Uptown Arts Stroll To Showcase Local Artists For 16th Year
This year’s month-long arts festival will kick off May 30 with a celebration at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling.
OPEN host Daren Jaime sits down with Joanna Castro Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance to discuss the 2018 Uptown Arts Stroll happening throughout the month of June.
For 16 years, outstanding people and organizations have been honored during the Uptown Arts Stroll. In 2018 The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance is pleased to recognize the talents and contributions of Kim Hamilton, Director of Hamilton Landmark Galleries; Victor LaValle, award-winning author; Rosa Naparstek, artist and Director of Artists Unite; Coogan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Washington Heights, and Indian Road Café in Inwood.
For 16 years, outstanding people and organizations have been honored during the Uptown Arts Stroll. In 2018 the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance is pleased to recognize the talents and contributions of Kim Hamilton, Director of Hamilton Landmark Galleries; Victor LaValle, award-winning author; Rosa Naparstek, artist and Director of Artists Unite; Coogan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Washington Heights, and Indian Road Café in Inwood.
Kim Hamilton is Director of Hamilton Landmark Galleries, a contemporary art gallery operating in Harlem since 1997. A self-taught visual artist and urban farmer, Ms. Hamilton was raised to be an activist, picketing against the centralization and segregation of New York Public Schools in 1962 as a second grader with her mom and siblings. In 1992 she went on to help write Procurement Policy and Rule #52 that implemented the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise Program for city contract officers. Ms. Hamilton has secured work for dozens of entrepreneurs and small businesses through the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp programs, Medgar Evers College partnership with Bedford Stuyvesant Community Trust, and Bronx Council on the Arts Development Corp’s Art Handlers’ Training and African Burial Ground Projects.
As a current member of National Conference of Artists New York chapter, Ms. Hamilton continues her mission to present fine art, develop contemporary artists, and document fine art collections in a self-sustaining and eco-friendly urban environment.
Victor LaValle is the author of seven work of fiction and one comic book, Victor LaValle’s Destroyer. His most recent novel, The Changeling, was named one of the 10 Best Book of 2017 by Time Magazine, USA TODAY and the New York Public Library, among others. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the British Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award and many more. He teaches writing at Columbia University and lives in Washington Heights with his wife and two kids.
Rosa Naparstek’s artwork explores the emotional roots of the world we create personally and politically and the connection between art (the aesthetic experience) and its power for personal/political transformation. She present her work in conjunction with “Circles of Engagement”, a community building process she helped develop that allows participants to explore their own feelings and deepen connections with one another. Naparstek came to America as a young child, a refugee of WW II. As a student, she was a political activist and became an attorney in furtherance of social and political change. Rosa is a co-founder of the Uptown Arts Stroll, and has participated every year. She is a founder and director of Artists Unite, an arts organization which has organized the MTA-Artists Unite Subway Elevator Poster Project for ten years, the only community art project of its kind in the city.
Peter Walsh, David Hunt and Tess O’Connor McDade are the owners of Coogan’s, the Washington Heights equivalent of Rick’s Place in Casablanca, a neighborhood saloon with an Irish feel and a multicultural clientele. Situated on Broadway off 169th Street, Coogan’s décor and menu reflect the community’s diversity and surrounding institutions. Since 1985, politicians have broken bread and made deals and on any given day doctors in white coats sit across from workers in hard hats at lunch while actors and musicians blend with local residents to celebrate the evening.
Next door to the Armory Track, home to the National Indoor Track Hall of Fame and the Millrose Games, Coogan’s has forged a partnership that receives international attention. Peter Walsh is the founder of the Coogan’s Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5k run, which for 15 years has raised funds for the children running at the Armory, and along with his partners they have made Coogan’s the community center of Northern Manhattan.
Indian Road Café
Jason Minter spent 18 years in the production end of the film business, the last ten years on The Sopranos. The idea for the Indian Road Café was conceived in 2007 with his childhood friend Jason Berger. They lamented the fact that Upper Manhattan had few spaces and outlets for local artists and musicians to display and perform their work. In 2008, Minter and his friend teamed up to find an appropriate space to open an eclectic neighborhood café. For the past ten years, Indian Road Café has showcased visual and performing artists of many different mediums on the very last corner of Inwood. More than a few published books have been written within the café’s confines, and Indian Road Café has served as a set for movie, film and TV shoots. Indian Road Café was also the first (and still perhaps the only) restaurant in Inwood to source the majority of its food from farms in New York State, and organically in origin when possible.
Miranda Spencer, born and raised in Inwood, and currently an undergraduate student at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, has won the 2018 Uptown Arts Stroll poster contest. Ms. Spencer’s submission depicted the waterways that contribute to the unique northern Manhattan landscape and the elements of uptown’s inclusive and diverse cultural scene. “I have enjoyed the Uptown Arts Stroll for as long as I can remember,” said the winner, who will receive a $1,000 honorarium and exclusive graphic representation on Uptown Arts Stroll publications. “It’s an honor and pleasure to be able to contribute,” added Ms. Spencer, who loves to explore Inwood Hill Park with her puppy Ajax when she’s not in school.