Town hall aims to empower gerrymandered neighborhood
On October 15, Flushing Town Hall will open its first indoor exhibition since its gallery closed for pandemic precautions in March 2020.
The group show, “Communicating Beyond Words,” will run through October 31 and features 12 artists from diverse cultural backgrounds who use letter forms as their visual elements. More than 30 artworks will be on display, including illustration, street art, calligraphy, tattoo art, and paintings.
An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 15 from 6 to 8 pm where visitors can meet the artists. Flushing Town Hall is asking for a $5 suggested donation, and the exhibition is free for members and students.
“We went through a lot, emotionally and physically, last year and were all affected by the pandemic directly or indirectly,” said artist and exhibition curator Stephanie S. Lee. “Comfort, resiliency, and healing are needed the most in times like this. There are many ways to cope with hard times, and often, one artwork is all we need beyond thousands of words.
Participating artists include Chavelli Tsui, a designer and lettering artist who specializes in letter-driven work that is elegant and eloquent; spirited, yet sumptuous, Minyoung Sim, a tattoo artist living and working in South Korea with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, and Wendy Fung, a calligrapher, lettering artist and graphic designer based in Brooklyn.
In line with the theme of letter art, Stephanie S. Lee is hosting an in-person Turn Your Name into Art Workshop on October 23 at 2 p.m. Lee will provide a customized drawing with the participant’s name in Korean (Hangeul), in the style of Munjado (a genre of Korean Folk Art). During the 90-minute hands-on workshop, participants will then color in the drawing to finish the artwork.
Those interested in attending are asked to register by October 13 to have the drawing of their name converted in Korean. Participants will receive their name design in advance and need to print it out at home and bring it to the workshop, where they will be provided watercolors and brushes to finish their artwork.
This workshop is suitable for ages 12 & up and limited to up to 20 participants. The cost is $10/$5 for members.
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The Louis Armstrong Legacy Monthly Jazz Jam will return to Flushing Town Hall for in-person events after being virtual for 17 months. The first jam will take place on September 8 at 7 p.m. and will kick off a lineup of fall programs.
“Let me say how utterly thrilled we are to see everyone return for a live, in-person jam,” said Gabrielle Hamilton, town hall’s director of Education & Public Programs,. “Over the last 17 months as musicians joined us online, we heard some amazing jazz from across the globe, including six of the seven continents, but now it is time to jam again in person.”
For those unable to attend in person, virtual audiences can watch a livestream for free on Flushing Town Hall’s Facebook page.
“I want to thank everyone who went on this virtual, musical journey with us this past year and a half,” said Carol Sudhalter, the band leader for the monthly jam. “The pandemic keeps testing the resolve of the arts community, but we have proven ourselves resilient and inventive.”
Additional concerts this fall include another performance in The Lioness Women in Jazz series featuring baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian, followed by concerts with Dayramir González & Habana enTRANCé Cuban Jazz, then Yui Kitamura & The Mark Wade Trio.
Flushing Town Hall will also present the first art exhibition, “Communicating Beyond Words,” ins its gallery since the pandemic first closed its facility in March of 2020.
Flushing Town Hall will require all visitors, performers, and staff to show proof of vaccination, and masks must be worn at all times. For more information visit flushingtownhall.org.
With the onset of the pandemic last spring, New Yorkers lost access to many of the city’s cultural institutions. However, one blast from the past experienced a renaissance: drive-in movie theaters.
Co-sponsored by the office of the Queens Borough President, the New York Hall of Science will be hosting a free drive-in film series for the second year in a row.
Following last year’s wildly successful screenings, the “Free Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In” program plans on hosting six free events throughout the spring and summer of 2021.
“We’re not out of the woods when it comes to COVID-19 just yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t safely enjoy evenings in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with our family, friends and neighbors,” said Borough President Donovan Richards. “From kids flicks to cinematic classics, there is something for every family to enjoy on the big screen this spring.”
The first screening was held on May 4. Appropriately, the original Star Wars was shown to celebrate “May the Fourth Be With You.” Future screenings will include the films Inside Out, Moonlight, Coming to America, Monsoon Wedding, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. A full list of movies and show times is available at queensdrivein.com.
The Museum of the Moving Image, Parks Department, and Brooklyn-based non-profit Rooftop Films are also helping organize the events, while Queens Night Market will provide food from local vendors.
Social distancing will be strictly enforced, and all guests must register for screenings online before arriving.
Last year saw a resurgence in drive-in movies throughout the five boroughs, including the Skyline Drive-In in Greenpoint, the Bel-Aire Diner Drive-In in Astoria, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal Drive-In in Sunset Park.
For many New Yorkers, these unique cinematic experiences have provided a safe and novel way to enjoy their city during the pandemic.
“When we conceived of the Queens Drive-In last year, our goal was to create an accessible space where the people of the city could come together safely to experience the communal joy of cinema,” explained Rooftop Films president Dan Nuxoll. “We have presented more than two-dozen free screenings over the last few months, including memorable New York premieres of many of the films that were recently celebrated at the Academy Awards.”