March 23, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan
A music legend will be holding an intimate benefit performance in Long Island City for an arts education non-profit.
Queens native Paul Simon, one half of folk-duo Simon and Garfunkel and legendary musician, will play a special benefit concert in Long Island City on April 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. to raise money for arts education program Materials for the Arts.
MFTA is a city-run organization out of 33-00 Northern Boulevard that collects materials from businesses and individuals and gives them out to public schools and other non-profit art programs for free.
The concert will benefit Friends of Materials for the Arts, a connected non-profit program that runs educational programing and warehouse operations for the group.
The fundraiser came about as the brainchild of Simon himself, said MFTA spokesman Kwame Belle.
Simon visited the MFTA in December to see a set of wind chimes made of found objects by local artist Skip LaPlante in the hopes of using them on his upcoming tour, Belle said.
While visiting, Simon was blown away by the 25,000 square foot warehouse filled with donated items, in what Belle described as looking like a “cross between a Costco and an Ikea.”
He also witnessed two class fieldtrips at the MFTA learning about the intersection environmental sustainability and art, and said that he wanted to support the program by holding a benefit concert.
“We were so grateful and began brainstorming where to hold it, but his main request was to hold the performance at MFTA to showcase it as a beacon for sustainability and to shine a light on program,” Belle said.
The group is selling 150 tickets to the concert to ensure that it is an intimate group, and tickets run from $500 for general admission to $750 for special VIP seating.
The proceeds will go specifically towards the Friends of MFTA group, and will help fund more than 100 free field trip programs for title one schools, or those with high populations of low-income students, and will also go towards monthly public workshops that teach how to make art with regular household items.
“What we really want to do is honor Paul Simon’s request and use this to spread awareness of the program as an example of affordability and access to creative New Yorkers,” Belle said.
For tickets or more information visit https://paulsimon.splashthat.com