Tag Archives: Tompkins Square Park

HOWL! FESTIVAL 2011

June 3, 4 & 5

Tompkins Square Park

The East Village, NYC

FREE

Two Stages ~ Three Days

Poetry! Music! Dance! Art Around the Park!

Brought to you by HOWL! Arts and the East Village/Lower East Side community renowned for its sense of adventure, creative excellence, and cutting edge performance!

This will be a live action, participatory weekend-long event involving 140 artists of all ages. An 8-foot high, 900-foot long blank canvas encircling the exterior of Tompkins Square Park will transform into an explosion of color and creativity! There will also be music and dance performances, poetry readings, a kids’ arts carnival, and more!

For more than a century, the East Village has been home to poets, jazz musicians, Vaudeville and Yiddish theatre, artists represented by blue chip galleries and those painting in the subways, rock stars, and performance artists. Building on this tradition and inspired by long time East Village resident, Allen Ginsberg‘s epic poem, the HOWL! Festival was founded in 2003. The mission of HOWL! Festival is to honor, develop, create and produce. With an estimated 100,000 visitors last year, the many performances celebrate local cultural icons and lionize, preserve, and advance the art, history, culture, and counterculture unique to the East Village and Lower East Side.

Late poet–philosopher, Allen Ginsberg, was a lifelong spokesperson for peace, justice, and freedom of expression. HOWL! Arts Inc., the umbrella for all things HOWL!, exemplifies the uninhibited, spirited, iconoclastic, and irreverent embrace of Ginsberg’s artistic invention. HOWL! Arts claims this legacy – as home to “the best minds” of successive generations – to inspire and galvanize new artists and audiences.

HOWL! Arts aspires to give the public, both young and old, the tools to join in the creative process and to experience first hand the high value of a creative life, the heritage of social history and the quality of contemporary culture which are the signatures of this vital community. HOWL! Arts Project embraces the entire downtown community whose original perspectives have altered the landscape of fashion, art, music, theater, poetry and dance worldwide.

So, come participate and experience this colorful community for yourself, all weekend long! What do YOU want to say and create?

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Musical Discoveries in NYC’s Parks and Subways

Upon moving to NYC, I managed to land myself a fabulous floor through one bedroom flat, in a little row house on West 4th Street, originally owned by one of the founding mothers of the historic preservation movement in Greenwich Village, previously occupied solely by photographers (including the legendary Paul Strand), just one block from Washington Square Park. I could not have found myself in a more perfect location – at the epicenter of the most radically artistic, musical, literary, political community – steeped in history and more vibrant than ever! Majorly good juju for a newbie in town. Oh, how blessed I am.

So, one of my favorite things to do after working on the computer all day, was to take a cup of tea into the park in the afternoon and listen to MUSIC. I could always count on someone to be playing some sort of instrument at one corner of the park. ALWAYS. And I can whole-heartedly say, some of the best musicians playing out there today, hands down, are playing in New York City’s parks and underground subway tunnels. Busking and crowd pleasing, on their own schedules and terms (when the NYPD isn’t harrassing them, that is), raking in a guitar case full of bills, on the regular. Some really epic talent! Maybe they’re waiting to be discovered, or for that big break that will propel them into major stardom, but honestly I think not. They do it because they love it, because the people love it, because it’s an instrumental part of what Washington Square, Tompkins Square, and Union Square Park are about at their very core. Stumbling upon these performances in the city automatically injects a jolt of fun into my day and is such a gift to the general public. These musicians represent some of the most stellar creativity NYC has to offer. Nothing beats an afternoon in the park, by the fountain, under the Arch, listening to jazz, and people-watching. I love New York City!

So here is my short list of “The Best Musical Acts of NYC’s Parks & Subways 2009″:

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Baby Soda Jazz Band

Stumblebum Brass Band

Xylopholks

Brothers Moving

Jason Stuart, upright bassist extraordinaire

Collin Huggins, The Crazy Piano Guy

To view more of my music photography, please visit eyeforstyle.net.

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Filed under Art, Culture, Dreams, Music, New York City