New York State of Mind Amoeblog #66: Bringing Human Rights Home, City As Canvas, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Fashion Week

Posted by Billyjam, February 5, 2014 07:30am | Post a Comment

Tonight (Wednesday Feb 5th) Amnesty International will host a star studded event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center that will include Madonna, Tegan and Sara, The Flaming Lips, Blondie, Yoko Ono, The Fray, Lauryn Hill, Imagine Dragons, the Cold War Kids, and Pussy Riot. Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina of the Moscow based feminist punk band Pussy Riot, who made news headlines in 2012 when band members were sentenced to two years imprisonment following a performance protest in a major Moscow cathedral aimed at the Orthodox Church leader's support of the election campaign of Russian President Vladimir Putin, will not be performing music but speaking (via a translator) to the audience at the big event tonight where they will be introduced by Madonna who was among those championing their cause when they were imprisoned calling them "my fellow freedom fighters." The reason why the Pussy Riot members will be at the Amnesty event is, according to Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's Facebook wall because the organization did much to "Support us while we were in prison and their work is very important for activists and inmates all over the world."

Tonight's big concert event, titled Amnesty International Bringing Human Rights Home, will remind older music fans/Amnesty International supporters of 25 years ago when the organization began its initial concert series  with U2, Lou Reed, Sting, and others. 28 concerts and 9 years later Amnesty discontinued their concert series. The last one was back in 1998. "We’re bringing back the concerts to show a new generation of activists how to stand up for justice at home and abroad," said Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins in a prepared statement continuing that, "whether it is fighting for the right to voice dissent peacefully on social networks or in the streets, protecting the rights of women and girls, or standing in solidarity with individuals persecuted for who they are or what they believe."

Tickets for tonight's Bringing Human Rights Home can be bought online via Ticketmaster or at the Barclays Center site, as well as by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets will also be available before the show at the Box Office at Barclays Center which is located at 620 Atlantic Ave, (at the corner of Atlantic Ave and Flatbush Ave), Brooklyn, NY 11217. The tickets for tonight's 8pm show range in price and include many that are not too expensive by today's standards and considering the lineup and the cause. A search I did at 8am this morning (EST) rendered $35 tickets still available for the big concert.
This week an exhibit celebrating the early days of street / graffiti art in New York City opened at the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibit that opened yesterday and runs through August 24th is entitled City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection and is, as its name implies, a collection of graffiti art that was meticulously assembled by the tireless late East Village based collector (and artist himself) Martin Wong during the 1980's and 1970's in New York City. In 1994 Wong, who died of AIDS in 1999, donated his collection to the City Museum but this is the first time that it will be exhibited in full. The collection boasts over 150 pieces of rare NYC graffiti artifacts including works on paper and canvas in aerosol, ink, and other mediums by such artists as Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, LADY PINK (see image right), and FUTURA 2000. The exhibition also includes a series of photographs of NYC graffiti from back in the day. More info here.

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of an apparent heroin overdose Sunday, will be buried at an undisclosed location sometime over the coming days in New York with a memorial service being held later this month, according to a statement yesterday from the late Oscar-winner's representative. The 46 year old actor, who won an Oscar in the 2005 film Capote for his portrayal of author Truman Capote and who had seven days left to shoot on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, lived in Greenwich Village and on about three occasions over the past year I noticed him inauspiciously (most un-Hollywood star looking) walking along the sidewalk  (one time on Bleecker Street) and no one bothering him or noticing him it seemed. Since tragic news of his death surfaced a vigil of candles, flowers, and portraits was assembled outside the actor's West Village apartment.

Sponsored by Mercedes Benz - New York City's big Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow, February 6th, with the premiere event of this year's event, that runs through Thursday Feb 13th, being Nicholas K at Pavilion (Lincoln Center) at 9am. Each day there are about 15 official Fashion Week events with dozens more affiliated and spinoff happenings. For a complete listing visit the official Fashion Week 2014 website.

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Cold War Kids (4), Madonna (47), Lady Pink (1), Vladimir Putin (1), Graffiti New York City (1), New York Events (1), Pussy Riot (4), Amnesty International Bringing Human Rights Home (1), New York State Of Mind Amoeblog (6), Nyc (85), New York City (100), Tegan And Sara (7), City As Canvas Graffiti Art Exhibit (1), Nyc Mourns Philip Seymour Hoffman (1), Brooklyn (14), Fashion Week (2)