Summer Updates: Chimpanzee Party and Tap Dancing in Red Hook

Hello Readers,

Its been a while, hopefully everyone is doing a-ok this summer. I just about melted in New York, so am now spending some time cooling off and rewiring in Santa Cruz where the beach plumbs abound. YUM. Anyone else out there in love with a summer fruit? Do tell…

Meanwhile, let me let you in on some summer updates:

This year marked the Second Annual World Chimpanzee Day Celebration on July 14th, which last year I managed to commemorate in writing here.

This year, the party grew, as I was fortunate enough to team up with two like minded, organized, and driven ladies: Tina DeSanto of the waste awareness non-profit, The World is Your Dumpster, and Maria Molino of the up n’ coming textile recycling company, Marimole.

Together, and funded through a grant from the Jane Goodall Institute (Bravo!!), we hosted a free community event at Big Irv’s Art Collective featuring art by yours truly and a talented visiting artist and sailor- Madalyn Freedman. The photo below depicts my collection of garbage art, Madalyn’s work can be found on her website, click here to check it out!

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The event drew a small crowd including some neighbors I’d seen a bajillion times before but never had the chance to speak with, a few innocent passersby that we rangled in with the promise of cold beverages and snacks, and another few people from the Brooklyn Fixit community. We were lucky enough to receieve a generous beer donation from a company called Toast that makes beer out of bread scraps from local bakeries and also provided an educational component: two speakers who enlightened us with information about fixing electronics and current Right to Repair Legislation.

The important takeaway information from the speakers was this: you can fix your own electronics! Yes, you! There is a great company called I-Fixit based out of California that has created step-by-step how-to manuals to guide you through fixing anything from a broken track-pad on your computer to a broken screen on your phone and much more in between. They sell all the equipment you will need to fix your own devices including toolkits and replacement parts. Check them out next time you’ve got a problem with your device, you might be able to fix your item on your own before scrapping it completely, and you’ll defienitely learn something in the process.

Here are a couple photos of our speakers in action at the event:

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Vincent Lai, Fixer Extraordinnaire, Brooklyn Fixer’s Collective

By the end of the day, we collected about two boxes of e-waste from the community which were later brought to the Gowanus E-waste Warehouse for recycling. Discussions were had about the impact of electronics on chimpanzee habitat, facilitated by artwork and fixing discussions, and the connection was made between our event and World Chimpanzee Day. All in all, the event was a great success!

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Stay tuned for World Chimpanzee Day III, July 14th, 2020, when I hope introduce tap dancing into the mix for a true great ape extravaganza.

Speaking of tap dancing, I have a few updates to share on that front.

This summer also marked the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. Struck by inspiration at the original site of the festival, fellow tap dancer transplant Liz Cousins created a show which premiered this summer at the American Tap Dance Foundation. I got to be in it, which was cool. To prepare for the show, the cast (pictured below) all got together one rainy weekend and visited Bethel, NY, the site of the 1969 festival, to learn about the festival and its historical context.

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As soon as I get footage from the show I will share it since it was groovy and different.

Lastly, here is a sound clip from a bluegrass jam I got to participate in a few weeks ago in a breezy spot in New York City called Red Hook. The jam took place in the back of a bar called Sunny’s Bar and was a lot of fun! Take a listen here, if you listen long enough you will here some strange thumping, which is me playing my shoes. If you want the quick and dirty, jump to minute 55. Enjoy!

All the best,

KB

 

 

 

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