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A quiet man who supported himself doing odd jobs such as street vendor, jewelry designer, photography printer, and cab driver, Bronx native Alvin Baltrop left an important body of work after his untimely death in 2004 that only now is garnering the serious attention it deserves. Like the startling images of Peter Moore, Robert Mapplethorpe, Peter Hujar, and Gordon Matta-Clark, the photographs of Alvin Baltrop memorialize New York City at a breaking-point moment amid ruin and chaos.

 

 

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This program features a collection of documentary videos created by participants in The Bronx Museum’s Teen Council and Teen Summer programs. For over 14 years participants in these programs have interviewed artists, activists, and other community anchors to learn how they contribute to the richness of arts and culture in the Bronx and beyond. Through this process teens develop deep, career-enhancing skills and begin to see themselves as agents of change in their immediate communities and the wider world. 

 

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It has been a long tradition among philosophers and writers to praise uselessness as a means to stress the importance of spiritual activities and creations without clear functional aims. Aristotle, for one, established early on that knowledge was valuable in itself, not for providing practical utility—a notion frequently forgotten today. To praise inutility, thus, has been a reaction to the materialistic values promoted by capitalist society, which has been criticized for its lack of moral and spiritual values. 

 

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