Can a Poem Save the World?

 

We are all in love with the written word

The annual LitTAP convening draws people out of their insular silos and into a space where we are startled by the presence of so many others just like us – lovers of the written word.

Actually, I am hopping around in the space where text, image and  restless thought live at the center of the Venn diagram of my life.  I wrestle with each demon that fights for center stage.

 

It is a stage as gracious as the head of a pin.

This recent convening took place on another kind of stage. A sound stage at Kaufman Astoria Studios at the intersection of creative industry, Queens Council on the Arts, fabulous food, the Museum of the Moving Image and the flagship performing high school created by the Sinatra family and Tony Bennett, Astoria’s home boy.

A perfect place to make visual how one board member’s passion for the work of the Queens Council on the Arts became the site of a statewide discussion on how we and our board members can be better champions of the literary world. H

Here are some things I heard that stuck with me:

  • Mission gives you the power to say no.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the ask. Think of it as a chance for someone to invest in something they care about.
  • “No” is often code for “not yet”.
  • Say “Thank you” a lot.
  • I don’t know what to do first. Maybe I should eat this cookie.

 

Love those Poets in Unexpected Places!

I captured what I could with my Flip video camera.  Watch the magic here!

 

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Hoong Yee

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What Do You Want?

 

September is a month of change.

I like to think I change for the better but sometimes I am rudely reminded that I could be doing things better.

One thing I would like to be better at is to be more helpful to you.  This means I acknowledge that I don’t really know and if I continue to keep writing about what I think you would be interested in, you would be right in saying I was just guessing.  Or worst, assuming.

Don’t want to do that.

OK, this is my question for all of you:

 

If you could ask me two questions about making art and money, what would they be?

 

I work every day with all kinds of creative people – artists, dancers, musicians, financial planners who sing opera, aspiring stand up comedians and filmmakers.  Every day I hear about dreams, book proposals,  gallery openings….  Not only do these people want to make art, they want to make a life of making art, and of making the world a better place.

Then there are people who ask me to help them give away money, awards, grants and fellowships to make these things happen.  They are foundations, private companies, other nonprofits, national, state and city funders.  I sit on panels among piles of applications and have long discussions about why one artist is more deserving of the money than another.

Believe me, I consider it a great honor and responsibility to be helpful on both sides.  To be part of the dream and to be part of the engine driving the dream.

But right now I want to know about you.  How can I be helpful to you?

I have been doing this wonderful work for over a decade and I am ready to put my experiences in a series of ebooks that can help you make art, make money and make a difference.  Here’s the thing – I want these books to answer your specific burning questions, not mine.  I am not interested in writing a journal of things that have happened to me, I want to give you the information you need to make your creative life a success.

So, tell me in the comments,

 

If you could ask me two questions about making art and money, what would they be?


Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreaming of Dragon Ladies

 

March 15: In the Year of the Dragon at the Old Stone House

On Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 8 PM, Brooklyn Reading Works at The Old Stone House presents: IN THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON: A Celebration of Asian and Asian-American Writers.

Curated by author Sophia Romero (The Shiska from Manila), IN THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON includes a Brooklyn Poet Laureate, a playwright, and three novelists and a childrens’ book author/illustrator, all of whom will read excerpts from their latest work. A Q&A will follow the reading.

You won’t want to miss Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang, Novelists Susan Choi, children’s book author Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer and Sabina Meyer and playwright Linda Faigao-Hall.

A $5 donation includes light refreshments and wine.

The Old Stone House

336 3rd Street Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 768-3195

Between Fifth and Fourth Avenues.

Due to construction in the park, enter from the Fourth Avenue side of the house.

Eat Your Vegetables, Eat On The Roof

ben and his parents

Ben Flanner and his cool parents

dinner on the rooftop

Dinner and a movie on the roof

 

Are vegetables good for you?

Of course!

Are they fun?

Fun?  And cool.

Here at the SMP Building in Long Island City, up on the roof,  Ben Flanner has created a one acre farm with a killer view.  Ben has always wanted to run a farm, according to his mom.  I don’t know if he ever imagined that farm to be on top of a former auto parts manufacturing building on Northern Boulevard but that’ s what makes his farm so cool.

We had a dinner for about fifty people followed by a screening of one minute videos created by local artists in their favorite restaurants in Queens.

This is a little film project we call the Moveable Feast.   Do you want a peek at where artists like to eat?  Check these out.

We had salad with greens from the farm and desserts made by aspiring pastry chefs from the food incubator program down the block.  I nibbled on beet greens which are a beautiful deep red color and delicious in a mixed green salad.

Locals Rule

I love being a local.

I love buying local produce, working with local artists, supporting local businesses. There is an unmistakeable sense of pride that is part and parcel of local creative industries.  It is a distinctive Queens edge that comes through.

Especially in the lettuce.

Get more Wow!

If you want style notes and more for people who change the world, please check out:

Getting to Wow! to feel good, do good and look good

Nonprofit Knitwear for all things knit and nonprofit

Style Notes from me, your artspy

Hoong Yee

— Subscribe and get a little Wow! every day

— Forward the link to someone you think would be interested

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Thanks so much! I really appreciate your help.

Word of mouth is the best way to share, don’t you agree?

How Is Your Inner Beach Bum?

sky's new boogie board 5-29-11

The season of flip flops, guys in shorts with baseball caps, American flags flapping wildly in the ocean breeze,  boys like Sky, with boogie boards tucked under their arms riding their bicycles to the beach and beach bums  has finally burst through the last gasp of winter. Welcome summer!  Welcome to Rockaway Beach!

My summer checklist

Outdoor grill working?   Check.

Outdoor shower stocked with towels?  Check.

Patio furniture hosed down?  Check.

Fresh supply of sunblock?  Check.

Summer in Rockaway Beach is not a season.  It is the point of the exclamation ending the sentence, “Surf’s up!”  It is the sand in your shoes that will not go away.  It is  “Margaritaville” cued up as your personal soundtrack.

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Did I mention pride?
Locals are swimming in it.

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I must confess that Seth and I started our weekend in Manhattan at a Ford dealership on the west side of Manhattan. It is hard to believe but we had a great experience mostly because Todd Nighe, the guy in the picture next to Seth, really took care of us. And you know what? Great service like this just made us lifetime Ford Explorer fans. I feel the same way about my dentist, the woman who cuts my hair and the bank representative who does our refinancing.

Weekend of Gay Honkers

We spent a few early morning hours by the water waiting for our car to be serviced and were startled out of our caffeinated stupor by a sudden flock of geese landing in front of us.

“Honkkkkk!” yelled one of them swimming towards us.

“Honkkkkk!” replied the other one swimming away from us.

Rinse and repeat.

This went on for a while. “They must be mates.” said Seth. “Or they’re flirting with each other.”

I peered at their coloring and said, “Those are males, that’s why they’re honking at each other. Females have different colored feathers and they are much better behaved.”

Seth shook his head. “Those two look the same to me, ” he listened to them squawking across the water and said, “They must be gay honkers.”

Gay honkers.

With that image fixed forever in my mind’s eye, clearly, it was time to get out of Manhattan and back into the Rockaways.  I simply cannot take him anywhere anymore.

This first weekend on the beach swelled with high numbers of beachlovers, surfers and boogy boarders. Rockaway Beach shone like seaglass.  Hey, we are a beach town nestled in the borough of Queens,  really not far at all from Manhattan.  Closer than you think.  Imagine, a New York City beach!

Here’s how to make sure your inner beach bum rocks:

Wear sunblock

Bring a beach book

Stroll down the boardwalk and people watch

Have a Blue Island Coffee or a Rockaway Taco

Take a surfing lesson

Still here after the lifeguards have gone?  Check out the Bungalow Bar for a great meal by the water

 

 

 

Get more Wow!

If you want style notes and more for people who change the world, please check out:

Getting to Wow! to feel good, do good and look good

Nonprofit Knitwear for all things knit and nonprofit

Style Notes from me, your artspy

Hoong Yee

— Subscribe and get a little Wow! every day

— Forward the link to someone you think would be interested

— Link to a post on Twitter (follow me @hylkrakauer)

— Put a link to the blog in your Facebook status update

Thanks so much! I really appreciate your help.

Word of mouth is the best way to share, don’t you agree?