6/26: 92nd Street Y Executive Director, Harlem Photographer, New Yorker Cartoon Editor, Willow Artist
On this edition of MetroFocus we revisit the 92nd Street Y, famous for its cultural programs, performances and well-known speakers. Newly-appointed executive director Henry Timms joins MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman to discuss his vision for the future, including his ideas for social media and outreach.
In 2012, Timms created the social media campaign #GivingTuesday when he was the Deputy Executive Director for Innovation Strategy and Content at the Y. The idea is to encourage philanthropy and giving back after Thanksgiving weekend’s frenzied shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It returns this fall with the popular “unselfies” – a “selfie” taken with the aim of unselfishly giving back. “The tradition of the 92nd Street Y is innovation, it’s about how we think differently about the needs of the next generation,” Timms says.
Award-winning photographer and sociologist Camilo José Vergara has been chronicling Harlem for over four decades, often returning to photograph the same locations and buildings over several years. Vergara, who holds a master’s degree in sociology from Columbia University, was the first photographer to receive a National Humanities Medal in 2013 for his work photographing America’s transforming cities.
Now his new book, Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto, brings together his extensive photography and personal accounts of living and working in a neighborhood that has seen so much transformation. He tells reporter and anchor Jack Ford, “You live with two Harlems. You live with the Harlem that you’re looking at and you live with the Harlem of all the great people that live there.”
What makes a New Yorker cartoon funny? The magazine’s cartoon editor Bob Mankoff says “Most New Yorker cartoons I don’t think are belly laughs, they’re sort of smiles of the mind.” Mankoff shares stories from his almost forty-year career at The New Yorker in his new memoir and history of the magazine’s cartoons called How About Never? Is Never Good For You? My Life in Cartoons. Mankoff shares his secret to a good cartoon and has some tips for winning The New Yorker’s very popular weekly cartoon caption contest.
And the story of a woman in Norwich, New York who creates living works of art from willow trees. Binghamton public television station WSKG shares the story of artist Bonnie Gale who has been turning willows into garden architecture since the 1980s. “People ask me how I got into this and I say, ‘The willow chose me.’”