Puffin Offices Closed March 5
Due to inclement weather the Puffin Foundation and Cultural Forum... more
Snow Day!!!
The offices of the Puffin Foundation and Puffin Cultural Forum... more
News
Puffin Proud to Announce the 3rd Annual Free Teaching Social Activism in the Classroom Conference
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Teaching Civil Rights Then and Now
Saturday, May 2, 8:45 am–3:30 pm
Museum of the City of New York

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, the Museum of the City of New York will host the 3rd Annual Teaching Social Activism in the Classroom Conference. Educators are invited to present and participate in this free full-day conference, which will highlight the various tools and techniques used by teachers to engage their students in the history and practice of social change, inspired by the content of the Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition, Activist New York. Educators, activists, and historians will present their work to one another and will discuss the best practices for teaching this important subject to students of all ages.

We also invite you to add your voice to the conversation! How do you teach Civil Rights? How do you introduce students to the past and prepare them for the future? The date of this year's activism conference sits squarely between the 50th anniversaries of Selma and the Voting Rights Act. In honor of this legacy, the conference theme is Teaching Civil Rights: Then and Now. We invite you to learn more about our theme, how to submit a proposal, and how to register. Proposals to present must be submitted by Monday, March, 30.



The Teaching Social Activism conference is made possible by the generous support of the Puffin Foundation Ltd. Activist New York is the inaugural exhibition in The Puffin Foundation Gallery, which is dedicated to the ways in which ordinary New Yorkers have exercised their power to shape the city's and the nation's future.

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Puffin Offices Closed March 5
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Due to inclement weather the Puffin Foundation and Cultural Forum will be closed today. We will reopen again tomorrow.

Thank you and stay safe!

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Puffin Cosponsors March 7th Rally to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains in Bergen County
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Rally to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains from the Oradell Reservoir and Our Communities

Because of an oil boom in the Bakken region of North Dakota, up to thirty CSX trains carrying toxic and highly volatile crude oil pass through Bergen County every week. These trains - up to 100 cars-long – pass over the Oradell Reservoir, source of drinking water for 750,000 people!

 

You are in the blast zone if you live within ½ mile of the Freight Train River Line.

(Check www.explosive-crude-by-rail.org) You are at risk, too, if you drink and bathe with clean water in Bergen County. It’s time to tell our leaders: This is unacceptable! Join a rally to demand an immediate ban on unsafe oil trains in our community.

Saturday, March 7, 2015              2:00 pm

Old Hook Road at Schraalenburgh Road, Closter, NJ 07624

(from the South, Teaneck Rd. becomes Washington, then Schraalenburgh Rd.)  Park at Abram Demaree Farm.

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Snow Day!!!
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The offices of the Puffin Foundation and Puffin Cultural Forum will be closed on Tuesday, January 27th.  We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable blizzard.

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Now on Display at Puffin: "Retrospective Outrage"
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Hak Vogrin Retrospective: Turning Outrage Into Art and a Selection of the Nation’s Top Editorial Cartoons



On view through February 26th, the Puffin Cultural Forum presents the works of late political artist, Hak Vogrin. Vogrin was an artist who reflected his personal pain and outrage regarding the issues of his day onto the canvas; destruction of the environment, wars, torture, social injustice, racism, consumerism are tackled with a cartoon-like directness that reflected his work as an underground comics artist in the 60’s and 70’s. His paintings are colorful, expressionistic, and unabashed in their message and assertive nature. Although Vogrin passed away in 2009, the urgency of the themes addressed in his artwork are seemingly more relevant now than ever.

Largely self-taught, Vogrin’s cartoons initially emerged in the underground comics movement of the 1960’s. His work appeared in the first issue of Yellow Dog, described as America’s “first underground comic weekly.” Throughout his life he created paintings and drawings the size of postage stamps, as well as those on large canvases. Although his sketches were often delicate, the paintings he produced towards the ends of his life were powerful, and produced in a bold graphic style with vivid colors. “When I paint, I think what I do comes out of chaos,” he told The New York Times in 2001.

In addition to Vogrin’s work, this exhibition will also include prints of contemporary political cartoons from Daryl Cagle’s Cagle Post. Cagle is America’s most widely syndicated editorial cartoonist, and his syndicate, Cagle Cartoons, distributes the cartoons of over sixty editorial cartoonists and fourteen columnists to newspapers around the world. Many of the images, perhaps too many, deal with the same issues that Vogrin dealt with, albeit from a humorous perspective. In light of the recent Charlie Hebdo attack, these editorial cartoons from various cartoonists are an even more powerful reminder of the importance of political artistic expression in our society. The exhibit is being updated to include cartoons responding to the terror attacks in Paris. Regular gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 12 to 4 p.m. or by appointment. The Puffin Cultural Forum is located at 20 Puffin Way (off Teaneck Rd.) in Teaneck, New Jersey.

View Online Gallery here.

HAK VOGRIN: was born in Brooklyn in 1920, and began drawing comics as a child. In his early years, he worked on a commercial fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico, and in a position as a margin clerk for Merrill Lynch. Around the time that Vogrin’s cartoons found an audience in the underground comics movement, he and his wife Jean opened a gallery in their apartment—“The One Flight Up.” Although Vogrin was not particularly interested in selling his work or seeing it exhibited, he participated in shows at the Noyes Museum of Art, the Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, and in a New York show featuring the art of “Weird New Jersey.” His drawings and illustrations were included in publications such as Liberation Magazine andThe Realist, and in WBAI program guides and small press literary publications. Although his works were satirical and ironic, they always maintained their whimsical quality. In his last decade, Vogrin’s paintings specifically focused on sexuality and politics.

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The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory Slated for Puffin/ALBA Human Rights Award
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New York — On May 9, 2015, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) will present the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain (Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica, ARMH). One of the largest monetary awards for human rights in the world, this $100,000 cash prize is granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation to honor the International Brigades and connect their inspiring legacy with contemporary causes.

 

“Thanks to work of the ARMH, Spain has been able to break the wall of oblivion that enveloped  the victims of that dreadful period,” said Judge Baltasar Garzón, human rights advocate and recipient of the first ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism in 2011.

More than 100,000 bodies lie buried in unmarked mass graves all across Spain, victims of right-wing repression during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and the ensuing Franco dictatorship (1939-75).  Since the return of democracy in 1978, tens of thousands of Spaniards have longed to locate and exhume the remains of their loved ones, to honor their memory, and to give them a proper burial. Yet, for almost four decades now, the Spanish state has largely ignored the rights of those who were disappeared or killed by Spanish fascism, victimizing them for a second time by portraying them, in effect, as unavoidable “collateral damage” of Spain’s brokered transition to democracy.

 

The ARMH was born out of journalist Emilio Silva’s struggle to exhume the remains of his grandfather from the ditch in northwestern Spain where he was thrown after his execution by local fascists in 1936. In 2000, with the help of a team of volunteers, Mr. Silva unearthed his grandfather’s body and those of twelve others killed in the early days of the Civil War. The exhumation was widely publicized and many other Spaniards subsequently approached Mr. Silva with a desire to recover their own family members.

 

Mr. Silva established the ARMH in 2000. Since then the Association has carried out over 150 exhumations and recovered the remains of more than 1,300 victims of Franco’s regime—roughly 8% of Spain’s disappeared.  The Association has done this work with almost no state support. The ARMH has worked with forensic experts to set up a DNA database and worked to put victims’ rights and transitional justice on Spain’s political agenda. Through its advocacy work at the national and international level, in 2003 the United Nations Working Group on Forced Disappearances began including Spain in its reports.

 

“The award to Mr. Silva and ARHM is particularly appropriate, as it has a direct link to the struggle that the Lincoln volunteers put their lives on the line for. In fact, to this day a number of American volunteers lie shrouded in Spanish earth in unmarked graves.” – Prof. Anthony Geist, University of Washington.

 

Part of an initiative designed to sustain the legacy of the experiences, aspirations and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism supports current international activists and human rights causes. The Award was created by philanthropist and visionary Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, which in 2010 established an endowed fund for the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism.

 

Award Ceremony – Saturday, May 9th at 2:30pm

Japan Society
333 East 47th St.

New York, NY 10017

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives:  www.alba-valb.org

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the brave American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). ALBA’s programs include teacher institutes, exhibitions, publications, and cultural programs. Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.

Other recipients of the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism include Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli, who work to expose human rights violations in Guatemala, United We Dream, a national network of youth-led immigrant activist organizations that fight for the rights of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, and public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

 

The Puffin Foundation:  www.puffinfoundation.org

Since it was founded in 1983, the Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy.  The Puffin, a species whose nesting sites were endangered by encroaching civilization, were encouraged to return to their native habitats through the constructive efforts of a concerned citizenry. The Foundation has adopted the name Puffin as a metaphor for how it perceives its mission, which is to ensure that the arts continue to grow and enrich our lives. In so doing it has joined with other concerned groups and individuals toward achieving that goal. The Puffin Foundation is also a long-standing supporter of ALBA’s educational mission.

 

Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain (Asociación de la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica): www.memoriahistorica.org.es
The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain (ARMH) which is staffed by volunteers, collects oral and written testimonies on the victims of Franco’s regime and excavates and identifies the bodies that are in mass graves. In the spring of 2002, ARMH appealed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to request that the Spanish government be made to apply international law for the disappeared. ARMH also helped draft the 2007 Historical Memory Law, which recognizes for the first time the victims on both sides of the Spanish Civil War, gives rights to the victims and the descendants of victims of the Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, and formally condemns the Franco Regime.

 

xxx

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CANCELED: Classical Sunday with Valentin Hirsu & Matei Varga
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We regret to inform you that Sunday's classical concert with Valentin Hirsu and Matei Varga has been canceled.
We will let you know when we reschedule.

Thank you,
The Puffin Cultural Forum

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Kristen Graves Event Canceled
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We're sorry to inform you that unfortunately tonights performance with Kristen Graves is canceled. We will let you know when we reschedule. We look forward to welcoming back Kristen in 2015!

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The Puffin Cultural Forum is project of the Puffin Foundation Ltd. which, through the arts, encourages dialog about issues important to the community. Gallery Hours Tuesday-Thursday 12:00- 4:00pm. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!