This Week in Chelsea: February 7-13, 2022

In This Week’s “THIS WEEK IN CHELSEA”

In Order of Appearance:

Advocating for Justice / Community Board Applications Accepted Through March 1 / Free COVID Test & Mask Distribution / Fountain House Gallery Group Exhibition /  Hudson Guild Gallery Exhibits / Participatory Budgeting is Back / Neighborhood Business Grants

File photo of Arthur Schwartz courtesy of Arthur for Our Community

Thursday, February 10, 7pm: Advocating for Justice: Remembering the Holocaust and Fighting Book Banning – WBAI 99.5 FM and WBAI.org  | Your host for this evening of programming (and, for that matter, all weekly installments of Advocating for Justice) is Arthur Z. Schwartz (Principal Attorney, Advocates for Justice Chartered Attorneys, Political Director- NY Progressive Action Network, Democratic District Leader – Greenwich Village, NYC, and one of the fine 2021 candidates for NYC Council District 3). Of the show’s programming tonight, Schwartz writes, “Last week was the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, memorialized as Holocaust Rememberance Day. In a national and world setting where anti-Semitism is very much alive, we were all shocked last week with a decision by a Tennessee school Board to remove the book Maus from its shelves because of its graphic depiction of the Holocaust. Remembering the Holocaust is not only impotant to Jews, it is a constant reminder of the ultimate result of racial and religious hatred. (And yes, as Whoopie learned, Hitler considered Jews to be a race.) And it is a reminder of just where neo-fascist movements can lead to.” Schwartz will rebroadcast Maus author Art Spiegelman’s interview last week, on Democracy Now! This installment of the show will also feature interviews With Holocaust survivors. As for Maus and why you should care (as in, care enough to read the excellent, groundbreaking work), Schwartz notes, “Maus is about his [the author’s] relationship with his father, a Holocaust survivor. The postmodern book depicts Germans as cats, Jews as mice, and ethnic Poles as pigs, and took 13 years to create until its completion in 1991. It won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Earlier this month, Maus was removed from an eighth-grade English language arts curriculum by the McMinn County, Tennessee, Board of Education over concerns about “rough, objectionable language” and a drawing of a nude woman.” Can’t give a listen in real time? That’s what archives are for! “You can always find our podcast at wbai.org / On Demand,” notes Schwartz. “And while you are there please make a donation – become a WBAI Buddy!”

Image courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine

Through March 1: Manhattan Community Board Applications Accepted | A result of last year’s Primary and General Election process, newly installed Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has already embarked upon on of his marquee responsibilities: Appointing new members to Manhattan community boards. In order to be considered for appointment, a complete application must be submitted online or postmarked by no later than 5:00pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Click here to see the application, which is a doozy, and must be completed in one single sitting–so be sure and preview it before embarking upon it.

Friday, February 11, 12pm at 419 W. 17th St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves: Free COVID Self-Test and N95 Mask Distribution | Free to the public while supplies last, this event is presented by NYC Councilmember (District 3) Erik Bottcher, in cooperation with Ryan Chelsea-Clinton and the NYCHA Fulton Houses Tenants Association. See the below flyer for more info.

Zeus Hope’s “Potion in My Pockets” (2021, White gel ink, colored pencils on black paper, 12 × 9 in.). | Image courtesy Fountain House Gallery

 

Through March 2: “Futures” at Fountain House Gallery | Fountain House Gallery–representing artists with mental illness–presents this  group exhibition on view through March 2, and curated by Barbara Pollack.

“Post-2020, predicting the future is perhaps an antiquated game, given how the sudden onset of the pandemic surprised all prognosticators,” said Pollack, co-founder of Art at a Time Like This, a nonprofit platform serving artists and curators in the 21st century, as they live through crises and comment on social issues; she will serve as the lead curator of Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity, opening at Asia Society in June 2022. “Combining boundless imagination with low-tech materials, the nearly 20 artists of Futures create a new way of dealing with our hopes, fears and anxieties, conjuring visions that cannot be seen through telescopes or crystal balls. From apocalyptic nightmares to over-the-rainbow fantasies, the artworks in this exhibition underscore the limits of politicians, scientists and astrologers to find a new way of envisioning imminent change. Only artists, like these, seem capable of creating images that are dynamic and capture the diversity of the future, or more accurately, ‘futures,’ since this holds a different meaning for each.”

To preview selected works, click here. Note: Masks and proof of vaccination are required for entry to Fountain House Gallery. To learn more about the gallery (702 Ninth Ave. at W. 48th St.), click here.

 

 

Image courtesy of Hudson Guild Arts.

Hudson Guild Galleries (Hudson Guild Fulton Center, 119 Ninth Ave. and 441 W. 26th St.) | Jim Furlong, Director of Arts at Hudson Guild, has never steered us wrong–and we’re not just saying that because we like how it rhymes. So we’re taking him at his word about good stuff happening on the Hudson Guild gallery scene. Here’s his word, literally. In a recent email, said Furlong, “I am writing to let you know about a new exhibit opening in Guild Gallery II at the Fulton Center on February 10. It’s called Memory’s Daughter, and it is a collection of lovely still lifes by Elizabeth Koszarski Skrabonja. Viewing Hours are Tuesdays – Fridays 10am – 5pm. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, April 1 at 5:30pm. Meanwhile, Return: works with oil and fabric by Danny Simmons remains on display in Hudson Guild Gallery at the Elliott Center through March 9. This show contains some large, colorful works which are characteristic of Simmons’s vibrant style. A reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, February 17 at 5:30pm. Viewing Hours are Tuesdays – Fridays, 10am – 6pm, and Saturdays, 12pm – 4pm. And circle your calendars for Semaphore: Lauren Bakoian on paper & Jolie Stahl with clay, the next exhibit in Hudson Guild Gallery at the Elliott Center, with opening reception on March 17 at 5:30pm.”  The galleries partner with nearby neighbor Google, as part of the Google Arts & Culture online platform. In doing so, Hudson Guild shares works by artists whose work has appeared in the gallery spaces over the past two decades. “It also,” the Gallery curators note, “gives us the opportunity to create permanent records of many different kinds of shows which are presented each year in the galleries, while also advancing our mission to make the arts accessible to all.” NOTE: Hudson  Guild Galleries are free to attend, but you must observe these five points of protocol: 1. Visitors are asked to spend no more than 15 minutes inside the galleries. 2. Visitors who wish to stay in the galleries for more than 15 minutes must fill out the Hudson Guild Health Screener in advance before entering the galleries. To access the Health Screener, visit hudsonguild.org. At the top of the first (home) page, it says, “Click Here for a Health Screen,” which will take you directly to the registration page. 3. Visitors must have their temperature taken by reception staff before entering the theatre (gallery) and will not be permitted to enter if their temperature is above 100 degrees. 4. Visitors must wear masks at all times while in the building. 5. Visitors will observe social distancing of three feet from other visitors while in the galleries.

Participatory Budgeting Returns to New York City Council District 3 | Sure, he recently handed out COVID tests, and spoke passionately on TV about the joys of Chelsea street corners bereft of huge piles of garbage… but what has Councilmember Erik Bottcher done for you lately? How about set aside a cool million, to be distributed among projects created by District 3 residents? Known as Participatory Budgeting (PB), the popular Cheddar/Lettuce Distribution program, which in its first year was responsible for creating West 20th Street’s beloved Chelsea Green pocket park, is set to return once again–End Date, April 22, 2022.  Area residents (think Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron, Upper West Side) vote on a variety of proposals. The winning entry is fully funded, and what’s left after that gets distributed to the second, third, etc. winners until the money has been spent. To visit Bottcher’s Councilmember web page, click here. To visit the District 3 PB page, click here. There, among other nuggets, you’ll find this dandy: That $1 million, culled from the Councilmember’s budget allocation, “can be used for physical infrastructure projects that benefit the public, cost at least $50,000, and have a lifespan of at least 5 years. For example, projects such as local improvements to schools, parks, libraries, housing, and other public spaces can be funded. Ideas are then evaluated and voted on by residents of the district.”

 

 

Through February 20, Neighborhood Business Grant Applications Accepted | Citizens Committee for NYC (aka CitizensNYC) awards micro-grants to community groups and small businesses focused on improving neighborhood life and strengthening local leadership. Our currently open Neighborhood Business Grant Program distributes up to $10,000 for payroll and operations. CitizensNYC gives priority to innovative projects that address critical needs in underserved communities. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; eligible stakeholders are encouraged to apply as soon as possible! We prioritize applications submitted by February 20. To attend an info session and apply, click here.

 

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