Kickstarter Picks: Pugilism and Performance Art for Change (of the Nickel and Dime Variety)

Kickstarter Picks: Pugilism and Performance Art for Change (of the Nickel and Dime Variety)

July 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Kickstarter is a Lower East Side-based startup that helps creative people “crowd-fund” their projects.

MetroFocus regularly highlights local projects that seem to make the best use of this platform and have the potential to leave a lasting impression on the New York area.

The Pride of Spanish Harlem

Edgar Santana's boxing career nearly ended in 2008, after he was arrested by police for his connection to a drug trafficking charge. A documentarian hopes to follow his return to glory. Photo courtesy of Ruben Roncallo.

The pitch: The story of Edgar Santana, “The Pride of Spanish Harlem,” is a comeback tale of New York proportions. Santana, a Puerto Rican national, owns and operates a barber shop on 106th Street that until 2008 helped to support his promising boxing career. Things began to change after police arrested Santana in connection with a drug trafficking charge, a turn of events that cost Santana a shot at a title.

“This is a boxing story that boxing fans will appreciate, but it’s a film for all New Yorkers,” said filmmaker Eric Johannsen. “In Santana, and the colorful New York boxing characters supporting his journey…we find inspiration in a man determined to chart his own course.”

On Aug. 19, Santana will get a second chance to compete for the World Boxing Organization welterweight title in Delaware. Johannsen’s film, in production since March, hopes to track Santana as he regains his honor in the ring. Funding for this project will help production continue with a professional crew.

The Open Drawing Studio Project

The pitch: A group of artists would like to transform a vacant space owned by St. Peter’s Church in Morristown, N.J., into an open drawing studio for career artists and amateur draftsmen alike.

For the month of August, artists will hold open work sessions in the makeshift studio space. The group has plans to bring in live models and will draw upon the church’s architecture for inspiration. Pun intended.


Summer of Change

Performers distribute money to bystanders as part of "Summer of Change," a recurring performance art piece on Wall Street. Photo courtesy of Noah Fischer.

The pitch: Some artists believe in second chances. Some believe in change — the kind that comes in the form of nickels and quarters. Noah Fischer and Jim Costanzo are two performance artists bringing change to Wall Street, one coin at a time.

Summer of Change” is a series of street performances Fischer and Costanzo created as a critique of America’s devotion to the Almighty Dollar. Each performance culminates in the distribution of $100 in different denominations to onlookers.

On June 21, the summer solstice, the pair offered up greenbacks and liberty dollars. For the final performance, on Sept. 22, the fall equinox, they will distribute 10,000 Lincoln pennies.

“When you dump money on the street, people tend to have  a ferocious and energetic reaction,” said Fischer, describing those who collect the money following a “Summer of Change” performance.