Art for Progress is providing arts education to underfunded schools serving at-risk youth in New York City. Numerous studies have shown that arts education can improve children’s mental health and lower high school dropout rates resulting in better educational outcomes in the future. By partnering with underfunded schools to provide art teachers, create arts education programming, and secure the necessary operating funds, we are giving at-risk youth the opportunity to benefit from the advantages of having an arts education and, in turn, helping to create more equitable mental health and educational outcomes for underserved youth.

AFP - “Brooklyn Beat Festival” Wrap-Up and Review Part 3

“Brooklyn Beat Festival” Wrap-Up and Review Day 3


As some families started to arrive early Sunday afternoon, they were greeted with the sounds of John Coltrane and Joao Gilberto, but it wasn’t long before Sindy Butz was ready for our first performance of the day. Sindy’s piece titled “Moral Decay” was an interpretation of how society’s morals have deteriorated over time.  Sindy’s strong use of symbolism and association resulted in a gripping performance that left our guests with much to ponder. Our first musical performance of the day was from Jon Samson of CoCreative Music. Many of the kids joined Jon on stage as he sang his playful, yet educational songs for everyone to enjoy.  The kids were truly excited by Jon’s performance, but as soon as they saw the organic mini-cupcakes from Francesca Cake they darted for the table filled with treats.  A few kids did stop on their way as they saw Allyson Jacobs's interactive balloon dress, and they just had to add their own balloon to the growing skirt. Jewelry designer Paula Collins was also working on a very creative piece utilizing chains. Paula often works with metals in her line of beautiful accessories.


Back on stage, blues singer/songwriter Inky Glass delivered the perfect Sunday afternoon of blues with a touch of soul. As Inky Glass finished her set, AFP’s DJ Gatto dropped a classic house set to keep the energy flowing. The next performance art piece on Sunday featured White House entertainer and master of escape, Thomas Solomon.  Mr. Solomon challenged our guests with questions about the real value of a dollar as he used his deceptive skills to fool the crowd.  After this quick break from the music, Liquid Sound Lounge host/DJ Jeannie Hopper took over the decks for a great set of eclectic tunes as only Jeannie can deliver.  Out in the art garden, 

Caridad Sola presented her clever performance piece “El Paredon.”  "This interactive piece involved several participants who believed they were going to soak the artist by shooting her with water guns.  Little did they know, the water was dyed red to look like blood. When they shot the guns, it truly looked like they executed her in this all “too real” shocker.  Earlier in the art garden, Ryan Hawk presented his piece “Inside/Out” which deals with personal identity and the transformation of one's self.

Our final live music performance of the festival was one that won’t soon be forgotten. Grammy-nominated Ze Luis and his band played an extended set of blistering jazz that left everyone in a state of bliss. It was actually the perfect setup for the short film screenings curated by Daniel Maldonado of Gashouse Films. As expected, Daniel put together a brilliant program of award-winning films.


“Autumnal” by Scott Nyerges


“That Which Once Was” by Kimi Takesue


“Episode 21 (The Hidden)” by Daniel Maldonado


“The Story” by Joey Huertas


“Tigba-­‐id (Bladesmith)” by Janice Perez


Art for Progress would like to thank everyone who came out and supported, participated and sponsored AFP’s first music & arts festival.  We’ll be back at The Paper Box Saturday, July 21st for a new monthly multi-media event. Stay tuned for all the details!



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