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Flushing Town Hall Welcomes 2021 With New, Virtual Lineup of Global Arts Programs

Flushing Town Hall will begin accepting new artworks for display on February 1.

Flushing Town Hall Welcomes 2021 With New, Virtual Lineup of Global Arts Programs

Flushing Town Hall has unveiled an all-new lineup of virtual programs to engage audiences from the warmth and safety of home this new year. Winter 2021 offerings include an arts education series for children in five languages, monthly Jazz Jams, an outdoor community art exhibition, programs celebrating the Lunar Year, a three-part Black History Month series featuring Broadway performers, and professional development workshops and Zoom hangs for artists.

Always the most festive time of year at Flushing Town Hall, the 2021 Lunar Year will celebrate the Year of the Ox with Flushing Town Hall's Chinese Temple Bazaar, title sponsor Tai Wang and Glow Foundation. The event will go virtual for the first time and stream via YouTube on Sunday, February 14 at 2:00 PM. It will feature a feast of Lunar New Year celebrations, including traditional dances by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, a new Chinese hand puppet production by Chinese Theatre Works, paper-cutting, classic new year dish demonstrations, and more, offering different ways for audiences to connect to this most important holiday.

For centuries in China, people have celebrated the Lunar New Year in temple fairs with performances, food, and crafts to conclude the final stretch of a harsh winter and celebrate the pending arrival of spring.

"Last year, our Lunar Year programs coincided with the onset of the pandemic, so we decided to cancel the Temple Bazaar to safeguard our community. This year, we are reviving this beloved event so that we may join together again," says Minwen Yang, Chair of Flushing Town Hall's Chinese Cultural Committee. "Our community stepped up to take care of one another during dark times, and we are resilient. We will hold this Bazaar virtually because we are still experiencing a pandemic. With the arrival of a new year and after much hardship, we know this lively celebration will lift our spirits."

In keeping with the theme of the Ox, which is characterized by attributes of strength and determination, Flushing Town Hall will also reopen its community art exhibition, Call and Response: Grief, Resiliency, and Hope in February. To be displayed outdoors along its Northern Boulevard fence, the exhibition first launched in the summer of 2020. This year, members of the community -- amateur and professional artists alike -- are invited to submit works on the theme and ask themselves: How can I live a courageous life? How can I help build a resilient community? What gives me hope?

Flushing Town Hall will begin accepting new artworks for display on February 1. Participants will be able to hang their works directly on the fence or scan and submit their work by email to: education@flushingtownhall.org.

Another beloved tradition, Flushing Town Hall's monthly Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong will continue online with a new theme each month, kicking off on Wednesday, January 13 at 7:00 PM with an early celebration of Martin Luther King Day and a musical theme of "racial justice."

February's jazz jam will celebrate Valentine's Day with the theme of "love songs and funny valentines," and March's jam will commemorate Women's History Month with the theme "luck be a lady!"

Up to 15 musicians may register for each jam to play or sing a tune on the theme by emailing: education@flushingtownhall.org.

The jazz jam's reputation has steadily grown since it first moved online last year, drawing musicians from countries as far flung as Italy, Australia, and Guyana.

"The pandemic has posed a survival challenge for presenting venues, artists, and performers. We really miss our audiences from all around the tri-state area," says Ellen Kodadek, Executive & Artistic Director. "However, thanks to technology, we are now able to serve audiences and to engage performers from around the corner and across the globe. We continue to build community through the arts."

Jazz fans can also look forward to a virtual Lioness: Women in Jazz on Sunday, January 24 at 2:30 PM, featuring The Lioness Ensemble, which is helmed by the Queens-based guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco.

Flushing Town Hall Education will continue to present Global Arts for Global Kids, its arts education video series with at-home activities for young learners and their families. This winter, beginning January 11 and running for nine weeks, Flushing Town Hall will replay its original videos in the series and release the accompanying Activity Worksheets newly translated into four additional languages: Hindi, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.

"Flushing Town Hall provides culturally responsive arts education through our Global Arts for Global Kids programming, and now that we've translated content into multiple languages, English language learners across generations and cultures can explore diverse arts and cultures together," says Gabrielle M. Hamilton, Director of Education & Public Programs.

Videos will be posted daily, Monday through Thursday, and culminate in family matinee performances on Fridays. Each week covers a new topic and region of the world and includes explorations of Colombian music, Indian and Chinese dance, African drumming, and more!

Additional virtual programs this winter will include a continuation of Flushing Town Hall's monthly professional development series and weekly Zoom hangs for artists of all disciplines and geographies, who have been working together to advance their work, support, and inspire one another amidst the pandemic.

Kicking off its three-part Black History Trilogy, Flushing Town Hall will present "John Lewis: A Pioneer for Justice" on Friday, February 5 at 7:00 PM. The program will feature Alton Fitzgerald White, a gifted actor who starred in Broadway's hit show Ragtime and who performed over 4,000 times as Mufasa, "the king of the jungle" in Disney's production of The Lion King. He will bring to life the legacy of American politician and civil rights leader John Lewis, who coined the phrase "good trouble" in one of his most resilient speeches.

The Trilogy will continue on February 18 with "Divine Sass: A Tribute to the Music, Life, and Legacy of Sarah Vaughan," featuring Tony Award-winner Lillias White and concludes on February 26 with a surprise special guest.

Looking ahead towards spring, Flushing Town Hall is currently accepting submissions ahead of its February 1 deadline for the second edition of Crazy Talented Asians & Friends - An Evening of Animation Shorts, which premiered with great success in 2020. The 2021 event will take place on Saturday, May 29 in celebration of the APA Heritage Month. Animation filmmakers may submit their shorts for consideration at: https//filmfreeway.com/CTAF

2021 Winter Schedule

Global Arts for Global Kids

JAN 11 - MARCH 11, 2021

Global arts education video series with newly released translations in Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, and Korean

https://www.flushingtownhall.org/program_series.php?pid=1

Louis Armstrong Legacy Virtual Jazz Jam

WED, JAN 13 @ 7:00 PM

An MLK celebration: jazz musicians and music calling for racial justice

https://flushingtownhall.org/event-detail.php?id=1

Artist Professional Development Conversation

WED, JAN 20 @ 4:00 PM

Answering grant writing questions

https://flushingtownhall.org/artist-professional-development

Women in Jazz: The Lioness Ensemble

SUN, JAN 24 @ 2:30 PM

A performance of original compositions by members of the group, along with an online Q&A with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian, guitarist Amanda Monaco, and tenor saxophonist Jenny Hill

https://flushingtownhall.org/event-detail.php?id=32

Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar

SUN, FEB 14 @ 2:00 PM

Lively performances, arts and crafts, and food demonstrations to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Ox

https://flushingtownhall.org/event-detail.php?id=19

Call & Reponse: Grief, Resiliency, and Hope

FEB 1 - FEB 28, 2021

Community Art Exhibition

https://flushingtownhall.org/event-detail.php?id=30

Black History Trilogy

FEB 5 @ 7:00 PM

Alton Fitzgerald White in "John Lewis: A Pioneer for Justice"

FEB 18 @ 7:00 PM

Lillias White in "Divine Sass: A Tribute to the Music, Life, and Legacy of Sarah Vaughan"

FEB 26 @ 7:00 PM

Surprise Special Guest

Flushing Town Hall's facilities are temporarily closed to the public in accordance with COVID-19 safety regulations. Current programs are being presented virtually.


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