Inwood Art Works is an organization that is dedicated to promoting the arts in the Inwood section of Manhattan. Throughout the month of June 2018, the organization will be re-purposing the presently-dormant Cliff Club on West 202nd Street into the “Culture Hub” pop-up community arts center and gallery. The Culture Hub will be open from June 1 to June 30, 2018. The gallery will feature a visual art exhibition title “Taking Charge of Change.” It features 8” x 10” works in multiple mediums, including: collage, photography, painting, printmaking, illustration, and mixed media works by Inwood and Washington Heights artists. All the artworks will be auctioned off for the benefit of the artists.
Culture Hub will include opportunities for local performing artists—musicians, actors, spoken-word poets, etc.—to introduce their talents to the community. This program is part of a larger “vacant space activation program” that is fostered by the Inwood Art Works organization and its founder, Aaron Simms, with an overall goal to eventually establish a permanent art space and/or gallery for the arts and culture in the community of Inwood community.
The spaces created by Inwood Art Works offer a welcoming place for creative individuals to write, paint, and engage in their craft. There will be coffee and complimentary WiFi as well as entertainment in the form of live music, comedies, circus, opera, visual art, and more. Funding for this show was provided in part by New York City’s “Neighborhood 360 Program” which is part of the Small Business Services that aims to launch commercial revitalization projects that help revitalize streets and neighborhoods throughout NYC.
Inwood is a section of Manhattan that has a wealth of talented artists living within it, but which is curiously devoid of artistic and cultural offerings such as theaters, galleries, and music venues. Mr. Simms, a producer and long-time resident of the area, saw this utter lack of opportunity to foster creativity in Inwood and decided to start the Inwood Art Works non-profit organization to bring artistic mediums to the local parks and previously-vacant spaces. Through the “Culture Hub” space, Aaron hopes that neighborhood residents can come hang out and view art and that local artists can use the space to write, rehearse performances, hold meetings, or just have some quiet thinking time. In fact, the venue is divided into two schedules; from 10am to 3pm on weekdays it is “Hang Time” where you can arrive and engage in nosier activates such as talking or practicing your craft (spoken word poetry, acting, etc.). Then, from 3pm to 6pm, it is “Silent Hours” where you have to be quiet and use the space to read, meditate, write, or just hang around and drink coffee while taking a break from the noise of the world.
Most of the family-friendly “Culture Hub” special event programming take place in the evening. The raw range of entertainment options is nothing short of awe-inspiring. From live music, to comedy, to art, opera, circus, and “pay what you can” workshops, there will truly be something for everyone. “Culture Hub” will be open every day except Mondays.
“Culture Hub is a vital initiative for Inwood and the surrounding community,” said Founder and Executive Producer Aaron Simms. “Not only is there a great number of creative professionals in the area looking for work space and a local opportunity to present their work, but long-time residents are looking for professional arts, entertainment and cultural activities in their own backyard. The goal for Culture Hub is to be a catalyst in harnessing the artistic energy of Northern Manhattan and create a permanent space for visual arts, film, and stage events for everyone, from kids to adults.”
Among the highlights of Culture Hub’s programming (both ticketed and free):
· Foreign Relations–An Evening of American & Russian Vocal Music
Performers will include Metropolitan Opera soloists who reside in Inwood and its surrounding community.
· A Slice of Inwood
Who makes Inwood’s favorite pizza? Taste and cast your vote for Inwood’s Premiere Cheese and Specialty Pizza Slice! Awards will be presented for Inwood’s Favorite Cheese Slice, Inwood’s Favorite Specialty Slice, and Inwood’s Most Creative Slice.
· Pride Month Dance Party
Celebrate LGBT Pride, and Pride in Inwood at the first ever LGBT Pride Month Dance Party! There will be music, merriment, and dancing!
· Inwood Music Festival
Inwood Art Works is proud to present the inaugural Inwood Music Festival! A showcase and celebration of Inwood’s finest music artists. This all-day event will feature pop, jazz, classical, indie rock, Latin jazz, and more!
A new dance narrative made by collaborators Roddy Kennedy, Ali Marconi and Cassie Nordgren takes an inside look at the relationships we deem “normal” today as virtual reality comes to life. The invisibility of technology is both amazing and tragic when you’re looking for new love in 2018. Who do you let in?
· Surround Circus: Jazz Age Jive
Surround Circus is an immersive performance event that will transform Culture Hub on Friday nights. Astounding performers will appear where you least expect them, giving each audience member a singular experience. On Friday, June 8th, join us for Jazz Age Jive! We bring Jazz to life from the Roarin’ 20s to the Rockin’ 50s with a circus celebration that would make Jay Gatsby’s jaw drop. In between performances join in with your best Charleston, Jitterbug, and Swing moves. Come dressed for the theme and receive $5 off admission at the door.
· Children’s Craft Class – The Architecture of Inwood
Kids will construct miniature versions of the Henry Hudson Bridge from wire, wood, nails and pipe cleaners. Then create small models of the big “C” Rock using wood plaques, salt dough and paint!
· Uptown Artist & Merchant Meet-Up
Latinx Improv features some of NYC’s funniest Latinx comedians. Their improv sets are inspired by stand up or storytelling, and have the perfect mix of colorful characters, fast paced action, and social commentary. The best part? Some scenes might be in Spanish!Network with fellow uptown artists and proprietors of local venues, meet new collaborators, and check out Culture Hub’s amazing gallery of local artist’s work. Plus, register with the Northern Manhattan Arts and Culture (NMAC) artist database!
· LatinX Improv
Latinx Improv features some of NYC’s funniest Latinx comedians. Their improv sets are inspired by stand up or storytelling, and have the perfect mix of colorful characters, fast paced action, and social commentary. The best part? Some scenes might be in Spanish!
All events are open to the public – special live entertainment and other programming may require an admission charge. For more information on Culture Hub, including a full list of events, please visit http://www.inwoodartworks.nyc.
Inwood Art Works is a nonprofit organization that works to create and curate professional
performing and visual arts in Inwood and its surrounding community. IAW’s vision is to establish a dedicated cultural arts destination that fosters a vibrant multicultural community nourished by local connectivity and sustained by artistic equity. Inwood Art Works champions the craft and cultural diversity of local professional and emerging artists, and education of youth through the arts. Follow Inwood Art Works on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at InwoodArtWorks.