Experience Stillness in Queens on September 15

On Friday, September 15th, 2017 at 8pm, Malaysian-born Chinese musician/composer JunYi Chow (www.junyichow.com), Asian Cultural Council grantee flutist Seungmin Cha (www.seungminchamusic.com), and video artist Karen Y. Chan (www.karenychan.com) will be performing STILLNESS IN QUEENS at the Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY.  The prices are $16 for general public, $10 for FTH members and students, Free for teens (13-19 yr).

STILLNESS IN QUEENS is an experimental video and sound art performance exploring the beauty and quietude of everyday life in Queens. Audience members are invited to experience the borough in a new way, and an evening of stillness, by engaging in a multi-dimensional dialogue between video and sound. The performance provides an accessible space for deep contemplation on the complexities of Queens within the simplicity of stillness. This event is made possible in part by funding from Queens Council on the Arts.

The cultural landscape of Queens is in constant flux and continues to grow. There is a need to invigorate the heart of the diversity by bringing people of different backgrounds closer together through shared experiences. STILLNESS IN QUEENS is a multi-faceted cultural event that not only makes experimental practices accessible to the public, it also invites Queens residents and visitors to come together for an artistic experience that offers, through a lens of stillness, a new perspective of the borough. The project hopes to enrich cultural life in Queens by engaging disparate communities in a shared experience of creative contemplation and awareness.

JunYi Chow

The film projection will be footage from present daily life that will incorporate old heritage footage, both of Queens, to create a conversation between the past and present. JunYi Chow and Seungmin Cha will create music by live improvisation to live-score the film footage shot by Karen Y. Chan. There will be instruments such as Piano, Cello, Chinese Ruan (Moon Lute), Melodion, and the Korean Daegum (Traditional Bamboo Flute), as well as electronics and field recordings from different places around the world. There will also be interactive parts where the audience will be invited to create sounds and be part of the performance.

This performance is the second public performance in a series that follows its June 2nd evening at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning as part of the First Friday Series Program. 

The event starts at 8:00 PM Tickets are $16/$10 for member and students. Visit http://www.flushingtownhall.org and for more information.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the “Teen Access Program”, all 13- to 19-year- old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.


A new season filled with fun, fantasy, food and flair at Flushing Town Hall

On Thursday, September 7, Flushing Town Hall kicked off the fall 2017 season with a news conference and preview performances offering a taste of a robust array of global performances, family programs, workshops, exhibitions and much more.

The event featured a presentation previewing Enchanted Formosa and a dance showcase previewing The Garifuna Collective featuring Umalali and the Diwali Festival. New York City Council Member Peter Koo, New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisk, and representatives for New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim and U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng delivered remarks.

“We are located in one of the most diverse regions in the state – and country. It’s this diversity that gives us the ability to discover cultures and customs, and the melting pot that makes us stronger as a nation. For those who are new to us, the hallmark of our programming is a cross-cultural focus, works that bridge different cultures, as well as programs that present art forms from across the globe,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director at Flushing Town Hall. “Starting this week, audiences can discover and explore all the world, right here at Flushing Town Hall.”

Kodadek thanked the many performers, presenters and supporters in attendance, including: Al Harris, Carol Sudhalter, Richard Hourahan, Anna Etsuko Tsuri, Hsing-Lih Chou, Tai Wang, Karen Lee, Sherry Chen, Ms. Chi-Ping Yan from Taipei Cultural Center, Mr. Yu-Wei Hsieh and his band, JunYi Chow, Dongshin Chang, Dezhang Wu, Akemi Kinukawa, Brian Gill, Mark Wade, Barbara Morales, Gary “Wicked” Fritz, Kristina Teuschler, Noah Elwell, and Gary Padmore, all from the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and members of our Chinese Cultural Committee: Minwen Yang, Paul Ru, Kuang-Yu Fong, Hank Yeh, and Arthur Liu.

This fall, Flushing Town Hall will continue its popular Teen Access Program, which grants free entry to performances for 13- to 19-year-olds. This program encourages young people to engage with the magnificent arts opportunities in our community.

Flushing Town Hall’s September highlights include (in chronological order): Enchanted Formosa (Sept. 8), a spectacular concert combining folk, pop, and alt-rock in collaboration with the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York; Full Moon Drumming with Juan Gutiérrez (Sept. 13); and, Jose Conde Eclectric & Ola Fresca (Sept. 22), featuring original tropical Latin roots dance music with Cuban rhythms.

Other season highlights are: The Garifuna Collective featuring Umalali (Oct. 6); 1, 2, 3, Andrés (Oct. 15); Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo (Oct. 21); the annual Diwali Festival: Kathak, Bhangra & Beyond, featuring Basement Bhangra’s DJ Rekha (Oct. 29); NEA Jazz Masters: Celebrating 100 Years of Dizzy and Monk (Nov. 3); Astoria Big Band: Memories of Jazz in Queens (Nov. 17); Fall for Kunqu (Nov. 18); Fairy Tale: World Music from Korea (Dec. 1); The Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Dec. 8); Vado Diomande & Kotchegna Dance Company (Dec. 9); and, Queens Opera Theatre: The Gift of the Magi (Dec. 17 and 18).

An Enchanting Evening at Flushing Town Hall on September 8

Flushing Town Hall, in collaboration with Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, present Enchanted Formosa on Friday, September 8. The show explores the exciting history of Taiwan in a multi-genre musical performance.

On Thursday, Flushing Town Hall held a news conference to announce its new fall season, and attendees were treated to a preview of this Friday’s performance.

Enchanted Formosa captures over one hundred years of Taiwan’s history, from the Qing imperial era, to the Japanese colonial decades, to present day Taiwan. Combining traits of folk, pop, and alt-rock music, Yu-Wei Hsieh and the band will share the provocative and traditional ideas of the time. In keeping with Flushing Town Hall’s global music tradition, New York-based guest singers Shan Y Chaung, Macy Chen, Han Hsiao, and Taipei-based artists Ma Nan and Tan Teng Teng will also perform songs and melodies in different genres.

With music that highlights the indigenous tribes, the Hoklo groups, and the Hakka villages, guests will be sure to love the diverse array of music throughout the night.

The event starts at 7:30 PM and is free, with a suggested donation of $10. Online RSVP is required. Visit  http://www.flushingtownhall.org to RSVP and for more information.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the “Teen Access Program”, all 13- to 19-year- old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Discover the Meaning of Family in “Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China”

Flushing Town Hall hosts a screening of the documentary Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China on August 4. The film follows three successful black siblings from Harlem as they embark on an emotional journey to trace their family lineage.

Paula Williams Madison and her brothers, Elrick and Howard Williams, start with their Chinese-Jamaican roots, and soon the story of their grandfather’s past begins to unfold. Despite their vastly different upbringings, the siblings find his experience mirrors their own in a variety of ways.

They set their sights on China to discover more about their grandfather and their heritage. Along with 16 family members, they visit two cities, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and their ancestral village, discovering documentation that traces their family back over 3,000 years.

The documentary explores the depth of family, highlighting the joy an

d power it has to unite people from all over the world. Paula and her family’s emotional search demonstrates the power of familial love and devotion to conquer race, time, and distance.

You can purchase tickets here. Tickets are $5/Free for Flushing Town Hall members and New York Hakka Conference participants. Filmmaker and entrepreneur Paula Williams Madison will join the screening with Q&As and her book Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem. Screening starts at 7:30 PM, but come at 6:30 PM to enjoy food and music prepared by C

aribbean Food Delights and VP Records.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the “Teen Access Program”, all 13- to 19-year- old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Full Moon Drumming Workshop & Irish Drumming with Niall O’Leary

This Sunday, August 6, celebrate the full moon with a drum circle led by Niall O’Leary in Flushing Town Hall’s garden. Participants will begin with a workshop, and then jam with the entire group under the full moon.
Niall O’Leary is a former All-Ireland and World Champion Irish dancer, who excels at the top of his profession as a performer, teacher and choreographer, specializing in many forms of Irish Dance: Hardshoe, Softshoe, Traditional and Contemporary Percussive Dance, Sean Nós Dance, and Celtic Tap Improv, a style of dance he has developed himself, improvising using syncopation and rhythmic variation to complement and enhance exciting Irish Dance Music.
Niall is also a multi-instrumentalist: piano-accordion, keyboards, spoon-horn, spoons, bodhran, cojon. He teaches and performs locally and internationally with Mick Moloney’s Green Fields of America, as well as with his dance school “The Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance”, and his professional dance company “The Niall O’Leary Irish Dance Troupe”. He was the president of the Irish Business Organization of NY Inc. 2010-2011. Niall was honored in 2004 by Irish America Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Irish-Americans of the Year”, and in 2017 by the Irish Echo newspaper as a “Community Champion”.
Tickets are available here (but hurry, because space is limited to only 20 participants and the last drumming workshop sold out quickly this summer!). To learn more, you can watch this video below, and read our Q&A with Niall.


What can an audience expect to experience at your workshop?
In my Irish percussive workshop, we will be exploring how to bring out the many rhythmic patterns inherent in Irish dance music.
What do you hope audiences discover at your workshop?
I hope they discover the magic and beauty of Irish music, and how subtle and complementary percussion patterns can enhance the music!
Tell us about you.
I started doing Irish dance at the age of 4, accordion at 7, spoons at 8, keyboards at 15…I was fortunate to have the same dance teacher, Kevin Massey, who taught, motivated and choreographed for Michael Flately.  
Where did you grow up / where do you live?
I was born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. My parents are from scenic County Kerry, an area rich in musical and dance heritage, and they were a huge influence in my voyage of discovery of authentic sources of inspiration!
What is on the horizon for you?
I will be teaching weekly dance and music classes all over 
NYC in the Fall, and also doing some concerts in Symphony Space on Broadway, presented by the Irish Arts Center: (Friday December 15, 2017 and Friday March 9, 2018) I will also continue to perform and teach internationally

Finding Crouching Tigers and Hidden Dragons: Flushing Town Hall Hosts Benefit Concert Celebrating Power of the Community

Flushing Town Hall will host a benefit concert on Friday, July 28 to support the continuation of funding for the arts and arts programming. Local community members and artists are taking a stand to emphasize the importance of celebrating global cultures and arts events.

With performances by the New Asia Chamber Music Society and the immensely talented tenor, Dr. William Cai, the concert is a celebration of the intricacies of music from various cultures. The show will bring audience members joy and reinforce the importance of music-making and the arts.

“This is a grassroots effort calling for support from all our community members to financially safeguard our cultural gem in Queens – Flushing Town Hall,” says Tai Wang of the Chinese Cultural Committee of Flushing Town Hall. As co-founder of the Glow Foundation, Mrs. Wang aspires “to help Flushing Town Hall further its mission with this unprecedented initiative.”

In addition to the New Asia Chamber Music Society, special guest Dr. William Cai will also perform. Selected from the many heartfelt applications from talented performers, Dr. William Cai is a Chinese acupuncturist by day who has treated celebrities from Spike Lee to Kathleen Turner, curing pain-related illness and vocal disease.

He has also become known for his Qigong Bel Cando, a singing technique that combines his training in Chinese body exercise with his learnings from legends, such as Luciano Pavarotti. Praised for his brilliant and bright tone, Dr. Cai’s solid, dramatic, and operatic voice carries Qi and medical science of the art into the world.

A tribute to his talent, Dr. Cai is slated to perform in December at the Shanghai Grand Theatre with Mr. Wei Song, the most prestigious tenor in China. Audiences will not want to miss his Flushing Town Hall debut on July 28.

In addition to the astonishing opera aria, the audience will be entertained by a robust selection of classical music from the West and the East. Led by New Asia Chamber Music Society, the concert will showcase talents who are skilled with violin, viola, cello, piano, daegun, erhu pipa, and guzheng.

“Now more than ever, we need to stand together to protect Flushing Town Hall,” says Minwen Yang, an arts advocate and honorary chair of the Chinese Cultural Committee. “We are proud to say that this initiative is an inspiration, not a competition, that truly brings people of all background together.”

The concert starts at 7 P.M. Tickets are $10/$30 and there are also sponsorship packages available. To purchase tickets, visit www.flushingtownhall.org. For more information on sponsorship packages, contact mliu@flushingtownhall.org.

Are you ready for “a “marvelous concoction of friendship, invention, and adventure”?

For more than 15 years, Bonnie Duncan has blended puppetry, dance, and physical theatre in surprising and delightful ways.  Her work has been described as “an artful world of silent dreams, mime, and dance.” This summer, she will return to Flushing Town Hall with an amazing presentation, “Lollipops for Breakfast,” with the Gottabees on July 30.

Now, we know you can’t have lollipops for breakfast!  But in this presentation, Sylvie decides she’s going to break that rule, even if it means she has to make her own amazingly perfect lollipop from scratch. The audience is invited to come along as she and her trusty pet bird search for missing ingredients, wrestle with giant candy machines, and get lost in a magical pop-up cookbook.

Tickets are available for two shows that day – at 11 AM AND 2 PM – and can be purchased here.

What can an audience expect to experience at your performances?

Lollipops for Breakfast is a “marvelous concoction of friendship, invention, and adventure” comprised of puppetry, physical theater, live music, and a tiny bit of acrobatics.  We aim to capture our audience’s collective imagination and take them on a journey together.  We can be furiously silly and then profoundly grounded all within five or six minutes.  We love surprising our audience with twists and turns in the story and visual changes to the world created on stage.

Tell us about you – how you started as a performer?

I started performing as a child — my dance school had an outreach program where we performed in nursing homes and other community organizations.  I was smitten with sharing joy from stage!  I continued to study dance, focused on theater in college, and then found puppetry on my own after that.  I was a company member of a modern dance company in Boston for 8 years—we collaboratively created and performed sculptural dance theater.  We toured nationally and  internationally.  All the while I was working in puppetry with friends and making solo pieces.  So, basically, I followed my interests and ended up here as The Gottabees!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in South Carolina and now live in Boston.  Brendan Burns & Tony Leva (the musicians) both grew up in upstate New York (Fredonia & Binghampton respectively).  My husband, who also directed and co-wrote Lollipops for Breakfast, Dan Milstein, grew up in Princeton, NJ and grew up seeing lots of shows in New York with his parents, who are avid modern dance and theater fans.

What do you hope audiences discoverat one of your events?

The Gottabees has a “Terms of Service” that sums up our greatest hope: We find it deeply satisfying to create original physical theater so families can do something fun together that allows them all to giggle, gasp, sigh, and cheer in 45 minutes or less.   One of the things that makes us happiest is when we meet children who have seen a show and parents tell us how their child acted out the entire show for weeks after seeing it.  This is the core reason why we make theater for young audiences:  The Gottabees want children to know in their hearts that they, too, can make theater wherever they are and whomever they are.

What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?

When we performed at Flushing Town Hall last year, we were so impressed and thrilled by how much this beautiful space felt so open and available to the entire local community and felt so lucky to be part of the fabric of this organization.

What is on the horizon for you?

When we arrive at Flushing Town Hall, we will have just returned from a pretty big driving tour—-Boston to Detroit to St. Paul, MN to Morristown, NJ!  In August we head up to Maine for a week (which is combo tour / vacation!).

We are also working on a new show for families that we hope will premiere in 2018.  We began development last year and just returned from a residency at Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Puppetry Conference where we explored some of our central themes and tested ideas on fresh audiences.  We’ll continue working on it at a residency at The Yard, on Martha’s Vineyard in July and then in Boston after that.  Themes, visuals, and sounds are Top Secret so stay tuned!

(You can read more about Bonnie is this wonderful NY Times article, too!), and you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too! And you can check out a preview of the show below!


Draw live, nude models at Flushing Town Hall this summer!

Mixed media artist Steve Palermo has been a Teaching Artist at Flushing Town Hall since 2012, and at the Poppenhusen Institute since 2013. In addition to creating and facilitating mixed media and painting workshops for young people, adult groups, and senior centers, he has been requested to assist other teaching artists at Flushing Town Hall for the past several years.

This summer, Steve will be leading two Figure Drawing workshops with live, nude models. Bring your sketch pad with your favorite drawing medium. Each artist will have the opportunity to hone their skills with a series of quick and long poses while listening to music in a relaxing non-judgmental environment.

(Refreshments and snacks are available to get your creative juices flowing. Age Requirement: 20 and over. You can reserve your spot on July 10 here or on August 14 here.)

What can participants expect to experience?

This is a first for Flushing Town Hall as far as I know… The two drawing sessions will give the participant the opportunity to draw from a live nude model. The first session on July 10th there will be a male model, and the second, on August 14th there will be a female model. The model will start with quick gesture poses to allow the participant to limber up and free themselves from any apprehensions and then the model will take longer poses. If their confidence is still amiss there will be music played during the session and refreshments at the concession table to help them relax.

Tell us how you started in this field.

A little about myself: I am an artist. I have exhibited my art in galleries in New York City as well as abroad. I also work at Flushing Town Hall as the Volunteer Coordinator.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Queens and still live here. It is a wonderfully diverse place for an artist to create experiences to use for their creative endeavors.

What do you hope your participants discover at your workshops?

I hope that they take away that there is no fear to draw from a model and they had a good time at the session.

What is on the horizon for you?

I will be having a solo art show at Flushing Town Hall. The title of the art show is “Gods, Beasts and Men”. It is a series of paper collages dealing with humanity, religion and mythology. The opening is December 1st, 2017 (time TBD).

Full Moon Drumming Workshop: African Drumming with Vado Diomande On Sunday, July 9

On Sunday, July 9, we will celebrate the Full Moon with a drum circle in our garden, beginning with a workshop led by master drummer Vado Diomande and then a group jam under a full moon.

All are welcome from beginner to professional, so reserve your drum spot here.

Vado has been dancing and drumming since he was a toddler in his native village of Toufinga, Ivory Coast. The drums are the heart of village life, and he learned to play them, repair them, and make them. He then went on to become a principal dancer at the National Ballet of Ivory Coast, where he learned drum and dance traditions from over 60 ethnic groups, which he shares with New Yorkers through teaching, performing, and presenting his dance company, Kotchegna Dance Company.

Vado and KDC produce an annual spectacle, Kekene, in October, that showcases the dynamic musical and theatrical traditions of Ivory Coast through village narratives and a huge company of dancers and guest artists. This year Kekene XI will be Sunday October 22 at the Citigroup Theater at Alvin Ailey Dance, 405 West 55th St in Manhattan.

Vado wants New Yorkers to understand the beauty of the intricate and syncopated rhythms that make up exciting djembe drumming in West Africa. Drumming from Ivory Coast has many beautiful rhythms such as Temate, Zaouly, and Katana.The djembe makes three sounds that are used in lead and accompaniment rhythms, supported by the three bass drum sounds make by the doundoun drums, played with sticks. The doundoun drum has three parts: songba, kinkine, and doundoun. These go with the djembe playing.

Anyone can enjoy playing West African drums, either the hand-played lead drum, (djembe), or the bass drum, (doundoun), with sticks. The company has a female doundoun player, and women playing doundouns is a beloved tradition in Senegal.

Flushing Town Hall is an incredible artistic resource for Queens and New York City. The dedicated support of traditional artists is unusual and very touching to artists like Vado, who have to work very hard to be known and seen. Flushing Town Hall showcases the riches of the world’s cultures, and Vado is very happy to be a part of this beautiful artistic endeavor.