Governors Island, NY – A new breed of superhero has arrived in New York City. The Art Force 5 prides itself on “less POW and more HOW” as non-violent superheroes with the power of creativity over conflict. The team will begin their summer residency on Governors Island on May 17 and provide free activities Thursdays through Sundays until August 12, 2018. Their offerings include action-figure building, cape construction, an expansive comic book exhibit, and interactive history projects paying tribute to Harlem’s 15th Regiment as part of this year’s centennial observance of WWI.  

Founded at Alfred University, the Art Force 5 has received national recognition for their efforts to use art to address difficult topics. In 2016, the program partnered with the Rochester Police Department to design mosaic-making sessions for officers and youth to discuss relevant city issues. The team has trained over 200 heroes but often travels in teams of five, leading projects for the University of Notre Dame, University of Oklahoma, New York ComicCon, Strong National Museum of Play and the New York State Museum in Albany.

For the first time, the program has partnered with the State University of New York (SUNY) to build a statewide team of heroes from numerous SUNY institutions. The heroes include the Bronx’s Michael Perez (SUNY Morrisville) and Alison Garcia (University of Buffalo) and Brooklynites Zaire Anderson (Purchase) and Imani Graves (New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University). Rounding out the team is Marvin Brown from Tompkins Cortland Community College. Behind-the-scenes leadership include four Alfred University students Kelsey Oliveira (Valley Stream), Elvira Rodriguez (Queens), Katherine Paz (Queens) and Noah Mitchell (Elizabethtown, PA). The students will spend their days on Governors Island and graciously hosted by Brooklyn College in the evenings.

Special school and summer programs are welcome to reserve activity time by contacting artforce5@alfred.edu. No appointments are needed for small groups, families, and individuals. The program is located at Governors Island’s Colonel Row Houses (405E) on Thursdays 10AM-5PM, Fridays 10AM-5PM (8PM after Memorial Day), Saturday 10AM-6PM, Sundays 10AM-5PM, and special holiday hours on Memorial Day and July 4. Governors Island is accessible by ferries from Manhattan seven days a week and from Brooklyn on weekends. Visit www.artforce5.com for updated offerings.     

Pictured, from back clockwise: Michael Perez, Alison Garcia, Zaire Anderson, Imani Graves and Noah Mitchell.

Dan Napolitano