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October 4 2018 – Art F City is pleased to announce the launch of their new programming arm, PARADE, which supports and commissions civically engaged public art in Western Queens and beyond. Founded with a mission of fostering dialogue and connection through art, PARADE is co-directed by Paddy Johnson, writer, organizer and Art F City founder, and Nancy Kleaver, a nonprofit management arts education consultant, and community advocate.
“Art F City was originally founded as a blog that would bring people together to discuss and debate art. PARADE takes this one step further,” said Johnson. “We’re asking not just how art can bring people together, but how it can improve our lives. We believe that has to start at the level of civic engagement, which is why we’re so excited about PARADE’s inaugural project The Young & Mighty March.”
The mission of the Young & Mighty March, to take place on Sunday October 21st 1-3 pm at Lou Lodati Park, is to offer Queens kids of all ages a platform to express their concerns about political events, inspire civic engagement, and draw attention to issues affecting youth. As the midterm elections nears, it’s important for kids to know that just because they can’t vote, doesn’t mean they don’t have a voice. The Young & Mighty March and workshops give them a chance to be heard.
The march builds on Art F City’s 13 year history, in which it has has worked with institutions such as the Queens Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of Art and Occupy Museums, and AICAD Residency Program, to launch events that make a difference to the lives of artists and New Yorkers. Throughout, the company has supported artist-focused projects and solutions, with the belief that in doing this, we’ll find answers we couldn’t get any other way. Creativity is at the heart of all culture.
Kleaver’s background includes 20 years in senior positions at leading NYC arts education institutions, including Young Audiences New York, DreamYard Project, and Lincoln Center. She organized ReCreate QNS, a coalition of arts groups that produced free public programming for Sunnyside and Woodside kids and families. “Many of us who live in Queens are proud of its diversity, even if we’re not always connecting with one another. PARADE is an experiment to see what happens when we use art to bridge language barriers, cultural differences and diverging religious, political and generational ideologies. Our philosophy is that a focus on partnerships between phenomenal artists of all disciplines and the community groups that make up the most diverse borough in the US will connect us all.”
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ABOUT ART F CITY
Art F City is a non-profit publisher supporting the creation of healthier, sustainable artist-run initiatives through a mix of art criticism, public programming, special projects, and professional development opportunities. By providing a venue for generous sharing of skills and resources, we encourage a more socially conscious art community, which ultimately contributes positively to the social fabric that informs all art making.
PARADE collaborates with artists and the people of Queens to launch large scale public art. We value public art that sparks civic engagement and bridges gaps in the public discourse. Our projects, like our name, celebrate inclusion, compassion and action.