Art21 Holds First Benefit Telethon on May 6--An Eight-Hour Performance & Fundraising Event


Art21 Holds First Benefit Telethon on May 6
An Eight-Hour Performance & Fundraising Event
At Algus Greenspon Gallery, NY & Streamed Live Worldwide

Organized by artists Ronnie Bass and Tommy Hartung, and curator Miriam Katz
Featuring artists Debo Eilers and Georgia Sagri

DOWNLOAD: Press Release PDF

April 25, 2012 – for immediate release:

New York, NY — Art21 announces the first-ever Art21 Telethon, an artist-initiated eight-hour performance event and fundraiser, featuring interviews, musical acts, animal talents, comedy, audience participation, and much more. Hosted by artist Ronnie Bass, who developed the event with Art21 featured artist Tommy Hartung and independent curator Miriam Katz, the Art21 Telethon is both a durational performance modeled after marathon television broadcasts, as well as an actual fundraiser where attendees and viewers can both phone in or contribute online to support Art21.

The event will take place on Sunday, May 6th, from 3–11pm at Algus Greenspon Gallery — 71 Morton Street in New York City — and will be streamed online, live, to viewers worldwide at

The Art21 Telethon will feature performances by Dirty Mirrors (Jennifer Coates, David Humphry, Jon Kessler, John Miller, Aura Rosenberg, Dan Walworth), MC Squared, Kate Berlant, DAS, Mike Dobbins, Ryan McNamara, Maria Petschnig, and Art21 artist Mariah Robertson; interviews with Art21 featured artists Lucas Blalock, Kalup Linzy, Shana Moulton, and Mika Tajima; plus special, surprise guests to be announced on the day of the event.

"I remember watching telethons when I was a kid and being drawn to the ways in which it broke the rules of television," says host and co-organizer Ronnie Bass, "I think of it as being a type of performance, with a particular end goal of raising funds. We have a large assortment of performers who are all participating, as the organizers are, because they love Art21." "Unlike a typical benefit, we expect this event to be more improvised, lively, and fun," says co-organizer Miriam Katz, "along with it being a sincere expression of our appreciation for what Art21 does for the contemporary art world."

The Art21 Telethon is an outgrowth of Art21's Webby-nominated New York Close Up film series. Proceeds from the event will support Art21’s continued efforts to create compelling documentation of contemporary artists and visual art.

There will be a $5 suggested entry fee at the door; online viewing is free worldwide. Art21 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible and high-level donations will receive Art21-themed gifts and public recognition.

The Art21 Telethon is made possible with generous donations from Lisa Cooley, Algus Greenspon, Mae Mae Café (Great Performances), On Stellar Rays, Ramiken Crucible, and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. New York Close Up is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Toby Devan Lewis, the Dedalus Foundation, Inc., and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc. Additional support provided by The 1896 Studios & Stages.

About the Organizers

Brooklyn-based artist Ronnie Bass has exhibited at the ICA Philadelphia, Marginal Utility, I-20 Gallery, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Seoul Art Space, White Flag Projects, LA><ART, The Kitchen, Anthology Film Archives, and Performa07. Queens-based artist Tommy Hartung is the recipient of the 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and has exhibited at MoMA PS1, Queens Museum, On Stellar Rays, Artissima 14, Anthology Film Archives, White Box Gallery, New York Center for Art and Media Studies, White Flag Projects, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Brooklyn-based curator Miriam Katz has organized exhibitions and performances for The Kitchen and MoMA PS1, among other venues. She has written for publications such as Artforum, Bookforum, and Flash Art. Katz currently works as an editorial researcher for Artforum; her podcast, Breakdown, for which she interviews comedians and other artists, will launch this summer.

About Art21

Art21 is a non-profit art organization which provides broad-based audiences access to contemporary art and artists by documenting the artists of our time for television and the Internet, providing companion educational materials, and teaching educators. In the past decade, Art21 has used the power of digital media to introduce millions of people of all ages worldwide to contemporary art and artists, creating a new paradigm for teaching and learning about the creative process. All of Art21’s materials, including full episodes of Art in the Twenty-First Century, New York Close Up, exclusive Web videos, and education resources, are made available for free online at

About New York Close Up

New York Close Up is Art21's documentary film series devoted to artists in the first decade of their professional career, living and working in New York City. This innovative, Webby-nominated project is a collaboration between Art21 and local artists to imagine new ways of telling stories about their creative process, political and aesthetic philosophies, personal backgrounds, and community perspectives. Presented online as a suite of interdependent and experimental short films published over several years, this original Web series chronicles today’s artists as their works, ideas, and lives evolve over time. Motivated by the experiences, relationships, and opportunities afforded to artists at the start of their careers, the series provides a behind-the-scenes guidebook for viewers to navigate the complex and emerging cultural geography of New York City. The project can be viewed at


Eve Moros Ortega
212-741-7133 x22
eve [AT]