Tag Archives: Flux Factory

Sunnyside comedy group to hold fundraiser for LIC community farm

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Sunnyside Comedy

A Sunnyside comedy organization is hoping laughter can help one Long Island City community farm grow.

Sunnyside Comedy, a group that brings stand-up comedy from throughout the city to Queens, is getting together with Long Island City urban community farm Smiling Hogshead Ranch, located at 26 Davis Ct.,  to put on a stand-up comedy fundraiser called “Funny by Nature” on March 27 at the Flux Factory located at 39-31 29th St. in LIC.

The event will serve as a benefit for Smiling Hogshead Ranch, as all proceeds from the show will go toward funding the farm’s infrastructure improvements, insurance and free programming in 2015.

“Smiling Hogshead Ranch helps cultivate community by gathering people around shared interests,” said Gil Lopez, co-founder of the Ranch. “Many of these interests are outside of gardening, and this comedy show is a perfect example. We hope to discover other common threads and encourage guests to explore the art on the gallery walls, our newly published zine ‘The Feed’ and talk to our members to learn more about what Smiling Hogshead Ranch is all about.”

The fundraiser, which starts at 8 p.m., will feature acts from a lineup of New York City comics, many of whom live in Queens and have appeared on late night shows such as “Conan,” “Late Night with David Letterman” and specials on Comedy Central.

The comedians taking part in the event are Ted Alexandro, Aparna Nancherla, Joyelle Johnson, Charles McBee, Harrison Greenbaum, Frank Liotti and Katherine Williams. The show will be hosted by Liz Magee.

The night will also feature themed raffles and prizes, and refreshments from city craft breweries.

“The whole point of Sunnyside Comedy is to bring laughs and promote all that’s wonderful in western Queens,” said Colin Anton Samuel, who co-founded Sunnyside Comedy with Lindsay Goldwert. “This fundraiser is the perfect embodiment of everything Lindsay and I want to do.”

Tickets for the show are $20 online at www.SunnysideComedy.nyc or funnybynature.brownpapertickets.com and $25 at the door, which opens at 7:30 p.m. on March 27.


Star of Queens: Carolina Peñafiel, founder and director of Local Project, co-owner of Fancy Fox

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jason Artiga

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Ten years ago Carolina Peñafiel founded Local Project, a nonprofit arts organization. It has housed its headquarters and gallery space inside the warehouses of 5Pointz in Long Island City. Local Project gives back to the community by showcasing local artists and holding events with local groups.

“It is a very welcoming space, it’s open and free to the public,” she said. “You walk in, you’re welcome and there is always someone talking to you. It’s an easy access space and we get to live in one of the hottest spots in New York City.”

Peñafiel also co-owns an up-and-coming thrift shop called The Fancy Fox out of the space.

BACKGROUND: Peñafiel also became a self-taught production assistant, helping behind the scenes on some shows. She was also a photographer taking self-portraits as a tool to express  herself. Together with Local Project, she has worked with community groups such as the Queens Museum, Flux Factory, and many others curating art shows.

INSPIRATION: Starting the organization at such a young age and not having much knowledge of the art world, Peñafiel said there was no big inspiration at first, but now the impact the organization has made serves as her motivation.

“My inspiration to continue is the impact we have on the public and the people,” she said. “I get inspired by people, I like to be around them, that’s what keeps me going.”

FAVORITE MEMORY: Peñafiel remembers the group getting its first grant from the Queens Council on the Arts and being able to continue serving the community and local artists.

“When people tell me about their experience with Local Project, that makes me believe in what we’re doing,” she said. “When we see a result of all the work we put into things, there are always good memories to build.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE:  One of the newest challenges Local Project and Peñafiel have had to deal with is finding a new home for the organization once it was announced the property owners were selling the warehouses to construct two high-rise apartments. Yet, the nonprofit received the help from a local supporter and found a new home.

“The biggest challenge was trying to keep Local Project in Long Island City and then the angels came down to us,” she said.




Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 72. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the ESE in the afternoon. Friday Night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 59. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Untitled (As of Yet)

The Flux Factory in Long Island City will hold the opening reception for a group show, Untitled (As of Yet) at 6 p.m. This exhibition that runs through September 29 takes its point of departure from events that first appear to be catastrophic, but eventually open the door to new thoughts, practices and opportunities. Flux Factory invited 15 artists to respond to displacement and the breakdown of routine as fruitful phenomena, including a series of walks with strangers, an absurd symphony collectively performed by audience members using the homemade instruments and abstracted musical notations, and a drill for a traffic jam that transforms automobiles into a resource for survival in dire gridlock. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Woodhaven man killed by toy helicopter

A 19-year-old Woodhaven man was killed by his own toy helicopter in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Bank bans hoodies, hats, sunglasses; some customers say it promotes racial profiling

Forget dye packs and silent alarms: One city bank hopes to thwart would-be bandits with a dress code. Read more: New York Daily News

Police investigate after child allegedly struck by Queens car 

Officials say a child is hospitalized with major head injuries, after being struck by a car in Queens on Thursday afternoon. Read more: NY1

NYC mayoral hopefuls hit stretch run before Tuesday’s primary

Time is running out for the city’s mayoral hopefuls to sway undecided voters. Read more: CBS New York

Driver arrested in 24-Minute Manhattan lap Internet video

Authorities have identified the driver who allegedly posted an Internet video of himself speeding around Manhattan in just over 24 minutes. Read more: NBC New York

President Obama, in Europe, still pursuing Syria support

President Barack Obama is using his last day in Europe to renew his quest for foreign support for a U.S. military strike in Syria. But three days after he left Washington, it’s unclear whether the global coalition the president has been seeking is any closer to becoming a reality. Read more: AP

MoMA PS1 may expand with $3M in city funding

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

MoMA /Photo: Elk Studios, 2012

MoMA PS1 might soon be able to expand into a property right next door after receiving $3 million in city budget funds.

As part of the city’s 2014 budget, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, chair of the Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee, helped allocate the capital funds allowing the museum at 22-25 Jackson Avenue to purchase the neighboring building in the future.

“MoMA PS1 is a real anchor in Long Island City,” said Van Bramer. “It draws hundreds of thousands of people every year to the neighborhood. Anytime a cultural organization sees an opportunity to expand, I think they should grab it and we want to be helpful in the process.”

According to Van Bramer, the expansion will give the museum more flexibility and allow resources and offices to shift to the new building. Acquiring the building would allow PS1 to expand its programming and gallery space.

However, according to MoMA PS 1, there is still no information on whether, when and where the expansion will occur.

“MoMA PS1 hasn’t announced anything at this point, as the City Council has just allocated funding and we are still exploring the possibility of acquiring the property,” said a MoMA PS1 spokesperson.

Along with PS1, Van Bramer has also increased funding for art and cultural organizations in the city including some right in his backyard.

The Chocolate Factory Theater, located at 5-49 49th Ave in Long Island City, will receive $1.7 million to purchase and expand its property. The Noguchi Museum will get $600,000 to protect its sculpture collections from future flood damage. The SculptureCenter will receive an additional $300,000 for its expansion. Funding has also been provided for groups such as Flux Factory and Socrates Sculpture Park.

“They’re economic engines because when people come to see those exhibits, many of them spend money in the neighborhood,” said Van Bramer. “By keeping those organizations strong and well-funded, we are improving the economy of our local neighborhoods.”



VIDEO: Urban playground for cats ‘Kitty City’ unveiled at LIC adoption event

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo and videos by Angy Altamirano

A group of children in Long Island City helped create a purrfect city for a group of urban kitties who inhabited the feline metropolis this Saturday.

Eighteen children worked with urban planners and artists every weekend in May to create a small-scale city at Flux Factory. On Saturday, June 1 the city was revealed at a ribbon cutting event that also served as an adoption opportunity.

Kitty City” was created entirely from recycled and repurposed materials and became the Saturday spot for 20 to 30 kittens from For Animals, a no-kill South Ozone Park animal shelter.


As the kittens played in the spaces, scratched away at the tall posts and indulged with kitty treats, guests walked around the city looking for the perfect friend to take home. The children who helped design and build the city were also present to meet the kittens and some also took a few kittens home.

The goal of the project was to teach children about urban planning and get them to face serious issues in a playful way.



Kids learn lessons while building ‘Kitty City’ in LIC

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Flux Factory

A group of children in Long Island City is helping create a purrfect city for the urban kitty.

Eighteen children have worked with urban planners and artists to build a small-scale city for kittens.

The group has met every Saturday this month at Flux Factory, an arts collective and nonprofit in Long Island City.

“It is the most adorable moment in contemporary art,” said Christina Vassallo, executive director of Flux Factory. “For us, it’s a way to understand an urban design class and also to help kids understand empathy and humane-ness in building cities.”

The exhibit, called “Kitty City,” has grown out of participants’ designs to take shape in tall structures.

The children, ranging from age seven to 12, have worked to include what they believe the kittens will need. The amenities include transportation, parks, housing, sources of food, water and clean sanitation facilities. One student even brought up the idea of a milk waterfall.

“The students want to do some wild things sometimes,” said project leader Douglas Paulson of Flux Factory. “In the bigger picture, I think it’s an introduction to civic engagement with talking about a city, what we want in it and establishing a common vocabulary of what makes up a city.”

The goal of the project is to teach children about urban planning and get them to face serious issues in a playful way.

Paulson said they have learned how to correctly use tools ranging from scissors to power drills. At the last building workshop this Saturday, participants will add final scratching posts, elevated platforms and kitty condos.

“I hope they will start to take an interest in how their cities are built and how they can affect positive change in their cities and just how to be good citizens,” said Vassallo.

“Kitty City,” made entirely of recycled and repurposed materials, is expected to be complete on June 1. There will be a ribbon-cutting event from noon to 6 p.m. at Flux Factory. For Animals, a no-kill South Ozone Park animal shelter, will bring 20 to 30 kittens to inhabit the city. Attendees will be able to apply to adopt the cats.