Voices in Focus: Art and Literature Springs Up Around City

At Harlem’s Adarsh Alphons Projects, a 12-year-old art student, Arielle, told DNAinfo: "I like the whole experience.”(photo by Jeff Mays/DNAinfo)

Spring is in the air, and as well daffodils and crocuses, art and literature seem to be sprouting all around the city:

* A literary festival focused on Dominican writers will open this Friday with the slogan “Reading, we write our lives,” El Diario reported. Women writers will headline the Ninth International Book Fair of Dominican Writers in the United States, which will run from March 23 through 25.

According to the writer Karina Rieke, director of the fair, on this occasion, the event will be a meeting of writers from all over the world, with special guests from Spain, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Canada, Haiti, and Mexico, among other countries.

The fair is dedicated to the poet, storyteller and cultural activist Osiris Mosquea; the literary investigator, Mary Eli Gratereaux; the director of the International Education program at Hostos Community College, Ana Isabel García Reyes; and to Sarah Aponte, professor and librarian of the Institute of Dominican Studies at City College.

* DNAinfo highlighted an arts program in Harlem, Adarsh Alphons Projects. The Indian artist Adarsh Alphons was himself a great success as a child artist growing up in Delhi, DNAinfo reported, and he started the program to “pay it forward.”

Participants in the tuition-free program not only produce art, they discuss the ideas behind it.

They also learn about the business and entrepreneurial side of being an artist. After their works are completed, they are displayed in SoHo and Chelsea galleries and offered for sale. The children get to keep the profits.

“I love being with the kids and watching their growth and going on that journey with them,” Alphons said. “We want them to see the commercial part of [the] art world and know that if you take it seriously enough you can sell your work.”

* DNAinfo also reported on a photography exhibit at New York University that will run through May 31. The photos that Ryuichi Hirokawa took after last year’s tsunami and during the nuclear emergency will be exhibited in “Fukushima 3.11: After One Year” at NYU’s Institute of Public Knowledge, at 20 Cooper Square. It is free and open to the public.

On the day of the first explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan last March, photojournalist Ryuichi Hirokawa was snapping photos and carrying a radiation monitor.

When the needle on his monitor swung into dangerous territory, Hirokawa stopped taking photographs and began telling residents of the eastern Japanese province to leave the area as soon as possible, he told NPR.

“The government was saying, ‘There’s no radiation. It’s all fine. There’s no problem,'” he said of the disaster that struck March 11, 2011. “We went there, we had radiation monitors and mine was off the charts.”

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