Rock Steady is an arts and culture podcast produced by Express Newark - Rutgers University and hosted by Dr. Fran Bartkowski. Express Newark is a Rutgers University community collaboratory.
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On our first episode of season 2 of Rock Steady, our host, Fran Bartkowski has a spirited conversation with Marcia Brown. Marcia is Vice Chancellor of External Relations and Government Affairs for Rutgers Newark. She is also founding member of the Newark Repertory Theater Company as well as a poet. Fran and Marcia discuss how to engage community in this late-stage pandemic, Marcia’s long history of activism, her love affair with the theater, and more.
On Episode 6 of Rock Steady, Fran’s guest is artist and gallery director Anonda Bell.
Anonda is the Director of Rutgers-Newark Paul Robeson Galleries, and is also a practicing artist.
Fran and Anonda explore the meaning and the fragility of networks and their physical manifestation as a web.
Two of Anonda’s pieces were part of a group show in 2020 at the Akwaaba gallery in Newark.
On this episode of Rock Steady, our host, Dr. Fran Bartkowski speaks with Newark native Michael DeVon. Michael DeVon is the founder of Artistic Passion & Purpose, an organization that is an Express Newark community partner.
Michael discusses how he has moved forward with Artistic Passion & Purpose programming (hair styling, sewing, cosmetics, fashion) despite the pandemic, with the development of The Artistic Eye Magazine.
In this episode of Rock Steady, Fran discusses with Julie Winokur the ‘big pivot’. Julie's film production company, Talking Eyes Media, which is the communication arm of Express Newark Partner, Newest Americans, pivoted their work with immigrant communities to Covid times by launching Stories from the Pandemic - a project that has garnered serious attention and an article in the NY Times.
Julie also discusses her new film The Sacrifice Zone which centers on the Ironbound neighborhood in Newark - the largest superfund site in the U.S and the people on the ground working for environmental justice.
In this episode of Rock Steady, Fran interviews artist Jordan Casteel.
The artist, who is a faculty member in the Arts, Culture, Media Department at Rutgers-Newark, currently has a solo show WITHIN REACH, at the New Museum.
Jordan and Fran discuss how the shift from normalcy to pandemic living has affected Jordan’s art practice which is driven by connection with people in her Harlem neighborhood, her work with students, and being out and about in the world. The artist also ponders the question: with faces donned in masks, how do people project what they are thinking and feeling to others around them?
Fran sits down with Newark-based artist and arts advocate Fayemi Shakur who is a cultural critic and interdisciplinary artist. Fayemi's writing has been featured in national and international outlets including The New York Times, Hyperallergic, CNN Style, VICE, The International Review of African American Art, Nueva Luz Photographic Journal, HYCIDE magazine, and MFON: Women Photographers in the African Diaspora among other books and publications. She was selected for several artist residencies in 2019 that include Critical Studies Artist in Residence at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Artist in Residence at Shine Portrait Studio, and Feminist in Residence at Project for Empty Space.
On this inaugural episode of Rock Steady, Dr. Fran Bartkowski speaks with Rutgers Chancellor Nancy Cantor, who is a leading voice on higher education in the United States. They discuss the meaning of Express Newark, the arts during Covid, and the idea, as discussed in the New York Times, by Legacy Russell, a curator at the Studio Museum of Harlem, of what 'an emotionally intelligent future for institutions can be.'