Summer movies in city parks seem like a distant memory, but several new drive-in theaters have made communal viewing possible in the wake of COVID-19. Now, Greenpoint Film Festival is latching onto the drive-in trend for the 9th annual Greenpoint Film Festival, which will screen 35 films between August 1st – 9th.
Films well be shown in the parking lot on Meserole Avenue and Jewel Street, hosted by Broadway Stages, and The Foundry LIC. The eight day event will showcase eight feature films and 27 short films. Special Guest Speakers and socially distant gatherings, which abide by state and city health stipulations, will also take place.
The line-up includes an opening night screening of the official Chuck Berry documentary Chuck Berry, the world premiere of before/during/after written by and starring Orange is the New Black’s Finnerty Steeves, the NYC isolation thriller Locked Alone, the U.S. premiere of wild grizzlies documentary Bear-like, feature documentary Microplastic Madness that follows Brooklyn kids as they face the global plastic pollution crisis, and short film American Marriage from Academy Award-winning Call Me By Your Name writer James Ivory. The full program is viewable on the Greenpoint Film Festival website, where tickets are also now on sale, starting at $20 per car.
Car ownership, or even a rental, won’t be necessary for those who want to attend the festival. Organizers have arranged for a row of parked, stationary cars to be available for those who need a vehicle seat. A dedicated cleaning crew will be appointed to consistently reset and clean between, before and after each movie screening.
In lieu of a traditional concession stand, Wilson Rivas Catering will provide food trucks. Bathrooms will be located outside the lot with a dedicated cleaning team servicing them regularly. Filmmakers and celebrity guests will be invited to participate in a drive-through green “red” carpet. Frontline workers are also invited to contact the festival organizers for complimentary tickets. Continue reading →
The petition urges the Williamsburg school, which teaches Pre-K through 5th grade students, to implement an anti-racist curriculum and to fill vacant teaching position with “Black and Brown applicants until the share of Black and Brown teachers aligns with the proportion of students in the school.”
Demands also include for PS 132 to desegregate all classrooms representative of the student body, “by aligning the percentage of Black and Brown students in each class in the school with the proportion of Black and Brown students in the school.”
Administrators at PS 132 allegedly pressured the non-profit organization PS 132 Parent Teachers Association to remain neutral with social media posts over the Black Lives Matter movement which gained momentum following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, according to the petition: Continue reading →
The protest will continue on Saturday over the construction of the North Brooklyn Pipeline from National Grid to bring additional natural gas infrastructure through the neighborhood.
Construction on the pipeline briefly halted during the initial coronavirus outbreak and has since resumed making its way toward Greenpoint.
Organizers of the No North Brooklyn Pipeline campaign include the Sane Energy Project and North Brooklyn Extinction Rebellion, who have led a coalition of residents, activists and local elected officials in opposition to the fossil fuel project since last year. Continue reading →
Staying creative at home might seem daunting: even in our silenced world, the noise of the news and our worries can defeat any artistic itch we’ve been meaning to scratch. Fortunately, Eckford Street Studio has some at-home remedies. Below, they outline some of their remote initiatives to keep your brush painting and your mind distracted:
Join us for Community Mondays!
We’ll be hosting class Mondays at 3 PM via Zoom while the studio is closed. Click here to download Zoom and set up your account for free!
Each week, we’ll ask you to RSVP by Sunday for that Monday’s class so we can share the meeting ID with you, as well as a lesson plan and a list of materials your child will need for the day’s project (don’t worry, we’re sticking to stuff you will likely have lying around the apartment). Activities are designed with students in grades K-5 in mind. Let us know if you’d like to receive a weekly email with more information, or click here to register for next week’s class!
As always, Community Mondays are pay what you wish. If you are able, donations of any amount are greatly appreciated and will go far in helping us keep our non-profit community art studio up and running while our doors are closed. Click here to make a contribution.
Tuesday night Figure Drawing is back!
Join us for Virtual Figure Drawing on Tuesday nights from 8-10pm! Enjoy the same professional models, experienced Eckford Street Studio facilitators, and creative community you’re used to, from the comfort of your own home!
Click here to register, and we will send you log-in information for our Zoom-based art studio! Please RSVP by Tuesday at 5pm to attend that night’s workshop.
With Eckford Street Studio’s doors currently closed, our non-profit studio is in a critical position. We suggest a donation of $22 to participate in Virtual Figure Drawing, to help us continue running programs like this one throughout the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak. Any amount you can give is greatly appreciated, and makes a great deal of difference.
The Other Art Fair, a traveling celebration of worldly and avant art that has popped by the neighborhood for a number of seasons, will be postponing its anticipated stop at The Brooklyn Expo Center from April 30 to May 3. Joining the chorus of a number of other companies’ and events’ cancellations due to the coronavirus, The Other Art Fair is merely the latest in what is likely to be a string of postponed public springtime gatherings. Uniquely, The Other Art Fair is cancelling all of their events around the country through the end of May, while most announced operations seem to be on some kind of hiatus only until early April, at least as of this moment. Greenpointers recently published a roundup of how some local businesses are handling this unprecedented, confusing time.
A message from The Other Art Fair’s founder Ryan Stanier follows:
“After serious consideration, and in light of recent announcements from the CDC and World Health Organization, The Other Art Fair regretfully announces the postponement of its Spring Fairs.
Our team, artists and partners have worked incredibly hard over the past months to present another fantastic event, and this decision has not been taken lightly. The health and safety of our visitors, artists and staff is our top priority in light of the ever-changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
The decision to postpone our events will affect the following Spring fairs:
London, at Truman Brewery, 19 – 22 March Sydney, at The Cutaway, 19 – 22 March Los Angeles, at Barker Hanger, 16 – 19 April Brooklyn, at Expo Center, 30 April – 3 May Dallas, at Dallas Market Hall, 7 – 10 May Melbourne, at The Facility, 21 – 24 May Chicago, at The Skylight at Board of Trade, 27 – 30 May
Ticket holders will be notified regarding new dates in the coming days. All tickets will be transferable and valid for future fairs, or refundable via Eventbrite should that be requested.
It may be uplifting to hear we are currently working in tandem with our partners at SaatchiArt.com on ways to bring our Fair artist’s collections online so everyone can still experience the impressive works of our artists. As soon as we have updates on this, we will email you with more information.
We are deeply disappointed to have to postpone, but look forward to seeing you again at a future fair. In the meantime, contact us at [email protected] with any questions or concerns.”
♫ Dervisi @ TROOST (1011 Manhattan Ave), 8pm, FREE, live music at TROOST, More Info ♫ Pom Poko (North American Debut!), Maxband, Lokomoko @ Elsewhere (599 Johnson Ave), 8pm, $10-$12, Buy Tix ♦ Dyeing with Nature Workshop— @ Better Than Jam’s STORE & STUDIO (20 Grattan St), 630pm, $85, the monthly public transportation committee meeting, Buy Tix ♫ Meme Rose, Milky Maze, Joanna Sternberg @ The Kingsland (269 Norman Ave) 7pm, $8-$10,Buy Tix
♦ Brooklyn Community Board 1 Monthly Public Meeting *POSTPONED @ Swinging 60’S Senior Citizens Center (211 Ainslie St), 6pm, FREE, More Info # Salt Smoke Time’ Turns One @ Archestratus Books & Foods (160 Huron St), 630pm, $5, a panel discussion and Q + A on Finding a Sustainable Future by Looking Deep Into Nature + Tradition, Buy Tix ♦♫ SPLIT BILL #35 @ Triskelion Arts’ (106 Calyer St), 8pm, $18, a series of shared evenings that bring together performing artists exploring new ideas, Buy Tix ☺ Queer The Birthday! Supporting LGBTQ in Politics @ 3 Dollar Bill
(260 Meserole St) 7pm, FREE or donation, a fantastic birthday bash, featuring State Senator Julia Salazar and out Councilmember Danny Dromm, Buy TixContinue reading →
A planning session for a future community garden in Williamsburg takes place tonight and is an opportunity for local residents to give their input on how to transform a triangular patch of land off of Metropolitan Avenue.
The office of Council Member Antonio Reynoso hosts the meeting tonight, Tuesday, March 10th, at Monsignor Alexius Jarka Hall (270 Bedford Ave.) at 6 p.m. Continue reading →
How to put the experience, creation, and witnessing of experimental theater into words? It’s not easy, which explains why it is such an innovative, textured, and vital art form. As a versatile theatermaker and educator in the city, Nicolás Noreña has often been at the forefront of this hard-to-define scene: he teaches at NYU’s ETW (Experimental Theatre Wing), is the artistic director of Brooklyn-based theater company The Million Underscores_ _, and is currently undertaking the herculean task of breathing new life into LAPA, a play written by the Russian absurdist Daniil Kharms in 1930.
All the while, Noreña builds community with his artists and plays with his husband (alongside other key collaborators). As his career will attest, no venue is too small and no story too untapped to be a transformative piece of theater — the most daring step on the audience’s part is to simply show up. And as Noreña testifies, there are myriad venues to frequent that support new work on our side of the East River. His is a career to follow to participate in some of the boldest theater being made today.
Greenpointers: You’re a multi-hyphenate creative and the artistic director of The Million Underscores_ _. Can you explain what this company values and creates?
Nicolás Noreña: Multi-hyphenate creative! I had to look that one up! (Laughs) I guess..? Technically I’ve never hyphenated I usually say I’m a theater maker. But yes that involves writing, scoring, directing, performing, producing, designing costumes, designing sets, and props building, and I think this is what gives our work a very specific identity — our full engagement with each aspects of performance.
The Million Underscores_ _ has grown over the years from our curiosity about how the different languages of performance and the languages of plastic visual composition interact. We make and perform our work with one foot in the theater and one foot in the visual arts, and that is fun because the visual arts have such deep, millennia-old, detailed conversations about the technicalities of art and the philosophy of what art is and what art can be that sometimes lack in the theater. But the theater has this living breathing thing between people as the material, and it has these spaces ran by communities that are very different from galleries, and have this ephemeral quality that make it so unnecessary and mysterious, so similar to life…so we have one foot on one and one foot on the other, but we come from the theater.
LAPA is our first show in which we are starting with a prewritten play, and this transformed the process from the very beginning.
You and your husband Timothy Scott often collaborate, as with this current project LAPA. I’m curious, if you don’t mind sharing, what it is like to work with your partner and what strengths you think each of you bring to the process?
Yes, Tim and I collaborate in different capacities, and with each project for The Million Underscores _ _ our way of collaborating changes. This piece we’re directing together which is as intense as it can get in collaboration. You know, working together is challenging and rewarding. I think it’s hard to keep the lines clear especially at home, our bedroom is our costume shop, prop storage, and sleeping area. Our car is filled with materials, more costumes, set pieces, etc. We go out on dinner dates while we plan rehearsal or design wings for the angels in this show. But we have fun doing this together!
Tim and I are very different and usually have nearly the opposite opinion about everything. So it’s always a process, we see one thing, then see the other and make compromises or find things neither of us imagined. I think particularly in this version where we direct together we try to see having different opinions as a way to make the world of the piece larger with more options of legibility.
I like very dramatic shapes and I’m pretty good with seeing a structure, setting the operative logics for a scene and coming up with ideas on the spot. Tim runs deeper and slower. He sees more subtlety, he’s better at directing the actors’ souls and making choices that are mysterious and strong. We’re directing this together because one day we showed up at home after buying the same book by Daniil Kharms. We had never heard of him before!
Daniil Kharms has a unique style. What has it been like to work with this text?
It’s been a wild ride we’re still on. Daniil Kharms said that he would like language to be so material that if it were to be thrown through a window it should shatter the glass. Now, how to perform that has been our question from day one. In LAPA we are attempting different ways of going at this question.
We are some times using both translations at once which is a very powerful way to make words very substantive (surprise!).
Some of the text is spoken live, some of the text is recorded in tape recorders held by the performers, some text is completely disembodied and just coming from the walls, some text is written in signs for the audience to read. So our version ofLAPA is in some way a journey of language, subject, and object.
We’re also working with an experimental violinist called Marija Kovačević who is scoring the text with noise and sounds and this has elevated the language to another operative level, it brings it closer to music, closer to sound.
There’s no one right path to make a living as an artist in New York. Can you talk about the jobs and opportunities you juggle in your career and what north star you keep in mind to bring inspiration to your work?
Well I think between Tim and I we’ve covered a wide area of jobs that have allowed us to continue working in the theater, including babysitting, retail, hospitality, farming, movie sets, and restaurants.
I currently teach at NYU in the Experimental Theater Wing, which I absolutely love but again it’s an adjunct position and that comes with its own challenges.
However, wether it’s babysitting or teaching at a university, I think my attitude towards these jobs has always been one of gratitude, giving thanks to these jobs for giving me enough money and time that I can maintain my curiosity alive in the studio, and have enough headspace to think about production etc.
It’s not easy, really making art is so much about making space for it in your life.
(Making space for art in my life, that is my North Star.)
The Million Underscores often presents at venues like The Brick, but fringier havens like The Brick have seemed to disappear over the years. Can you in any way eulogize the places you’ve worked, and sing the praises of companies/artist organizations audiences should support?
Well actually I disagree. After I graduated college in 2012 many spaces in downtown Manhattan closed. The Incubator, which used to be Richard Foreman’s Ontological closed to become an after school ballet studio, PS122 closed with promises of a future that played out quite differently… that was sad. As extremely early-career artists our only option then was Dixon Place (bless their souls!), and they’re still operating in downtown Manhattan!
The exodus of the experimental theater scene to Brooklyn has taken some years, but now I think there are some really solid venues in Brooklyn offering space for experimentation, performance, and community building. Beginning with the Brick; now under Theresa Buccheister’s artistic direction it is such a vital, vibrant, and diverse performance venue! There’s also Triskelion, Vital Joint, CPR in the neighborhood, JACK just moved to their new space, Target Margin Theater has an incredible gigantic theater in sunset park where we performed last Summer, Theater Mitu has a theater in Gowanus. And then of course there’s the Bushwick Starr that in some way paved the way for reviewers to take the L train. I think fringe spaces in Brooklyn are having some sort of renaissance, so we all need to support these spaces by going to see their shows, talking about them, chatting with people after, donating money or skills, making new shows for these spaces! This is what keep spaces and communities going!
Oh and of course, The Exponential Festival! It happens every winter and it is what connects all of these spaces. They have presented so many artists, we’ve been part of it twice! It really is very exciting what’s happening.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Come to see the show! We love meeting new people and chatting after the show over some beers. Some Kharms experts are coming and the conversation will be interesting!