The NYU Lower East Side Summer Institute, New York

On July 1 of 1993, it was held at the NYU Rosenberg Gallery the final exhibition of the Summer Institute Cultural Navigation: The Lower East Side”, directed by David Ecker, with students' presentations, among others, of Frank Pio, Luis Vergara, Perry Parker and Sandro Dernini with the participation of Lower East Side artists Linus Coraggio, The Rivington School, Rolando Politi, Alfa Diallo,  who had interacted with students activities. In the early 1993,  David Ecker had invited Sandro Dernini to join him for his Ph.D. study in the development of the NYU Lower East Side Graduate Summer Institute of Living Traditions in Art, a community-based urban art education project. The focus of the Institute was on community-based collaborative efforts to devise urban art education strategies for the advancement of artistic and cultural traditions of the Lower East Side. It had also the purpose to bridge NYU with the Lower East Side community, on the issues of art, reconciliation and well being.  It was presented as an international travelling community-based art education project, starting from the Lower East Side program and to be further developed internationally through “The Voyage of the Elisabeth”, to raise up the visibility of the Institute’s activities addressed to the advancement of the living traditions in arts around the world.  The phenomenology in the Arts” course was focused to engage students in current issues in multicultural and cross-cultural inquiry in the arts with an emphasis on developing qualitative research skills. As part of the NYU Graduate Summer Institute we held at the Barney Building, in June and July, a series of round tables on the following topics: the first on “Cultural Navigation and Community:Art Reconciliation and Well Being”, chaired by Dennis de Leon with the participation of local Lower East Side representatives of the Community. The second round table was focused on “The Artist as Researcher”, presented by David Ecker, with Alfa Diallo, Arturo Lindsay, and John Torreano.