Times Square, the bustling heart of New York City, witnessed an electrifying fusion of contrasting cultural poles during the recent PUNK SHOW event. This vibrant performance was part of PUNK SHOW, a one-day festival collaboratively organized by Times Square Arts and NEW INC, an innovative incubator established by the New Museum in 2014.
The Union of Contrasts
Salome Asega, a Las Vegas native and the director of NEW INC, saw this convergence as a natural and exhilarating blend. She remarked that Times Square, with its sensory overload, felt somewhat like a taste of home while being a dynamic melting pot where diverse worlds intersect.
NEW INC’s Diverse Mission
NEW INC, now in its remarkable tenth year, holds a distinctive mission: to provide comprehensive support for creative practitioners spanning various mediums, from art and design to technology, science, and architecture. When founded, it pioneered this innovative approach.
Asega affectionately describes NEW INC as a haven for the unconventional, a place where individuals who defy traditional disciplinary boundaries, often referred to as “misfits,” find their creative home.
Prospective members contribute $150 monthly for their membership, granting access to workspaces, professional development programs, and tailored mentorship initiatives across different fields. NEW INC also curates events such as PUNK SHOW and the annual DEMO, where members showcase their projects alongside established practitioners who share similar fields of expertise.
The Strength of NEW INC
One of NEW INC’s core strengths lies in its capacity to provide guidance and establish connections for artists and creators whose career paths may lack a defined trajectory. Acting as strategic partners, they facilitate introductions and identify optimal platforms for individual projects to flourish.
Inclusivity and Subsidized Memberships
NEW INC is committed to inclusivity and offers subsidized memberships tailored for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled applicants, available at a reduced rate of $60 per month. Presently, 63 percent of their cohort benefits from these subsidized rates.
Nurturing Creative Initiatives
NEW INC has played a pivotal role in nurturing various creative initiatives. For instance, during their fellowship, The Black School—an experimental art school in New Orleans—successfully conducted a crowdfunding campaign to construct a physical schoolhouse. NEW INC played a vital role in refining their pitch, honing presentation skills, and connecting with potential funders.
Andreas Laszlo Konrath, a photographer, educator, and publisher, embarked on the development of SHRIMP ZINE—a free web app designed for creating mobile zines—while participating in NEW INC. His inspiration stemmed from teaching students during the pandemic, and NEW INC provided Konrath with essential resources and mentorship to bring his vision to fruition.
PUNK SHOW: A Multidisciplinary Extravaganza
The recent PUNK SHOW event, meticulously curated by NEW INC, served as a captivating showcase of diverse talents. It exemplified the expansiveness of punk—a genre renowned for its exploration and forward-thinking ethos. While traditional instruments took a backseat, creativity was the driving force.
Apart from the performances by Dis Fig and SOUR VISION, Euro Trill captivated the audience with a genre-blurring fusion of pop, punk, and rap. Yatta delivered a distinctive rendition of “Theme from New York, New York,” characterized by both earnestness and tongue-in-cheek humor. The event culminated with LustSickPuppy’s audacious blend of rap and hard rave music, leaving a lasting impression on attendees.
The Power of Connection and Collaboration
PUNK SHOW vividly showcased the collaborative spirit at the core of NEW INC’s mission. It illustrated how this organization excels at establishing connections not only among its artists and locations but also across diverse disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach fosters new creative horizons and cultivates a sense of community.
The collaboration between NEW INC and Times Square Arts underscored the potential of a community enriched with diverse cultural inputs. It demonstrated how such diversity can reshape contexts, inspire fresh artistic endeavors, and captivate audiences in unexpected ways—a reflection of the vibrant, ever-evolving spirit of New York City itself.