Consilience Productions
About Consilience

con*sil"i*ence, n: from the latin, consilere, formed from con,"with," and "salire," to leap; an interlocking of explanations of cause and effect between disciplines. An act of concurrence; coherence; jumping together.

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ANNUAL SUMMARY OF ACTIVITY: 2010

Consilience Awareness Concert Series
We launched this monthly event in November 2009 and were able to produce a total of six concerts through June 2010. Presented at a local café in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn, each 2 ½ hour event featured a set of live jazz music followed by a presentation by a Social Change organization. All were videotaped and disseminated on the web at our site and on YouTube.

The first of the series was entitled, “Mentorship: Hip-Hop Meets Physics!” After the jazz performance, we conducted a panel discussion by two educators comparing and contrasting their respective mentorship models: Sam Hillard, who works with aspiring teen-age rap artists guiding them through the recording process as they work with established producers in the field, and Weldon MacDonald, New York City public school physics teacher, who runs a robotics club in his school in Queens. This event also featured a rap performance by Sam’s kids, known as “Nine11 Thesaurus,” which was a huge success.

Subsequent monthly installments running from January to June featured presentations by Solar1.org (a non-profit alternative energy organization located in Manhattan); The $10 Club (a small non-profit poverty alleviation organization from Washington, DC); Sustainable Flatbush (a local grassroots environmental organization that organizes events in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn); Common Cause (a nationwide “good-government” advocacy organization that “holds power accountable”); and Citizen Action of New York (a state-wide non-profit that presented on their efforts to enact a publicly-funded election system).

All of the events were well attended as we most definitely helped raise awareness of each organization. Audience members were clearly inspired, since many stayed afterwards and pledged to get involved with various projects presented by each speaker. After each event, we raffled off free CDs - a big hit with attendees!

All of the organizations were very excited to have available these promotional videos that they could then use on their respective websites. The videos can be viewed at our Past Projects Page.

This series was made possible by the generous support of The Puffin Foundation and the Pajwell Foundation.

** Because of the success of these events, we plan on continuing this series again in January 2011 at a new venue in Brooklyn. We will alter the programming slightly, highlighting smaller vocal groups. Stay tuned!

Biophilia CD Release
The fifth CD release on the Consilience Productions label was launched at the beginning of the year and culminated in a top 50 ranking on the JazzWeek Charts at MediaGuide.com. Biophilia - Vinson Valega's fourth release as a leader - was also considered for a Grammy during the nomination process in the Fall. CD Release Performances took place in New York City at The 55 Bar and Smalls Jazz Club. Video of the Smalls gig can be viewed at both our videos page and at YouTube.

Four new Board members
Joe Fitzgerald is a jazz bassist and educator, living and working in New York City since 1991. Matt Ray is a pianist and singer/songwriter who’s musical life extends into many areas beyond jazz. Andrey Henkin is owner and editor of AllAboutJazz-NY and will provide added marketing and writing expertise to our endeavors, not to mention the extensive contacts he has in the jazz world. And finally, we are delighted to have Adam Roberts, Executive Director of BornFreeUSA on our board as he will bring his comprehensive 20-year experience in the non-profit sector to the table. Not only will his knowledge and wisdom help us grow, but his experience running his own small non-profit, The $10 Club, has already provided us with valuable information and guidance.

We now have seven fantastic board members who are enthusiastic and excited to help grow and expand Consilience Productions!

Consilience Community Center
During the second half of the year, we focused our efforts on establishing a Community Center and Music School here in Long Island City, Queens. We are working with John Krevey - the new owner of the Paragon Paint building - to help develop a small portion of his gigantic 100,000 square feet, four floor space, that has been unoccupied since 1998. Joining us in these efforts is a new local organization, the Long Island City Jazz Alliance - a group of jazz musicians devoted to the promotion and performance of live jazz in the neighborhood.

Located at the corner of Vernon Boulevard & 46 Road, John's vision is to create an arts and community center next to the East River, where visitors are free to roam throughout the massive building. Food and beverages will be available in various sections of this new center, and he has promised us and other arts organizations rent-free office & practice/lesson/performance space in exchange for allowing public access at all times to all of our activities. We are delighted to be the recipient of John's generosity and have been establishing a wonderful working relationship as we help him develop this exciting project.

As can be seen by the photos below, the building has a long way to go before his cafe' is up-and-running. Nonetheless, we will be writing grant applications in 2011 for assistance in developing our Consilience Community Center & Music School and are quite confident that we will be hosting performances come Springtime. This winter we plan on building the stage, putting up sound baffling, and setting up our office space nearby.

One of the spaces cleaned up; getting ready for a kayak club meeting.

Smaller interior room.

One of many office spaces available.

Cleaning and clearing another office space.

Third floor space with lots of windows where we plan on building out our Consilience Community Center.

Another angle of the third floor space.

Part of the other half of the building where the paint was manufactured - 10,000 sq. ft each floor.

Paint factory section of the building.

Manhattan skyline from the fourth floor of the Paragon Paint Building.

 

With the Long Island City Jazz Alliance and the generous support of John Krevey, we are in the process of developing this raw space into a hub for jazz, music lessons & rehearsals, and activism!

In conclusion, 2010 will mark our first full year as a non-profit organization, and we are very excited to build upon our successes into the coming year. 2011 promises much growth for Consilience as we reach more and more citizens through our performances, community center, website, recordings and educational endeavors.

Thanks for reading!

Kind regards,

Vinson Valega
Executive Director
December 13, 2010

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Consilience Productions
5700 Blaisdell Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(917) 604-8809