Boogie on the Boulevard

Streets are the biggest public space in New York City. Nevertheless, these are mostly use for vehicular traffic.

Boogie on the Boulevard re-imagines how a street in this case, Grand Concourse in The Bronx, can be transformed into a different kind of public space for pedestrians, people on wheels, and community.  This project began as an artist project by Elizabeth Hamby and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín and grew into something bigger.

Boogie on the Boulevard has been organized by a community advisory council comprise of grassroots community organizations, city agencies, artists, community members, including  the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, BronxWorks, BxArts Factory, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, among many others.

Photos by Lauren Click, Elizabeth Hamby, Hatuey Ramos-Fermín


Timeline

1909, Grand Concourse is inaugurated

The Grand Concourse was designed by the architect Louis Risse, modeled on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It was intended to provide a quick route from the increasingly developed Manhattan to the rural calm of the Bronx.


1991, Car Free Sundays on the Grand Concourse begins

Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer introduces “Car-free Sundays on the Grand Concourse.” From May-November, the center lanes of the entire four-mile stretch of the roadway were closed to cars every Sunday. Neighbors could bike, walk, skate, and spend time together using the roadway as a paved park.


1996, Car free Sundays shut down by NYC Mayor

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani insists that the organizers of Car-free Sundays apply for permits to hold the event, and then rejects their application. Political observers suggest the event was cancelled due to enmity between the Mayor and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, a potential mayoral challenger. But the Citizens To Restore Concourse Car-Free Sundays, who sent hundreds of postcards to the Mayor, hope Giuliani will see the favorite Sunday institution not simply as a Fernando Ferrer project, but as a major boost to quality of life that Bronx residents support, need and enjoy.


2006, Car Free Sunday on the Grand Concourse by Transportation Alternatives

Transportation Alternatives and a group of neighborhood residents worked together to bring back Car-Free Sundays on a trial basis.

Street films Car free Sundays on the Grand Concourse article


2012, Boogie Down Rides

Boogie Down Rides was established by artists Elizabeth Hamby and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín  a bicycling and art project.

Boogie Down Rides is a celebration of bicycling in the Bronx. It includes educational events, community visioning sessions and group rides.

Boogie Down Rides firmly believes in the power of bicycling as a way to promote active transportation, recreation, and exercise. We support and build bridges of existing efforts to expand safe cycling while connecting communities and people in the process.

This project is organized by meta local collaborative, an initiative by artists Elizabeth Hamby and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín, and includes a broad coalition of individuals and organizations. 

This project started as part of the exhibition This Side of Paradise, presented by No Longer Empty


2012, Campaign to reinstate Car Free Sundays on the Grand Concourse begins

As part of Boogie Down Rides project the artists organized a community advisory group including community members, local activists, city agencies, non profit organizations. Discussions lead to the idea to reinstate Car Free Sundays on the Grand Concourse and a campaign started supported by Transportation Alternatives.

Boogie on the Boulevard Coalition LetterDownload


2014, First Boogie on the Boulevard

2014- Boogie on the Boulevard brought back Car-Free Sundays to the Concourse for three Sundays in August. More than 2,500 people came out to celebrate the street as public space.


Boogie on the Boulevard continues…


(how to) make friends, make a scene, make things happen, and fall in love with your neighborhood

(how to) make friends, make a scene, make things happen, and fall in love with your neighborhood is based on Meta Local’s ongoing project, Boogie Down Rides. Participants are invited to consider the act of riding a bike as a form of performance and community-engaged action.

Download PDF

 

This is part of Meta Local Collaborative’s contribution to Christine Wong Yap’s Make Things Happen Project

 

 

boogiedownrides:

Make Things (Happen) is a participatory project organized by Christine Wong Yap featuring 29 artist-created activity sheets to make things or make things happen.

Artists: Lauren F. Adams, Oliver Braid, Maurice Carlin, Kevin B. Chen, Torreya Cummings, Helen de Main, double zero, Bean Gilsdorf, Galeria Rusz, Sarrita Hunn, Maria Hupfield, Nick Lally, Justin Langlois, Justin Limoges, Jessica Longmore, Mail Order Brides/M.O.B., Meta Local Collaborative, Roy Meuwissen, Dionis Ortiz, Kristina Paabus, Piero Passacantando, Julie Perini, Risa Puno, Genevieve Quick, Pallavi Sen, Elisabeth Smolarz, Emilio Vavarella, David Gregory Wallace, Lexa Walsh.

See Make Things (Happen) at:
Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration

Curated by Deb Willis and Hank Willis Thomas

March 27–October 2, 2014
Nathan Cummings Foundation 
475 Tenth Avenue, 14th floor (between W. 36th & 37th Streets), New York, NY 10018
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 27, 6-8 pm 
Reservations required; email exhibits@nathancummings.org.

Mid-October to November 28, 2014
NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Photography and Imaging galleries
721 Broadway, 8th Floor (between Washington Place and Waverly Place), New York, NY 10003
Opening Reception: TBA 

Project Statement

Make Things (Happen) is intended to multiply creative activity. I started by asking 29 artists to create activity sheets; these are downloadable here and freely available in Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration. Anyone and everyone are invited to use them to make things or make things happen, then share their results (#mkthngs or #mkthngshppn) to encourage further participation.

100copies:

21 The Cyclist’s Empire

A celebration of New York’s rise as a cycling city. 7 different types of bicycle tyre tracks were used to create the Empire State Building, to reflect New York’s ever-growing tribe of cyclists – from the daily commuter to the delivery boy.

$55 USD
90 copies remaining

BUY NOW

Date of release: March 2014 
Sheet size: A1 (840mm X 420mm) Approx 33 Inch X 16.5 Inch
Print Quality: Offset Lithographic Printing using 1 Pantone spot color. Printed on Recycled 220gsm Maple White paper. Suitable for archival use.

fastcodesign:

Watch: A Visual History Of The Bicycle

boogiedownrides:

Join DOT and Council Member Ritchie Torres for a discussion of Vision Zero, the City’s goal of ending traffic deaths. Come and share your concerns, ideas and feedback.

April 1, 2014 6pm-8pm
Bronx Library Center Auditorium
310 East Kingsbridge Road, Bronx 

Process and Progress: The Bronx River

Process and Progress: The Bronx River was produced in a partnership between Meta Local Collaborative & The Bronx River Alliance. It included an exhibition and a series of public programs focusing on the past, the present and the future of the Bronx River. Meta Local  installed  at the Bronx River Art Center, a large timeline with a  selection of images, videos, ephemera from the archives of the Bronx River Alliance. The images traced changes to the spaces along the river  revisited past restoration and recreation plans, and considered the river’s present state and plans for its future.

Further, Meta Local organized a series of free  public programs, panel discussions with local activists, advocates, educators, environmentalists, and architects, as well as a literature reading and a documentary screening. “Take me to the River” connected the Bronx River’s past and future histories, with conversations and presentations from Morgan Powell, Editor, Bronx River Sankofa, Anthony Thomas the Environmental Justice Coordinator from Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi, SLO Architecture. “Wade in the Water“ examined efforts to improve diverse Bronx waterfronts, with Damian Griffin the Bronx River Alliance’s Education Director, Kellie Terry-Sepulveda Executive Director of The POINT CDC, Chauncy Young, Community Organizer from the Harlem River Working Group, and Mychal Johnson from South Bronx Unite. “Underwater New York: The Bronx River,” Underwater New York (UNY) is a journal of writing, art and music inspired by real-life objects found in the waterways of NYC, UNY invited three Bronx writers to write original fiction or poetry around surprising once-submerged Bronx River finds like a piano, a human skull, a horse trailer and more. Featuring: Allison Amend, Rich Villar, Carolyn Ferrell

Underwater New York, The Bronx River

 

Friday February 22, 2013

7:00pm-9:00pm

At BRAC’s temporary space 305 East 140th St. #1A, Bronx, NY 10454

This event is FREE and open to the public!

Underwater New York is a digital journal of writing, art and music inspired by real-life objects found in the waterways of NYC. In conjunction with “Process and Progress,” UNY has invited three writers with strong ties to the Bronx to write original fiction or poetry around surprising once-submerged Bronx River finds like a piano, a human skull, a horse trailer and more.

Featuring:

Allison Amend

Rich Villar

Carolyn Ferrell

Wade in the water

wade-1

Friday February 15, 2013

7:00pm-9:00pm

At BRAC’s temporary space 305 East 140th St. #1A, Bronx, NY 10454

This event is FREE and open to the public!

Join Meta Local Collaborative and BRAC for a special panel discussion about the different efforts to improve the Bronx waterfronts, with

Damian Griffin the Bronx River Alliance’s Education Director,

Kellie Terry-Sepulveda Executive Director of The POINT CDC,

Chauncy Young, Community Organizer from the Harlem River Working Group,

Mychal Johnson from South Bronx Unite as well as other Bronx activists.

Take me to the river

 

Tuesday February 12, 2013

7:00pm-9:00pm

At BRAC’s temporary space 305 East 140th St. #1A, Bronx, NY 10454

Join Meta Local Collaborative and BRAC for  “Take me to the River”,  connecting the Bronx River’s past and future histories with presentations and conversations with:

Morgan Powell, Editor, Bronx River Sankofa

Anthony Thomas the Environmental Justice Coordinator from Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice.

Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi, SLO Architecture

Event is  FREE and open to the public.

Street CARTographies

[vimeo 29644855]

“Maps are about relationships among which meanings circulate.”

Denis Wood, Rethinking the Power of Maps

More than half of the world’s population are classified as “urban dwellers,” but their experience is hardly unified. For example, drastic socio-economic disparity and unequal access to resources occur in startling proximity in dense urban areas. Further, the city itself is richly woven with public and private spaces constructed through the collective action of individual citizens. Using a street cart as a vehicle for exploration and dialogue, Street CARTographies will travel across a city, exploring the relationships between people from diverse neighborhoods and communities.

This multi-day participatory urban intervention visits plazas and other public gathering places throughout the city. The cart unfolds to serve as a base for a community map and visitors to the plaza are invited to pin locations in a city that are important to them. Participants  are given a balloon corresponding to the color of the pin, printed with the text, “I am on the map” As they move through the plaza with their balloons, participants effectively turn the plaza itself into a map representing all of the places important to its’ inhabitants.

Following the intervention, the maps, accompanying documentation including photographs and videos, and the street cart itself is installed in an exhibition space in order to further the dialogue and include other participants.

Street CARTographies maps the relationships—both visible and invisible—that shape the meanings of the city for its inhabitants. These maps are not only containers for information but rather bridges between people, ideas and places. By visualizing the relationships at work in public spaces, this project articulates the construction of space in both geographical and human terms.

This project is a collaboration between Hatuey Ramos Fermín and Elizabeth Hamby we are artists and educators working together to investigate the dynamics of urban space; exploring the histories of buildings and neighborhoods, and tracing the flows of people, ideas and products. Combining documentary strategies with performance and fine art, their collaborative practice seeks to articulate concepts of origin, public-ness and private-ness, and the sense of place.

Mind the Gap / La Brecha

Mind the Gap/La Brecha is a temporary art and education hub located at the Blue and White Laundromat on 140st Street in the Bronx. From July-October, 2012, Elizabeth Hamby and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín worked with their neighbors to propose new ways of connecting the community to green space along the waterfront within the South Bronx and Randall’s Island. By mapping the relationships–both visible and invisible–that shape the issues affecting our community, Mind the Gap/La Brecha built connections between people and place, bringing new voices to the conversation around the future of our neighborhood–all in the time of a spin cycle.This project was developed in and commissioned by The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Public Artist Residency Program.

 

 

 

For more information visit: here, and  here.

Boogie Down Rides

Boogie Down Rides is a bicycling and art project.

Boogie Down Rides is a celebration of bicycling in the Bronx. It includes educational events, community visioning sessions and group rides.

Boogie Down Rides firmly believes in the power of bicycling as a way to promote active transportation, recreation, and exercise. We support and build bridges of existing efforts to expand safe cycling while connecting communities and people in the process.

This project is organized by meta local collaborative, an initiative by artists Elizabeth Hambyand Hatuey Ramos-Fermín, and includes a broad coalition of individuals and organizations.  Community partners include Bike the BronxBronx River AllianceVelo CityBronx Health REACHNew York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,Partnership for Parks,  Transportation Alternatives, and New York City Department of Transportation.

This project started as part of the exhibition This Side of Paradise, presented by No Longer Empty.

Bicycling is art.

Boogie Down Rides on Facebook

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=109615

 

 

 

I.R.T.

For the exhibition, “This Side of Paradise” organized by No Longer Empty at the Andrew Freedman Home, Elizabeth Hamby and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín presented IRT, a multi-model installation and public engagement project exploring transportation issues in the Bronx. The project has a variety of interrelated components including a video installation about livery cabs in the Bronx (Transmit – Transit), maps, interviews, and neighborhood tours.

In collaboration with community-based organizations in the Bronx, the artists presented Boogie Down Rides, a month long cycling celebration and public education project. The project ran throughout the month of May and hosted a series of educational events, community visioning sessions and group rides. Visitors and community member learned about ongoing cycling projects in the Bronx including the development of greenways and bike paths. The project was also a place for community engagement and for members of the public to respond to these initiatives through surveys and participatory workshops. By creating a cycling project, Boogie Down Rides aimed to increase awareness of cycling as a mode of transportation and recreation, promote safe cycling and bridge existing efforts to expand cycling in the Bronx.

While the Bronx was Burning, Casa Amadeo was holding it down

Photo Documentation by Jo Q Nelson, Chad Stayrook and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín While the Bronx was

Burning, Casa Amadeo was holding it down was a multi-modal installation and series of public programs. This project was produced collaboratively by Elizabeth HambyHatuey Ramos-Fermín, and  Action Club  (Chris DomenickKerry Downey, Jo Q. NelsonDouglas Paulson), as part of Shifting Communities, a sequence of exhibitions curated by Chad Stayrook at the Bronx River Art Center. Casa Amadeo is a record shop and a cultural treasure trove preserving the history and vitality of Latin music in the South Bronx. By choosing it as a launch pad, we are able to explore ideas of community, collaboration, and culture. In response to challenges we each have in our individual artwork and our shared concerns about the responsibilities of socially engaged art, we gave each other assignments that respond to Casa Amadeo’s rich social, visual, and acoustic space. DEATH TO FALSE BOOGALOO mixtape in collaboration with Douglas Paulson, Kerry Downey, Hatuey Ramos Fermín   El Elemento del Bronx Panel Discussion

The first Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) Latin Music roundtable, “El Elemento del Bronx, a Latin Jazz Tale”, was moderated by Bill Aguado  of the Bronx Music Heritage Center with guests: Elena Martinez, folklorist; Bobby Sanabria, multi-nominated Grammy bandleader, drummer, and educator;Michael Max Knobbe, Executive Director of Bronx Net; Angel R. Rodriguez Sr., musician, arranger and Bronx Living Legends producer; and Al Quiñones, producer of 52 Park Music Series. Roundtable guests have distinguished themselves as Latin Jazz music leaders and historians, representing the Bronx through their creativity and commitment.
Participants discussed the role of demographic shifts in the Bronx in the shaping of the musical landscape of today, the evolution of Latin Music over the last 30 years, and the role of women musicians in the Latin music field.

Hip Hop then, now and tomorrow… Panel Discussion

The second Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) roundtable was moderated by Bill Aguado of the Bronx Music Heritage Center with guests: Patty Dukes  and Reph Starr of Circa 95Steven Sapp and Mildred Ruiz Sapp of UniVersesFred OnesJane Gabriels of  Pepatian, and Rockafella of Full Circle Dance. Each of the roundtable participants has included within their body of work a sense of cultural and social justice.
Hip hop has become the chronicler of our times, providing historical context of issues, concerns, social attitudes, and negative stereotypes Panelists will be asked to reflect on hip hop as they remember it and talk about what  hip hop is today. They  also were asked about how the changing demographics influenced hip hop as a genre. The BMHC is committed to preserving the legacy of hip hop and other music genres in the Bronx for current and future generations. This conversation was documented in audio and video and was added to the growing archive of the Bronx Music Heritage Center for sharing with the broader community.

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Documentary Film Screenings:

Together Work

Collaborating artists Jules Rochielle (text), Elizabeth Hamby (image) Hatuey Ramos Fermín (text treatment). This project was part of Pacific Standard Time Art in L.A. 1945-1980. Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, LA>Tower of Protest (1966). Originally conceived by the Los Angeles Artists’ Protest Committee, and designed by Mark di Suvero, the Artists’ Tower of Protest was erected on a vacant lot at the corner of Sunset Blvd. and La Cienega in 1966 as a symbol of collective dissent against the Vietnam War. Surrounded by hundreds of artist-designed 2′ x 2′ panels, the tower stood firm for a period of three months despite attacks against it, and at times, its organizers. A powerful declaration, the Artists’ Tower of Protest has since become one of the most important landmarks in the history of arts activism. From January 19-29, 2012, the Artists’ Tower of Protest was erected once again on a vacant lot at the corner of Sunset Blvd and Hilldale in West Hollywood, CA. Inviting artists who originally participated in the creation of the tower and others from younger generations, this iteration of the Artists’ Tower of Protest aims to create an opportunity to reflect on the status of arts activism today in light of our social, economic, and political climates. This is one of the panels included in the installation.

Urban Layers

Urban Layers (www.urbanlayers.net) is an experimental collaborative platform (created by Elizabeth Hamby and David Sundell) for urban writing, mapping and media. Its goal is to foster creative combinations of old and new media techniques for describing and understanding cities including tours, essays, photography, maps and video. UrbanLayers is intended to span platforms and settings, for example linking location-based augmented reality using mobile devices with the emerging possibilities for long-form reading offered by tablets and ebooks.

UrbanLayers is currently under active development. Our “preview” first issue, “Food,” uses East Harlem, one of the city’s “food deserts” as a springboard for investigating the relationship between people, place, money and health in New York City. It is being released to coincide with the opening of Taller Borricua’s exhibition Barri-o-rama, which includes UrbanLayers collaborator Hatuey Ramos-Fermin’s Grocery Map Project.

 

Part of Urban Layers:

View East Harlem Grocery Map (MAY 2011) in a full screen map