Category Archives: Culture

Events and Vendors Needed at Dekalb Market

Calling all Vendors, Producers, Organizers, Artists, Musicians, Shakers and Movers!

I need you!

I’ve officially signed a contract (Can you believe I’ve never signed one before?!! A HUGE freelance no no!!) to manage vendors and lead the marketing, programming and events front at Dekalb Market. If you haven’t been to DM in the past year, it’s an amazingly designed outdoor space with 60 container vendors cut out to house various vendors from clothing and food to toys and art installations. There is also room for outdoor table vendors for special events. It is a magical outdoor space and will be fully stocked as the go-to summer beer garden destination.

Jen Lyon, of MeanRed Productions fame, and I have partnered up and will be spending the next couple months preparing for a great year at Dekalb Market and would love for you to join us in one form or another! Some things we have planned:

– Beer & Wine Garden
– Programming & Events
– Ticketed evenings for music and nightlife entertainment including a DEKALB NIGHT MARKET!
– Happy hour specials
– Weekly CSAs and farm based events
– Movie Screenings (Bike Ins!)
– Classes & workshops for retailers
– Weekends
– Highly curated weekend markets
– Free daytime events
– Local bands
– Food competitions
– Supperclub dinners
– Marketing
– Updated website & newsletter
– Revamped social media
– Media partnerships
– Updated roster of vendors featuring the best in their field: food, crafts, art, music, clothing, accessories

If you’re looking for a space to host your performance, food competition, or product please let me know. Anything goes, if you want to showcase your best wood planer, or the latest gizmo. If you’re a vendor and would like either a permanent container space or participate in vendor specific events please let me know. If you know folks who’d love to take this opportunity to use Dekalb Market as a venue for any fun activity, please let me know!

Any questions? Let me know. 🙂

updownacross@gmail.com

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Brainstorming Session for a Meta Multi-Media Performance // February 29th

The last few weeks I’ve been toying with the idea of producing a meta multi-media performance where all creative cultures converge. Think: a live performance where the stage is built by artists setting the tone for various acts of dance, video, theatre, musical, what have you, accompanied by live music played by a full program of bands, composers, orchestras, what have you. It would be hyper immersive and interactive where viewer is participant through crowdsourced manuscripting with the use of multiple social  media platforms. So Act 1 might consist of a stage built byan installation artist with a dance troupe frolicking in and around in tune with a song performed by a local band. An ongoing crowdsourced dialogue influences Act 2 which then influences the crowd to build something for Act 3, on and on. There are loads of moving variables and it’s such a gargantuan idea that I don’t quite know how it would work but I like thinking about it.

So much so that I’ve emailed a few very talented creatives from screenwriters and fashion stylists to dancers and composers and was surprised how receptive they were. We’re planning a brainstorming session on February 29th to see where this baby can take us. I’ve named it BRAIN STORM! due to a lack of thinking of anything better to call it. It’s open sourced so I would like to welcome anyone interested to join us in the first session. It might get roudy and very very interesting.

Email me if you’ve got an idea to share, no idea is wrong, and would like to come.

Bring your own drinks and snacks as it might be a wild night.

Brainstorming Session I

February 29th, 2o12 @ 7pm

Church of Messiah

129 Russell Street btw Nassau & Driggs

Greenpoint, Brooklyn

updownacross@gmail.com

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I Got a Sweet New (Used) Bike

All photos courtesy Peter Kleeman

For the last seven years I’ve dedicated my bike preference to kid-size, vintage, fixed gear, Peugeots. The first one I purchased was from this butch chick in Williamsburg off craigslist for $250, an imaginatively sparkling small orange frame glistening with potential. It replaced an even smaller, heavier, but badass white bmx bike I used to whiz around from interesting quiz to quiz while in college. I felt I needed to graduate to the hipster friendly trend rippling thru Williamsburg where I spent my time as an intern at Pierogi naively inspired by the “creative independence” of young folks around me. At that time I aspired to be a hipster, before it was an expression of ironic self-deprecation and dismissal. I’ve never ridden a fixed gear before and didn’t realize I’d be sacrificing seven years of coasting to be hip and cool.

My first ride was frightening as I rode over the Pulaski Bridge from Brooklyn to Astoria where I then lived, too dumb to find the walk path and heading straight into the car lane as if I had four wheels and a tin frame to protect me. Of course I wasn’t bold enough to purchase a fixed gear bike without a brake but even still I’ll always remember this pants-shitting experience, pathetically pedaling non-stop, desperate to get off the road, regretting the sale of my safe, thick-tired easy bmx.

Of course it got better and soon became what biking has always been for me: an exhilarating release. I used to get butterflies in my stomach every time I got on my bmx, anticipating the speed and freedom the wind and wheels provided. I felt untouchable, powerful, rebellious even. This little bicycle that could was faster, lighter, thinner, and badass. I never learned to skid or do funky tricks. It was my main mode of transportation (in addition to being my version of a pimped ride) and I never failed to feel good when riding my baby. My thighs and calves will show for it too.

Five and a half years later the bike needed constant care and repair, leading to custom welded cranks and wheels and all sorts of other things as a result of my use and abuse. Last year my dear friend Peter the bike seller found the same exact bike frame, in white. I was ecstatic and immediately bought it, transferring what pieces I could from old to new including bike seat, cranks, wheels, and handles. The frame was unusable anyway so I took the skeleton to my father’s garage and plan to hang it as a commemorative wall decoration in the future.

Before Angel and I got married I somehow convinced him to purchase a matching bike from Peter the bike seller: an adult size men’s version of a white multi-geared Peugeot. The tires were a bit shaky and he didn’t feel too comfortable but I absolutely LOVED the idea of having matching bikes. How cute!!

Few months into riding my new (old) white stallion I realized I was a bit too big for it. I’ve always been a tad bit too tall for it. It IS a boy’s bike after all. I don’t know if its from getting older, unconvincingly despising hipster culture, or just growing lazy, but I craved coasting. I didn’t want to crouch down and put all my weight in my arms and hands, pedaling to oblivion. I wanted a coaster, bad.

So I consulted Peter the bike seller and, sure enough, last week, he had an adult size women’s version of a white multi-geared Peugeot. Ha! Talk about matching bikes!! I wasn’t 100% ready yet to let my fixie go but I eagerly swapped bikes and rode home from Greenpoint to LES. Coasting felt divine but there was a problem. I felt like a sissy. I felt tiny and powerless. All the weight was on my butt and my legs BARELY reached to the bottom of the pedal cycle. Riding with my arms up slightly above the waist made me feel like, a girl. That night I decided to be quite selfish and indulgent: I texted Peter and let him know that I’d be paying for this sissy coaster and take my fixie back too.

I now not only have an exact matching bike as Angel that we can cruise around in, I still have my fixie that lets me be as badass as I please.

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Work It Brooklyn returns February 23 at Public Assembly!

Last year 3 Greenpointers; Briana, Aja and I organized a social networking event for all the freelancing creatives out there called Work It Brooklyn and it was a raging success. The best part was speed networking, which as you can imagine, is a more productive and less awkward version of speed dating where you get 3 minutes to promote yourself, exchange business cards and make some new connections that’ll help your professional path take another step up.

We’re back again this year with another kickass event, to take place February 23rd at Public Assembly. We will have more speed networking than you can handle, drinks at the bar, and a slideshow of submitted business cards (which is also available on our website).

We’re capping the event at 250 and we’re nearing that end so make sure to register today on Eventbrite and email us your virtual business cards (workitbrooklyn@gmail.com). There’ll be raffles as well for a chance to win a free workday at Greenpoint Coworking and more.

Get your business cards ready and see you February 23!

WORK IT BROOKLYN

FEBRUARY 23, 2011
7 – 10PM
$5 Suggested Donation

PUBLIC ASSEMBLY
70 N. 6th ST btw Whythe & Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

http://workitbrooklyn.wordpress.com/

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The Greenhorns Need Land to Farm

The Greenhorns is a documentary on young farmers in America. They are an amazing group of young folks who tend farms and educate others to join. They have a blog that is an amazing resource, not to mention a guidebook for prospective farmers. They are looking for land to tend this year. They apparently got fucked over by a previous landlord and are in an endless search for land in the Hudson Valley to tend veggies and animals. I want SO badly to help them find a spot, if you’ve got any leads, shoot them an email!

From Severine:

Dear Allies, Greenhorns+ Friends.

You are our network, and we need your help

Smithereen Farm is still looking for a new farm location. We have had a lot of conversations, but no match yet. We’d like to stay in the Hudson Valley, preferably near a train station.

Specifically:
a kindly landlord who likes the greenhorns mission, on-board with sustainable agriculture
kitchen, housing + office space for farmers and greenhorns (pref 2+ bedrooms)
ok with carnivory + animal processing
Barns with water access for rabbits, brooding chickens, dairy goats, cow
1+ acre good arable farmland for culinary herbs, veg, flowers
4+ acres fenced pasture for dairy animals
10+ acres unfenced pasture for laying hens+
woodland for 12 pastured pigs
ok with delighted young farmer visitors+guests, able to work in partnership

We are willing to pay reasonable rent/ be official ag exemption/ work alongside another farming operation, willing plant orchard for landowner, willing to care for landowner animals, willing to help with farm stewardship and planning. We are willing, eager workers: but we’ve got a lot of greenhorns projects on the go and so cannot take a CSA/farm manager position, or oversee fancy horses.

Greenhorns operates with a revolving crew of volunteers, partners and collaborators: we have dinner parties, visitors, press, outdoor meetings+ picnics.  We are a merry coalition of young farmers, organizers, activists, designers, filmmakers etc. The trick is to find a landowner who is delighted by this energy, ok with the press, glad for the visitation and educational outreach,  and very importantly: not afraid of animal manures.

Since our landlord decided to break our lease in December, it is not at all sure that we’ll be able to farm this coming season. Tyler Sage, my farm partner, has gone to work at another farm, and friends Sean Stanton, Dina Brewster + Marina Michaelles have kindly adopted our rabbits, chickens + herbs as we navigate our departure from the current (quite contentious) scene.

Our ideal land scenario seems thus far elusive, but we’d rather not concede defeat. Instead we are coming to realize that our story of injustice at the hands of an arbitrary landlord is quite common to the experience of farmers across the country, and particularly in places where land-values are high.  Farmers young and old are telling us similar stories. Having now driven circles around the backroads of the Hudson Valley investigating leads, we are infuriated by the omnipresence of under-utilized farmland, the hundreds of dairy barns teetering on the edge of collapse: this situation needs more attention. There is farmland. We want to farm it.

Current tax structures + settlement prejudices are insufficiently hospitable to new farmers.

What about a tax-break for landowners leasing to beginning farmers?
What about a tax-slap for landowners who break their contractual obligations with farmers!
What about a national conversation about neo-feudalism?
What about a cultural commitment among conservationists to focus attention on supporting new/existing/organic farm businesses!

Young farmers are not just a tax-write off, we are not share croppers, we are community servants who deserve dignified land access, sensibly termed leases, and rights under the law. America is a young nation, we’ve got to allow our ambitious young people to find opportunities in farming. Otherwise we’ll get bitter and grumpy- and probably not be able to keep farming.

Average age of the American farmer is 58.
I am 28, Tyler is 24. Please help us farm.

Any networking you can do on our behalf might bring us closer to a stable headquarters for our work, and a fertile field in which to practice agriculture.
Grateful for your help,

Severine von Tscharner Fleming,
on behalf of smithereen farm + greenhorns crew.

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Trinity Project

There are many reasons to be inspired by Pastor Griffin Thomas and the cascade of events he hosts at Church of Messiah, including FEAST and the food market. I’ve seen music shows and dance performances there. A superb baker makes some yummy foodstuffs there. The local csa is hosted there. Bands practice there. They used to have ping pong tournaments (Griffin, please bring that back!) I get emails all the time from friends who come with some amazing ideas and need a space to host them, ranging from dinner parties (which I’ve done there and it was pretty trippy), dance lessons, writer’s salon, pop up shops, amongst many many others. The church is a gratuitous contributor to the creative community in Brooklyn, specifically adding to Greenpoint as a hub of crazy awesome culture. It’s a place for happenings, the good kind.

And then there’s the Trinity Project. Inspired by the Church of Messiah, a few folks got together and approached a church in Bushwick to turn their unwanted space to folks like us who just need the space to do the awesome stuff we do. They are currently in search of volunteers to put in a few hours to clean up the place to be utilized. Read below, be inspired, come up with ideas, contact the project and make some shit happen.

**

Trinity Project peeps came out this past Saturday to do volunteer time at Most Holy Trinity and started accumulating hours for future space use. We cleaned out the fire-damaged boiler room in Haggerty Hall and started cleaning St. Mary’s. You can see Amy Maguire in the attached photo, working hard:) Thanks to everyone who lent a hand!

We will be holding another volunteer session this Saturday, February 6th from noon to 4pm, so pull out some work gloves and dingy threads and mark your calendars. Details to come later this week.

THE RUNDOWN:

The Trinity Project
: Connecting community through creative exchange.

The Trinity Project is a program inspired by an article in the Times about Pastor Griffin Thomas at Church of the Messiah in Greenpoint who has opened up his church for bands to practice in, Todd P to throw shows in, a greenmarket to use, and F.E.A.S.T. to host dinner parties at to raise money for artist’s projects. The article is here

I contacted Friar Santo and Friar Timothy at Most Holy Trinity Church on Montrose Avenue to see if they would be interested in starting a similar program in our community, and they’re down.

Basically, the program is an exchange– unused church space which can be used for rehearsal/performance/events in exchange for volunteer time in community service. I believe strongly that this will help to bridge the gap between the non-artist East Williamsburg/Bushwick community and the arts community. We are organizing the program so that artists who are involved can give back to the community with what they are good at– guest teaching at the attached Catholic school, painting, carpentry, the possibilities are pretty endless. This is an opportunity for artists to have space to work on their projects for free or at low-cost, while giving back to this wonderful area of Brooklyn. The Franciscan Friars we are working with are kind-hearted and generous souls and it is imperative that artists involved are reliable, respect the space, and are down with the idea of giving back to the neighborhood.

If you are interested in putting up a project in any of the spaces that you saw, please send an informal proposal by letting us know:

-Who you are and what you do: a brief description of your lovely self and your arts background.

-What you’d like space for: rehearsal, performance, fundraising event, band practice, exhibition, etc.

-What you’d like the space to be like: how big?, does it need to be open or are poles ok?, do you need a kitchen?

-When you’d like the space: dates, times, some alternatives as well, please.

-What you’d like to give back to the neighborhood:
Do you prefer to work with the church community?:
Carpentry, electric, finishing, hauling, filmmaking, ESL, general volunteering Saturdays from 12-4pm, etc.

Do you prefer to work with the school?:
What would you like to teach?
What age group? (PK-8th grade)
During school? (8am-3pm) Or after school? (3pm-6pm)
What days are you available?

**We are looking for some affordable, or better yet, pro bono web design, as well as some fundraising gurus… just sayin.

*Please feel free to send us your thoughts, ideas, questions, suggestions.

*Please feel free to let us know if you don’t want to receive these emails.

Peace,
Monica and Megan

monica@thetrinityprojectbk.org

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Sparkseed for young innovators

Jenny is a force in nature. She makes parties happen. She makes stuff swapping sexy. She is also a fellow Greenpointer. She also works with a non-profit called Sparkseed, which helps students and youngens foster and grow into amazing independent entrepreneurs. Do you have a younger sibling who is a deadpan and can use a boost to get their shit together and see the potential in themselves through Sparkseed? (just kidding Julie, you’re not a deadpan, I love you!) Then forward this along and to anyone who is a generation (or two or three) younger than you and will strive to be the next best sexiest entrepreneur. I am so tempted to write aren’tyouamanure. There, I said it.

Oh, and the deadline to apply is Feb 7th, but initial application is super easy so don’t get scared. Just do it!

From Jenny:

As many of you know, I work with a non-profit called Sparkseed. Our mission is to invest in student innovation — we provide funding and intensive training to college-aged social entrepreneurs. Students accepted into our program receive up to $11,000 in seed money, and we offer them over $20,000 worth of services: personal business coaches, legal services, skill-building workshops, etc. At the end of 6 months, these students leave our program as lean, green, CEO machines! It’s pretty awesome to watch.

Currently, we are in the midst of our application process to select venture leaders for this year.  We are looking for the best and the brightest, so if you know of an undergrad student (younger siblings? friends of friends?) who would be interested in applying, please forward this email along! Or, if you know of professors, faculty, or other academic leaders who could forward this to their students, feel free to share with them as well. Details below-

* * *
Win $11,000 in seed money, $20,000 in pro-bono consulting, and mentoring from entrepreneurs and executives!

Sparkseed is now accepting applications from extraordinary students who are leading or will launch ventures that tackle today’s toughest social issues. If you have a bold and innovative idea to make a difference, we invite you to apply. Deadline: February 7, 2010.

Click here to APPLY!

Sparkseed is a nonprofit organization that supports the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Over the past two years, Sparkseed has provided over $100,000 in seed money, pro-bono consulting, mentoring, and skills-training to 50 social innovators across the country. Sparkseed has been featured on Change.org, Social Edge, CSRwire, Campus Entrepreneurship, Social Earth, GreenVC, PopTech, All Day Buffet, and The Huffington Post.

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