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march 2011


Youth volunteer helping last summer with the urban meadow on the Vacant Lot on 84-92 Catherine Street

April 30 south end earth day volunteer opportunities for all As we head into April, Grand Street Community Arts along with our South End Partners Team, comprised of a number of South End organizations and leaders including AVillage, Radix: Urban Sustainability Education Center, among others, is gearing up for our big South End Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 30th from 9AM-3PM.

that a grant from Keep America Beautiful was awarded to GSCA. After months of preparation, strategic planning, and casting our net wide, we’re looking for energetic volunteers to work on our Vacant Lot projects, do general block clean up, and lend a hand in our afternoon workshops. (A tentative program can be found on pg. 2).

There are a lot of activities planned, not to mention a Street Clean Up Parade and BBQ afterparty. March down your neighborhood block and pick up litter, then come on down to the BBQ where there will be great food, local music, and giveaways from local organizations and businesses.

If you would like to get involved, The planning for this event began If you can’t volunteer to work on a contact one of our Earth Day project, come participate in one of Coordinators, Willow Eyres or this winter, shortly after GSCA our many workshops. There are a Shanna Goldman at was told by Waste Management number of kid-friendly workshops, or call our office, (518) 463-2222 like “Litter Bug” where kids can make their own creature out of features recycled materials like cardboard We hope to see you out for South earthday .................1 End Earth Day on Saturday, and plastic soda bottles. There is earth day program ..2 also “WORMS!” another April 30th, and check out the youth fx award ........3 workshop that allows everyone to program on pg. 2! get a worm’s perspective on the kids club ................3 world, while learning how worms GSCA clean-up ......4 can be beneficial in your garden or upcoming events ...5 to help you get rid of food scraps.


OUR MISSION to create unity and connection especially through the arts, in an inner-city neighborhood with racial and economic diversity.

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GET INVOLVED grand street community arts has a number of excellent volunteer opportunities and internships for people of all experiences. opportunities>>

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Kickoff Ceremony 9:00-9:30 At Elizabeth Street Park (59 Elizabeth St)

Introduction to Earth Day; check presentation by Ken Bevis of Waste Management; greetings from city officials and neighborhood leaders

Lot Projects 9:30 - 12:00 (Light lunch will be distributed at each project site 11:30) * 43 Catherine Street (AVillage)

Workshops (Locations TBA) 12:00 - 3:00 Soil De-Tox Learn ways to make the soil you garden in more healthy by getting dangerous elements out. Litter Bug Make a creature out of stuff you would normally throw away! Historic Tour Take a walk inside and around the historic Schuyler Mansion, learn about the neighborhood as it stood 200 years ago!

* Fourth Ave. & Elizabeth Street (AVillage) * 84-92 Catherine Street (Permaculture Guild) * Rainbow Park * Greene Street (South End Neighborhood Association) * S Hawk & 3rd Avenue (GSCA Youth Organics) * 74 2nd Avenue (Mother Teresa’s/PYHIT)

Guerilla Gardening Tag your name in graffiti made out of moss, or cover your neighborhood with seeds and watch it come alive! Lasagna Gardening Don’t feel like digging through tough dirt, here’s an easy alternative. WORMS! Play with worms and learn about how these amazing invertebrates get rid of our food scraps!

Street Clean Up Parade & BBQ After Party 3:00 After your workshops, march with purpose and help clean up the streets. Tickets for the BBQ will be provided before you leave your workshop. Here’s what you can expect at the BBQ: Good healthy food, giveaways & local music! For more information about Earth Day, please contact or call (518) 463-2222



Some of theYouth FX crew with their $1,000 from the AQE (Alliance for Quality Education) film contest; Nikki Jones of AQE is at left. (bottom left) Michael Mejia speaking to Fox camera crew about his independent submission winning; (right) Albany High film instructor Mark Sickler, left, with Michael Mejia and Rachid Howell of Youth FX. Albany High Principal David McCalla joins Ms. Jones.

youth fx wins film contest for alliance for quality education Early this week it become official, Grand Street Community Arts’ Youth FX program won the Alliance For Quality Education video contest. Not only did the Youth FX group entry win a $1000 for the 2011 Summer Program, but Michael Mejia, who is a senior at Albany High and one of our Youth FX filmmakers, won an Ipad2 as one of the top three individual student entries. Grand Street Community Arts would like to thank everyone who helped make this possible by voting for these films. As Bhawin Suchak, Youth FX Program Director states, “this is a really amazing accomplishment and will make a real impact in funding for Youth FX.” Alliance for Quality Education’s video contest was in response to Governor Cuomo’s education cuts. If you haven’t checked out these films yet, do it. They are truly inspiring. The Youth FX, a program of Grand Street Community Arts, is a hands-on summer program designed to immerse Albany, NY teens aged 14-18 to the artistic and technical process of digital filmmaking by offering a thorough overview of the production process. Focusing on film aesthetics, visual storytelling and narrative structure; participants create numerous video projects in various genres, including documentary, experimental, narrative short films and public service announcements. For more info check out these links: |

after-school art club spring session has started! On Monday, March 28th, Grand Street Community Arts AfterSchool Kids Club started its spring season. To start, we are running our program on Mondays and Thursdays, 3:00PM-5:00PM.


If you’d like to have your child be a part of the After-School Kids Club, please contact our office at (518)463-2222 or our NEW After-School Arts Program Coordinator, Emma Potik at

an after-school kids club participant drawing from a model.


st. anthony’s gets organized freed-harmen students do massive clean up

In the middle of March, seven students and a faculty member from Freed-Harmen University visited GSCA for a major undertaking, cleaning and organizing the choir loft and main sanctuary. For those unfamiliar with Grand Street’s building, this might have seemed like an easy task, but when you have years and years of donated materials piling in to an old church, things begin to get unorganized without someone constantly putting things in their right place. Freed-Harmen University is a private Christian University located in Henderson, TN ( The volunteers Grand Street received were participating in a mission trip as part of their spring break. At the close of the day, at around 4PM, administrative staff at Grand Street were given a tour around the newly organized The new greenhouse for the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center at the south end of Grand Street is under construction. Codirector Stacy Pettigrew, shown here, says she hopes the new greenhouse will be up and running within a month. Seeds are already planted. Radix partners with Grand Street Community Arts on education and vacant lot projects in the South End.


and cleaned spaces, “It’s like a total makeover,” one of the volunteers says as she walks up the choir loft stairs. We are also grateful for the work of Albany Youth Build. Working with GSCA volunteers Mark-Edward Canny and Abdule Nur, they are continuing to work on our new office and community room — and learning as they go! Work parties and service days like the own Freed-Harmen students participated in are essential in helping make Grand Street an even better, more usable functional space for years to come. If you’d like to volunteer to help restore our building or participate in a clean-up activity with Grand Street, please contact, James Shultis our Development & Volunteer Coordinator at or (518) 463-2222.


UPCOMINGEVENTS Mark your calendars with these important GSCA dates, all are welcome to attend!



31st: SE Partners Meeting, 8AM-9AM

14th: Spring Kick-Off Event @ GSCA



4th: Events/Diversity Committee Meeting, 7PM-8PM 9th: Taina Asili Music Video Release Party (see below) 10th: Service Sunday with Green Tech High Students & Siena Bonners, 11AM-3PM 13th: GSCA Board Meeting 6PM / Community Session 6:30PM-8:00PM @ Howe Library 30th: South End Earth Day, 9AM-3PM, Various Locations

4th: Freihofer’s Community Walk (we need walkers for this event! Contact us for more information!) 11th: Art on Lark, 10AM-5PM Stay tuned for more information on our SUMMER PROGRAMS coming in our next issue!

For additional information, feel free to contact our office (518)463-2222 or contact our events coordinator, Harrison Watkins at


taina asili music video release party sat, april 9th @ red square Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde (voted "Best World Music 2010 & 2011 in the Metroland) will be holding their music video release celebration at on Sat. April 9th at The Red Square, 388 Broadway, Albany, 9pm, $10. The music video was filmed by volunteers from the Sanctuary for Independent Media (, including Director of Photography Victoria Kereszi, as well as volunteers from YouthFX ( It was then edited by Noisemaker Media in NYC (who are well-known for their work with independent artists The night will open with a performance by Ithaca's Afro-hiphop-funk-soul band Thousands of One (, as well as other surprise guests. And all the artists will also be singing in solidarity with all those demonstrating across the country on April 9 earlier that day against "the wars at home and abroad". Please join us for this very special occasion!

Taina Asili will be at Red Square, April 9th


gscaNEWS 5-2011  

Grand Street Community Arts May 2011 Newsletter

gscaNEWS 5-2011  

Grand Street Community Arts May 2011 Newsletter