- Created on Monday, 21 April 2014 02:46
UPCA Executive Director Mike Fitelson with the gorilla mask that Lin-Manuel Miranda will wear to "King Kong" if the campaign to "Raise a New Screen at the Palace" reaches the $15K mark this week.
First we made the April 27 screening of "King Kong" a FREE event.
Then we invited acclaimed film director John Landis to introduce the movie.
Now we are unveiling one more surprise: if our campaign to "Raise a New Screen at the Palace" tops the $15,000* mark by 5pm on Friday, April 25, Lin-Manuel Miranda will welcome guests to "King Kong" while wearing a gorilla suit in the Palace's foyer.
That's only a little over $3,500 over the next five days.
Contributions should be made to http://igg.me/at/upca-screen/x/1974676
There are great perks for different contribution levels: free tickets, free movie passes through 2015, private screenings.
Everyone who donates also gets to vote for the classic New York City film they would most like to see at the audience choice screening in July and is automatically entered in the drawing for dinner for two at New Leaf Restaurant and Bar in Fort Tryon Park.
Also, we are also adding one more perk this week: contributions at the $200 level will now receive a Family Membership, including free admission to UPCA films through the end of 2015 for 2 adults and 2 children under 12. (For anyone who has already donated $100, we will upgrade your membership for an additional $100.)
So who wants to help make a monkey, er, gorilla out of Lin-Manuel?
*NOTE: The online total does NOT include Toshiba's $1,000 pledge earned last week. By hitting $15K this week, the campaign will actually be at $16,000.
- Created on Monday, 14 April 2014 16:50
Toshiba has generously offered to help UPCA get halfway to its funding goal to "Raise a New Screen at the United Palace." It will match up to $1,000 that is contributed to the campaign between now and 5pm on Thursday, April 17.
If we make that goal the campaign will be at $10,000 with two weeks to go to get to $20K.
Contribute at http://igg.me/at/upca-screen/x/1974676.
The campaign continues on April 27 when we offer a FREE screening of the original "King Kong" as part of the "Sunday Movies at the Palace with Lin-Manuel Miranda" series. We would love to raise enough money by then so we can show "King Kong" on a new screen. The existing one dates from the 1950s and has holes, scratches and vast sections where the silver has been lost.
There are great perks for different contribution levels: free tickets, free movie passes through 2015, private screenings. And everyone who donates also gets to vote for the classic New York City film they would most like to see at the audience choice screening in July and is automatically entered in the drawing for dinner for two at New Leaf Restaurant and Bar in Fort Tryon Park.
Learn more about the campaign at: http://igg.me/at/upca-screen/x/1974676.
- Created on Friday, 11 April 2014 03:04
Sunday, May 4 at 4pm
Underworld Productions Opera (UPO) will present "TROUBLESongs," an afternoon of Leonard Bernstein's "Trouble in Tahiti" plus the staged premiere of "Outerborough Songs" for voice and electric guitar by Thomas Deneuville. This is the first staged opera production to take place in the ornate, gilded interior of the United Palace.
"Trouble in Tahiti" focuses on Sam and Dinah, an unhappy suburban couple alienated from each other yet sharing a deep longing for love and intimacy. After a day of arguing and avoiding each other, they dress to go together to a movie named "Trouble in Tahiti," salvaging their marriage for one more evening. Throughout the 45-minute opera, written between Bernstein's Broadway successes with "On the Town" and "West Side Story," a Trio provides satirical commentary in close harmonies and jazz rhythms that evoke the post-war period. The work will be presented in piano/vocal version.
"Outerborough Songs" is a 10-minute compilation of three short songs, based on poetry by D. Nurkse, for soprano and electric guitar. In them, a couple grapples with each other and with the great city, revealing moments of passion, both in hot arguments and the oblivion of forgiveness.
- Created on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 20:17
On Monday NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (a Washington Heights native, I might add) released a report summing up the dismal state of arts education in the city's public schools. Schools lack dedicated arts rooms, certified arts teachers, and partnerships with cultural institutions.
The biggest bombshell, from our perspective, was that over the last seven years the DOE budget for art has been cut 47 percent.
Unsurprisingly the schools with the fewest resources to provide artistic enrichment are in the city's poorest neighborhoods.
The comptroller's report is sending shock waves through the city. But none of this is news to parents and arts providers who have watched the schools devote more time and resources to test prep at the expense of other subjects.
That is a primary reason why part of UPCA's mission is to host community arts programs.
Art has the power to inspire children in ways that other disciplines can't. Creativity provides a means of expression and empowerment for young people who too often feel disenfranchised, and fires their imagination and ambition to reach for greater heights.
Consider what our students have accomplished in the last few weeks:
- On Saturday, April 4 children in the Harmony Program had their third master class with musicians from the New York Philharmonic, which was covered by the CBS Evening News:
- On February 19 our UPCA Circus Arts Troupe performed for young patients at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York Presbyterian. Children who were too sick to leave their rooms watched on closed circuit TV.
- On March 12 the Palace Youth Drum Ensemble was the opening act for the annual Creative Art Workshops for Kids gala at the Citigroup Center in Midtown.
- Finally, to close out our Young People Perform! night on March 19 the WHIN Music Project Youth Orchestra performed a live soundtrack to a video about the community created by local artist Emmanuel "DJ Boy" Abreu. It's the first time anyone has heard of a youth orchestra playing to a movie. Do you want to know how good they were? Halfway through the performance all the lights on their music stands went out, casting their sheet music into darkness. THEY DIDN'T MISS A BEAT! (Check out the video.)
We know our students receive a world-class arts education from the amazing programs we partner with at the Palace. We also know our students might not end up pursuing a career in the arts, but the lessons they learn about teamwork, discipline, perseverance and self-confidence will last them a lifetime.
We applaud Comptroller Stringer for starting a conversation about the role art should play in public school. His report lays out sensible steps that the DOE should act on to return greater balance to the subjects taught in the city's classrooms.
In the meantime, we will keep encouraging our children to dream big on the Palace stage.
Mike Fitelson, UPCA Executive Director
- Created on Monday, 24 March 2014 02:44
You know the end of "Ghostbusters," when there is that big crowd of New Yorkers ringing the building where all the paranormal shenanigans have been going on? And the Ghostbusters show up and everyone starts cheering, pulling for them to get the supernatural bad guy? That's kinda what it's felt like to do the "Sunday Movies at the Palace with Lin-Manuel" series: all these community members and film lovers showing up and showing their support for the movies.
Consider tonight's screening of the 1984 comedy classic.
Mark Dittmar of Firehouse Productions volunteered to bring in his company's audio system for the screening, giving the Palace the best cinema sound it's had yet.
Real-life pretend Ghostbusters from three different chapters – the Minions of Gozer, South New Jersey, and New York City – volunteered to come in full regalia for a pre-show busting of Slimer, who was threatening to ruin the screening. They sat in the front row during the film, all the better to mouth all the dialogue without distracting the other guests.
- Created on Saturday, 22 March 2014 01:20
Sunday, April 27, 2014
4pm doors; 5pm stage show; 5:30pm movie
The 4th installment of "Sunday Movies at the Palace with Lin-Manuel Miranda" features the original "King Kong" from 1933 with an introduction by legendary filmmaker John Landis, director of "Animal House," "The Blues Brothers," "An American Werewolf in London," "Trading Places," "Three Amigos!," "Coming to America," and "Michael Jackson's Thriller."
The doors open at 4pm when guests in tuxedo or gown can get a free bag of gourmet popcorn made in our brand-new machine donated by Lebron Restaurant Supply.
At 4:30pm the Palace Youth Drum Ensemble will provide pre-show entertainment, followed at 5pm by a stageshow presented by our Tony and Grammy Award-winning host Lin-Manuel Miranda who will interview Mr. Landis.
- Created on Friday, 21 March 2014 04:02
We are as surprised as anyone that we have launched another crowdsourcing campaign less than a year after our first one succeeded in Returning Film to the Palace.
But with that success, more than we had imagined, has come the realization that we need to continue to upgrade the cinematic experience for our audience. If we are attracting 700, 800, over 1,300 people to a screening than we need to keep elevating our game.
And right now, the existing screen just isn't cutting it.
- Created on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 15:31
Wednesday, March 19
Doors 6pm; Performances 6:30pm FREE
The quarterly presentation by the young people in UPCA's community arts programs, including the Harmony Program string orchestra, UPCA Circus Arts Troupe, UPCA Youth Drum Ensemble, and WHIN Music Project youth orchestra. (Watch the WHIN Music Project and Drum Ensemble reinvent Beethoven's "Ode to Joy.")
The evening's finale will be a live to projection performance by the WHIN Music Project to "NYC, Uptown Life and Views," a video created by Northern Manhattan artist Emmanuel "Dj Boy" Abreu. The video depicts the beauty and majesty of the Northern Manhattan community and was edited to complement the music, "Palladio" composed by Karl Jenkins.
This is the first time that we have heard of a youth orchestra performing to a movie.
Both the WHIN Music Project and Abreu are currently fundraising through the website Indiegogo. WHIN is raising money to sustain its programs in Washington Heights and Abreu is trying to cover the costs of going to Chapala, Mexico, where he won a month-long artist residency.
- PAST EVENT-The 2nd annual "Project S.Y.S. - Save The Youth Showcase"
- The perfect movie for the perfect audience at the United Palace
- UPCA Circus Arts Troupe takes the show on the road
- "Twist and Shout" - Free Saturday Art Classes for Kids
- PAST EVENT-"African Roots" recital with The Chelsea Symphony
- PAST EVENT - People's Theatre Project Presents "Domestic Disturbance / Disturbio Doméstico"
- PAST EVENT-No Name Comedy & Variety Turns 20
- PAST EVENT-Uptown Fashion Week - Fall/Winter Collection
- PAST EVENT - "West Side Story" with Rita Moreno
- PAST EVENT-"Ghostbusters" with Lin-Manuel Miranda