(Picture- Ad for a workshop. This Event Has Passed)
This year has been challenging for a lot of community members. New York is still in recovery due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. People stuck at home for the past two years have been itching to find entertainment and connectivity in the community, thankfully a new creative initiative developed by our Mayor's office has been here to help.
Here is a quote from the Department of Cultural Affairs website about the New York City Artist Corps Program:
Announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals in May 2021, the New York City Artist Corps represents an historic investment in artists by the City of New York. The $25 million program will support artists who live and work in NYC, while giving New Yorkers opportunities to experience cultural programming across the city starting this summer. As New York emerges from the pandemic, art and culture are an essential component of the city’s recovery. City Artist Corps will make sure working artists are supported in their own right, and are empowered to participate fully in the overall recovery of the City.
Artists from around the five boroughs were allowed to team up with organizations or perform their artistic practice alone while engaging the public in free, socially distant events. Our studio was awarded funding from the program to participate in the final round of community engagement events.
(Picture- Bronx members starting to gather for my presentation)
I decided to team up with GreenThumb and our community partner El Flamboyan Garden to host art, homesteading, and sustainability gatherings at our annual harvest fair.
(Picture- Me speaking to the audience, Photo Credit: Emily Pena)
I set up a display on weaving and fiber crafting for sustainability and economic advancement for the community to view and discuss. After the demonstration, community members were encouraged to try out the loom for themselves and ask questions about alternative living.
(Picture- One for our community gardeners trying out the loom)
We served dinner to our community members during the event and had lively music playing for the crowd. We served 43 dinners, 38 members of the community stayed for the whole event, and we prepared for 100 community members max capacity for safety.
The event was fantastic! We laughed, enjoyed a day in nature, and learned a lot about sustainability in the arts. Thank you, GreenThumb, El Flamboyan Garden, NYFA, Department of Cultural Affairs, and all New York City Artist Corps partners for helping us build community together.