Play: Tales of Urbanization - A multimedia installation utilizing animation and emerging technology, inspired by traditional Shadow Play
  • Zahida PiraniSophie’s Story (working title) – A documentary short about a Bangladeshi-American baby born in Queens who becomes a child actor for an industry that has historically cast South Asians in stereotypical roles

New York State Council on the Arts Community Arts Fund for Socially Engaged Artists

  • Anjali Deshmukh: “Random Generators Series” – Part games, part visual works, and part creative writing experiments that spark participants to ask themselves: are we part of a cosmic pattern, or is it self-created?
  • Carlos Martinez: “AGORA: Building common ground for place and identity” – A community-based creative placemaking project that aims to engage Jackson Heights long-time residents and immigrants to reclaim and create a public space in the Leverich Family Burial Ground
  • Elizabeth Mislan: “Homeland/Heartland/Dreamland on Norman Street” – An interdisciplinary movement and poetry performance project exploring “home” involving 10 members of the Norman Street community, facilitated by artists Libby Mislan, Yo-E Ryou, and Zoe Rappaport
  • Yvonne Short: “Pop Up: Farmland” – A public project engaging families/adults/kids in creating farm animals inspired by Minecraft using paper, 3D printers, and Legos to discuss ways disparate groups can come together for civic engagement

Click here for a list of 2014 Queens Arts Fund Recipients

QCA thanks the generosity of the of Debbie Cartsos, Lorenia Henriquez & Tatianna Morales of Asteria Indie Collective for their donation to the arts!

Earlier in the holiday season, Asteria Indie Collective held a holiday market at Aurora Gallery in Astoria which featured local artisans, crafts and performances. Check out the great event pics here. Proceeds from their raffle ticket sales were donated to QCA.

Asteria Indie Collective

Asteria Indie Collective are artists who support local artisans and arts organizations!

We appreciate the support of local artists who are kind enough to keep QCA and the arts in mind during the holiday season!

Giving back can happen year round!

We count on support from artists and friends to help us provide no or low cost programming to emerging artists, high school students and senior citizens.

Give a donation before 2014 is over so that 2015 can be an even brighter year!


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IMG_3120Meet Argentina Flores, a QCA Junior Board Member.

15 years ago I set out to become a Graphic Artist. I was intoxicated by design and composition, a compulsive self-learner, and always attracted to the romantic idea of the artist freelancer, my goal was to succeed as a self-employed creative in the realm of my choosing. It took me a long time to achieve the aforementioned, and 10 years into my career as an art director, I was successfully producing work that I loved, hurdling through milestones, working with globally notable brands. Yet, I found myself unhappy.

I discovered a clandestine alienation that comes with flying solo. I wound up feeling lonely more often than not, working at my kitchen table with no one to bounce ideas off. I’d look up at the clock and realize it’s 5 p.m. and I was still not showered, clad in my pajamas. Something had to give.

Concerned about my mental health and professional growth, I embarked on a mission to work in an established collaborative work environment. Finding no options in my native borough of Queens, I set a goal to launch the first ever coworking space in Queens where startups come together, get creative, build with like-minded entrepreneurs, and get work done.

QNS Collective opened in June of this year. Everyday I witness independents develop synergies to fulfill their visions. “Collaborate to Innovate” has become our motto at QNS Collective. Recognizing collaboration is not just for startups, I recently joined the Junior Board at Queens Council of the Arts (QCA) where I work alongside forward-thinking members on innovative solutions to boost local entrepreneurship in the arts. Collaboration matters in every business, improving our ability to collaborate is extremely important to increasing our ability to succeed.

To learn more about the QCA Junior Board visit: http://queenscouncilarts.org/junior-board/


Last week I had the opportunity to attend Art Basel Miami. A smorgasbord of art from all over the world, Art Basel hosts several amazing art fairs, gallery exhibitions, and live art projects. From the SCOPE fair to the mural and gallery-filled Wynwood neighborhood, Art Basel featured artwork from celebrity and emerging artists alike. Check out just a few of the great pieces that I really enjoyed.







Long Island City-based Queens Council on the Arts member Sin-ying Ho was an exhibiting artist at Art Basel. I asked her a few questions about her experience.

MJ: Where did you exhibit your work at Art Basel Miami?

Sin-ying Ho: The Miami Project international art fair

MJ: What was the Art Basel experience like?

Sin-ying Ho: It was eye opening. The experience made me even Sin yin Ho One world many peoplesmore aware of the marketplace for visual art. Collectors, galleries, museum curators, educators, and critics came from all over the world for 5 days at Art Basel Miami. I feel like I don’t have to see any gallery exhibitions for at least three months!

MJ: What is the mission or concept behind your work?

Sin-ying Ho: The artwork title “Temptation – Life or Goods No. 2″ is a piece from my series entitled “Eden”. “Eden” was inspired during the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008, as it was a time when we were all searching for answers to why the economic collapse happened. Working with life-size porcelain vessels, I began treating the surfaces with digital transfers of personal technologies, economic languages and materialistic depictions integrated into a hand-painted background of traditional Chinese flower painting. These logos, charts and languages of consumerism trace the complex relationship between nature and the new.

As the world moves into a new age of globalization, people are now brought together more than ever, and our global culture is constantly evolving towards the next unknown. Referencing my own history as a Hong Kong born Chinese in New York, “Eden” speaks to the potent nature of these trans-cultural intersections and hopes that these collisions bear meaningful fruit.

MJ: How would you describe the arts scene in Queens?

Sin-ying Ho: I live and work in Long Island City, Queens. There are many artists working and making art in Queens. The Long Island City Studio Art Open House is a great opportunity for us to visit and socialize with each other. There are many galleries and non-profit organizations around to support the commArtisti and worksunity.

MJ: Have you ever benefited from QCA as a member or attendee of any of its professional development workshops?

Sin-ying Ho: I received a grant from QCA for one of my projects. I also participated as an advisor for their youth college prep portfolio day. I would like to continue to create a connection between QCA and Queens College. I want to help younger artists understand how to navigate the art world with the support of resources offered by QCA. I feel privileged to be in this position.

If you’re an artist or arts enthusiast, I highly recommend that you add Art Basel to your bucket list. I’m sure you’ll find it as inspirational to your studio practice as I did.

If you made it down to Art Basel Miami this year, please share some of your experiences with us.