Checking In With The Pier Ambassadors: Week 1

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Pier Ambassadors
A Project by 2015 Resident Artist Stephanie Diamond
Pier Ambassadors is an art and education project created by artist Stephanie Diamond, who partnered with Vision Urbana, sound artist Jim Mattingly and youth leaders from the Lower East Side to develop audio and walking tours of the neighborhood leading to Pier 42. Over the course of ten weeks, participants in the project engaged in workshops that built their skills in storytelling, public speaking and audio recording. Examples of workshops include: sound editing, improv acting, history walking tours with the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and more. Through these creative encounters, Pier Ambassadors became empowered in telling their personal stories, representing the community they live in while gaining the tools to bring awareness of the Pier to people in and outside the neighborhood. Tour participants will be exposed to exciting and unique narratives compiled by Pier Ambassadors about their personal, cultural, historical, and environmental surroundings.

Pier Ambassadors: Zion Quintero, Zachary Quintero, Ethan Justiniano, Dylan Rivera, Princess Marie Melendez, Princess Merry Melendez

Partners: Jim Mattingly, Sound Artist; Vison Urbana: Eric Diaz, Director, Empire Mentorship Initiative

WEEK 1: Intro to Walking Tours 

Before we could start making walking tours, we went on our town walking tours to get inspired and learn more about the Lower East Side. We explored the neighborhood around Pier 42 and shared our personal stories about whatever we saw on the walk. We learned about why the sidewalks were expanded, where one of the Pier Ambassadors’ grandmother gets her hair done, and about the closing of a local senior home. Jim Mattingly, the sound artist who we’re collaborating with on this project, led an exercise about sound and listening. While walking, we kept track of all the sounds we heard. At the end of our tour, we shared the sounds we picked up on over the course of the workshop: a car on the highway, a woman’s hair rustling in the breeze, the wind, birds chirping, burps and our own breathe.

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