BuskNY is looking for folks with a few minutes to spare for performer outreach. It’s fun and low-commitment (0-3 hours per week, as you wish). Most of all, it’s a chance to hear great music. The key duty is direct outreach — i.e. chatting — with the performers you cross in the subway. You can read more on Idealist. To get involved, simply RSVP on Facebook for our training event next Monday, December 15 at 6:45 at 224 W 29th St, 14th floor. There will be snacks, and participants will receive free “We Are Culture” t-shirts. In other news, we’ve prepared our Kickstarter rewards for shipping. Those of you who backed our campaign can expect them to arrive soon, and anyone who missed out can still buy one for $25 — just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theo Eastwind suggested we sell the leftover “Music is Legal!” t-shirts at the 5th Busker Ball last Thursday at Spike Hill so I went to set up a merchandise table and took a lot of blurry shots of the show. We even got one of our shirts pinned up to the curtain with Blueberry Season pins.
It was a great show! I encourage anybody who missed it to come to the next Busker Ball on April 24th– and ask Theo about getting involved if you want to perform.
Shiloh Levy gave a presentation about buskers’ rights explaining what BuskNY is all about, followed by Heth of Heth and Jed who discussed his recent legal victory. I gave the last ten or so shirts to Arthur and Shiloh to distribute, so now I have room for the 2014 shirts. We learned a lot about what people want in a shirt from the first run, so I’m planning on doing something a little more complicated, and with a more inclusive message. There may be another Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for materials and equipment. I’ll keep you updated!
Almost immediately after we started giving them out, we began spotting our “Music is Legal!” t-shirts all over the city. Now that we’ve managed to distribute most of this summer’s supply, we’re creating a gallery of photos performers wearing the shirts.
We only have a few photos so far, but it would be great to see more people showing support!
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on setting up my own silkscreen equipment, so I can make even better shirts, with a new design, next year.
Also, don’t forget that our “Music is Legal” event at Armature Art Space in Bushwick is this Monday night! We hope to see you there!
The shirts arrived Thursday evening, and since I only had two days available to print them before losing access to my studio space (and I’m spending Sunday helping to install my show at the Painting Center), we had to rush to get them done.
With only two people, it took seven or eight hours to finish the front side of all 135 shirts.
My cousin Zeke took a detour into the city on his way up the Appalachian Trail, and he offered to help us print the backs. With his help, we finished them in four hours.
Matthew and Kalan will start distributing them to subway performers this week. Remember: Music is Legal!
The Kickstarter closed last night, and thanks to many wonderful friends, musicians, family members, and even unknown Kickstarter aficionados, we made it not just to 100 shirts, but to 135. We’ll be printing them this week and starting to distribute them just after that. Thanks so much, everyone!
On another note, we’d like to point out a concert date that’s not to be missed for those of you in NYC. Theo Eastwind, a long-term NYC busker and an outstanding musician, has organized the 3rd annual Busker Ball for this Wednesday at Spike Hill in Williamsburg. Theo will be performing himself, alongside a handful of the best new busking acts that he’s heard in the last few months. You can catch them all with a complementary ticket ($10 suggested donation). Doors open at 6:30 this Wednesday — and if you make it, find me there!
Hi all! It’s time to FUNDRAISE. Here’s why:
Performers have been in the MTA for over a hundred years, and have been legal since 1985.
But many station managers, police officers, and passers-by don’t know that we’re legal. Consequently, of the hundred-odd performers I’ve talked to, almost everyone has been made to leave a station by police, and more than a few have been handcuffed and taken away — for playing music!
We believe one of the best ways to address this is by getting the word out there: Music is Legal! But how do you communicate that information to five million daily riders, thousands of police, and hundreds of station managers?
Well, fortunately, there are hundreds of us. So here’s our idea: we make t-shirts like this one:
Then we give one to every performer, for free, and ask them to play once a week with the shirt. We’re sure it’ll reach millions of MTA riders. Can you imagine a subway where police and station managers celebrate music? We think it’s possible.
Do you want to help make this a reality? Go to our Kickstarter project, “Music is Legal!,” and make a pledge. When we meet our funding goal, we’ll make 100 of these shirts — and you’ll receive one as a reward.
And please: help spread the word by linking to the project or to this post. Have a question or a suggestion? Contact us!
On the train ride in to Manhattan this morning, I met two members of the Hybrid Movement Company, an acrobatics/circus/dance group that performs regularly in city parks. (Judging by their Facebook page, they’ve been on NBC as well!)
We shared some arrest stories, a mix of good, bad, and very amusing. There are more than a few of us out here getting arrested for art — but fortunately, I’m not the only one with a way to fight back, either. Keep it coming, acrobats!
After I caught up with the Hybriders above-ground to see their (fantastic) performance in Washington Square Park, I joined Milo in his studio to work on designs for our upcoming advocacy t-shirt. (Details coming soon on the plan for the shirts — and, not to spoil any surprises, New Yorkers should be seeing them in person soon!)
Designing was fun. Milo let me hold his charcoal pencil briefly, and I used it to draw a mustache on my face:
(My shirt was on the floor, serving as a design template). Fortunately, at least one of us took the job more seriously:
We’ll be receiving a sample batch of shirts tomorrow, and hope to have completed the first screenprints by Saturday night. In the meantime, let us know if you think we missed any important busking instruments in our design. There’s still time for additions!