• Artists Grants for Community Engagement

    Queens Council on the Arts interviews 2014 Queens Arts Fund recipient for the QCA Blog:

    "So what is it like to work directly with a community to create art? I reached out to Roshani Thakore to get her take on what a “community” means to her and what challenges and rewards she found while creating her funded project.

    Roshani is a 2014 Queens Arts Fund recipient, whose project, MOVE WITH US, involves direct participation from the new immigrant community, inspiring dialog and spontaneous performance. The following is what she had to say.

    What does community mean to you?

    I believe a community contains a number of key elements: inclusion, solidarity, support, resources and serving a purpose or need. The strongest and most important component of a community is the community member – each individual member has something to bring to the table. And they may not know that yet and it’s the power of community that can harbor and develop that. I think Queens is a particularly unique place that allows for so many different types of communities to exist and thrive independently and within the greater context of New York City.

    What are the challenges you find in working with your community?

    One challenge I knew was going to come up was communication. That’s why when applying for funding for my current project, MOVE WITH US, I made sure to budget for interpreters and translation services. There’s also the communication challenge of contemporary “art-speak” to individuals who may not be familiar with that particular language. So it’s working on clear, simplified language and adapting that to your audience to make that connection. The other hurdle I had to work through personally was being able to let go and share ownership of the project. I was being inclusive but I realized the participation I was allowing was only through specific avenues (e.g., the donors fund, the interpreter translates, the participant poses, and the photographer shoots). These “roles” were limiting the potential of the project and when I realized that, I let go and a more interesting and substantial involvement came about. Letting go can be especially difficult when your proposed work is tied to a specific outcome for which you’re being held accountable – e.g. getting a grant to do the work vs. doing the work and letting it ebb and flow naturally. So that also means making clear and realistic goals, being adaptable and revising them, and listening and trusting your community.

    What are the rewards?

    What a hard question to answer! (Primarily because the rewards aren’t necessarily quantitative.) I have learned so much and have a better understanding about my neighbors, about Queens, about places across the globe, and about different ways of doing things and existing. I’ve developed relationships and connections so rich and fulfilling. My world has gotten bigger and smaller at the same time. And I want to live in a world where individuals have opportunities to create better worlds for themselves.

    Check out more information on Roshani Thakore’s MOVE WITH US project here.

    Other opportunities for QAF cultural programming include:

    Individual artists can apply with a fiscal sponsor for NYSCA organization funds for grants of $1,000- $5,000.
    NYC DCA funds continue to support individual artists without a fiscal sponsor and nonprofit organizations located in Queens. These are also $1,000-$5,000.

    For complete guidelines and eligibility for the 2015 Queens Arts Fund click here.

  • KARMALYMPIC CHALLENGE AT Brooklyn Museum's First Saturday Series

    March 1, 2014
    Target First Saturdays
    Performances are from 8 – 10 PM in the Beaux-Arts Court
    For this program the museum is free and open to the public from 5 – 11 PM
    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    Brooklyn, New York

    Experience the sublime in its beauty and terror in this engaging and interactive performance art series presented by SAWCC (South Asian Women’s Creative Collective). You can unravel tales inscribed on a 216 foot long sari; seal your fate or fortune by sparring with the Gods, Karma, and Lady Luck; and even get bullied by Lady Liberty. Ordinary text messages and architecture that is worn on the body will also transport you to realms of precious wonder, delight, and pathos.


    Queens Council on the Arts celebrate 2014 recipients of the Queens Arts Fund.

    NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Greater New York Arts Development Fund for Individual Artists:

    -Roshani Thakore: Move With Us is a public art project asking Queens immigrant residents to demonstrate physical stances in public spaces for an animated video to illustrate the collective cultural gestures in Queens

    -Malini Srinivasan: Gitanjali is a classical solo Bharatnatyam (Indian classical dance) performance featuring new music composed by the performers and new choreography by the Srinivasan

    -Michelle Jaffé: Neural: Cleave is an immersive video and sound installation that mimics movement of thought through the brain

    -Nancy Agabian: A series of six personal essays on social and political themes, grounded in the author’s life in Queens and connected to global issues

    -Penelope Eleni: A public tile installation that illustrates the artist’s poems and stories about motherhood and life in Queens

    -Rachel Sullivan: The Birds and The Bees: Unabridged, a diverse cast explores and develops a performance piece on female sexuality: the truthful, the awkward, the poignant and humorous

    A full list of artist recipients can be seen at queenscouncilarts.org/blog/

  • Etiquette for Lucid Dreaming

    Presented by Project for Empty Space in collaboration with Solo(s) Project House

    On View: October 11, 2013 – December 22nd

    Opening Reception: October 11, 2013, 6 pm – 9 pm

    Etiquette For Lucid Dreaming (or #E4LD) is an exhibition that explores these collective and individual levels of consciousness. A defining characteristic of humanity, regardless of our individualism, is our various levels of cognitive awareness of intuitive thought. Though our ideas and actions may vary, at times opposing, we have a pre-disposed ability to formulate opinions and express these layers of our sub-conscious, be it through deliberate conversation or primal interaction. Work will include ideas from mass-mentality or mob-mentality, collective understandings and ideas, to the exploration of the individual subconscious, broaching the idea from an intellectual perspective to an experiential one.

    Etiquette For Lucid Dreaming was inspired by it’s namesake year-long collaboration between Project For Empty Space and it’s Collective in Residence, The Other Theatre. The exhibition marks the culmination of this project and exploration of the ideas produced through the continued probing of the ideas presented by The Other Theatre.

    Artists include: THE OTHER THEATRE, Amelia V Panico, Alyssa Lawler, Alex Callender, Ariana Barat, Bruno Miguel, Chloe Bass, David Antonio Cruz, Feng-Tsung Chan, Field Trip (Larry Dunn, Leonora Loeb, Pamela Matsuda-Dunn and Andy Monk), Kameelah Rasheed, Leila Lal, Hiroshi Kumagai, Igor + Yuri Alves, Jaret Vadera, Katherine Gomez, Kelly Anne Pinho, Krista Svalbonas, Marcy Cheveli, Pooneh Maghazehe, Roshani Thakore, Petros Nagakos, Tehniyet Masood and Zoran Dragelj .


    For Dumbo Arts Festival, the KARMALYMPIC CHALLENGE, an interactive, performance art project, will make its debut as part of SUBLIME, a performance arts series curated by the South Asian Womens Creative Collective (SAWCC).

    Reach the ultimate sublime state in 15 minutes or less with the KARMALYMPIC CHALLENGE! Participants compete with an actual sacred god in a series of three absurd physical challenges for a chance to win a free ticket to eternity. Winners take ALL!

    Sat., Sept. 28: 2 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm (1 hour)
    Sun., Sept. 29: 2 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm (1 hour)
    DUMBO Arts Festival
    The SAWCC street hub @
    100 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

    Experience the sublime in its beauty and terror in this engaging and interactive performance art series presented by SAWCC. You can unravel tales inscribed on a 216 foot long sari; seal your fate or fortune by sparring with the Gods, Karma, and Lady Luck; and even get bullied by Lady Liberty. Ordinary text messages, architecture that is worn on the body, and immersive iPod narratives will transport you to realms of precious wonder, delight, and pathos.

    Curated by Shelly Bahl, Sunita S. Mukhi and Jasmine Wahi.

  • The Art Snack Registry

    Conceived by curator Krista Saunders as a physical gift registry devoted exclusively to work by emerging artists, The Art Snack Registry connects the art-curious to underrepresented artists living in the New York City area. The event is an opportunity to buy an original work of art (priced at $200 or less) in a fun, social environment. All of the artists on view will be in attendance and each purchase is accompanied by a "cheat sheet" with information about the artist and their piece.

    The event will be held at Space on White at 81 White Street in Tribeca on Thursday, December 6 from 7 - 9pm.

  • SAWCC 5th Annual Auction

    SAWCC is thrilled to present its 5th Annual Auction Benefit featuring work by emerging and established artists. This fabulous soiree of amazing auctioned art and company will help sustain SAWCC’s programming in the coming year. Specifically, this years funds will go towards the continued expansion of the organization as the 15th anniversary approaches.

    Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
    Cocktail Reception starts at 6:30 PM
    Silent Auction ends at 8:30 PM
    The Fuller Building, 595 Madison Avenue, Suite 900 New York, NY 10022

  • "Ghee on a Tree" family workshop at the Queens Museum in conjuction with Erasing Borders

    In conjunction with the Erasing Borders exhibition currently on view, I will be leading a free drop-in workshop at the Queens Museum of Art on Sunday, April 3rd from 1:30 - 4:30 pm. Click here for more info.

  • IAAC Erasing Borders 2011: Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora

    Coinciding with Asian Contemporary Art Week, the opening reception for the launch of the touring eighth annual Erasing Borders exhibition is Sunday, March 27th from 2 - 5 pm at the Queens Museum of Art.

  • ART SLAM 2010

    Asian American Arts Centre will be hosting the annual ART SLAM showcasing the work of emerging Asian-American & Asia influenced artists.

    Participating Artists:
    Dmitry Borshch, Susan Lee Yung, Justin Baldwin, Betty T. Kaos, Roshani Thakore.
    *Stay for the Asian American Arts Centre Community Potluck!
    630PM- 730PM immediately following the ArtSlam Presentations

    Asian American Arts Centre
    111 Norfolk Street, NY, NY 10003

  • FIGMENT 2010

    June 11 – 13, 2010
    Governors Island, NYC

    FIGMENT is an explosion of creative energy. It’s a free, annual celebration of participatory art and culture where everything is possible. For one weekend each summer, it transforms Governors Island into a large-scale collaborative artwork… and then it’s gone.

    Friday, June 11 — 10am – 4pm
    Saturday, June 12 — 10am – 6pm
    Sunday, June 13 — 10am – 6pm

    Governors Island, NYC… a free, short ferry-ride from lower Manhattan!

    Clouded and other FIGMENT projects can be found here

  • IAAC Erasing Borders opens at Twelve Gates Gallery in Philadelphia

    Erasing Borders: Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora will be on view at the Twelve Gates Gallery in Philadelphia from June 9th - July 24th, 2010. The opening reception will be on June 12th from 6:30 - 9 pm.

  • IAAC Erasing Borders 2010: Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora

    The opening reception for the launch of the touring 7th Annual Erasing Borders Exhibition is Friday, April 9th from 6 - 8 pm at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

    The Indo-American Arts Council’s 7th Annual Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary Indian art of the Diaspora features work by 25 artists whose origins can be traced to the Indian subcontinent. This group of multinational and intergenerational artists, chosen by Vijay Kumar, reflects a broad range of life experiences and aesthetic values. The artists interpret diverse subject matter—figurative, abstract and conceptual—in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, video, sculpture and installation. The resulting works often meld Indian and Western ideas about color, form and subject.

    Please visit IAAC for the 2010 tour schedule.

  • Whitney's Biennial


    Brooklyn, NY – Thirty-Seven Artists are participating in the 2009 Whitney’s Biennial, opening at 70 Greenpoint Avenue (c.r.e.a.m. projects) on Friday August 28, 2009 from 7-11 PM, running through Sunday August 30, 2009. Gallery hours are 12-6 PM.

    The 2009 Whitney’s Biennial is an interdisciplinary group exhibition, taking place in an unoccupied commercial space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The exhibition re-envisions the ubiquitous Biennial formula by personalizing the institution, paring it down to a single person. Whitney is the proverbial Every Artist, the flesh-and-bone actor laboring under the shadows of giants. This is her Biennial.

    The exhibition explores the dubious notion of the comeback and opens days before the release of Whitney Houston’s new album. In a moment when the entire world is waiting to see if and when the economy will recover, the artist is in need of a new strategy.

    The participating artists are widely diverse — from those who have exhibited in major museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, to the graffiti artist, to the underground filmmaker, to the recent MFA graduate. All have been asked to meet on common ground, outside of the white cube, to create new works for this show.

    The 2009 Whitney’s Biennial is organized by MaryKate Maher, Martha Mysko, Davida Nemeroff, Elise Rasmussen.

  • FIGMENT 2009

    This annual participatory arts event on Governor's Island is happening from June 12 - 14, 2009. My piece, unchurned, is a participatory installation that draws upon specific aspects of traditional Hindu customs emphasizing Nature’s cyclical processes. Participants are invited to join in the creation of a rangoli drawing, filling in the colors by hand with rangoli powder, encircling a central ghee entity. Individuals will then also present offerings to the entity as it slowly transforms throughout the duration of the event.

  • Queens Sky

    Come see this "mail-art" exhibition at Local Project in L.I.C.! Curated by Renzo Ortega, this exhibition includes reflections from NYC residents on the Queens Sky. On view from May 29 - June 7, 2009. Opening reception May 31, 4 - 8 pm. In conjunction with Queens Art Express 09