Monthly Archives: April 2012

5 Free Event to do with Kids this Weekend!

1. 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, Street Fair and Sport#mce_temp_url#s Day

The Tribeca Family Festival is a  day of family fun and lively entertainment. Throughout the Street Fair you’ll find talented performers, dancers, stilt walkers, Broadway performances, arts and crafts, face painters, puppet shows, music, games and much more. Students from dozens of local schools will also be at the fair with performances and vibrant student artwork. The Street Fair will also host restaurants, merchants and organizations from the Tribeca neighborhood.

Street Fair highlights include:

♦ Broadway and Off-Broadway cast members from Ghost The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Sister Act The Musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Traces, Million Dollar Quartet, Memphis, Rock of Ages, and Wicked are scheduled to take center stage at the outdoor Festival Main stage
♦ The New York Philharmonic’s Credit Suisse Very Young Composers will present original works
♦ The talented “The Acrobats of Cirque-tacular” group will delight audiences with aerial performances, acrobats, and contortionists
♦ WonderSpark Puppets will engage the imagination of kids and adults with delightful puppet shows and playful stories
♦ CHESS NYC, will bring out a life-sized chess board and smaller game boards to challenge kids, parents and the CHESS NYC Pros
♦ A Kite Garden
♦ A Bubble Garden
♦ A special free screening of a classic family film, presented at BMCC’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center Theater
♦ Games, prizes, music and fun, supported by Clear Channel Lite FM, Time Out New York,smartwater(r), and more

Sat, 2012-04-28 10:00 – 18:00

Greenwich Street and N. Moore Street New York NY


2. 5th Avenue Family Festival of Park Slope 

This family festival includes puppet and mask making, face painting, bouncy moon walk, cotton candy, hot dogs and more! Local BID restaurants like 7-Eleven and Baluchis will be selling food, and there will be live performances by local bands all day including the Berkley Carroll Jazz Band. Fuze Beverage will invite kids to create unique spin art with a bicycle and NY Life will give parents the chance to create ID kits for their kids. The first 200 kids will receive 5th Ave BID Gift Bags filled with tons of goodies. Special guests include Sandy the Seagull, the Good Neighbear from State Farm, and cameos by Star Wars Costume Volunteers from the 501st Empire City Garrison and the Echo Base Rebel Legion. Activities include $2.00 Games and Crafts, $4.00 Bouncy Moon Walk, $3.00 Snacks. Wheelchair accessible. Rain or shine.

Sat, 2012-04-28 11:00 – 16:00

Old Stone House 4th Street at 5th Ave Park Slope, Brooklyn NY 11215


3. Healthy Kids Day

Healthy Kids Day® is the nation’s largest health promotion and education day, celebrated across the country at over 1,900 YMCA branches. This annual Y event brings children and families together to provide the education, activities, and experiences that teach good health and foster positive connections through fitness, sports, and fun.. As part of the Y’s commitment to strengthen New York City’s communities, Healthy Kids Day encourages kids and parents to commit together to keeping body and mind active this summer.This year’s Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Healthy Kids Day activities for kids and grown-ups include: • Kids Fencing • Family African Dance • Kids Relay Races and much more! YMCA Healthy Kids Day events are free and open to all ages.

Sat, 2012-04-28 10:00 – 16:00

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA 1121 Bedford Avenue corner of Monroe Street , Brooklyn NY 11216


4. Kids Reading by Mac Barnett and Taeeun Yoo

Readings by: Mac Barnett, author of Chloe & the Lion and Taeeun Yoo,
author and illustrator of You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses.
Sun, 2012-04-29 16:00 – 17:00
The powerHouse Arena 37 Main Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

5. Race around the Farm Yard.

Saturdays and Sundays, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
April 1 – May 13 (except May 5 & 6)

The whole family can participate in potato sack races, stilts, and other old fashioned games.

Repeats every week every Sunday and every Saturday until Sun May 13 2012 except Sat May 05 2012, Sun May 06 2012.

Sun, 2012-04-01 14:30 – 15:30

Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Park Willink Entrance, Flatbush and Ocean Aves. & Empire Blvd., Brooklyn NY




By ROBIN POGREBIN April 23, 2012, 3:36 pm New York Times

President Obama, aided by prominent artists, hopes to help turn around low-performing schools with a new arts education program, the White House announced on Monday.

Called Turnaround Arts, the program aims to improve academic…

Today in the Arts: White House Announces Arts Education Plan

How Fundraising Techniques Paid Off in 2011

A new survey finds that seven in 10 groups expect giving to rise in 2012, largely because of the improving economy, but small groups continue to struggle.

Some solicitation approaches proved more successful than others last year. Here’s a look at what worked and what didn’t.

Majority of Nonprofits Reached Fundraising Goals in 2011, Survey Finds

Seven in 10 nonprofits expect their donations to increase this year, after 2011 became the first year since the recession started that a majority of nonprofits reported an increase in the amount they raised.

Still, the recovery is uneven, according a report of 1,600 nonprofit released today. Thirty-one percent, mostly small organizations, said contributions dropped in 2011, and 41 percent said they did not meet their fundraising goals.

A big burst in donations during the last three months of 2011, propelled by a recovering economy, enabled 53 percent of groups to surpass the amount raised in 2010.

The study was conducted by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, a coalition of nonprofits and fundraisers that report on the state of giving twice a year.

“With some caution, I think [charities] should be taking it as a turning around,” says Chuck Longfield, chief scientist at Blackbaud, the fundraising-software company that is one of the sponsors of the survey. “They have a reason to be optimistic.”

Boosts to Online Giving

Most nonprofits attributed their success to taking advantage of online fundraising tools, relying on diverse sources of money, and encouraging their board members to take their role as fundraisers more seriously. Of all the techniques used, online giving was the strongest, with 59 percent of organizations that raise money online saying they achieved an increase. That was followed by special fundraising events, with 52 percent of groups saying their walkathons, galas, and other such efforts were more lucrative in 2011 than in 2010. The lowest percentages of increases were for groups that seek foundation grants and ask board members to give their own money; just 42 percent of groups that rely on those approaches reported gains.

Click here to read more…

How Breakdancing Teens Can Inspire Innovation in Education

By Steve Larosilier in Huffington Post 

A few dozen New York City high school students have an after school hustle on the Brooklyn bound Q train. When I leave work everyday, I see a small group of teenagers practicing dance moves on the subway platform at Union Square. They are doing spins, bantering about the school day, and some are counting money.

As soon as the train comes, they survey the size of the crowd on the train, jump in, and then the subway doors close.

Three kids move towards the middle of the crowded subway car. 

“It’s showtime everybody!”

“What time is it?” 

The other members respond, “It’s showtime!”

One kid gets the boom box ready while the others assume their positions.

Some hip hop music mix comes through the speakers. The group starts clapping. The show begins. 

There’s a 2-3 minute choreographed routine of breakdance, unique tricks with hats, and swinging on poles. Senior citizens, mothers with children, young professionals, hipsters, fashionistas all stop and stare at the performance.

They perform these dance moves while the train is moving. It’s incredible. Claps are initiated by the youth which prompts claps from subway passengers. 

Click here to watch a video and read the full article…

5 Free Event to do with Kids this Weekend!

1.Earth Day New York at Grand Central 

Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall is throwing its annual Earth Day shindig, which takes place both inside and outside the station. Inside, check out educational displays from eco-friendly companies along with activities for kids (Thursday, April 19-Saturday, April 21). Outside, though, is where the real action is, as the streets surrounding the terminal are turned into a giant fair with live music, green goods and educational activities (Friday, April 20-Saturday, April 21). On Friday, April 20, head to Times Square for even more entertainment, speakers and a chance to see the latest in green transport in a big runway show.

Repeats every day until Sat Apr 21 2012

Thu, 2012-04-19 10:00

Grand Central Between 42nd and 45th Streets, New York NY


2.Russian Festival 2012: A Celebration of Russian Culture 

12:00 noon – Make figurines of Russian villagers with Jewish Folk Craft Guild artisan Yevgeniya Rozentsvit (supplies limited)

1:30 p.m. – Singing Poetry: An afternoon of Russian bard songs performed by Vasily Kolchenko

3:00 p.m. – Pianist Constantine Finehouse performs works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Prokofiev

12:00pm – 1:30pm
1:30pm – 2:30pm
3:00pm – 4:00pm
Sat, 2012-04-21 (All day)
Queens Library – Flushing 41-17 Main Street, Flushing NY 11355

2.Prospect Heights Craft Fair 

A lovingly curated marketplace of independent artists and designers from Brooklyn and beyond.  An extensive showcase of handmade treasures, such as stationery, textiles, artisanal food, jewelry, and so much more.

This year, there will be a whole roster of kid activities from 12pm to 5pm. For only $5, your child can drop in (with or without a parent) to do arts and crafts, sing and dance, participate in a reading or test soccer skills.

Proceeds from the fair benefit the Arts Programs at Prospect Heights’ very own public elementary school, P.S. 9.

Sat, 2012-04-21 11:00 – 18:00

P.S. 9 80 Underhill Ave., Brooklyn NY 11238


3. BRIC Arts/Media/Bklyn: Family Day

Say It Loud, Say It Clear! Collage, Stamp and Create Your Story! Join a professional artist teacher for an imaginative adventure in art-making inspired by BRIC Rotunda Gallery’s current exhibition on view, Mystics: A Blessed Rage for Order. Participants will observe works in the show that use the repetition of words and mark-making, and use that inspiration and process to illustrate their own personal experiences. Professional wooden panels will be provided along with alphabet stamps, fun stickers, foam letters, glittering gems, and drawing materials. Each participant will take away a magical representation of themselves and their process.

Sat, 2012-04-21 12:00 – 15:00

BRIC Rotunda Gallery 33 Clinton Street, Brooklyn NY 11201


4. B’Eathday featuring Bash the Trash 

Bash the Trash returns for a third year in a row to Prospect Park’s B’Earthday Celebration! Instrument Building workshops followed by a duo performance of “Family Bash” with trash-bashers Nathan Hetherington and Martin Urbach, culminating in a joyously noisy parade!

Other activities of the day include:

nature games, tours, lakeshore clean-up, educational activities, performances, and crafts.

Sun, 2012-04-22 13:00 – 16:00

Prospect Park’s Audubon Center 95 Prospect Park W, Brooklyn NY


5. High Line Art Performance: Alison Knowles, “Make a Salad”

Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, in collaboration with Jessica Higgins and Joshua Selman, re-stages Make a Salad, an event originally performed in 1962. The artist chops lettuce and other vegetables to the beat of live music, and then produces a giant salad by tossing the ingredients together.


10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Stop by to have a visual and audio experience of food preparation with live music by Joshua Selman.

12:00 PM
Alison and her team toss the salad in a performance for spectators.

12:15 – 1:00 PM
The audience is invited to enjoy the creation as the salad is served up.

Sun, 2012-04-22 10:00 – 13:00

Chelsea Market Passage On the High Line at West 16th Street , New York NY


Arts Education: Why Is It Important?

In Huffington post by Cafe McMullen

art - education

My name is Café McMullen and I am the program director at the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in Leimert Park, Calif. We offer free performing arts classes (dance, guitar, piano, jazz band, filmmaking, and music recording) to elementary, middle and high school students. Daily I am reminded about how important the arts are and of the struggle to keep them as a part of our student’s lives. The community arts center I work at is all privately funded as of now.

Fernando Pullum started life in extreme poverty in Chicago in the ’60s, when an African-American male had little chance of succeeding in life, let alone growing up to inspire generations of disadvantaged kids in South Los Angeles where he has taught for over 25 years. This happened in part because he was introduced to the trumpet at an early age and through music was able to transcend his circumstances and go on to college and grad school on full scholarships. Many organizations and individuals have recognized Fernando throughout his career, including Oprah, VH-1 and the State of California as its teacher of the year. During that time, 100 percent of Fernando’s students graduated with a high school diploma and only one student failed to enroll in college.

As we know arts education has been dwindling away in the U.S. public school education system for some time. The LAUSD Arts Education branch has been cut by more then 70 percent in the past three years alone. The proposed total elimination of the elementary arts program would close the 133-year elementary music program and the 13-year-old elementary dance, theatre and visual arts programs.

This trend of doing away with the arts is seen as a way to re focus students on the “important” subjects. While math, science, history and the other basic curriculum are invaluable, the value of arts education is completely overlooked. The arts are closely linked to almost everything that is viewed as academically important: academic achievement, social and emotional development, community involvement, and how to work with others. The confidence, self-exploration and reliance that students experience during arts programs are taken with them into their academic lives and beyond. We are not trying to make great musicians and artists, we are trying to make great citizens.

Click here to read full article…

10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2012 (from Arts Watch)


10 Reasons to Support the Arts

1. True prosperity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. They help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, the arts are salve for the ache.

2. Improved academic performance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates, and even better attitudes about community service—benefits reaped by students regardless of socioeconomic status. Students with four years of arts or music in high school average 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with one-half year or less.

3. Arts are an industry. Arts organizations are responsible businesses, employers, and consumers. Nonprofit arts organizations generate $166 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 5.7 million jobs and generating nearly $30 billion in government revenue. Investment in the arts supports jobs, generates tax revenues, and advances our creativity-based economy.

4. Arts are good for local merchants. The typical arts attendee spends $27.79 per person, per event, not including the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Non-local arts audiences (who live outside the county) spend nearly twice as much as local arts attendees ($40.19 vs. $19.53)—valuable revenue for local businesses and the community.

5. Arts are the cornerstone of tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of international travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown annually since 2003 (17 to 24 percent), while the share attending concerts and theater performances increased five of the past seven years (13 to 17 percent since 2003).

Click here to read full article…