BSA Film Friday: 11.20.15




Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. Beat Rockers: Keeping The Beat Alive
2. Art Start’s Family Portrait Project #SeeMeBecause
3. The Bucket Board
4. Heliotrope Foundation, Braddock Tiles
5. Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls
6. Zarif Zolay



BSA Special Feature: Six Non-Profits We Love

Last week we checked out the new JR short film “Ellis” as part of 800 or so screenings his folks have been hosting around the world in small venues for two weeks, lawsuit notwithstanding, and really enjoyed the opportunity to see his poetic take on New York’s immigrant story.

But the short pieces that played before the featured presentation really got our hearts pounding with love and pride for our fellow New Yorkers like nobody’s business. These hard working people were not born with silver spoons but you will agree that they are spinning gold, doing the hard work, keeping it real, and making us proud. Also, each one of the principals from the organizations were actually there to speak with us all – which made their intentions authentic and that much more compelling.

Please take a look at each one of these videos and see if you are impressed as well. Special thanks to Lisa Shimamura of Colab (  for putting together a great evening and for telling us more about their work. Please reach out to any of these organizations to lend a hand if you are moved to.

Beat Rockers: Keeping The Beat Alive

“Non-profit organization. B.E.A.T. introduces the art of beatboxing to students at The Lavelle School for the Blind. Tapping into the students’ love for music, the results are exuberant and resonant – just as good music should be. // Directed by Ryan Staake”

Learn more about B.E.A.T. & its instructors:


Art Start’s Family Portrait Project #SeeMeBecause

“For 25 years, Art Start has nurtured the voices hearts and minds of homeless youth through the creative process. Through years of creative collaborations, we have found that how society sees Art Start families is not how they see themselves. Art Start’s Family Portrait Project is a multimedia exhibition that partners with New York City families experiencing homelessness to present their powerful stories, hopeful voices, and loving images in their own voices – sharing with the world how they want to be seen.”

Meet the families of The Family Portrait Project on their Vimeo Channel, and learn more about Art Start at:

The Bucket Board

“When artist Mac Premo was asked by WWF-UK and Do the Green Thing to show how creativity can encourage people to live a greener lifestyle, he partnered with Sanford Shapes to make skateboard decks out of upcycled material. When the prototype proved successful, the idea shifted from figuring out how to make skateboards out of trash to how to give them to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have skateboards.”


Heliotrope Foundation, Braddock Tiles

“Braddock Tiles will be a community based artisanal micro-factory located in a formerly abandoned church in North Braddock Pennsylvania whose first venture will be to hand produce the 20,000 beautifully colored ceramic tiles needed to give its landmark structure a new roof.

A project initiated by the artist Swoon, the Braddock Tile factory will be a part of a larger context of neighborhood-based art making taking place in this once blighted section of North Braddock.

The building, upon restoration to full capacity, will become the seat of an arts focused learning and resource center, and, a museum of the possible in the shell of something once left behind.”


Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

“Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls is a non-profit music and mentoring program that empowers girls and women through music education, volunteerism, and activities that foster self-respect, leadership skills, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.”

Zarif Zolay

Zolaykha Sherzad is a  New York-based Afghan, who founded and runs fashion design firm Zarif, headquartered in Kabul. “When I was growing up in exile, school was a place of escape for me, a haven, where everything was ordered and the other children didn’t think about war or chaos in Kabul. I wanted Zarif to be a little bit like that for the people who worked here.”