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The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation’s Golden Age

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In the summer of 1941, Walt Disney’s top animator led hundreds of Disney artists out on strike, nearly breaking the studio. This is the true story of those two creative geniuses, plus a corrupt advisor and a mafia gangster, who collided to cause the greatest battle in Hollywood history.

An essential piece of Disney history has been unreported for eighty years.

Soon after the birth of Mickey Mouse, one animator raised the Disney Studio far beyond Walt’s expectations. That animator also led a union war that almost destroyed it. Art Babbitt animated for the Disney studio throughout the 1930s and through 1941, years in which he and Walt were jointly driven to elevate animation as an art form, up through Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia.

But as America prepared for World War II, labor unions spread across Hollywood. Disney fought the unions while Babbitt embraced them. Soon, angry Disney cartoon characters graced picket signs as hundreds of animation artists went out on strike. Adding fuel to the fire was Willie Bioff, one of Al Capone’s wise guys who was seizing control of Hollywood workers and vied for the animators’ union.

Using never-before-seen research from previously lost records, including conversation transcriptions from within the studio walls, author and historian Jake S. Friedman reveals the details behind the labor dispute that changed animation and Hollywood forever.

Join a book talk with the author Jake S. Friedman on March 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, at The Lambs, 3 West 51st, 5th floor. RSVP@The-Lambs.org. The book will be available to be purchased and signed by the author.

Jake S. Friedman is a New York–based writer, teacher, and artist. He is a longtime contributor to Animation Magazine, and has also written for American History Magazine, The Huffington Post, Animation World Network, Animation Mentor, and The Philadelphia Daily News. For ten years he was an animation artist for films and television as seen on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Saturday Night Live. He currently teaches History of Animation at the Fashion Institute of Technology and at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. The rest of his time he specializes in mental health for the creative psyche.

The moderator will be honorary Lamb Foster Hirsch, a professor film at Brooklyn College and the author of 16 books on film and theater, including The Dark Side of the Screen:Film Noir, A Method to Their Madness: The History of the Actors Studio, and Kurt Weill on Stage: From Berlin to Broadway.

The Cole will be Magda Katz.

More about the book here.

 

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Art

Art for All: The Digital Gallery Revolution

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The evolution of art accessibility from the hallowed halls of museums to the vast expanse of the digital realm represents a significant shift in how we engage with art. This transformation has democratized art, making it more accessible to everyone, regardless of geographical location, financial status, or physical mobility.

The Traditional Museum Experience

For centuries, art was confined within the walls of museums and galleries, accessible only to those who could physically visit. Museums offer a tactile and visual experience, allowing viewers to engage with art in its physical form. However, this traditional mode of access has its limitations—physical, financial, and geographical barriers that prevent many from experiencing art.

The Rise of Digital Galleries

The advent of digital galleries has revolutionized this landscape. Digital platforms have removed many of the barriers associated with traditional museums, offering global access to art at little to no cost. High-resolution images, detailed artist biographies, and the histories of artworks are now available online, providing a comprehensive art viewing experience that rivals physical attendance.

Pioneering Art Accessibility

WikiGallery.org, with its vast collection of freely usable images, epitomizes the shift towards digital accessibility in art. It functions as a virtual museum, open to anyone with an internet connection, offering access to hundreds of thousands of artworks. This platform allows users to explore art beyond geographical and financial constraints, bridging the gap between the public and the often exclusive world of fine art.

Comparing Experiences: Museum vs. Digital

While digital galleries offer unprecedented access to art, they provide a different experience from visiting a museum. The sensory experience of viewing a painting in person, the scale, texture, and true color, cannot be fully replicated online. However, digital galleries offer other advantages, such as the ability to explore a vast array of art beyond what is physically possible in a single museum visit.

The Impact on Public Engagement with Art

Digital galleries have significantly impacted public engagement with art. They serve as educational resources, providing access to art history and criticism. Interactive elements, such as virtual tours and online exhibitions, have introduced new ways to engage with art, making it more interactive and accessible to a broader audience.

The Future of Art Accessibility

The future of art accessibility is not only promising but on the cusp of a revolutionary change, with technological innovations like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) at the forefront. These technologies promise to bridge the gap between digital and physical art experiences even further, making art more immersive and interactive. Imagine standing in your living room but being transported into the heart of the Louvre or the halls of the Hermitage, examining masterpieces in intricate detail as if you were there. This evolution will make art even more accessible and engaging to the global public, offering unprecedented ways to explore, learn, and connect with art beyond the conventional boundaries of museums and galleries.

The shift from canvas to digital has transformed art accessibility, making it more inclusive and comprehensive. Digital galleries, exemplified by platforms like WikiGallery.org, have played a pivotal role in this transformation. While the experience of art in the digital realm differs from the traditional museum experience, it complements it, offering new opportunities for engagement, education, and appreciation. The evolution of art accessibility underscores a broader cultural shift towards democratizing art, ensuring that it can be enjoyed by all, regardless of physical or financial limitations.

In summary, the journey from traditional art spaces to digital platforms has not only widened access to art but also diversified the ways in which people can engage with and appreciate artistic creations. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the landscape of art accessibility, promising a future where the barriers to experiencing art are even further reduced.



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Bonnie Comley Nothing To Wear

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Bonnie Comley stepped into the art world last night. She and ChaShaMa presented a piece called “Nothing To Wear”, at 340 East 64th Street, which is an interactive installation, a thought provoking look at fast fashion and body image. This provocative look at our relationship with our clothing choices as it pertains to our self image, fast fashion and textile waste, challenges the fashion industry to create an alternative to current business models and the global appetite for consumption. “Nothing to Wear”, asks viewers to question dress codes like the current policing of women in political office, facilitates self-reflection on biases regarding our own clothing and the community around us as uniform, self-expression, or just protection from the elements of weather.

Also involved were Sarah DeMarino – Co-Producer/Director, Leah Lane – Soundscape Monologue Writer and Jasper Isaac Johns the Exhibit Designer.

Sarah DeMarino and Dallas Bernstein

At the opening and on certain dates Hannah Durant Joe Guccione and Dallas Bernstein perform monologues that coincide with the project. These mini playlets were insightful and thought provoking.

Hannah Durant Joe Guccione and Dallas Bernstein

In attendance were:

Anita Durst and fashion designer Shani Grosz

Cooper Lawrence, Dr. Robi Ludwig, Errol Rappaport, Bonnie Comley, Quinn Lemley, Suzanna Bowling, Shani Grosz and Merrie Davis

Anita Durst and Bonnie Comley

Danielle Price, Bonnie Comley and Andrina Wekontash Smith

Sylvia Hemingway and Bonnie Comley

Bevin Ross and Bonnie Comley

Alyssa Ritch Frel and Bonnie Comley

Shady Kerko and McLean Mills

Frankie Lane, Bonnie Comley and Lenny Lane

Riki Kane Larmire

Bonnie is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer. She has, also, won an Olivier Award and two Drama Desk Awards for her stage productions. She was recently re-elected as the Board President of The Drama League. She is a full member of The Broadway League and the Audience Engagement and Education Committee. Comley has produced over 40 films, winning five Telly Awards and one W3 Award. She is also the founder and CEO of BroadwayHD, the world’s premier online streaming platform delivering over 300 premium live productions to theatre fans globally. The theatre community has honored Comley for her philanthropic work; she is the recipient of The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, The Drama League Special Contribution to the Theater Award, The Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and The Theater Museum Distinguished Service Award.

Stewart F Lane and Bonnie Comley

ChaShaMa helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate. Currently, they present 150 events a year, have workspace for 120 artists, and have developed 80 workshops in under served communities. They have awarded 11 million dollars worth of real estate to artists and have subsidizes another 300 with work spaces. They provide over 215 free art classes and have supported over 75 businesses with free space

To see Nothing to Wear click here

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New-York Historical Society Celebrates Women’s History Month

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Throughout Women’s History Month, the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street), will showcase women’s stories through exhibitions, installations, and public programming.

On International Women’s Day, renowned Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick and New-York Historical’s Chief Curator Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto will be in conversation over a live, free Zoom discussing WalkingStick’s exhibition Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, on view at New-York Historical through April 14. Other exhibitions and displays on view throughout March include Women’s Work, an exhibition that demonstrates how “women’s work” defies categorization; Women Who Preserved New York City which explores how Shirley Hayes, Margot Gayle, and Joan Maynard galvanized communities to save historic buildings and places; and Serving Style: Ted Tinling, Designer for the Tennis Stars, which turns a spotlight on the designer who made many of Billie Jean King’s iconic looks. On March 3, the ninth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will center on exploring how we understand “care.”

Additional details follow:A Conversation with Kay WalkingStickFeaturing: Kay WalkingStick, Wendy Nālani E. IkemotoFriday, March 8, 6 – 7 pm ETFree | Presented live on ZoomCelebrate International Women’s Day with this online event featuring renowned Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with New-York Historical’s Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto. WalkingStick is the focus of our acclaimed exhibition Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, which places her work in a fascinating dialogue with 19th-century Hudson River School paintings and explores the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history. They’ll discuss WalkingStick’s remarkable career, her recent invitation to the Venice Biennale, and her decades of work reimagining and reframing the American landscape.Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River SchoolOn view through April 14Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School places landscape paintings by the renowned, contemporary Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with highlights from New-York Historical’s collection of 19th-century Hudson River School paintings. This artistic dialogue showcases the ways in which WalkingStick’s work both connects to and diverges from the Hudson River School tradition and explores the agency of art in shaping humankind’s relationship to the land. The exhibition celebrates a shared reverence for nature while engaging crucial questions about land dispossession and its reclamation by Indigenous peoples and nations and exploring the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history.Women’s WorkOn view through July 7Presented by the Center for Women’s History, Women’s Workshowcases approximately 45 objects from New-York Historical’s own Museum and Library collections to demonstrate how “women’s work” defies categorization. The items range from a 19th-century mahogany cradle to a 20th-century doctor’s dissection kit to a pinback button with the message “Shirley Chisholm for President.” The exhibition seeks to demonstrate that women’s work has been essential to American society and is inherently political: Women’s work is everywhere.

Women Who Preserved New York CityOn view through June 9This installation explores how three women—Shirley Hayes, Margot Gayle, and Joan Maynard—galvanized communities to save historic buildings and places. Each subverted gendered expectations that limited them to the domestic realm and instead led campaigns to protect the historic cityscape.Serving Style: Ted Tinling, Designer for the Tennis StarsOn view through June 23Our installation turns a spotlight on the designer who made many of Billie Jean King’s iconic looks. King and Tinling had a tremendous influence on the visibility of women on the tennis court. King’s tenacity and commitment for equal rights, together with Tinling’s bold designs, challenged conventions about what women can do, emphasizing that women can be simultaneously powerful, strong, and feminine.

On and Off the Clock: Reconsidering Women’s WorkSunday, March 3, 12—5 pm ET$4; Free for Women’s History Council MembersThe ninth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will center on exploring how we understand “care.” Across three linked panels, we probe what “care” means, who does the work of caring, and what services get pushed to the margins by our current social policy framework. The conference will culminate with a keynote conversation on reproductive care. Reception to follow.

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Events for March

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St. Patrick’s Day, Women’s History Month, a Harlem Renaissance exhibit at the Met with160 works by Black artists. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature,at The Morgan Library & Museum through 6/9. The Orchid show continues until 4/21 at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Florals in Fashion highlights the work of designers Hilary Taymour (Collina Strada), Olivia Cheng (Dauphinette) and Kristen Alpaugh, aka FLWR PSTL Also Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s “Giants,”is at the Brooklyn Museum until 7/7. The exhibition features artists who have made and continue to make a significant impact on the art world and contemporary culture. The show features 98 artworks by Black American, African, and African artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald.

3/1 -3: The Vienna Philharmonic one of the world’s most celebrated orchestras, takes center stage at Carnegie Hall.

3/3 -5: Coffee Fest NY Javits.

3/3 -5: International Beauty Show Javits.

3/6 – 10: The New Colossus Festival provides a platform for new artists, including international bands making their NYC debuts. The festival will take place across multiple venues mostly spread throughout the Lower East Side and the East Village, including Bowery Electric, Mercury Lounge, Berlin, Heaven Can Wait, and others. This year’s artists include Cucamaras (UK), Ducks LTD (Canada), Heffner (US), Holiday Ghosts (UK), Hotel Lux (UK), Housewife (Canada), and more. You can check out the full lineup and schedule of events here.

3/8: International Women’s Day 

Steven Reineke by Michael Tammaro, Bryan Terrell Clark by Asher Angeles, Valisia LeKae by Antonio Navas

3/15: The New York Pops Hitsville: Celebrating Motown

3/1 -17: The Annual Flamenco Festival with 22 performances across 13 different venues all over the city.

3/1 -17: The New York International Children’s Film FestivalHappy St. Patricks Day
3/17: Join in on the 263rd celebration of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC. The parade kicks off at 11am, moving along Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 82nd Street. This year’s grand marshal, Maggie Timoney, president and CEO of Heineken USA, is only the fifth woman to lead the parade since its inception.

3/20 -24: Affordable Art Fair with over 400 living artists to discover you are sure to find your next perfect artwork.

3/23 – 11/: JAPAN Fes, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. This is the largest Japanese food festival in the world, with over 1,000 vendors.

The Macy Flower Show

3/24 – 4/7: The Annual Macy’s Flower Show created in partnership with Dior.

3/26 – 10/2: Apollo: When We Went to the Moon at The Intrepid Museum. The exhibit is included with museum admission.

3/29 – 4/7: The International Auto Show at the Javitts.

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Events For February

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There is still the Bryant Park Winter Village’s iconic bumper cars, two Broadway tickets for the price of one and restaurant week end February 4th. Heated Igloos, ice skating goes high on the Edge’s sky deck. Winter markets are still open in February. Don’t miss out on some of the best cultural events of the year during Black History Month after free Fridays make it affordable.

2/2: Celebrate the Birthday of Grand Central Station

2/2-4: New York’s iconic vintage show Manhattan Vintage over 90 dealers

2/9: The New York Pops

2/9-11: New York Fashion Week all over NYC

2/9: National Pizza Day

2/11: Experience The Super Bowl Hype The Empire Rooftop Lounge. Participate in a whole host of contests, delicious menu items available to order and drink specials, this is the perfect way for keen and casual fans alike to relax and have fun on the big night!

2/10: Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. The exhibition will feature more than 100 major artworks by important Black American, African, and African diasporic artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald. Brooklyn Museum.

2/17: The 21st annual Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden 

2/23: Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the Morgan Library & Museum will celebrate the works of beloved English author Beatrix Potter.

2/25: Chinatown’s annual Lunar (Chinese) New Year Parade with dragon dancing, stunning outfits, martial art performers and more. Head to Chinatown for the Lunar New Year Parade, which celebrates the year of the dragon. Bayard Street between Mott and Mulberry Streets.

2/25: The Metropolitan Museum of Art  “The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism,” the exhibit will present 160 works exploring how Black artists portrayed everyday modern life in the new Black cities that took shape in the 1920s-40s in New York City’s Harlem, Chicago’s South Side and nationwide amid the Great Migration.

New York City Marathon

2/25: Central Park Half Marathon

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