About Cassidy Dawn Graves

Contact: cassidydawngraves@gmail.com / Twitter: @malegazegraves

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Get Sugared Up On National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, This Thursday

(image courtesy of Doubletree by Hilton)

(image courtesy of Doubletree by Hilton)

Did you know this Thursday is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? It might get a little confusing, as National Chocolate Chip (sans cookie) Day is May 15 and National Cookie Day is December 4, but rest assured there’s also a day specifically for these classic treats.

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Nacho Average Opening: Associated Gallery’s Pop-Up Show Was Cheesy in the Best Way

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Walking into an art gallery opening, you aren’t normally greeted with the smell of sweat and ketchup while men in flannel stare at still-life paintings, holding a Big Mac in one hand and a Coors Light in the other. The burger was snatched from a towering shrinelike art piece and the ketchup was dripping steadily from a fountain. But this isn’t an ordinary show, and the folks behind it aren’t an ordinary gallery.

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Art Openings: Pins N’ Patches, Cheap Art, Magazines IRL

(via Strike Gently Co / Facebook)

(via Strike Gently Co / Facebook)

The Pin and Patch Show
Tuesday, August 2 at Chinatown Soup, 16 Orchard Street, Chinatown. Opening reception 6-9pm, show on view through August 9. More info here. 
Gallery and art space Chinatown Soup will host this event that’s part art show, part pop-up shop showcasing the work of 10 local companies who make pins and patches. Don’t expect vintage band logos or anything of that sort, as this is a show of new, original work by artists. The first 50 who come to the opening will receive a free pin or patch from Strike Gently Co., and free PBR will be a-flowing. Get there feeling eager, and leave full of beer with a slew of cool new accessories for your denim vest, tote bag, or whatever you’d like.

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Coming Up: Nacho Cheese in a Chocolate Fountain and 3 Other Things in Unexpected Places

Sometimes it can get a little old going to the same bars, galleries, shows, knowing the kind of stuff you’ll see there. So, shake it up with…

A live band at karaoke:

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

Be Yourself Karaoke!
Saturday, July 30 at Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side. Doors at 8pm, music at 9pm. $10. More info here.
Karaoke is always a fun choice (I’m aware many would disagree) but karaoke backing tracks can often be in weird keys and sound like an early 2000s MIDI version of the song you actually wanted to sing. That’s all about to change with Be Yourself Karaoke, a live band that specifically plays ’90s/early 2000s emo and pop-punk songs with audience members as the lead singer. The setlist of songs to choose from is much less overwhelming than those huge karaoke binders and includes hits from Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Good Charlotte, and more. Yes, that means you too can relive that dream of bopping around your bedroom yelling to MCR while wearing too much eyeliner, only this time you’ll have a microphone and a stage.

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Take a Blotter of Free Verse at the New York Poetry Fest On Governors Island

(photo: Robert Ramirez)

(photo: Robert Ramirez)

Get those snappin’ fingers ready:

the annual New York City Poetry Festival

is coming soon,

a wordy way

to spend an afternoon.

The festival will take place this Saturday and Sunday on Governors Island, a vibrant space for art and scenery that recently unveiled a 30-acre park with the longest slide in the city. Governors Island, home base for other sophisticated cultural events such as the Jazz Age Lawn Party, will welcome the event now for a 6th year.

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Performance Picks: Blood Pact, Black Ballet, Spooky Ghosts in the Park

(image via Marybess Pritchett)

(image via Marybess Pritchett)

WEDNESDAY
Blood Pact
Continues weekly through August 17 at The Annoyance, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9:30pm. $5. More info here

The school I went to didn’t really have much Greek life at all, but I can still acknowledge that fraternities and sororities provide rich material for comedy. A group of women at The Annoyance agree, and they’ve made this show to prove it. Blood Pact centers around a handful of sorority sisters who agree to regularly meet back up after school, but only during their time of the month. They describe the show as “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets Sex and the City meets Requiem for a Dream,” which is a combo I can’t quite imagine but trust exists somehow. Trust me, periods are so weird and complicated and interesting and crisis-inducing that there will certainly be a LOT to joke about.

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After Seven Years, a Magical Series of City Walks Hangs Up Its Laces

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

In the city, or in any city, streets aren’t just streets, and building aren’t just buildings. There are histories stacked on top of each other, whether they be literal populations and businesses that come and go or more personal, emotional histories. A park or a street corner is going to mean something different to everyone.

For the past few years, Elastic City has striven to crystalize this feeling into something more tangible with its series of free artist-led participatory walks in New York City and beyond. These walks take small groups (usually 12 or less) on fictional, historical, emotional journeys, such as a reenactment of coming-of-age moments that occurred at the height of the West Village’s dyke bar culture, a singalong Annie tour, or renaming and imagining a neighborhood where immigrants are celebrated. Artists like scenic designer Mimi Lien (a winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant”), performance artist Karen Finley, activist and urbanist Nisan Haymian, among many others, have created and led walks for the series.

Today, Elastic City will wrap up their walk series for good. I chatted with Elastic City founder Todd Shalom and his longtime collaborator (and Elastic City’s Associate Artistic Director) Niegel Smith in the time they had in between conducting walks. Today, for the last several times, they’ll lead the walk they’ve created together that will serve as a finale for the series. It’s called, fittingly, The Last Walk, and takes place in Prospect Park, beginning at Grand Army Plaza.

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This Weekend, Score A Free Snow Cone And Maybe Free Full Moon Fest Tickets

(image courtesy of Fancy PR)

(image courtesy of Fancy PR)

If you haven’t noticed, it’s been hot. Sweet and icy treats can be a good way to combat this, but let’s face it. Ice cream, milkshakes, and smoothies can get expensive. Air conditioning is pricey too, and you can only hang out in chilly coffee shops for so long until you start to get grumpy stares.

Starting this Friday until August 6, the folks at music fest Full Moon Festival will be going around to various locations in the city, doling out free (yes, that’s right) snow cones. Revel in the sweet nostalgia of this simple frozen treat and and try to avoid brain freeze from crunching on ice too quickly as you seek refuge from sweat in what is really just syrup poured onto literal ice. Hey, it’s tasty. As a way of spicing up the typical snow cone fare, they’re offering a special “Blue Moon” flavor (no, not the beer) which combines pineapple and blueberry in a refreshing blend.

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The Absurd Comedy Collective Says Here’s a Funny Idea: Inclusivity

(photo courtesy of Rachel Kaly)

(photo courtesy of Rachel Kaly)

It’s true that comedy, especially lately, has deviated somewhat from the norm of white men standing onstage telling jokes about themselves and usually at the expense of others. But there aren’t always places one can go to be away from all this, to safely cultivate one’s humor without fear of condescension or competition. A new pop-up comedy group called the Absurd Comedy Collective seeks to change that, offering free workshops, open mics, and shows that “create space for women-identifying people of color, and all genderqueer, nonbinary, and trans people.”

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Suffragette City Is A DIY Feminist Publication Serving Zine Realness With Magazine Style

Suffragette City Issue #1 (courtesy of Gwynn Galitzer)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (courtesy of Gwynn Galitzer)

It’s not just a Bowie song. Suffragette City, a new intersectional feminist zine, aims to marry the DIY spirit of zines with the production value of a full-fledged magazine. Spearheaded by editor-in-chief and graphic designer Gwynn Galitzer, Suffragette City smartly combines the best of two worlds, resulting in an independently-produced yearly publication that has entrancing visuals and spirited content, like essays on gender activism, interviews with witches, styled photo spreads, poetry, hand-drawn lettering, comics, and more.

As they gear up to release their second-ever issue, they’ve been throwing monthly fundraising shows that double as parties, and will launch a formal fundraising campaign soon. I sat down with Gwynn, fresh from organizing and styling the zine’s cover photoshoot featuring model Angel Rose, to find out what’s up and what’s next.

Zines are one of the few forms of print media that are relatively thriving at least on a local scale, thanks to shops like Molasses Books and Bluestockings, maker pop-up shops at places like Shwick and Catland, and events such as the Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair and Brooklyn Zine Fest.

Suffragette City Issue #1 (comic by Lucia Love)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (comic by Lucia Love)

  1. Magazines, on the other hand, are far less prevalent than they once were. Written media and photos within print publications have mostly moved to the internet, which doesn’t allow as much for glossy photo spreads and sharply designed editorial layouts.

“It’s a super DIY zine, but the production level is really high. We do all the fundraising and everything so we can print this in such a high caliber. I love print, I love working on paper, I love collage. I love having a tactile thing. There’s something about having your work physically printed. It communicates to someone else that someone has invested the money to physically publish your work,” she says. “[And] the work deserves it. It’s all done through fundraising, it’s all volunteer-based, it’s all advertisement-free, and it’s clearly expensive to make. ”

Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City‘s first issue, which was all about hair, came out in 2015. They printed 300 copies and had a kickoff event at Silent Barn, and now sell copies at Bluestockings. The second issue (the theme is Politics) is slated to run the week before Election Day in November. Naturally, there will be an appropriately-themed release party, also at Silent Barn.

The content and people in Suffragette City reflects Galitzer’s multifaceted community; she grew up in the city, studied Fine Arts at SVA, sings in a band, and has spent several years curating and producing art events throughout the city.

“I didn’t just grow up in the city, I went elementary school through college in a five-block radius in Chelsea. It’s a small town,” she says. “I have a lot of my childhood friends in this. [Design Director] Nicole Ruggiero and I [have been] best friends since we were 4 years old, as well as Harley Kinberg who is our illustrator. It’s the first time we’ve been working on a creative project together, it’s been really awesome.”

She got the idea for the zine from the monthly event she helps run with her boyfriend, a workshop-based reading and music series called Having A Whiskey Coke With You that’s now been running for five years.

“I noticed there was a lot of really powerful female-identifying readers, but the events were very male-heavy. Mostly because the reading scene is very male-dominated. I was talking to my boyfriend Jesse, saying that he should do a female-centric [event], and he was like, ‘I think you should do something.”

Suffragette City Issue #1 (painting by Katelan Foisey)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (painting by Katelan Foisey)

Since the reading series was already producing a monthly zine and she grew up doing “music and zines” all throughout high school, Galitzer figured this would be similar, made in the classic DIY Xeroxed style she was used to. She soon realized that the project was moving in a sleeker direction. “All the sudden it started snowballing, the quality of the work was going up and up and up. So I realized I needed to step this up more, I needed to make this high caliber.”

Galitzer works as a graphic designer and concentrated in printmaking at SVA, so she felt strongly that the quality of the publication needed to be up there with the pros. “We printed with one of the industry leaders in the city. Because I’m a graphic design nerd, I want everyone I know who does graphic design to look at it and go, yes, you did it right,” she says. “It was also investing in the people involved. I can’t have everyone put all this work in it and not make it the greatest thing I could possibly do. It felt necessary.”

Though many of the people featured in Suffragette City are people Galitzer knows personally, this does not make for any sort of lapse in legitimacy. Joanne Petit-Frere, who created the wigs and hair sculptures featured in one of several beautiful photo spreads shot by Alannah Farrell, has done work for celebrity clients. “Joanne gets hired a lot for these big deal photoshoots and performers, she’s done hairpieces for Beyoncé and all these crazy music videos, but she doesn’t get billing for it. I thought it was important to give her some spotlight,” says Galitzer.

Suffragette City Issue #1 (hair by Joanne Petit-Frere, photo by Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (hair by Joanne Petit-Frere, photo by Alannah Farrell)

The Hair issue also features journalist and nightlife figure Gerry Visco (Galitzer calls her one of her best friends), “gender capitalist” androgynous model Rain Dove, and “masculine-of-center and/or genderqueer” activist Lucy Parks. Notably, Suffragette City features a diverse spread of minds and bodies often absent from the pages of glossy productions. “I’m very adamant that we are really an intersectional thing,” she says. “You can’t say you’re a feminist and not be intersectional. [It’s] definitely not all cis, heterosexual, white women. That’s also not representative of the people I know.” And it’s not just local; they put out a submission call via Twitter for their next issue and got a many responses, including someone currently living in the Philippines.

Suffragette City has been doing fundraising events monthly, and their next one is this Saturday. They’re starting at Williamsburg’s Two Boots Pizza for a “mini zine fair,” where they’ll also have handmade buttons featuring “strong female lead characters from the ‘90s with pizza.” After that, everyone will head over to the Gutter Bar for a rock show of female-fronted bands, including Galitzer’s own band, No Ice. She’s been committed to involving as many women as she can for these events. “If the venue has women on staff, I request they work that night,” she tells me.

mini zines (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

mini zines (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

“It’s not like I have investors or I personally have money. I don’t have any experience with how it’s supposed to work at a magazine. It’s just me. It’s literally run out of my living room,” she says, telling me for their last photoshoot they moved all the furniture in her house and shot everything in the zine in 17 hours. She rented a room for a shoot this time, for her sanity.

Despite the immense work it takes to put out a publication like this, Galitzer shows no signs of stopping, and is considering starting a podcast and making miniature zines with Nicole Ruggiero in addition to the big yearly publication.

“I want more than anything for someone to give it to a 16-year-old girl and have her be like, ‘Yeah!’ And then for her to make a zine,” she says, grinning. “Also, I would like to get enough funding to pay everyone involved. I’d like to raise enough money so that everyone that put in hard work can get paid for it. And it’s going to happen. I have faith. If not for this one, then the next one.”

Suffragette City’s latest fundraiser is happening Saturday, July 23 at The Gutter Bar, 200 N 12th Street, Williamsburg. 8pm. $8. More info here. Visit the zine’s website here.

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Here’s Where To Hate-Watch the RNC Tonight

(WNYC Studios)

(WNYC Studios)

Some people are on the FBI Watchlist. Well, this is the RNC Watchlist, where you can settle down at a bar, event space, or Republican haunt (if you’re nasty) and bear witness to the great and terrible orange man, as he drips words and possibly froth from his mouth, instilling fear into impressionable folk about how no one can save our country but him. Though the news has painted a fairly grim picture of the US recently, I’m pretty sure Donald and I have different definitions of what “saving” something means.

If the reality of this week’s Republican National Convention is too wretched to behold as truth, you can pretend you’re watching a movie. But let’s hope it’s a movie that compels you to educate yourself and vote in all of your state and local elections, in addition to the big one in November. You can be the change you want to see in the world… If your vote manages to be counted, that is. Yikes.

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At The New Museum, The Keeper is a Haven for Historians, Hoarders, and Humanity

Yuji Agematsu (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Yuji Agematsu (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

We all have a little hoarder in us. Some more than others. Or maybe you have that weird friend who just won’t throw stuff away, and you wonder when someone is inevitably going to mistake his detritus for an art installation. Well, there’s now something for everyone at the New Museum. Its newest show, The Keeper, is an astounding assortment of collections amassed by artists, scholars, conspiracy theorists, survivors, weirdos, and everyday folk alike.

The show, which has over 4,000 objects spanning almost every floor of the museum, has the largest amount of items in the museum’s history. It’s a collection of collections, a hoard of hoards, a love letter to devotion. Similar to how many of the collections exhibited took years or decades to gather, curator Massimiliano Gioni has spent years on The Keeper; Lisa Phillips, the museum’s director, calls the show his “lifelong obsession.” Keep Reading »