Monthly Archives: November 2013

5 Pointz

5 Pointz

Early Tuesday morning, a warehouse building in Long Island City, Queens, had its exterior walls painted white.

This would usually not be notable. But for the past 20 years, the 109-year-old building, lovingly-known as 5 Pointz, had been a refuge for New York’s graffiti and street artists who lived, worked and exhibited in the space. Tourists by the busload flocked to see four brick stories colorfully—and legally—covered by the spray paint, sharpies and chalk of over 1500 artists from France, Japan, Brazil and beyond. Street art aficionados noted their favorite tags, while others took in the Aztecan-meets-Keith Haring murals or off-kilter, post-apocalyptic scenes. But it all disappeared on Tuesday.

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Anthony Bourdain at Duly's in Detroit.

Anthony Bourdain at Duly’s in Detroit.

Last weekend, CNN aired season two’s last episode of urban enthusiast and traveling-chef extraordinaire Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. And where was the final episode filmed? Detroit.

Bourdain loves Detroit. He loves Detroiters. He loves their tough sense of humor. In a blog post devoted to the city and episode, he writes, “Detroit isn’t just a national treasure. It IS America. And wherever you may live, you wouldn’t be there—and wouldn’t be who you are in the same way—without Detroit.”

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Life IS interesting when you're six! Making owl puppets with ARTreach. (via facebook)

Do you remember when you were six? Making owl puppets with ARTreach. (via facebook)

In anticipation of Levitt Pavilion Houston’s 2017 opening, we wanted to highlight the amazing work that an organization called ARTreach is doing in the greater Houston community.

Started in 2003 by organizer and child advocate Terri Payne Bieber, ARTreach trains artists and volunteers to bring art-related services and programs to children at risk, senior citizens and people with special needs. They also bring art to hospital patients and catastrophe survivors to help with the healing process.

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Houston, the site of the eighth Levitt Pavilion. Photo: Katie Haugland

Houston, the site of the eighth Levitt Pavilion.
Photo: Katie Haugland

We’re thrilled to announce that Houston has been selected as the site of the eighth Levitt Pavilion! Levitt Pavilion Houston will be the crown jewel of the 280-acre Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve in Southwest Houston’s Westbury neighborhood.

Just like Levitt’s six existing music venues across America (there’s a seventh in development in Denver’s Ruby Hill Park), Levitt Pavilion Houston will present 50 free, family-friendly concerts every year in a welcoming, outdoor setting for Greater Houston, home to a population of over six million people. When the sustainably designed venue opens in 2017, it will be able to accommodate up to 5,000 nightly concertgoers for a broad range of high quality concerts featuring acclaimed, emerging talent to seasoned, award-winning performers.

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The "upcycled" doors of Cleveland's St. Clair. (via

The “upcycled” doors of Cleveland’s St. Clair.

We keep hearing buzz about places like Cleveland, Omaha and Houston, where cool arts projects are redefining perceptions of what the cities are and can be. Cleveland’s St. Clair Avenue actively engages in neighborhood-wide “upcycling,” creating funky arts and crafts from discarded materials while generating business from the products. Green in the City, an Omaha-based design competition, will create a multipurpose community space and outdoor theater in that city. And Houston’s “rockabilly oasis” of Mid-Main boasts a First Thursday that not only attracts people to the neighborhood for an evening of music, art and libations, but also donates 5% of the evening’s proceeds to local nonprofits.

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Levitt Arlington concertgoers already know the amazing a cappella stylings of hometown favorites, Pentatonix. The group—Levitt Arlington performers in 2012 and 2013— won the third season of The Sing-Off, but it was a music video that helped them earn one of the first-ever YouTube Music Awards last night in New York City!

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A Philadelphia mural made possible by the city's Mural Arts Program.

A Philadelphia mural made possible by the city’s Mural Arts Program.

Public art can appear in so many forms. It can take on serious issues, it can be playful. A food stand in Pittsburgh gives lessons on geopolitical events, a sculpture garden in Minneapolis has an edible installation and a historic market park in Cleveland is complimented by nearby tables and chairs that resemble fruit crates.

More and more cities are supporting public art that fosters community and lets people share experiences. And a lot of these public art projects were recently covered in a great Keystone Edge article, “Public Art Enters a New Era”.

Is your city mentioned? What’s a cool public art project near you?