in the Public Realm
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Previous Newsletters Vol. 1 Issue 6 - September 2011


Labor Day, on Monday, marks the end of a busy summer. We see the fall cultural event calendar filling up everywhere. cultureNOW is partnering with many organizations this season to collaborate on programs, tours and activities. On September 15th, The Institute for Urban Design will launch the first ever Urban Design Week in New York City. This is a new public festival created to engage New Yorkers in the fascinating and complex issues of the public realm, and to celebrate the streetscapes, sidewalks, and public spaces at the heart of city life.

Two weeks later, Archtober, Architecture and Design Month in New York City, begins. For the next 31 days, there will be special tours, lectures, films and exhibitions that focus on the importance of architecture and design in urban life. Special access to sites - and their architects - will raise awareness of the important role of design in our city. As one of the 31 partners, we plan to feature highlights of both festivals online and on our apps.

Abby Suckle, President


New York is not the only city celebrating the arts this month. New Orleans will launch Arts Week on September 17th, a new festival which will showcase the city's rich cultural heritage and celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Percent for Art Program.


Since Hurricane Katrina, the Arts Council of New Orleans which administers the public art collection has restored twelve major exterior sculptures throughout every area of the City. Synchronicity and Spirit House are the largest yet to be undertaken.

Public Art events during Arts Week include the re-lighting of Spirit House on the 18th at 6pm where there will be a community celebration.

Later in the week, on Wednesday evening, there will be a gallery opening highlighting the 25 year history of the Percent For Art Program at the Arts Council's new Exchange Centre Gallery, 935 Gravier St.

This will be followed on Friday evening by the dedication for Birth of A Muse by Kim Bernadas, the first new piece commissioned by the Percent For Art Program since Katrina.

Spirit House (2002, Restored 2011) by Martin Payton & John Scott photo © Arts Council of New Orleans

Rain Towers (1986) by Helen Escobedo
photo © Arts Council of New Orleans

Synchronicity (1999, Restored 2011) by Thomas Mann
photo © Arts Council of New Orleans

River Stones (1992) by Terry Weldon
photo © cultureNOW

cultureNOW will be hosting its Third Annual Historical Tour of Harlem: The Capital of Black America as part of openhousenewyork on October 16th from 3-5 pm with James Kaplan as the tour guide.

Downtown Los Angeles
cultureNOW has 4 walking tours of downtown LA courtesy of the Community Redevelopment Agency of LA. If you happen to be there, check them out.

Interesting Finds
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Featured Artist: TONY ROSENTHAL
The featured artist this month is Tony Rosenthal. These painted steel sculptures are the first two of five Tony Rosenthal sculptures purchased by the City of New York. Alamo was the first modern sculpture purchased by the City, and 5 in 1 the second. It consists of five interlocking discs which represent the interconnectedness of the City's Five Boroughs, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

Alamo (1974) by Tony Rosenthal
photo © cultureNOW

5 in 1 (1974) by Tony Rosenthal
photo © cultureNOW

Featured Architect: WXY Architects
WXY Architects & Urban Design seeks to connect the lessons written in each site's history of use with the future of technology and emergent civic needs for renewed PUBLIC works. Evolving a design methodology through the challenges of innovating public space, they have developed a practice based on merging the categories of architecture and planning. We are happy to showcase some their key projects.

Bronx Charter School for the Arts
photo © Courtesy of WXY Architecture & Urban Design

Zipper Bench
photo © Courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design