26 December 2008

A Successful Toys for Tots drive

This Christmas, NoLA Rising asked you to donate toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. We offered you artwork in return. We had a very successful turn out at The Green Project at 2831 Marais. All total, we were able to donate over 100 toys to the program. Our friends at the W Hotel on Poydras gladly accepted carts of toys.

Also, many special thanks to the It's Yours, Take It group on Flickr.

NoLA Rising Toys for Tots

NoLA Rising Toys for Tots

Special thanks to Angie Green at the Green Project, Angela Thompson and her amazing staff at the W Hotel on Poydras, Max and Angela for curating and hanging the artwork, and all of our brothers and sisters in the IYTI world.

Shannon Helps Deliver Toys at the W Hotel for Toys for TotsShannon helps deliver presents!

Any late toy donations that we missed and toys that were donated at Deville Books at 134 Carondelet ended up going to a 7th Ward toy drive at a community center.

09 December 2008

NoLA Rising presents an art swap to Benefit Toys for Tots

NoLA Rising Toys for Tots Benefit

Please come join us this Saturday night for an art swap / benefit to help raise toys for Toys for Tots. The idea is simple. Bring a brand new toy in a box and get a free piece of artwork. It's not a pish posh party, but a stop in during your Second Saturday Scad NoLA art-walk. Help us bring a little extra holiday cheer to some children who may not have it otherwise.

Who: NoLA Rising and The Green Project
What: An art swap - we have the art, you have the toys...let's swap
Why: For the kids, ya'heard me?
When: Saturday, December 13th 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (or until the artwork is gone)
Where: The Green Project, 2831 Marais at the train tracks, upstairs showroom, around the side at the Garden Entrance

See you there...

p.s. If you're an artist and would like to contribute, pls bring a piece the night of...

08 December 2008

NoLA Rising / Slightly Askew Send a Heartfelt Thank You

click on the photo to enlarge

NoLA Rising and SlightlyAskew would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the Festival in New York. In addition, I would like to personally thank everyone who put their hard work, time and effort into making this Festival happen. Without your spirit and enthusiasm, it could never have been a success. Because of your support, we will be able to make a nice donation to Young Audiences here in New Orleans.

Thank you to Slightly Askew, Ad Nauseum Lyceum, IRT, Endless Love Crew, Robots Will Kill, Erik Sanner, Suspicious Brown, Jennifer Pagan, Scarlet O'Gasm, Elizabeth Wood, Gabriel Nussbaum, Caitlin Meissner, Eboni Hogan, Nick Gaswirth, cassettenova, Eddie Mars & The Vietcong Disco, DJ Theo Action Lorraine, The Talking Band, NY-Neo Classical Ensemble, The Movement Theater Company, Meres One, Elizabeth Barnett, Maranda Barskey, Ryan Frank, Deena Selenow, Rory Sheridan, the Epoxy Painted Crew (Christin, Barry, Sam, Nick and Victor), Neville Braithwaite, and, of course, Meryl Murman.

And, thanks to the New Orleans crew for coming up, helping out, passing the time and keeping me sane. NoLA crew: Avi BenBasat, Angela Pate, Robin Walker and Max Ochester. Ya'heard me?

Day 6 - NoLA Rising Festival - A Day in Queens

A day in Queens...

Unfortunately, the program we were going to do with the class of second graders for canceled due to a scheduling conflict with the teacher and the holiday. However, since I had been up until a good 5 a.m. walking around Manhattan with the lovely and talented tour guide, it worked out well. This gave us a full day to buy another round of paint and head to Queens where I was able to paint the premier wall of the trip in Five Points.

Liz Giegerich, a graduate student at New York University focusing on multimedia and metropolitan reporting,gives the best account HERE:

“Five-points,” as it is known to grafitti artists around the world, is a large factory in Long Island City where it is legal to spray paint the walls. The owners of the factory allow artists to paint the walls as long as they seek permission first. The building, which fills an entire square block is covered from the ground up mostly in “wild style” grafitti - much different from NoLa Rising’s more mural-like Aztec inspired work, something Mike was initially nervous about. Mike, two other artists from New Orleans, the executive director of NoLa Rising and a photographer ventured out to Queens to tackle a large estimated 10 by 10 foot wall with spray paint cans and a ladder. I met them there while they were scouring the large dumpsters outside of the clothing factory for some left over fabric to use as scarves.

Around 3 p.m. the man who was in charge of allotting painting space led the crew to the wall they’d spend the next five hours covering with what Mike later considered his best street work ever. By 8:30 Mike and the other artists finally finished.

See Liz's blog by clicking on this line

And yet, nothing would be complete without the obligatory tourist photo...

My Rainy Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
From the late-night rainy walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

07 December 2008

Day 5 - NoLA Rising Festival - Murals and Performance

Dramatic Double Feature. Part one is the four top short plays written by New Orleans high school students in the Recovery Public School District commissioned by the Ogden Museum of Southern Folkart and performed by NYC theater companies The Talking Band, NY-Neo Classical Ensemble, The Movement Theater Company, and IRT. The students will view the staged readings via live webcam down in New Orleans.

Performance at NoLA Rising Festival

The second performance of the day was artist Jennifer Pagan's Shoebox Lounge an admired performance artist and activist in New Orleans, Pagan is bringing her catchy and meaningful show which last appeared in NYC at UCB to IRT. I cannot tell you how touching this piece was to me. Jennifer's piece was so uniquely New Orleans that those of us from down here found ourselves at some point shedding a tear. If you want to talk about someone who knows the soul and spirit of New Orleans, see Jennifer's Shoebox Lounge any and every opportunity you get. Pagan is also a teacher and administrator with Young Audiences.

Jennifer Pagan's Shoebox Lounge

Earlier in the day, Rex and crew (Avi, Lady Robin, Max-O and super reporter Liz) went out to Brooklyn to bring the mural art of ReX to that neighborhood. It was damned cold, but we were able to accomplish two pieces:

Brooklyn Murals by RexMadonna and Fetal Jesus

Brooklyn Murals by RexI know What He's Saying

06 December 2008

Day Four - NoLA Rising Festival in NYC

Sorry for the delay in getting the updates of the NoLA Rising Festival posted. I've been nursing a cold that I neglected to take care of and it's finally gotten the better of me.

SATURDAY, Nov 22nd, 2008

The day fortunately began late with IRT transformed into a Jazz Cafe. While light Jazz was being performed live in the background, refreshments were served up and painting began...

Jazz Cafe at the NoLA Rising Festival
Astoria loves New Orleans

The afternoon we held two screenings of "Wade in the Water, Children", a documentary by Elizabeth Wood, Gabriel Nussbaum and the Film Class from the first school to re-open after hurricane Katrina in Central City. "Wade in the Water, Children offers a poetic and devastating look at life in New Orleans through the eyes of the kids who call it home." To find out more about the film, visit www.wadeinthewaterdoc.com

Around eight that night, we kicked off all night festivities with WET!, an all night dance party hosted by SLIGHTLYaskew. Featuring the DJs: cassettenova, Eddie Mars & The Vietcong Disco and DJ Theo Action Lorraine.

The DJ goes wildDJ with Scarlet O'Gasm

Team America - F*&# Yeh!Team NoLA Rising

No night would be complete without a little burlesque. We were proud to have New Orleans native Scarlet O'Gasm, of the Peach Tartes, performing the "Devil Went Down to Georgia."

Burlesque from Scarlet O'gasm
Burlesque from Scarlet O'gasm

But no night would be complete without light-up hoola-hoops! And this is how it went until the morning...

Hoola-Hoopers! at the NoLA Rising Festival in NYC

02 December 2008

Day Three - Art Opening and After Party

NoLA Rising couldn't have done it alone. With the help of artists from Endless Love Crew, Robots Will Kill, And Erik Sanner and the support of Slightly Askew, Ad Nauseum Lyceum and IRT, we got an installation together in 24 hours. That's the way to bring two cities together...

Before the music of Suspicious Brown began, two spoken word poets graced us with their work. Thanks to Caitlin Meissner and Eboni Hogan for their works.

DSCN0865Collaborative Wall b/w Rex, El Celso, & Infinity

Endless Love CrewEndless Love Crew and Robots Will Kill Collaboration

Avi, Meryl and RexAvi, Meryl and Rex

Rex and Erik SannerRex and Erik Sanner

ReX and Max-ORex and Max-O

Rex and the Delightful MarandaRex and the Delightful Maranda Barskey