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Arts for Art

New York, NY               

Founded in 1996, Arts For Art (AFA) is a New York City based tax exempt organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of FreeJazz — an American indigenous art form in which improvisation is principle. 
FreeJazz embodies music, dance, poetry and visual arts. It is recognized for its variety of highly developed and personalized improvisational languages. AFA works not only to preserve the legacy of Free Jazz, but to ensure a vital future through its re-imagination by new generations of artists.  
AFA offers multi-arts programs throughout the year that fulfill the role of arts in society, that is, to reflect and respond to the world. Our programming brings together multiple generations of vibrant, diverse and highly skilled artists. AFA cultivates new audiences to protect this unique aesthetic so as to remain contemporary and available. To further our goals of diversity and accessibility, we foster education initiatives and produce events that build community amongst artists and audiences. 


The festival is AFA’s annual flagship celebration of Free Jazz featuring approximately 200 performers to an audience of approximately 3500 over the course of the week.
The festival includes:
■ Performances by acclaimed FreeJazz artists in music, dance, poetry and visual arts.
■ The Lifetime Achievement bestowed on legends in the field, such as 2017 recipient, Cooper-Moore.
■ Student showcase performances of original music by eight to eighteen year olds.
■ Panel discussions that address the role of artists in the on-going struggle for our collective humanity. 
EVOLVING (15 Years)

■ Evolving is AFA’s platform to showcase NYC FreeJazz movement.  It focuses on the work of younger, forward thinking artists who are exploring a range of contemporary creative possibilities. Evolving includes music, dance and poetry performances, a visual art exhibit and panel discussions.

■ AFA hosts Under_Line Salons, which are designed to build audience and support for FreeJazz Arts by gathering people with a shared interest in creativity.
The U_L Salons feature artists in performance with moderated discussions in a social setting replete with high-end catering.
​Speakers and participants include some the world’s most talented and influential FreeJazz artists. Previous performers include Marshall Allen, Andrew Cyrille, Oliver Lake, Charles Gayle and more.   

■ AFA provides free performances in neighborhood community gardens through our Fall In Gardens Series. These music, dance, and poetry performances have brought awareness around FreeJazz, while offering communities an enriching and engaging cultural event.

Music is Mine (11 Years)

AFA initiated the Music is Mine education program to give voice to the unique creativity of each child, through improvisation and world music.

■ We bring the MiM education program, (3 days per week) to children aged 6 to 12 years of age in low-income housing. (in partnership with the University Settlement). the children learn to read and to improvise, using voice, drums, and keyboards.

​■  The Visionary Youth Orchestra is a citywide band created to give a place where young musicians of diverse backgrounds and experience/skill levels could meet weekly and explore new ideas around improvised music and jazz. They are also featured at the Vision Festival along with other student bands.

Roscoe Mitchell: Two Trios & Combined Quintet Pt I

Roscoe Mitchell at Vision Festival 20

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Music is Mine 2013 Performance

2013 Education Initiative Performance

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