Open Planning Potluck / Open Brainstorm 2015

Epic Brainstorm Open Planning Meeting Jan 2015

The Free University of New York City will kick off 2015 with an Open Planning Potluck that will gather new and continuing participants to envision and map out our fourth year(!) of activities.

When: Sunday, January 25th, 1-3pm
Where: Ya-Ya Network, 224 West 29th Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10001
RSVP and share the event on Facebook

What themes should the Free University address? Who could be involved and how can we reach them? What can crowd-sourced anti-oppression education do for movements in NYC? Join us to create a vibrant, relevant, and inclusive Free University in 2015!

Bring your friends and your favorite dish and/or drink to share. All experiences welcomed, especially people who have been historically marginalized from formal systems of education. A brief overview of Free University’s history and organizing principles will be provided.

Please review our Principles and Statement of Intentions beforehand – we request that all participants in the event respect our community agreements to create a safe and thriving space for everyone.

THANK YOU – and fill out our SURVEY!

2014 is approaching its end, and we are busy gathering, archiving and sharing documents and photos from all the events Free University NYC hosted and participated in during the last 12 months – what a year it has been! We are proud and excited to look back on a total of 10 diverse events this year, with themes ranging from the Prison Industrial Complex to Climate Justice.

THANK YOU so much for being a part of our journey, and bringing your perspectives, insights and practices to our collective educational experiences! Free University is only possible through your commitment to our community, and our shared struggle for social justice and free education.

Looking forward to 2015, we would like to crowdsource constructive feedback towards future events. Please help us out by participating in our SURVEY.
Thank you and see you soon (stay tuned for an open planning meeting in late January)!

Schedule/infopack for *Horizontal Art and Action* / *Arte y acción horizontales* Free University

*Horizontal Art and Action* Free University / *Arte y acción horizontales* Free University
Saturday, October 11, 11:30am-4pm
Pedro Albizu Campos Plaza
East 13th St & East 14th St between Avenues B & C
East Village, Manhattan

Download complete schedule/infopack.

20 fantastic workshops scheduled for this Saturday! In case of rain, we will relocate to Campos Plaza Gym, right next door. Full schedule with course descriptions below:

11:30am – Welcome, Opening Remarks, Statement of Intentions

Ongoing: Portable Writing Center

12-1pm
– Visualizing Solidarity from Ferguson to Gaza to Hong Kong
– Organización y reproducción de la cultura (arte) como una forma de resistencia dentro de las comunidades indígenas migrantes en Nueva York.
– Songlines
– Anti-Gentrification Rap

1-2pm
– carving/sculpturing
– Exploring the Gentrification (k)NOT
– Open Source Public Space: Creating and Reclaiming
– Performative Documentary for Youth Organizing

2-3pm
– DOCUMENTS OF RESISTANCE, part 2
– Free Money Movement
– I Hear You
– Drawing Towards Cairo
– Visualizing Our Network: Radical Spaces for Building Counter-Power

3-4pm
– B to C: Before Campos – Walking Tour
– “Acting”
– Empowering community and everyday through art practice
– Would You Like A Letter For A Rainy Day?
– Action Art and Intervention Behind the Iron Curtain

DESCRIPTIONS: Continue reading

Oct 11 *Horizontal Art and Action*/*Arte y acción horizontales* Free University

*Horizontal Art and Action* Free University
Saturday, October 11, 12-4pm

Campos Plaza
E 13th st between Avenues B and C
Lower East Side, Manhattan
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(Versión en español más abajo)
Free University – NYC welcomes workshops, teach-ins, dialogues, and performances by artists and community activists to learn and share power together (in Latin America, a process called horizontalidad). In the wake of losing 5 Pointz, Brecht Forum, Gathering of Tribes, Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, City College Morales/Shakur Center, 285 Kent, and soon Death by Audio, and also seeing public art become the front-lines of gentrification, we need art and actions that envision creative social change while practicing it.
Contribute an activity / volunteer here.

Potential themes: Art/mural skills-share. Tenants, workplace, & youth organizing. Radical art history 101. Street journalism. Visualizing solidarity (Ferguson, Gaza, climate justice..). Creative direct action training. Walking tours. Horizontal community justice. Spoken word & theater. DIY pamphlet design. Guerrilla media/copwatch. Peaceful parenting.

FreeUniversityNYC.org
FreeUniversityNYC@gmail.com
Facebook.com/FreeUniversityNYC

This event is part of the Art in Odd Places Festival (ArtinOddPlaces.org).
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*Arte y acción horizontales* Free University
Sábado 11 de octubre,
12-4pm
Campos Plaza
E 13th St entre las avenidas B y C
Lower East Side, Manhattan

Free University-NYC convoca a artistas y activistas de la comunidad para proponer talleres, diálogos o performances que nos ayuden a aprender y compartir modos de empoderarnos juntos–un proceso que en América Latina se llama horizontalidad. Tras la pérdida de muchos espacios, como 5 Pointz, Brech Forum, Gathering of Tribes, Rebel Díaz Arts Collective, City College Morales/Shakur Center, 285 Kent–pronto Death by Audio– y ver que el arte público se ha convertido en un frente de batalla en el proceso de gentrificación (aburguesamiento), creemos que necesitamos juntarnos para compartir un arte y acciones que imaginan el cambio social desde la práctica.

Si quieres contribuir con un taller, una performance -o ser voluntario, rellena este formulario.
RSVP y reenviar en Facebook.

Temas posibles: Herramientas para hacer arte o murales.
Organización de vecinos, laboral, o grupos juveniles. Historia básica de arte radical. Periodismo callejero. Visualización de solidaridad (Ferguson, Gaza, justicia climática). Entrenamiento de acción directa creativa. Tours. Justicia comunitaria horizontal. Palabra y teatro. Diseño de panfletos. Guerrilla media – Copwatch. Enseñanza pacífica.

FreeUniversityNYC.org
FreeUniversityNYC@gmail.com
Facebook.com/FreeUniversityNYC

Este evento será parte del festival “ART IN ODD PLACES” / “ARTE EN LUGARES EXTRAÑOS” (www.ArtinOddPlaces.org).

Sept 20: *Decolonize Climate Justice* Free University!!

*Decolonize Climate Justice*
Free University
Saturday, September 20
10:30am-3pm
El Jardín del Paraíso
Spans E4th to E5th st between Ave C & D
Lower East Side, Manhattan

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(Versión en español más abajo)

Download the event schedule:
Free University NYC_Decolonize Climate Justice_Schedule

To volunteer, fill out this form.
RSVP/share on Facebook.

Decolonize Climate Justice is a call to transform our ideas, practices, and organizing to protect the earth and its inhabitants from ecological, economic, and political devastation. One day before the People’s Climate March, as part of NYC Climate Convergence, Free University-NYC will host teach-ins, workshops, indigenous performances, direct action trainings, and more.

Those most affected by the first symptoms of climate change­­ such as extreme weather and environmental disasters brought on by capitalist exploitation ­­are indigenous people worldwide, marginalized majorities of the Global South and poor people of color in the Global North. These connections are not coincidental: the same systems of thought and action that devalue and deaden the world around us also function to devalue human lives and cultures.

Continue reading

“Subtleties of Resistance” a huge success!

Profound gratitude to all who co-created the “Subtleties of Resistance” Free University yesterday. If you’re on Facebook, post and see photos, share reflections, announce future events – keep these dialogues and actions moving: https://www.facebook.com/events/263945777125909/

Here’s the event’s infopack, which contains readings, writing prompts, further contact info: http://freeuniversitynyc.org/files/2014/07/subtletiesresistance.doc

If you missed last night’s films screening, check out an expanded bill tonight at UnionDocs, 7:30pm, $9: http://www.uniondocs.org/2014-07-06-domino-sugar-shorts/

All are invited to join Free University – NYC‘s ongoing creations. Come envision next steps at a community picnic next Saturday, July 12, at Prospect Park. Meet at 12pm outside Brooklyn Public Library to walk over together.

- the Free U crew

July 5 “Subtleties of Resistance” Free U schedule & infopack!

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Our Saturday, July 5, “Subtleties of Resistance” final schedule and infopack are here!

12pm – Free U group meets at corner of Kent Ave and Grand St in Williamsburg to get in line together at *12:15pm SHARP* with flag/sign to identify our presence. Only 100 people are allowed inside the exhibition at a time, but we’ll do our best to get everyone in!

*1pm-1:30pm – Performances inside exhibition*
– Brian Jones – reading of Frederick Douglass’s July 5, 1852 speech “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?”
– Sofía Gallisá – reading in Spanish of Abelardo Díaz Alfaro’s 1947 story “Bagazo”
– Tracie Morris – original sound poetry

*2pm-3pm – Free U community picnic at Grand Ferry Park (BYOgoodies)*

*3pm-5pm – Workshops/dialogues/teach-ins at Grand Ferry Park*
– 3pm –
– Arts & Labor Alternative Economies Working Group and Tidal Magazine – dialogue on 1960s-70s artists of color protests; art and gentrification; and current campaigns, boycotts, and creative actions to change museums and cultural institutions.
– Coalition Moratorium to Protect Prospect Park, Crown Heights Tenant Union, NYC Anti-Eviction Network, and Reclaim Bushwick – roundtable discussion on resisting evictions and gentrification across the city.
– Lorraine Currelley – presentation on “The Failure to Address the Authenticity of Kara Walker’s Historical, Psychological, Socio-political, Spiritual, Never Subtle Subtlety.”
– Nicole Fleetwood and Sable Smith – dialogue on the #WeAreHere project, Black visual arts, and education.
– 4pm –
– Theater of the Oppressed NYC – introductory workshop to play essential games from the arsenal of TO, participate in a forum theatre demonstration, and engage in theatrical dialogue to investigate racism, sexism, and classism as they affect our communities.
– Ricardo Waldron – presentation on “Jamaica: The History of the Maroons and their relationship to the Haitian Revolution.”

*8:30pm – Free outdoor community film screening at Kent Ave and Grand St*
– UnionDocs will feature “Domino Sugar–1989” and “Third Shift

Important details:
– Free University-NYC events are family-friendly, but we can’t provide childcare for this event. However, we will have an info/care/creation station at the park that welcomes kids.
– This event is wheelchair accessible. For wheelchair accessible transit, take the 2/3 to Court St., then take the B62 bus and either get out at S. 2nd and Bedford and travel awhile on the sidewalk, or transfer at Broadway for the B32.
– Participants with nasal sensitivities should bring a handkerchief. The Domino Sugar Factory has a fairly strong smell of the remnants of sugar, work, and industrial dissolution.

Any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at FreeUniversityNYC@gmail.com

July 5 – “Subtleties of Resistance” Free University at Kara Walker’s exhibition

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“Subtleties of Resistance”
Free University at Kara Walker’s
A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby

Saturday, July 5, 2014
12pm-4pm (arrive early in line)
Domino Sugar Factory
310 Kent Avenue at South 1st st.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Although Kara Walker’s A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby exhibition has been well-attended and widely reviewed, the exhibition has also been fraught with a lack of on-site critical engagement. Some visitors have even responded to the work in ways that are racist, sexist, classist–adding insult to historical and present injuries.

On June 22, a mass gathering coordinated by and for people of color will work to reverse this trend (http://goo.gl/NCckqg). Continuing in this spirit, Free University-NYC aims to crowd-source artists, historians, critics, anti-gentrification actors, spoken word performers, and more (from both inside and outside “professional” circles) to host on July 5 an interactive “pop-up” series of dialogues and performances inside the exhibition across the afternoon. As this will be the day after a highly illusory national holiday and a day before the exhibition closes, we aim for these interactions to be reflective, concrete, and forward-moving.

RSVP/share on Facebook.

Contribute an activity.

We especially seek contributions on the following themes:
– histories and current examples of enslavement and resistance
– the rise of sugar and other commodities under capitalism
– women of color’s participation in social, economic, and cultural life
– minstrelsy and appropriation in art
– counter-histories of the Fourth of July
– intersectional/anti-oppression art and activism
– resisting gentrification, displacement, and apartheid
– creating safe spaces in museums and communities

Confirmed participants:
Brian Jones – performance from Frederick Douglass’s July 5, 1852 speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” (http://goo.gl/m7douE)

Contact:
FreeUniversityNYC@gmail.com
FreeUniversityNYC.org
Facebook.com/FreeUniversityNYC

Sat 5/31 @5pm: “Freedom Learning Practices from Brisbane to NYC to Oaxaca”

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“Freedom Learning Practices: From Brisbane to NYC to Oaxaca”
Saturday, May 31, 5pm-7pm
Balsley Park (W 57th st & 9th ave), Manhattan

This panel gathers Fern Thompsett from the Brisbane Free University in Australia, Conor Tomás Reed from the Free University of NYC, and Lindsey Shilleh from Unitierra in Oaxaca, Mexico, to explore alternatives to education, in a move beyond alternative education. We situate learning at the core of our capacity to collectively imagine and develop the sort of society in which we wish to live. However, we recognize that current educational structures can submerge us further in the capitalist system, and convert education into a commodity to be bought and sold, which threatens autonomous learning. We also see that radical pedagogies, student/teacher uprisings (ex: Chicago, Chile, Quebec), and the long tradition of freedom schools can frame a people’s history of learning inside/outside institutions to reverse the demise of education as a commons.

We therefore ask: How can we create alternatives beyond educational institutions that also transform these institutions and societies in the process? How can we reclaim learning as a form of resistance and liberation? Our three projects have taken such forms as cooperatives, documentaries, militant research, radio programs, seminars, and workshops in such spaces as museums, parking lots, parks, street corners, and subway stations. We will share from our experiences of collective, free, non-institutional learning to suggest (and ask) how to re-imagine what it is to learn as a crucial part of social movement life.

“Remaking Justice” Free U a vibrant success!

Tremendous gratitude and respect for the 100+ people and 11 workshop presenters who came out to the Free University yesterday. Such power and life in rad community education!

–>Our next event will a FREE panel at the Left Forum on Saturday, May 31, @5pm on “Freedom Learning Practices from Brisbane to NYC to Oaxaca.” Meet outside by 4:50pm at John Jay College, 540 W 59th St, Manhattan.
— Featuring members of the Brisbane Free University (Australia), Free University – NYC, and Unitierra de Oaxaca (Mexico). Spread the word, and come through!

Stay connected:
FreeUniversityNYC.org
FreeUniversityNYC@gmail.com
Facebook.com/FreeUniversityNYC
@FREEUNIVNYC