Each year, Big Picture Learning holds ‘Big Bang’ an international conference on Student-Centered Learning. This conference is an intergenerational collaboration, where students and educators come together to learn from one another and from the community. This year Big Bang took place in Detroit, MI., in late July.
Each month the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy (ACE) holds a Creative Economy Mixer. We are honored to have been the chosen host this months event. This was an incredible opportunity to share ALN with a community who might otherwise not know our organization. The event was structured with a guided tour of our facilities, open studio by our artists in residency and fellows, food tastings by Laughing Earth Farm, beverage tastings by Albany Distilling Co. We also had an engaging discussion with Founding Director David Gersten, joined by Andrew Frishman of Big Picture Learning, an organization that has partnered with 65 schools across the U.S. with a mission to educate one student at a time.
We express gratitude to the following artists who presented along with visitors and supporters;
Frida Braide, Hyunbae Chang, Isabella Chydenius, Liao Dean, Frida Foberg, Hana Falconer, Kyle Giacomo, Colleen Keough, Marie Claire Macadar, Robin McLauglin, Natalie Jauregui Ortiz, Joe Poon, Christina Rosati, Julia Rosen, Josephine Nørtoft Saabye, Rachel Van Wylen
Since 2016 we have been fortunate to work with AHS’s theater ensemble, the amazing students and their highly dedicated directors and staff. This years musical Sweet Charity explored issues of sexism misogyny and especially how young people are impacted in the systems we live in. Ward Dales, Gregory Theodore Marsh, Noelle Gentile and NCBI, are true masters of creating safe space for the students to share their own stories and experiences around the topics. Creating a performance that is not only about the story itself - it’s about everyone who has every been in a situation of toxic societal norms and for everyone else learning how to be an ally.
On a cold Sunday afternoon the ALN studio was transformed into a sanctuary of remembrance bringing warmth and comfort to those who came to the book and film release event offered by Ira and Nadine Baumgarten.
We are so happy to have held our first 'Third-Thursday' of 2019, our new monthly night of sharing works. With pieces and performances from artists, guests, local community members and Fellows, the evening revolved around the theme of 'ordinary days', attempting to rediscover and explore the things happening around us that are often given little intention or attention. Involving everyone, artists, guests, local community and fellows, Third-Thursday is a time and place for participation, inspiration, and creative exchange.
This year brought with it our 3rd annual Festival, where we once again celebrated and shared the works created over the course of our 2018 Summer Workshop, Hinges, Mirrors & Eclipses. With 45 participants, representing an incredible range of fields and nationalities, it was the largest workshop in the history of Arts Letters & Numbers, resulting in a truly memorable festival.
Over the years we have been fortunate to experience the transformative work of AHS Theater Ensemble and NCBI, bringing students stories, experiences and observations to the stage. The production of 2018, Blaq Boi is a truly deeply moving, pure and honest student written performance about the young black male experiences in this country today.
On Saturday October 28th we welcomed a number of leaders from the many arts and cultural organizations in the Capital Region to Arts Letters & Numbers Tasting. With this event, we opened our doors to the extended creative community around us: to share our experiences and spaces, and to begin and continue the conversation about how we can best foster collaboration and contribute to the vibrant arts and cultural communities growing in the region.
SAUCE was a 3-day celebration of Soul, Motown, Funk, Swing, and Blues organized by our friends Joshua Fialkoff and Bryan Brundige. Arts Letters & Numbers hosted the late night dance on Saturday September 30th, where the tunes were accompanied by an edible installation made by Frida Foberg, Merethe Bahn Trolle, Josephine Saabye & Zubin Singh.
On August 3rd we opened our doors for the second Arts Letters & Numbers festival: this year titled Constitution. The 3-day festival presented works created during our annual four-week summer workshop, bringing together participants from a wide range of disciplines including architecture, photography, dance, music, literature, film, theatre, painting and drawing.
Friday 25th November
Going back in time at the House on the Hill, we opened the doors to a the speakeasy salon from the 1920’s. It was a classy event with no end-time. Musicians and friends who were either in town for the Thanksgiving weekend or who live in the area year-round came in and out creating a constant flow of sound. Lot's of songs and laughs with everyone decked out in their best pre-war era garb. A wonderful new thanksgiving tradition hosted by Arts Letters and Numbers
Photography © Zelé Angelides. 2016. All rights reserved.
Arts Letters & Numbers would not have grown to where we are today, without the tireless, continuous support and help of our friends and volunteers. Though we sometimes might seem too busy to show it, we never forget it. And we are eternally grateful to each one of you for what you have brought to the project.
The spaces we inhabit have been around for much longer that we have and that requires a certain precision of care and awareness; to repair and maintain and furthermore to imagine their full potential at every step of the way. Luckily we have the privilege of being in a heart-warming community, who sees the value in our project, and support us with their endless dedication. We are constantly learning from everyone around us, whether it’s to fix leaks or washing machines, build walls, and restore barns or how to deal with parasites. There is always someone who has an answer, or knows where to find one. Our work weekends are a great way for this kind of knowledge to be shared, where we bring people together and in a joined force focus on specific facility based tasks. So far, these gathering have made it possible to create spaces for our artists, expanded our accommodations, winterizing the facilities and much, much, more. There are not enough words to show our gratitude to everyone involved in building this project!
Patrick McKearn, jazz pianist, composer and writer has lived in NYC for over 30 years.
Before moving to New York, he studied piano and composition at the University of Illinois with Salvatore Martirano and Thomas Frederickson, performed in big bands and accompanied such jazz greats as Illinois Jacquet, Betty Carter, Oscar Brown Jr. and Abbey Lincoln.
Since moving to New York he has performed with numerous artists including Teri Roiger, John Menegon, Tani Tabbal and Paul Shapiro in various clubs around Manhattan including the 92st Y, 55 Bar, Knitting Factory and Fez. Recent collaborations include a three hour improvised soundtrack for Jan Baracz’s film installation Live Video at Art in General in New York City.
His CD, Throw Out the Lifeline, features his arrangements and compositions, and is available through CD Baby. In addition to teaching privately, Mr. McKearn also works as a Teaching Artist for Lincoln Center Education, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Center for Arts Education and Community Word Project. He also serves as chorus director for the NYC based Project Find Senior Center.
“I am constantly rediscovering my art by sharing in the process of making it with new people and communities, young and old.”
Photography by Joey Pfeifer and Lyndsay Bloom