Category Archives: Events

WESTFEST 2021
ON-SITE & ONLINE
Dance Festival

WestFest is a cutting edge, curated dance festival presenting established and emerging movement artists. This year’s online festival includes two different one-hour programs hosted via a zoom link found at www.westfestdance.com. Following our site-specific format, each choreographer will present their work in a site they have chosen. Join us as we tour the world, from Arizona to Switzerland, in the comfort and safety of your own home.

More information at www.westfestdance.com

Join us May 1st and 2nd for this year’s live-streamed productions with the wonderful TruDee as our EMCEE.

Program A – Saturday, May 1st – 4PM EST
BOiNK! Dance & Film
Martha Graham II
Zachary Frazee
Rachael Lieblein-Jurbala
Madison wada
Emily Laird

Program B – Sunday, May 2nd – 4PM EST
Carol Nolte/Dance Collective
Rush Johnston Kaleid Dance Collective
Dual Rivet
Anne Goldberg-Baldwin
Pauline Gervais
Mira Göksel
Catherine Gallant

Registration: FREE

Viewing Link: www.westfestdance.com
Time: 4PM EST
Running Time: 1 hour

CONTACT: production@westfestdance.com

WestFest 2021 is produced under the auspices of the Westbeth Artists’ Residents Council. westbeth.org

Check Out WestFest Dance Festival 2020

NY1 News Feature on Westbeth’s 50th Anniversary
April 13, 2021

Haven for artists celebrates 50 years with a look back at its history

PUBLISHED 6:00 AM ET Apr. 13, 2021
By Roger Clark Manhattan

Playwright, visual artist and landscape architect Christina Maile has lived in the same three-bedroom duplex apartment since 1970, when she first moved in with her then husband who is a painter. Their son was there, too, and another one on the way.
The apartment is within the Westbeth Artists’ Housing complex, developed in the late 1960s as affordable housing and studio units for artists and their families.

What You Need To Know

Westbeth Artists’ Housing was conceived in the 1960s to provide affordable housing and studios for artists and their families

It officially welcomed the first residents in 1970

It is named for the corner of West and Bethune Streets where it is located in the West Village

There is a waiting list to live in Westbeth, but the list is currently closed

It was named for West and Bethune Streets, which is just one corner of the complex that takes up a whole city block, originally made up of 13 buildings dating back to the 1860s and once home to Bell Laboratories. Maile says the neighborhood then was much different than the trendy area is has become today.
“No one knew where Westbeth was. We would have to explain to people exactly where this was located: it was dark, it was dirty, it was a lot of unconventional people and it was, in a way, kind of the perfect place to have artists’ housing,” said Maile.
Westbeth is looking back on its history in an exhibition called “Westbeth at 50,” which includes some of its notable residents and those who have shown or performed there. Among the highlights is a poster from a show of Artist Keith Haring’s work in 1981. There are also photos in the courtyard area by Frankie Alduino giving folks a glimpse of what it’s like to live and work here.
“People can come through and say, ‘I always wondered what it would be like to live at Westbeth, what does it look like?’” said Ellen Salpeter, president and CEO of Westbeth.
New residents do move into Westbeth, though the waiting list is long and currently closed. Christina Maile says it wasn’t always perfect harmony. All of these artists, musicians, and writers had to learn to live together. Looking back on her time here, she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
“Living in a community that’s vibrant and has creative people and even some of them can be maddening and can cause you a lot of irritation, but this kind of society of artists is really wonderful for someone who is an artist,” said Maile.
Westbeth says their goal is to continue this concept into the next half-century, and ensure that there remains a home for artists to create in an everchanging city.

Winners: Christina Maile and Fran Markover, plus a story by Jack Dowling

Due to the pandemic and the cancellation of the reading, the winning entries by Christina Maile and Fran Markover and Jack Dowling’s story are published here as excerpts and as downloadable pdf files.

CHRISTINA MAILE

is a printmaker, writer and landscape architect. She grew up in Bed Stuy and belonged to a gang called the Halsey Bops. A past winner of the Miriam Chaikin Writing Award, she has also been the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Grant and a Joan Mitchell Studio Grant.

Here are the four stories that won the Prose award.

ISOLATION
I didn’t know the quarantine was getting to me until one day I woke up and discovered that the legendary 20th century American abstract expressionist painter, Joan Mitchell, who died in 1992, had become my roommate.
Read the complete story, Isolation, here.

BOOZE
Whenever my parents gave birthday parties for me or my sisters and brothers, my grandmother did the cooking, my mother cleaned the house, and my father, when the time came, would plunk down in the center of the white tablecloth a big bottle of Four Roses whiskey.
Read the complete story, Booze, here.

HANAHAKI
In the beginning, the doctors told me that although it was persistent, it was a mild case. The initial symptom is a slight cough, caused by the tendrils of longing and hope that begin to flourish at the back of the throat. Gently, the first petal unfolds on my tongue.
Read the complete story, Hanahaki, here.

SKIN
The gravel road cuts through the skin of the jungle taking us from the port city at the edge of the Caribbean to a grand 19th century colonial house standing alone in a clearing of gardenias and palms.
Read the complete story, Skin, here.

FRAN MARKOVER

I learned about the Westbeth community of artists from an artist cousin who lives nearby in New York City. My poems have been published in journals including Rattle, Calyx, Able Muse, Karamu, among others. I was one of the finalists for the Henry Morgenthau III First Book Poetry Prize for my upcoming book, How Soft the Letting Go. And I have a chapbook, History’s Trail, published by Finishing Line Press. I have been a poetry resident, as well, at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts.

Here is the first of fifteen poems that won the Poetry award.

Why I Plant Sunflowers

Because I’d watch my grandfather lose himself
summers among the tall plants. He studied them,
a school boy memorizing the past, urging seeds─
vaxn gezunt, grow well. Because I picture him
among gold-waving faces, lifting me up to the
hardiest flower. Francinooski, he’d shout, schane
maidele
. As we twirled, my braids swung like
thick ropes.

Because gardening was his salvation, he left uncut
the fullest blooms for siblings whose names he’d
buried in unmarked plots. Because I imagine how
the brothers played hide & seek behind sunflowers
that lit fields, how the boys severed stems, plucked
and cupped seeds, scattered them on a table like gem-
stones. And the petals. How tightly they held, how
soft the letting go.

Read all fifteen poems here.

JACK DOWLING

After a successful career as a visual artist, Jack Dowling devoted himself to writing. He is a past winner of the Miriam Chaikin Writing Award. As Westbeth’s visual arts chair for some fourteen years, he lent his considerable curatorial skills to the shows at Westbeth’s Gallery—and he continued to help artists exhibit their work through the years. Sadly Jack passed away in February 2021 at age 89. This is the final story he wrote.

In Memoriam: Jack’s final story.

RICHARD
I glanced out of my bank of studio windows to watch the snow, which had started falling as a light dusting in early afternoon but was now drifting down in thick white flower-shaped flakes as evening set in.
I decided that a bar in the Village would be the perfect place to sit at a window, beer in hand, and watch the storm. I trusted that my aged pickup truck, a California native, would not balk at the cold and refuse to start. After a number of grinding turn-overs, the engine gave in and started; gratefully, I drove south to Greenwich Village.

Read the complete story, Richard, here.

The Miriam Chaikin Endowment Fund was established in memory of Miriam Chaikin, a longtime Westbeth resident and prolific writer. Born in Palestine, Chaikin grew up in Brooklyn, and her childhood memories and life in a close-knit Jewish community are all themes represented in her writing. She worked earlier in her career as an editor of literature for young people, and most of her books are intended for them. Later in her life she published books of poetry about aging and beauty based on the haiku format.

Every year, a call for writing from the Endowment produces submissions from all over the country, which are then selected by the Endowment committee. The award is an honorarium of $500 and a public reading.

Westbeth 50th
The Westbeth Chronicles Installation

While Covid 19 put a delay in celebrating Westbeth’s 50th Anniversary, it gave us time to think about the many ideas we wanted to share about this legendary artists’ community. This installation on the walls of the public spaces is the first in a series that will celebrate the past present and future of Westbeth.

The Westbeth Chronicles

was created by Terry Stoller who is a Westbeth resident and writer, as a way to document the experience of living here by former and current residents. The below excerpts which are featured on the walls are part of this continuing series of personal accounts. Click HERE to read more!

Bethune St Lobby – Installation of Chronicles

Michel Dobbs on Geeby Dajani

Christina Maile on Westbeth Playwrights Feminist Collective

Kanchana Ugbabe on Westbeth community

Eve Zanni on Madelaine Yayodele Nelson

Chronicles Installation at Project Room entrance to Inner Courtyard

Rachel Urkowitz on Vin Diesel part 1

Rachel Urkowitz on Vin Diesel part 2

Terence Burk on community activism

Denice Hurd on Westbeth playground

The Westbeth Chronicles Installation

was conceived by Ellen Salpeter, CEO and President of Westbeth in association with the Westbeth Board of Directors and the Westbeth Artists Residents Council. Designed by Tophos Graphics. Edited by Terry Stoller.

Lorraine O’Grady:
Both/And
four decade retrospective

Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And
March 5–July 18, 2021

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor

#LorraineOGradyBKM
Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is the first retrospective of one of the most significant contemporary figures working in performance, conceptual, and feminist art.

The exhibition features twelve of the major projects O’Grady has produced over her four-decade career and also debuts a much-anticipated new installation. In addition to works presented in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, five of O’Grady’s projects are installed in collection galleries throughout the Museum, highlighting the artist’s long engagement with art historical omissions and institutional failings related to the creative agency of those excluded from the canon. O’Grady’s radical revisionism of the 1980s and 1990s anticipated themes that have been embraced by a younger generation of artists and thinkers, inspiring them to resist and reshape a world structured by difference and inequity.

For moe info: Brooklyn Museum

photo: Tiffany L Clark

Excerpt the New York Times Conversation with Lorraine O’Grady “Both Sides Now”

by Kate Guadagnino
Published Feb. 22, 2021
Updated Feb. 23, 2021, 2:02 p.m. ET

In 1977, in a nod to the Surrealists, the conceptual artist Lorraine O’Grady started cutting phrases out of The New York Times and rearranging them into lines of poetry, which she glued, mostly slantwise, onto sheets of rag paper: “Dinner is reserved for/Twin Speech: A Language of Their Own” reads one spliced fragment. She was in her early 40s. Fifteen years earlier, O’Grady had worked as an intelligence analyst for the federal government. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, she was tasked with reading around 10 international newspapers a day and, as she likes to say, “at a certain point, words just became gelatinous.” But from that experience O’Grady was able to extract new meaning out of language. “I did a poem a week, and when I got to the four-month mark, they started taking off, and I could tell something was happening,” she says, though the knowledge that her own ideas could carry her from one place or plane to the next must have already been familiar. In addition to her time in Washington D. C., her pre-artist life included stints as a translator, a teacher, a student of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and, as if she weren’t already intimidating enough, a rock critic. “I don’t feel I’ve had much unlived life,” says O’Grady, now 86.

Next month, she’ll be the subject of a major retrospective — her first — at the Brooklyn Museum, its title, “Both/And,” a reference to her rejection of binary thinking, which not only oversimplifies but ultimately tips the scales of perception in favor of one side or the other. Much of O’Grady’s philosophy is informed by her sense of self as a Black American woman with Afro-Caribbean and Irish roots. In her artwork (she’s also a writer, and her 1994 art historical essay “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity,” is considered a canonical feminist text), she often explores the idea of multiplicity through the form of the diptych, which forces the viewer to hold two sides of something in their mind simultaneously. In 2017, O’Grady reworked her newspaper poems, cutting up their contents for a second time and turning them into two-panel haikus. Both versions of the project are included in the exhibition, as is “Miscegenated Family Album” (1980/1994), a series of diptychs in which O’Grady juxtaposes photos of her family with depictions of ancient Egyptian royals, thereby lessening the presumed distance between them.

Read the full conversation HERE

Ted Timreck
Hidden Landscapes
Videos on the archaeology and legacy of northeastern Native civilization.

The Hidden Landscape Project

The Hidden Landscape Project represents the joined efforts of professional, Native, and antiquarian researchers who have generously volunteered to combine their expertise into a chronicle of research- a series of video stories that investigate the archaeological history and the modern legacy of the Northeastern Native civilization. The combined vision of so many researchers working together also represents a new approach to the long standing and often very heated controversy that surrounds the ceremonial stone landscapes of North America.

Join Doug Harris, Ceremonial Stone Landscapes researcher, Ted Timreck, director of the Hidden Landscapes films, and guest panelists for a five- part series featuring the films, panel discussions, and Q & A.

This series is co-sponsored by the Nolumbeka Project, River Valley Co-op, and the Karuna Center for Peace Building and a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. Registration is required and limited to 500. Donations are requested. Pre-screenings are available for a fee at http://www.twtimreck.com.

Schedule
Saturday, February 13, 2 pm EST
The Great Falls, Part I: Discovery, Destruction and Preservation in a Massachusetts Town

Sunday, February 14, 2 pm EST
The Great Falls, Part II: Discovery, Destruction and Preservation in a Massachusetts Town

Saturday, March 6, 2 pm EST,
Before the Lake Was Champlain: An Untold Story of Ice Age America. Guest panelist Dr. Fred Wiseman

Saturday, March 13, 2 p.m. EST
The New Antiquarians, Working Together to Unlock the Mysterious Stone Ruins, Guest Panelist Evan Pritchard, Director Center for Algonquin Studies

Saturday, March 20, 2 p.m. EST
The Devil’s Footstep, A New Vision of Early Native Life, Guest panelist Tim Mentz, former Standing Rock Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (1996 to 2008)

To register and donate: Visit http://www.nolumbekaproject.org to register or donate.

The Great Falls, Discovery, Destruction and Preservation in a Massachusetts Town

The first of the Hidden Landscapes film series, will be featured in two parts:
February 13 and 14 at 2 pm EST.

The film begins in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, when the town was attempting to expand the runway of its airport. The plan called for the removal of a low hill that contained what Native American tribal representatives identify as a ritual site-a ceremonial stone landscape. The surprising discovery and the on-going effort to understand and protect what is an amazing and historical asset is a dramatic story of environmental and historic preservation.

Join Doug Harris, ceremonial stone landscapes researcher, and director Ted Timreck for the beginning for a five-part film journey of discovery of the forgotten history of the Indigenous cultures of the Northeast.

Click on Register for Webinar or visit www.nolumbekaproject.org to register. Limited to 500 participants. Donations requested.

About the presenters:
Doug Harris, Ceremonial Stone Landscapes Preservationist is a former Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett, and does historical preservation work primarily in the Northeast
T. W. Timreck is a Peabody award-winning documentary filmmaker whose programs have been featured on PBS and other networks around the globe. “Hidden Landscapes” is a multi-part series that tells the story of early Eastern Native American sea cultures and offers a radical perspective on the Indigenous history of northeastern North America
Professor Frederick M. Wiseman is the Coordinator of the Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center, an Indigenous rights activist and author of many scholarly and popular books on archaeology, ethnohistory and ethnobotany
Evan Pritchard (Mi’kmaq descendant) is author of 18 hardcover and trade paperback titles (including four anthologies and two self-published paperbacks) plus 36 other self-published books to date. As a popular adjunct professor, he has taught courses in Native American studies at Marist, Vassar and Pace
Tim Mentz, of the Standing Rock Sioux of South Dakota, became the nation’s first Tribal Historic Preservation Officer(THPO), from 1996 to 2008. Tim is co-owner of Makoche Wowapi (earth writings), a 17-person cultural resources firm focused on identification and protection of Dakota/Lakota cultural heritage sites.

WESTFEST 2021
On-Site & Online
Call for Entries

WestFest On-Site & Online Dance Festival

WHAT:
WestFest is a cutting edge, curated dance festival presenting established and emerging movement artists from all over the world. In response to the 2020 epidemic, WestFest producers created a site-specific online festival called WestFest: On-Site & Online to show a variety of unique approaches using the virtual platform at the artists’ own site of choice.

WHERE:
westfestdance.com

WHO:
We are looking for a diverse group of emerging & mid-career dance artists with a strong artistic vision and high-performance quality. Dancemakers should apply with an idea that would fully utilize the Zoom platform including any ideas about location, concept, and logistics. All chosen artists are required to perform live during the event.

WHEN:
Program A: May 1st, 4PM EST
Program B: May 2nd, 4PM EST

HOW:
Forms and application fees can be found at westfestdance.com/applynow

STEP 1 – Pay the $25 application fee through PayPal.
STEP 2 – Complete the application form.
STEP 3 – Get accepted by February 18th.
STEP 4 – Create new work 7-min or less utilizing the zoom platform.

Submission forms close on February 15th at 11:59PM. Applicants will be notified of acceptance via email no later than Thursday, February 18th.

Diana Jensen
World Traveller
Shelter at Home

Palette Online Gallery
February 2, – February 28, 2021

Link to show: Palette Gallery

Diana Jensen has shown at Palette and I’m glad to have her as part of this anti-covid solo series! Diana does a cool kind of appropriation thing by making her work from photos and slides she finds at thrift shops etc. This series is based on 27 boxes of vintage travel slides found in an Asbury Park thrift store that a friend gave her. She conceived this series while suffering through covid last year. You can read her words about this on the exhibit page.
– Joseph Borzotta
Gallery Director

More info about Diana Jensen

Kate Walter
Buying Clothes in the Pandemic

Uniqlo

The Pandemic Changed Me: I Learned to Like Clothes Shopping

Kate Walter
The Village Sun
January 20, 2021

….But there is no way I missed clothes shopping. My dislike dates back to my childhood when I was a girl and my mother dragged me with her from store to store on Main Street in downtown Paterson, New Jersey. Back in the ’50s and ’60s, before the suburban malls, my home city had a lively commercial area with department stores and specialty shops.

I felt trapped. I wanted to be playing basketball or roller skating, but I was forced to help my mother decide on patterns and material for dresses she would sew. (Not the least bit appealing to a tomboy.) I was bored after half an hour but my mother wanted to shop much longer. I couldn’t wait to get home. The only thing that kept me going was the reward.

When we finished, we went to the soda fountain at Woolworth’s and I ordered a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and sprinkles. I plopped down on the spinning stools, trying to restrain myself from twirling while waiting. I was an energetic baby dyke in training.

Read the entire article HERE