Shots from this weekend’s Crafting Community with Kimmel Kids and Splendid at Ace Hotel & Swim Club — a two-day kids and family art retreat with workshops from Confetti System Tanya, Converse and a sweet roster of other makers.

Shots from this weekend’s Crafting Community with Kimmel Kids and Splendid at Ace Hotel & Swim Club — a two-day kids and family art retreat with workshops from Confetti System Tanya, Converse and a sweet roster of other makers.


Silence has a lot to tell us. Even the sounds we forget to hear are always narrating the world. Few humans really know how to slow down and tune in as well as the once and future king John Cage, maestro of underdog aural landscapes and forgotten frequencies. His particular magic was a balm, koan and sigh for a natural and unnatural world that does its best, frequently fails and always tells a good story. Born in Los Angeles September 5, 1912, his compositions are being celebrated just in time by the LA-based Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) with a series of classes for kids September 3-5, Kids Play Cage, with three foci: What is Music?, Silence and Chance, culminating in a free performance by the students September 8. The class costs nothing and is open to the public —- register your small person as soon as you can, though, and get a spot at the performance.

Silence has a lot to tell us. Even the sounds we forget to hear are always narrating the world. Few humans really know how to slow down and tune in as well as the once and future king John Cage, maestro of underdog aural landscapes and forgotten frequencies. His particular magic was a balm, koan and sigh for a natural and unnatural world that does its best, frequently fails and always tells a good story. Born in Los Angeles September 5, 1912, his compositions are being celebrated just in time by the LA-based Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) with a series of classes for kids September 3-5, Kids Play Cage, with three foci: What is Music?, Silence and Chance, culminating in a free performance by the students September 8. The class costs nothing and is open to the public —- register your small person as soon as you can, though, and get a spot at the performance.


Claire perched on her dad, Aaron’s, praiseful paw at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs.

Claire perched on her dad, Aaron’s, praiseful paw at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs.


BROOKLYN CASTLE

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We’re proud to have sponsored a screening of the fantastic documentary Brooklyn Castle for afterschool students at St. Nicks Alliance in Williamsburg. The film is nominated for an NAACP Image Award at tonight’s awards show, and it’ll be available on iTunes February 5. If you yourself haven’t yet seen the film, find a way to do so — and contact them about sponsoring more kids from public schools to attend screenings at independent theaters around Manhattan and surrounding boroughs.

Though she’s getting ready to give birth to a chess champ herself, director Katie DellaMaggiore answered some questions for us — including a couple from the St. Nicks crew themselves.

Were you an avid chess fan prior to filming, and if not, are you one now? And! Did you ever play against any of the students from IS318?

I wasn’t a chess player before we made the film and I still don’t consider myself a chess player after finishing the film either. My husband still enjoys kicking my butt every opportunity he gets. And I’m proud to say I finally got the nerve to play my first game against one of the kids recently. It was against Pobo, and he said I actually didn’t play so bad – so I’m pretty proud of that!

What moved you to make this film?

In 2007, I read a NYT article about Shawn Martinez, a talented chess player at Murrow High School in Midwood, Brooklyn, a neighborhood just a few minutes from where I grew up. I did some digging and found out that the feeder junior high school to Murrow was I.S. 318 and that not only had they won more national chess championships than any junior high school ever, but they were basically breaking down all the tired, negative stereotypes associated with inner city public schools. I was intrigued by the idea that the story defied expectations — people don’t expect a Title I school (more than 60% of the students are from low income households) in Brooklyn to have the number one chess team in the nation.

What was it like getting to know these kids? Do you still see each other? 

In documenting the lives of our subjects trust was always our number one priority — we think the kids know they can come to us if they ever need advice or have a problem and that they can really trust us. We’re also always trying to find opportunities for them to prosper from the movie. Last summer Pobo got to speak at an afterschool conference on Capitol Hill. He did a stellar job, of course. We were able to connect Rochelle with an awesome summer job at a top law firm this summer. After four years of working on this film we’ve become a Brooklyn Castle family and we’ll likely be in each other’s lives for a long time.

Do you have plans to do any sort of follow-up documentary in a decade or two? How can we stay apprised of these kids’ lives and growth?

No plans for that yet, but it would be interesting to see something like that for sure. I mean, Pobo will most certainly be president one day, don’t you agree? We haven’t seen the last of him. He’s got a twitter account @pobama318 for anyone in need of a political advisor. Rochelle is off to Stanford, where she received a full scholarship. We’re invested in their success and we know that people that see the film feel the same way too, so we’ll keep you apprised.

What resources do you recommend to parents with kids in public school who would like to initiate this kind of program at their own school?

I.S. 318’s chess teacher Elizabeth Vicary has shared a guide for getting a chess program started in your school on our websiteThe Afterschool Alliance also has a ton of great resources on how to start an afterschool program. If you need help finding a volunteer you can reach out to two great organizations: Citizens in Schools and Community in Schools.

What’s next for you?

I’m about to have a baby, our first, any day now.  Ask me in six months.  Seriously though, we have a bunch of ideas cooking. Scott Rudin acquired the rights to remake the film into a Hollywood feature, so Brooklyn Castle could be coming again to a theater near you. Albeit, ‘based on a true story’…


Evan, 10 years old, saves up his allowance all year and donates it en totale to City Kitties, a shelterless rescue collective for stray cats in West Philadelphia. We do, we do like your cursive, Evan.

Evan, 10 years old, saves up his allowance all year and donates it en totale to City Kitties, a shelterless rescue collective for stray cats in West Philadelphia. We do, we do like your cursive, Evan.


Our new Palm Springs Kids’ Pullover Robe is a shout-out to all of our pint-sized people worldwide — who couldn’t use a head start on a lifetime of laid-back loungeability? It’s made from soft cotton flannel, and sports the familiar Ace Palm Springs Moroccan black stripes design with an oversized hood and knotted cord toggles. Sportier than the full-length version, this robe is suitable for playtime or arts and crafts in flannel-ly comfort. Grab it on our online shop, and check out all of our stuff for kids.

Our new Palm Springs Kids’ Pullover Robe is a shout-out to all of our pint-sized people worldwide — who couldn’t use a head start on a lifetime of laid-back loungeability? It’s made from soft cotton flannel, and sports the familiar Ace Palm Springs Moroccan black stripes design with an oversized hood and knotted cord toggles. Sportier than the full-length version, this robe is suitable for playtime or arts and crafts in flannel-ly comfort. Grab it on our online shop, and check out all of our stuff for kids.






A stained and sun-damaged treasure from The Art of Google Books — The Tale of Reddy Woodpecker by Arthur Scott Bailey kept in original at the New York Public Library.

A stained and sun-damaged treasure from The Art of Google BooksThe Tale of Reddy Woodpecker by Arthur Scott Bailey kept in original at the New York Public Library.


"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers -– so many caring people in this world."

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers -– so many caring people in this world."


Happy birthday to the cutest model in all the land, sporting some Ace kids’ tees. You can bedeck your very own shorty with similar garb on the Ace shop.

Happy birthday to the cutest model in all the land, sporting some Ace kids’ tees. You can bedeck your very own shorty with similar garb on the Ace shop.


For the love of shorty, we’ve translated some Ace classics onto miniature shirts and a handful of onesies, like this Ace Hotel Seattle tugboat, just huffin’ and puffin’ away. You can see the full gang on our shop. Through tonight, we’re giving 10% of all sales to New York Cares to aid in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

For the love of shorty, we’ve translated some Ace classics onto miniature shirts and a handful of onesies, like this Ace Hotel Seattle tugboat, just huffin’ and puffin’ away. You can see the full gang on our shop. Through tonight, we’re giving 10% of all sales to New York Cares to aid in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.


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