On Monday, April 8, Norte Maar held its Annual Benefit Performance at Pace Gallery. The evening celebrated nine years of Norte Maar’s programming and unique collaborative mission. The night honored poet Bob Holman.
The night began with the performance by tap dancer Andrew J. Nemr and members of his company CPD Plus. He was joined by Gordon Au on the trumpet. Co-founders Julia K. Gleich and Jason Andrew took center stage to mc the night welcoming a beautiful crowd of supporters and friends.
“Tonight we celebrate the collaborative mission of Norte Maar and honor the poet, Bob Holman,” began Jason Andrew, “Long before the founding of Norte Maar, Julia and I searched to define the many various artistic projects we partnered to program and present. Collaboration was always at its core. Applying equal weight to the visual, literary and performing arts, we set out to start an organization that would promote cross-disciplinary collaborations, build community, foster artistic expression and raise the imaginative energy in us all.”
“So in 2004 in an empty ice rink in upstate New York, Norte Maar began. We have done a lot since 2004 and last year was an unprecedented one for Norte Maar,” Andrew continued, “and it was all made possible through the generous support of you, our friends, our family.”
Highlights of 2012 include:
- Collaboration with Julie Martin / Experiments in Art and Technology to present 30 events in our John Cage Transmitted Series, celebrating the centennial of John Cage, in which new sound played a vital role. Norte Maar collaborated with over 10 arts organizations including Harvestworks and the National Academy Museum to present the series.
- Collaboration with Brooklyn Ballet to present CounterPointe, a new series featuring women choreographers making new work on pointe.
- The production of our own collaborative ballet, The Brodmann Areas.
- The mounted an historic exhibition called To be a Lady.
- The continuation of our monthly children’s art and literacy program Authors and Artists
- The opening nine exhibitions at the apartment gallery
- The publication of two books featuring the collaboration between poets/writers and visual artists
- BeatNite where we continue to advocate for the Bushwick art scene with special emphasis on the alternative spaces
“I couldn’t put a finger on the first time I met Bob,” Andrew said, “Bob’s the kind a guy you feel like you’ve always known. And anyone who has spent any time with Bob can understand the concrete yet fleeting nature of exchange with Bob. I do remember that Bob accepted our invite to participate in our first Transmitted event in 2009 without hesitation and it had to be one of the greatest highlights hearing his voice bounce down Wyckoff Ave from the speakers we had lining the street.”
President of the Board, Julia Gleich, took the mic to announce that Robert Storr, who was slated to be present to introduce the night’s honoree, Bob Holman, had a conflict in his schedule and unfortunately, to his distress, had to cancel tonight. But he sent along a text to be read. So we hired an actor, Jefferson Slinkard, to play Robert Storr and read his introduction of Bob Holman which ended in “All hail this slamming jamming whole man!” For full text click here.
“Following a rousing, alliterative, very funny, and reminiscence-filled speech by ‘Robert Storr,’ wrote Benjamin Sutton for ARTINFO,”Holman took to the stage and outlined his two current projects: The recently reopened Bowery Poetry Club, and the a documentary on the disappearance of languages. “Poets have been using language rent-free for thousands of years,” he said. “Now it’s payback time.” Most dear to us was his recognitions of all that we have achieved on such a small budget. “Norte Maar just does it and they do it so well,” said Holman. To honor Bob, a portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales were given to support his projects.
The performance part of the program featured a new ballet by Julia Gleich titled Amber but not Yellow in a Haze with no Smoke, featuring dancers Kimberly Giannelli, Morgan McEwen, and Izabela Szylinska with twelve young dancers from Brooklyn Ballet Youth Ensemble with costumes by Tamara Gonzales. Bob joined in unexpectedly to read poetry!
Next up was Norte Maar’s rendition of the poetry jam called Variation on the Poetry Jam. It featured Bill Berkson, Viven Bittencourt, Paul D’Agostino, Mónica de la Torre, Elaine Equi, Vincent Katz, Mika Gellman, Andrew Hurst, Dara Mandle, Jerome Sala, Lynne Tillman and Bob Holman. It was epic.
To close, Jason Andrew announced that $10,000 was raised in ticket sales and outlined how the money would support:
- Norte Maar’s ongoing children’s arts and literary collaborations with Brooklyn Library
- new collaborative publications like the latest available from Norte Maar featuring poet Mika Gellman and artist Steve Harding
- more and more exhibitions, talks, dance and experimental sound performances
- and… the exciting new collaboration this summer with the Socrates Sculpture Park, called Dance at Socrates, in which dance artists will be in residence making work and performing on an outdoor stage in the park during August 2013
Special thanks to:
Pace Gallery particularly Douglas Baxter and Emilie Sahara
2013 Benefit Committee:
David + Joan Grubin
Arne + Milly Glimcher
Andrew J Nemr + CPD plus
Brooklyn Ballet Youth Ensemble
Mónica de la Torre
and sound staff:
David Powers, DJ
John Driscoll, sound
Bodega Wine Bar
Smith & Vine
2013 Norte Maar’s Project Assistants:
and Ryan Michael Ford
Board of Directors:
Julia K. Gleich, President
Jason Andrew, Director