Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Planned Parenthood of New York City Benefit

The 4th Annual
Roe on the Rocks
a benefit for Planned Parenthood of New York City
celebrating the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade
Thao with The Get Down Stay Down
Roe final with Sara B.jpg
 Comedian Host: Sara Benincasa
With Special Guests: The Bloodsugars & Ana Egge
April 4th, 2011    Bowery Ballroom NYC    Doors at 7pm  
General Admission: $25    VIP Tickets: $75   
Now, will you help us spread the word? Promoting Roe on the Rocks using social media is fast and easy, here are some tips:
Twitter - Tweet about attending the show! Here’s a sample tweet: I'll be at @ppnycaction 's benefit show on April 4th! Featuring @Thaogetstaydown and host @SaraJBenincasa! Join me!
Facebook - Join the facebook event and invite your friends to join too!
Tumblr - We'd love for you to blog about the show! Feel free to use the flyer image above and link to the ticket page here.   

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Writopia Lab for ages 8-18


Writopia Lab, founded in New York City in 2007, is a national community of young writers, ages 8-18. If you love the idea of developing your first short story, script, or memoir, or if you are already a prolific writer who is thrilled by the idea of polishing exceptional short stories, journalistic pieces, personal essays, poetry, and dramatic or comedic scripts, join our year-round after- school, weekend, and school-break intensive creative writing workshops.
Our students enter at different levels...and leave with at least one piece of polished, original prose!
Why Writopia Lab works: our workshops meet daily in the summer and weekly during the school year; we limit enrollment to a maximum of six participants per workshop; all of our teachers are published writers who have been extensively trained in our workshopping methodology; and we place a strong emphasis on developing, completing and polishing stories, often using exciting events such as the Scholastic Writing Awards to inspire us.

Writopia Lab runs workshops in ManhattanBrooklynNorthern WestchesterSouthern WestchesterWashington DC, and Los Angeles. Follow those links for scheduling information. If you would like Writopia to come to your city or town, email or call Rebecca at (212) 222-4088. To sign up for a workshop, fill out our online registration form!

The Highlights 
Every few months, workshop participants are invited to read their finished pieces at bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and public libraries. During these exciting events, Writopia Lab's writers share their work with friends, relatives, and with others who come in response to listings in various media. 

The Workshops
Workshops have a maximum of sixparticipants. Sessions are peppered with original and fun writing exercises, but focus primarily on writing--and completing--stories. Each time we meet, students bring copies of the newest drafts of their work to share with the group. They quietly review each other's work--marking the parts or lines they enjoy most along with the sections that they think can be improved--and then share these ideas with the group. Within a few sessions, students comfortably and easily provide insightful feedback to their peers. 

All workshop leaders are published writers who are experts in helping young writers understand and implement elements of plot and key literary tools.

Workshops are student-driven. Students may find themselves drawn to any number of genres, including the following:
  1. Fiction (realistic fiction, fanstasy, science fiction, or historical fiction)
  2. Non-fiction (memoir or journalism)
  3. Screenwriting and Playwriting (short or long, comedic or dramatic scripts for film or stage)
  4. Poetry
  5. SENIORS! Most seniors choose to bring their college essays to workshops and/or to private sessions at the Lab for feedback from our instructors.
In the fiction and memoir workshops, students brainstorm story ideas, discuss the logic of various structural choices and the virtues of applying key literary tools such as metaphorsand similes. Ultimately, students complete polished pieces of writing. These workshops culminate in public readings at local bookstores.

Students who choose to write journalistic pieces learn how to write (and pitch!) feature stories and opinion pieces, and, by the end of the workshop, some may publish their storiesin school papers or publications of their choice.
In the playwriting and screenwriting workshops, students learn techniques, gain tools, and master the structure of each form. By the end of the workshop, students will have turned ideas into scripts, moving from the page to the stage. The workshops will culminate in staged readings of the students' work at a theater in New York City. Students may also submit their work to festivals and competitions such as Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc.National Competition.
While we do not offer a specific poetry workshop, each workshop group has the option to schedule a short poetry session at each meeting.
Prestigious writing competitions serve as motivational and inspirational devices for most of the writing workshops. Over the last three years, dozens of Writopia Lab's students have won silver and gold regional and national awards from Scholastic's Art and Writing Awards in almost every genre of writing. Rebecca is a regional and national judge for this competition. Dan is a judge for (and 2002 winner of) The Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival, and was a 2003 Finalist in Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc. National Competition.
Most importantly, though, the workshops have enabled a community of young writers to find each other, connect via their literary passions, and have lots of fun.
"The workshop was amazing! I learned so much about writing short stories, articles and poetry in just two weeks. It was wonderful having this experience and a great time all at once. I'd do it again for sure!" 
—Rebecca, 14, A.J. Heschel Middle School, Scholastic Silver Keys Winner in Poetry and Short Story, 2007
"The workshop was an amazing experience! While expressing your creativity and building your skills, you were chilling and laughing the whole time! I am so glad I was a part of it... My work began to transform to art." 
—Milana, 14, A.J. Heschel School, Scholastic Regional Gold Keys Winner for two memoirs, 2007
"Rebecca has amazing lingual intuition – she knows how words feel and sound, and this enables her to work with all kinds of writing, from short stories to poems to essays... When she makes a suggestion, she is not offended if you don’t agree. She listens and considers your perspective as the writer. She can give general ideas and overall feedback as well as specific analysis, so that the writer is free to use her ideas but interpret them and write them their own way... Rebecca is an awesome (for lack of a more specific word of praise) editor and writer, and an equally amazing person. The gift of working with her is a double bonus – her amazing skill as a writer and editor, and her warm, smiling, funny, happy, wonderful personality." 
—Noa Bendit-Shtull, 15, Bard College High School, Scholastic National Gold Key Winner, 2006. Check out Noa's story on the Scholastic site.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Museum of the City of NY Saturday Academy

 Saturday Academy for Eighth to Twelfth Graders


The Frederick A.O. Schwarz Children’s Center, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, presents Saturday Academy for students in grades 8–12. Saturday Academy is a free six-week program for students interested in American History or SAT preparation.  There’s no homework or testing and all course materials are provided. 

Read more about Saturday Academy featured in New York Magazine’s “Best of New York 2011” issue.

Spring 2011 courses meet on April 30th, May 7th, 14th, 21st, and June 4th and 11th.Students may enroll in one or two courses a semester. All courses are available at two times: Session I runs from 9:00 am to 10:20 am; Session II runs from 10:30 am to 11:50 am. Students who complete all course requirements and a semester evaluation will receive a Certificate of Achievement at the end of the program. 

Spring 2011 Course Offerings

The Sixties: Music, Movements, and Mayhem
Instructor: Betty Luther Hillman, Ph.D. Candidate in American History, Yale University
Open to students in grades 8-12 
This course will focus on the major events and reform movements of this momentous decade in U.S. history—the 1960s. Students will learn about the social movements of the time, including Civil Rights, women’s liberation, and the movement against the Vietnam War, all of which continue to shape American society, politics, and culture. Through popular music as well as films, photographs, television clips, and primary source readings, students will learn about the debates concerning the future of the country during this turbulent period.

Striving for Freedom: Free Black Communities in New York and Brooklyn before the Civil War
Instructor: Samantha Gibson, M.A. in Public History, New York University
Open to students in grades 8-12
This class will examine the vibrant African-American communities that thrived in New York and Brooklyn from the early 19th century until the Civil War. Students will learn about the individuals and events that shaped these communities and empowered its members to campaign for equal voting rights, work to found schools, and organize initiatives to end slavery. Students will work with sources such as historic maps, early African-American newspapers, and archival images as they learn about early reform activism in black New York and Brooklyn.

Public Art in East Harlem: Interpreting Latino-American History in the 20th Century
Instructor: Elizabeth Hamby, B.F.A. in Fine Art, Parsons School of Design
Open to students in grades 8-12
Public art projects can be windows into important events in American history. Students will use public art in East Harlem as a lens for learning about Latino social movements in the United States during the 20th century, such as the Puerto Rican Independence movement and civil rights for U.S. born Latinos.  Students will take field trips to view murals that paint a vivid portrait of the history and culture of Latinos in America through depictions of political figures, artists, poets, and activists. The public art projects include works by Hank Prussing, Manny Vega, James de la Vega, Tato and Vagabond, Tats Cru and Marina Gutierrez. The class will work together to create a map of East Harlem showcasing each public art project visited, the artists’ political and social perspectives, and the historical significance of the local and national events depicted.

Kaplan SAT Skills
Instructor: Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
Open to students in grades 11-12
Test prep can help students maximize their performance on standardized tests and increase their odds of college acceptance and merit-based financial aid. In this course, students will learn time-honored techniques for taking the SAT and master key Kaplan strategies. Kaplan faculty will cover critical reading, math, and writing skills. Walk into Test Day feeling confident and prepared!

To apply for Saturday Academy:

Download and Print the Spring 2011 brochure and application.

Mail the completed application to:
Joanna Steinberg, Saturday Academy Coordinator, Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029.
Applications submitted by fax or email will not be accepted.

Applications must be received by Wednesday, April 6th no later than 5:00 p.m.

Enrollment is first come first serve. There are a limited number of spaces reserved for students who live in East Harlem (10029 and 10035 zip codes) and/or attend schools in East Harlem. Please apply early-space is limited! Accepted candidates will be notified by email, mail, or telephone.

For more information or to be added to the Saturday Academy mailing list, please contact Joanna Steinberg, Saturday Academy Coordinator, at

Support for Saturday Academy is provided by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.