About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

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Don’t Be a (Chili) Flake, Head on Over to Kimchipalooza 6

A previous kimchi eating contest winner, with trophy (image via Mama O's)

A previous kimchi eating contest winner, with trophy (image via Mama O’s)

What better way to spend your Sunday than spicin’ it up at Kimchipalooza 6? While this might sound like the latest edition of a concept-heavy music festival or B-movie, the truth is much tastier. It’s a kimchi festival happening for the 6th year in a row, celebrating jars full of the uber-healthy, probiotic, sometimes buried-underground, stinking-rotten cabbage native to Korean cuisine but that in the last several years has grown in popularity, transcending borders and spreading joy and a spicier, more complex approach to the blander sauerkraut more familiar to American tongues. They’re offering BBQ kimchi creations, live music, DJs, dranks, even a make-your-own kimchi station, and— brace yourself —a “super spicy” kimchi eating contest.

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Performance Picks: Beds Not Chairs + Silent and/or Messy Laughs

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Judson Arts Wednesdays)

(flyer via Judson Arts Wednesdays)

Blind Crest
August 17, 7 pm at Judson Memorial Church: FREE

Judson Arts Wednesdays, a series of free music, dance, and theatrical-readings twice a month, wraps up the season with this final play reading.

Blind Crest was inspired by the true story of Ronnell Wilson and Nancy Gonzalez, this work by Monet Hurst-Mendoza is take on a “boy-meets-girl” story where a black man on death row and a newly-appointed corrections officer make a connection and plan to have a baby.

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Folks Got Lit in Support of Literacy, One of Many Obstacles Facing Incarcerated Teens

L-R: Robert Galinsky, Andy Rourke, DJ CherishTheLuv, Keith Shocklee (photo: Shaun Mader)

From left: Robert Galinsky, Andy Rourke, Cynthia Malaran (aka DJ CherishTheLuv), and Keith Shocklee (Photo: Shaun Mader)

Last week Friday, a West Village photo studio was transformed into a hub of empowerment for #GalinskyLIT, an effort to  help fund libraries and education initiatives in NYC jails and prisons. But if the word “fundraiser” inspires images of gold-plated table spreads and celebrities in sparkly gowns posing in front of hot lights, well, you’ve got the wrong thing in mind. Instead of exclusiveness, this event embraced inclusiveness– and rather than simply serving and coordinating donations and programs for incarcerated teenagers from a distance, the organizers really listened to the underserved and too-often maligned group that it represents.

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Masks Not Mascs at the Femmequerade Ball, a Party to Cure ‘Toxic Masculinity’

(Flyer via Femmerquerade Ball)

(Flyer via Femmerquerade Ball)

Dozens of women and femmes will descend upon the Good Room in Greenpoint this Thursday to party until that oppressive cis-white-male toxic-masculinity is done for. Or at least they’re gonna try.

The Femmequerade Ball, a fierce feminist bash filled with DJ sets, performances, and lots o’ partyin’, is the brainchild of Raechel Rosen (aka Mima Good, best known for leading her eponymous witchy music group, The Coven of Mima Good). It’s co-hosted by Brujas, the Bronx-based all-woman skater crew that won some pretty legit attention from a recent profile in the New York Times, as well as an inclusive electronic-music collective known as Sister, and a satirical “art-bro” duo called Hot Schmucks.

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Art Hearts: Daughters of Mercury + Pieces of Women + Liar, Liar Art’s on Fire

(Image via Sharon Spell)

(Image via Sharon Spell)

Close Hamm
Opening Monday August 15,  7 pm to 9 pm at ROOQ Fine Arts and Framing. On view through January 17.

Artist Sharon Spell seems to have each one of her hands equally in art and comedy: she’s worked with UCB since 2007, performs at The Moth, and has illustrated comic strips for the freaky people at The Onion, just to name a few bits from her resume. These two worlds unite in her “Close Hamm” diptychs– paintings depicting two distinct people joined together to create one image, much like the fine art of balance an improv-comedy duo’s always aiming for.

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Get Blasted for a Good Cause at This Black Lives Matter Fundraiser

(flyer via Friends and Lovers)

(flyer via Friends and Lovers)

When America is faced with what seems to be an endless stream of police brutality, discrimination, and gentrification toward black and brown individuals, sharing an article for the fifth time can start to feel fruitless. Those of us who continue to see this kind of gut-wrenching news on our social media feeds can start to wonder what exactly we can do to help.

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Mourning Palisades? Try Sunnyvale’s Sunny Sunday Festival

PastedGraphic-1

(Flyer via Sunnyvale)

East Williamsburg’s “DIY-gone-legit” spot Sunnyvale is pulling out all the stops this Sunday—all the lady stops, that is. Their daylong festival, serving as the launch event for new “inclusive community” Brooklyn Women in the Arts, will feature ten bands, two stand-up comics, and two art installations for a solid fourteen individual doses of art to brighten up your Sunday. It’s probably healthier than plying yourself with fourteen individual doses of something else. Hey, it’s cool– everyone’s got their hangover cure!

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Performance Picks: Harsh Noise Videos IRL, LOL Sadism, and Theatre Ina Garden

THURSDAY

(via Housing Works)

(via Housing Works)

Loose: A Comedy Show
August 11, 7 pm at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: $10. 

The always-effervescent Jo Firestone hosts this monthly evening of chuckles at the equally warmhearted Housing Works. But Firestone’s no ordinary comedy show host, no siree– she’s the brains behind ventures like Punderdome 3000, that oh-so-thrilling pun contest that’s either your worst nightmare or best dream come true.

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Brooklyn’s Adult Coloring Book Club is Putting the ‘Cray’ in Crayola

(via Curious Custom)

(via Curious Custom)

Adult coloring books have shot up in popularity lately– CNN’s gotten wind of it, the books were topping out Amazon’s bestsellers list earlier this year, and the high sales numbers actually made it seem like print was experiencing a resurgence (yeah, right). Things were so cray that neuroscientists, “behavioral economists,” and good old-fashioned therapists were asked to weigh in on this completely WTF trend.

Thankfully, Amazon’s bestseller list indicates that things are back to somewhat normal (i.e. adults are reading young adult novels again), as the craze seems to have subsided somewhat.  Keep Reading »

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Grand Street Restaurant Week: Gentrifier’s Grub, or Feeding Local Biz?

(via Grand Street Business Improvement District)

(via Grand Street Business Improvement District)

Yesterday a dozen restaurants along Grand Street in East Williamsburg kicked off their second-annual Grand Street Restaurant Week, the area’s very own location-specific version of the mammoth that is New York Restaurant Week, complete with prix-fixe lunch and dinner specials. Depending on your view, you might interpret the event as either an odd/scary fit for the neighborhood or a harbinger of good things to come.

It bears reminding that, usually in order to participate in Restaurant Week, you first need to feel financially able (or reckless enough) to drop $30 to $40 on a single meal. Regular NY Restaurant Week, also happening right now through August 19, offers $29 lunches and $42 dinners, and understands multiple courses as inherent to both meals. So it seems that, more than likely, people patronizing Grand Street Restaurant Week would fall squarely into the “gentrifier” category, the type of folk who want to prance around in luxury-dorm/playground buildings that are masquerading as apartments or pre-fab “artist communities” but are actually closer to cruise ships (the first-class decks, obviously).

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At Free Films in Tompkins, the Real Star-Crossed Lovers are Baz Luhrmann + Guac

Free Films at Tompkins (Photo: Joshua Davis for The Local East Village)

Free Films at Tompkins (Photo: Joshua Davis for The Local East Village)

Dinner theater is often regarded as cheesy, and not in a good way. Cinemas serving food with flicks can be pricey (and let’s be honest, sometimes a little too air conditioned)– also, where’s that food even coming from? One of those Wolfgang Puck airport terminal franchises? Let’s be real, the answer’s probably much worse than that. So what is one to do when they want to enjoy the blissful multitasking of watching moving pictures with their eyes while shoving deliciousness into their mouths?

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Art Hearts: Beach Party in the City, Sunshine Ruins, and Bye Bye in Bed-Stuy

Peyton Freiman, "JFK was a Realist," 2015. Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Canvas, 6 x 3.5 inch. (image via Shin Gallery)

Peyton Freiman’s “JFK was a Realist,” 2015 (Image courtesy of Shin Gallery)

Long Gone and Missing
Opening Wednesday August 1, 7 pm to 9 pm at Shin Gallery. On view through September 10. 

Imagine a beach on the Lower East Side. Now imagine that beach stuffed inside an art gallery. Some might call it crazy, but this wacky dream will become reality at the opening of Peyton Freiman’s solo show, Long Gone and Missing. The Brooklyn-based artist (who also recently showed a piece in loft-gallery Club 157’s first group show) will transform Shin Gallery into a “veritable beach playground” filled with his colorful mixed media works on paper.

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