Thursday, July 28, 2011


I am straight up copying content out of the official website of Style Wars 'cuz these folks need your help in raising money to restore the original Hip Hop documentary which is damaged and aging. It's gonna cost them a cool half million, folks, so give a little something. Plus they will send you free Style Wars stuff!

To Donate to the Restoration of Style Wars, Click HERE


In the early 1980s, Mayor Koch, enraged about graffiti, began buffing the city’s colorful, painted trains. In the end, he may have succeeded, but not before Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant captured the magnificent tidal wave of graffiti in their pioneering documentary, Style Wars. The film is seen around the world as an important footnote in hip hop culture and New York City history. Today, that history, too, is threatened. The original footage is damaged and fading. A new kind of buffing is taking place – a “celluloid buff” – that threatens to eradicate the record of the first brave and indomitable writers who took the world by storm.

You can help preserve that history!

Public Art Films is currently on a fund-raising mission to restore the original print, and to create a new high definition master which will preserve the record of the first painted trains to its original vivid colors. We’re inviting you to take part in this historic enterprise.

The Restoration Project

Twenty five years after its initial release there is still a strong, global demand for the film. In an effort to keep up with this demand we must be able to offer the film in the the most up-to-date formats. We are embarking on a project to restore STYLE WARS and bring it up to the highest technical standards available today in order to create a High Definition edition of the film. We will be transferring the original 16 mm negativeinto full HD 1080p while cleaning and restoring the film during the process. The HD master will be better, sharper and more brilliant than the original. From it we can strike new prints, author new DVDs and participate in the digital economy.

We have looked at the original negative and discovered that it was damaged during the many years it has been in storage. Fortunately, it will be possible to repair it, using digital technology, painstakingly working on each damaged frame. The restored film will have unprecedented sharpness and clarity and the vibrant colors of the painted trains will be revealed in their original intensity.


One of the questions people always ask us is, “What’s in the outtakes?”
STYLE WARS was originally edited to its 69 minute length from about 30 hours of 16 mm film that we shot in 1981 and 1982. We have been able to visit the storage facility at the Academy Film Archives in order to look through some of the outtakes. It was very exciting to see wonderful scenes in the extra footage that didn’t make it into the finished film. There are many shots of trains and some surprising masterpieces rescued from oblivion. There are more scenes from the B boy battle at United Skates of America between the Rock Steady Crew and the Dynamic Rockers and there are interviews with Skeme and his mom, Dez, Kase 2, Shy, Seen, Dondi and all the other kings and characters that people have grown to love.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



Did you know that there is a library in Manhattan (and in L.A.) where you can go and watch thousands of television shows?

I first discovered this library in 1993 around the time I started graduate school in New York. It was housed in what was then called The Museum of Radio and Television. There was a special exhibit called Jim Henson's World of Television. In addition to checking out the exhibit, I went to the library to watch these programs:

The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
The Jim Henson Hour: The Secrets of the Muppets

The Muppet Show (with guest Ethel Merman)
The Muppet Show (with guest Paul Simon)

In more recent years, after the museum had been renamed The Paley Center for Media, I went back to view these titles:

Sesame Street - Maria & Luis Wedding
Muppet Show (with guest Harry Belafonte)
Of Muppets and Men
60 Minutes: Backstage at the Muppet Show

All these shows, along with books and articles I read, gave me a decent working knowledge of Jim Henson's work in television and film.

Branching out from all things Henson, I returned to the museum in January of 2010 to be part of the premier screening of VH1 Rock Doc Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America. I got to hear some great panelists speak about the show. The lineup included: Danyel Smith, music journalist (who also appears in the film): Big Bank Hank from The Sugar Hill Gang (of Rapper's Delight fame);Questlove, Drummer for the Roots and creator of the doc's musical score; and Tyronne Proctor, Soul Train dancer and currently choreographer.

This summer, I went back for more on Henson and found myself in a new and improved screening room where most titles have gone digital and the viewer can control what she watches with a click of a mouse. If your selection is only available via video, you go back up to the old screening room. Which I did do this time around, as my choice was Great Performances: The World of Jim Henson from 1994. It was great up there - dark and quiet. I kicked off my shoes and watched moving footage of Jim and also his peers talking about him.

Not long after, I went to Paley again and after some searching around the digital archives found living tap legend Savion Glover's Nu York, in which he could be found performing with folks like Stevie Wonder, Wyclef Jean, and (then named) P. Diddy. (Yes, he and Diddy did a tap-off!)

Then I journeyed downstairs to the Bennack Theater to watch a screening of Funny Women of Television, a show produced by The Museum of Radio and Television in 1996. It was a good show, but sorely lacking in representation of women of color.

Here's basic info on Paley, and I encourage you to check out their website to check out their Daily Screenings schedule so ya get to watch things on the big screen as well as on the individual computer screens.

The Paley Center for Media
25 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6129
(212) 621-6600

Open Wed,Fri-Sun 12pm-6pm; Thu 12pm-8pm
Subway: 5 Av/53 St

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Missy Elliott is a pioneer in hip hop and in the aesthetics of music videos, busting out of the decorative function of women in video. So let's celebrate her NOW!!! Make sure ya watch VH1's Behind the Music special on Missy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


When I saw the "Be Ready" posters of the New York Lottery plastered around the city, I thought to myself "That's a great slogan, but better applied to my life in general." So I've been asking myself "What can I do to be ready for the next great opportunity?" and then listening carefully to the answer that comes from within.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


Mark you calendars for Wellness Day! A terrific fundraiser for The Global Autism Project.

Any and all members of the Brooklyn community, regardless of age and body type, as well as numerous local health and fitness businesses and vendors.

Brooklyn Wellness in the Park is a new health and wellness event this summer brought to you by the Global Autism Project. The goal of this event is to bring members of our communities together to exercise and learn how to get fit and stay healthy in their everyday lives. Participants who come to the wellness event will enjoy group workouts led by local coaches, as well as have opportunities to get more information about community fitness studios and wellness centers, sample both local and national health food products, and participate in exciting raffles and giveaways.

All proceeds from this event go to the Global Autism Project, a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization that is committed to empowering communities worldwide to address the needs of individuals affected by autism. The Global Autism Project implements new and sustains existing programs in the United States as well as in under-resourced countries abroad. The Global Autism Project believes in the importance of healthy minds and bodies, both within the scope of their organization and beyond it, so they are joining together with our community to promote the universal importance of health and wellness. For more information about the Global Autism Project, visit their website at

All you have to do is show up at Brooklyn Wellness in the Park for a day full of fun fitness classes and activities, great food, wellness education, and community bonding. The event is free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 to support the Global Autism Project’s national and international programs and future events like this one.
If your local business is interested in sponsoring this event, leading a workout, setting up a table or activity, donating products, or wants to get involved in other ways, please feel free to contact us!

What Should I Bring?
Comfortable clothes and shoes to exercise in
A water bottle
A yoga mat and/or towel if you're planning to take yoga classes

For more info, contact:
Samantha Melvin


I've been a Maira fan for more than 20 years, ever since I read Max Makes a Million.

A few years ago, I had the honor of interviewing her for my blog. (HERE is the post about the interview.)

So imagine my delight when I found out that the Jewish Museum was featuring a WHOLE FLOOR of Maira's work! Yippee!

Last weekend, Mike and I went up to the museum and had a great time looking at her paintings, objects she has collected, and videos of/about her, including her TED talk.

There was such a light, happy feeling on that floor. And I was so pleased that a whole floor was dedicated to a Jewish woman artist.

The museum display board beckoned us down to the cafe for some lox, but lo and behold, they were out of lox. So we bused over to the top of Fairway to have lox sammies.

Then made our way down to Crate and Barrell to use a gift certificate to buy simple shiny white new dishes.

What a great day!

Here's text from the Jewish Museum website about the Maira exhibit:

Welcome to the first museum survey of Maira Kalman’s narrative art. Working as an illustrator, author, and designer, Kalman illuminates contemporary life with a profound sense of joy and a unique sense of humor. This exhibition features a selection of original works on paper that span thirty years of illustration for publication. Also on view are less widely seen works in photography, embroidery, textiles, and performance. As a context for this survey, Kalman has created a special installation by furnishing the gallery with chairs, ladders, and “many tables of many things”—drawn from her collections.

Kalman speaks of her work as a form of journalism. She uses writing and drawing to render an ongoing account of the world as she sees it. Hers is a daily discipline of creativity based on photography, travel, research, walking, talking, and open observation. A serious love of distraction pervades. Abundant depictions of fashion, food, art, and architecture represent life’s great pleasures. At the same time rubber bands, pieces of moss, bobby pins, and snacks stake a claim for smaller forms of satisfaction. All of this might seem pretty trivial were it not for the counterweight of history, memory, and loss that is also ever-present. Chaos is another constant, be it crazy and madcap or simply devastating. Indeed, it is her work’s gift to illuminate those things that affirm our own capacity for joy, sadness, humor, charm. In short, Kalman’s art inspires our humanity in light of life’s overwhelming events and details.

—Ingrid Schaffner, Senior Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

About Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman (b. 1949 Tel Aviv, lives New York) is the author of twelve children’s books including Ooh-la-la (Max in Love). Among her adult classics are The Elements of Style, an illustrated edition of Strunk and White’s timeless grammar, and The Principles of Uncertainty, a picture book of essays based on a yearlong online column for The New York Times. She has just completed a second online epic for The Times titled And the Pursuit of Happiness. Kalman’s best known work, created with fellow illustrator Rick Meyerowitz, is New Yorkistan: a cartoon map of the city designated by tribes, such as Pashmina, Irant, and Irate. When it ran on the cover of The New Yorker in December 2001, it sanctioned a first burst of laughter in the aftermath of 9/11. A relatively more secret aspect of her identity is as the “M” in M&Co, the revolutionary design firm founded by her late husband, Tibor Kalman, with whom she was a constant collaborator. The firm’s famous 10-One-4 watch is based on one of her doodles. She has collaborated on projects with the fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, the choreographer Mark Morris, and the composer Nico Muhly.

Friday, July 08, 2011


I am thrilled for my friend Bonnie Erickson, who is now the Executive Director of The Jim Henson Legacy. I interviewed Bonnie for Creative Times (click HERE to read the interview) after meeting her at BAM's Sesame Street Film Festival.

All I can say is this: Jim would be thrilled!

Congratulations, Bonnie!


Photo by John E. Barrett. Mahna Mahna and back-up singers © The Muppets Studio, LLC.

I was thrilled to receive an invitation from my friend Bonnie Erickson, the new Executive Director of the Jim Henson Legacy, to come and see Jim Henson's Fantastic World. This traveling exhibit is at New York's Museum of the Moving Image until January 16.

Info below is taken directly from the website of the Museum of the Moving Image.


Jim Henson's Fantastic World

July 16–January 16, 2012

Jim Henson, the internationally known creative genius whose work encompassed film, television, and puppetry, will be the subject of a major exhibition—Jim Henson’s Fantastic World—to be presented by Museum of the Moving Image this summer. For its New York run, the Smithsonian traveling exhibition will be enhanced by an array of programs, talks, and performances, including special screenings, personal appearances by members of Henson’s family and his close collaborators, and education programs for the entire family.

The exhibition will feature over 120 artifacts, including drawings, animations, storyboards, props, and video material that illustrate Henson’s boundless creativity and innumerable accomplishments. Among the highlights are fourteen iconic original puppets of such characters as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Bert, and Ernie; photographs of Henson and his collaborators at work; and excerpts from Henson’s early projects and experimental films. The exhibition spans Henson’s entire career, beginning with drawings, cartoons, and posters produced during his college years in the late 1950s and concluding with objects related to the inspired imaginary worlds of his popular fantasy films, The Dark Crystal (1982) and Labyrinth (1986). Visitors will encounter materials from Henson’s best-known projects, The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie and its sequels, and Fraggle Rock, as well as objects related to his Sesame Street characters. Visitors will also learn about Sam and Friends, an early show Henson created in the 1950s, Henson’s television commercial work in the 1960s, and the segments Henson made for The Ed Sullivan Show.

In collaboration with the New York-based Jim Henson Legacy and The Jim Henson Company, the Museum will present screenings, educational programs, and special events to commemorate Henson’s 75th birthday on September 24 as well as other milestones during the period the exhibition is on view. These will include an anniversary screening of a newly restored 35mm print of Labyrinth with special guests, presentations by his widow and long-time creative partner Jane Henson and his son Brian Henson, and matinee screenings of Henson film and television work every weekend. Educational programs will include guided tours of the exhibition and family workshops on puppetry.

Jim Henson’s Fantastic World was organized by The Jim Henson Legacy and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in cooperation with the Henson family, The Jim Henson Company, The Muppets Studio, LLC, and Sesame Workshop. This exhibition is made possible by the BIO channel. Additional support has been provided by The Jane Henson Foundation and Cheryl Henson. The New York run at Museum of the Moving Image is supported by Five Napkin Burger, The Astor Room, and Schmutter, Strull, Fleish Inc.

Jim Henson's Fantastic World Podcast
Created as a companion to Jim Henson's Fantastic World, the podcast offers a behind-the-scenes look at Jim Henson and the fantastic creations of his imagination. The 30-minute tour features Karen Falk, Director of the Henson Archives; Craig Shemin, former writer for the Jim Henson Company; and Cheryl Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter and the president of the Henson Foundation. Download the podcast here.

Sunday, July 03, 2011



Dear Friends -

I hope this note finds you well. It has been a wonderful year for Mike and me, full of friends, family, and art shows!

Since my post at the Brooklyn public school where I work is seasonal (September – June), I’m starting to look around for summer positions. If, after taking a look at the info below, you have an idea of someone who you think I should meet, please feel free to send me an email. I value your creative input!

One item not mentioned below: I hold an MS in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education.

Eleanor's Ideal Components of a Summer Job

1. Up to 30 hrs/wk
2. Being part of a team of two or more
3. Interaction with public – could be students, customers, clients, patrons
4. Proximity to any of the following: the arts, books, children, families
5. Doesn’t have to be a fancy title or position, just something satisfying
6. Friendly and air-conditioned workplace!

Key Skills/Roles

Educator * Trainer/Facilitator * Writer/Researcher
Promoter * Team and Community Builder


MS in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education

Samples of Work Projects

* Facilitated conflict resolution with K- 5th grades at Brooklyn public school; supported literacy development with class of 24 Kindergarteners

* Managed PlayNet, a grant-funded project at The Brooklyn Museum designed to increase educators’, parents’, and caretakers’ understanding of play and capacity to facilitate play with children.

* Interviewed Sesame Street cast and crew members for my blog, Creative Times

* Co-Produced The Brooklyn Blogfest, an annual gathering for 300 bloggers, artists, local community activists & politicians who write, speak, organize, and make art about their neighborhoods and the world beyond

* Co-Founded Creative Connections, a support group for women artists and entrepreneurs who want to stay on the edge of personal and professional growth.

* Organized first Take Our Daughters to Work Day for a middle school in Washington Heights, and worked with 7th grade girls to create book & organizer’s manual about the day

How to Contact Me

Thanks so much for your support! Please feel free to email with questions or ideas.

Eleanor Traubman