Arts & Culture

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In New Docs, Punk Artist Dash Snow and Pop Artist Kenny Scharf Blaze Their Paths Downtown

From “Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide” (Tseng Kwong Chi/Courtesy Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc)

At some point in Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide, one of the film’s talking heads opines that perhaps the artist isn’t taken more seriously because he’s associated with the “F” word: Fun. Scharf, who came up with Basquiat and Haring in the ’80s East Village scene, was a fixture at Club 57, a church basement turned DIY cabaret where he served as a sort of “showman” and “master of ceremonies,” doing Lawrence Welk impersonations one night and cavorting in day-glo paint another. More →

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In This Pandemic, I Thee Wed

 Daniela Cantillo and Dylan McDonough signing their wedding certificate at their wedding. (Photo: Bessie Liu)

As the reality of coronavirus became obvious in March, getting married and having a wedding seemed like something that was completely off the table for many people. Yet, some couples found ways to forgo lavish festivities and celebrate their big day with a small group of loved ones, abiding by COVID-19 restrictions. More →

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‘The Music Elevates the Purpose’: The Blacksmiths Band Together For Racial Justice

Russell Hall and Michela Marino Lerman leaving Washington Square Park at a DSA musicians’ march in support of BLM on June 29, 2020. (Photo: Reuben Radding)

As the problems of America incited protests across America, the streets of New York City became well worn by those demanding more for their country. Shouts and chants weren’t the only sounds comprising the din of the city’s demonstrations. There was a marching band, jazz trio, vocalist, string orchestra, and tap dancer heard within these movements, and they are a movement unto themselves—they are The Blacksmiths.  More →

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‘We Don’t Have a Lot of Hope’: Williamsburg Artists Grapple With the Pandemic

Class on the roof of the Ace Hotel. (Photo courtesy of Ace Hotel)

Nicole von Arx was one of many Williamsburg artists and merchants whose lives were completely disrupted when the pandemic hit in March. In the span of a few days, all of the choreographer’s shows and residencies were canceled and she had to close NVA & Guests, her contemporary dance studio. George Flanagan, general manager of Williamsburg’s notoriously cool Rough Trade record store, was forced to shut the shop and furlough the entire staff. Javier Hernandez-Miyares, founder of 17 Frost Gallery, a celebrated Williamsburg recording studio and exhibition space, canceled all exhibitions for the foreseeable future.

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As Pandemic Fractures the City, Mosaic Man Stays on the Trail

The East Village is one of the most visually distinct neighborhoods in New York City, and for the past 35 years, James “Jim” Power’s famous Mosaic Trail has twisted through the middle of it like a colorful ribbon made of tile. His efforts have made him a beloved neighborhood character, more mascot than fixture, and at age 73 — with wispy white hair tucked beneath a Vietnam Veteran cap, a slight but hardy frame, and faded red scooter he uses to navigate the street — he feels no desire to slow down. But he feared the coronavirus pandemic would force the issue. More →