This article is about the Hubs and Spokes Conversations Series and features an interview and documents the project:
By Vito Signorile
Last Updated: 5:10 PM, April 28, 2011
Posted: 5:10 PM, April 28, 2011
A local artist has developed a new way for people all over the country to stay on top of what’s happening in the Bronx.
From artist Blanka Amezkua’s former Bronx Blue Bedroom Project on 309 Alexander Avenue, fellow artist and friend Hatuey Ramos Fermin has developed a monthly podcast for Bronx residents and others nationwide to enjoy.
The ‘Hubs & Spokes Conversation Series’ model aims to create bridges, networks and exchanges within and without geographies, disciplines, ideas, topics and interests in art, culture, urban spaces, communities and social issues of the Bronx.
Fermin, an established artist who teaches art at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and Hostos Community College, came up with the concept to record conversations between residents who discuss Bronx topics and post them on a website for others enjoy.
The podcast is currently scheduled to be released once a month on its website, http://www.hubs-spokes.net, with an edited and non-edited version. The first conversation titled “The South Bronx Filter,” curated by artist Laura Napier, was released during the week of April 18.
“This is our starting point, but that doesn’t mean it has to be limited to this,” Fermin said. “This idea of posting conversations and podcasts has certainly used before, but it is unique to the Bronx.”
The podcast is recorded right out of Fermin’s apartment and does not actually involve him, other than as the recorder of the conversation and editor.
The conversation consists of a special guest curator who proposes a topic to discuss, followed by other invited guests to participate in constructive conversation exchanges.
Discussions take place for approximately one hour but are not limited to that time frame, it is then published online as a podcast for others to download. The curator for the following month’s conversation is chosen from one of the present guests who proposes a new topic of discussion.
“It’s a way of keeping other people aware of what is going on in the Bronx on a monthly basis,” Fermin said. “We speak of art-related topics, but we open to anything else going on in the borough such as music or politics. We allow our curators to bring in anyone they know and we intend on inviting elected officials to join.”
The podcasts are set to be released once a month during the last week of each month. They are available for download on the website and can also be found through its Facebook page, at facebook.com/hubsandspokes, or can be downloaded for free on iTunes by searching “Hubs & Spokes Conversation.