Thursday, March 24, 2011

The March Newsletter

Hello Artists, Fans, and Friends!!! 
The Hoover Dam Collective Presents: The March Newsletter.  
Hope you all are enjoying March Madness, or St Patty’s Day, or doing your taxes, or whatever else gets you excited about March. This is an especially exciting month for us because it marks the one year anniversary of our very first show, and thus the beginning of all the artistic madness that has taken place in our lives in the last year. I thought that, for those of you who are interested, I would provide you with a little bit of Hoover Dam Collective history. 
 Last spring, a group of artists in various conservatories at SUNY Purchase founded the Hoover Dam Collective. The HDC came about as a result of a show that we put on last March in the Dance Theater Lab at Purchase entitled "For the Sake of Art." I had the idea for an interdisciplinary show last fall, when I saw a posting for applications for the "Affiliates Grant," which offered money to anyone who wanted to put together something that would benefit Purchase College. I applied for the Affiliates Grant, and was awarded 600 dollars to put together a collaborative, interdisciplinary show.
 From there, I got in touch with all of the artists I knew at Purchase. We had our first meeting right before winter break-there were about 30 people packed into our little apartment on Purchase campus (our apartment was nicknamed the "Hoover Dam," and we would meet there every week, thus the name "Hoover Dam Collective"). We talked about possible directions for the show, and decided that, ultimately, the show was about the overlapping of our various art forms, and thus the theme should be "For the Sake of Art." Over winter break, we all went home to our various cities and conducted filmed interviews with artists who inspired us, asking them questions along the lines of "what is art?", and "how has art impacted your life?". Once we had the interviews compiled, we based the show around the many unique and interesting attempts to answer that question.
The show was a huge success-we had over 50 people involved, from dancers, to musicians, to visual artists, design-tech majors, and film majors. It was really great to see so many artists come together to achieve a common goal. After that first show, everyone involved was incredibly inspired by how many people were so dedicated to collaboration and to producing quality work-we all knew that this was something we had to continue.
About a month later, we had the opportunity to do the same show in a completely different setting-an isolated warehouse space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which was usually used as a venue for music concerts and for huge parties. For this show, we did excerpts from the original "For the Sake of Art" show, but also asked Purchase musicians to perform sets, and even booked an outside musician to end the night. The Station 171 show had a completely different vibe than the original-it was a lot more laid back and informal. However, the quality of the art still remained-everyone there was having a great time, but they were still totally interested in and respectful of the work that was being presented. 
After the Station 171 show, a lot of us realized that the Hoover Dam Collective was bringing something really special and unique to the art scene in Brooklyn and New York City- we were presenting high quality interdisciplinary art in fun, laid back setting, and making our work more accessible to artists of other disciplines, and to audience members. Many members of the Collective were graduating,  and were unsure of what the next year would bring. We knew that the Hoover Dam Collective was a project that we really wanted to continue, and so we made it happen.
Since last spring, the collective has really taken off- we have done shows in Rockland County, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and the Lower East Side. We aim to do one show per month, though some are bigger than others. Our shows really bring together a strong community of artists, many of whom are Purchase alum, but many of whom are completely unrelated, but have taken interest and gotten involved. Currently, there are about 8 core members of the collective-we meet regularly, plan upcoming shows, and discuss future goals. We have a very extensive network of people who have different levels of involvement with us. 
All of that being said, I am happy to say that our last show at the Launchpad on March 5th was a huge success-we presented a variety of music and dance to a packed and enthusiastic audience. Performances included a comedy improv set by Willy and the Thunderbirds-4-Life, dance pieces by Kat Rhodes and myself, and music sets by Andrew Mancilla, Joe Fusca, and the Boomerangs. Many thanks to Eric Mendenhall for providing the beats to back up a rockin late-night dance party.
There are several really exciting things coming up for us in the next few months. First of all, our upcoming residency show at the Launchpad on April 2nd promises to be incredibly special-it’s a singer songwriter marathon, featuring performances by Kate Branagh, Dan Testa, Morgan Holland, Matt Simons, and Chris Ayer. SoundHouse will also be there to bring down the house at the end of the night. Definitely not a show to miss. Of course, as usual, the show is free, BYOB plus free wine and snacks!
Additionally, we are very excited to join Santino Lo, in collaboration with all of the arts conservatories at SUNY Purchase, and take part in “MADArt, Life After Dreams,” perhaps the biggest interdisciplinary project Purchase has ever seen. The Hoover Dam Collective will participate by presenting a piece choreographed and performed by HDC dancers.
ALSO-mark your calendars!!! In celebration of our one year anniversary, we will be putting on a huge show at Station 171 on Saturday, May 28th. The show will go on from the afternoon until late in the night, and will feature a huge lineup of amazing comedians, dancers, and musicians, drinks, a dance party, and a rooftop barbeque (hard to imagine with the ice storm going on right now, but it will be sunny and beautiful in 2 months!!). It’s not for another 2 months, but we are already getting very, very excited about it.
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me through this incredibly long-winded letter. As always, we would love to hear from you, and would love for you to get involved in any way you can, so get in touch!!! Go art. 
Love, Theo and the HDC

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