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MAD Announces the 2013 Recipients of THE FUN Fellowship, Supporting New York City Nightlife

Frankie Sharp, Rob Roth, Secret Project Robot, and Xtapussy are Named FUN Fellows

THE FUN Compiles Profiles of NYC Nightlife Artists into a Publication, Essays by Michael Musto and Claire Bishop

New York, NY (April 19, 2013)

THE FUN Fellowship was established in 2011 by the Museum of Arts and Design in recognition of the vital role nightlife practitioners play in the city’s creative community and artistic endeavors. Now in its third year, THE FUN provides four artists or artist collaboratives with financial and logistical support to help them advance and realize their latest nightlife-related projects. MAD is proud to announce that this year’s FUN Fellows are Frankie Sharp, Rob Roth, Secret Project Robot, and Xtapussy. To celebrate the third anniversary of THE FUN, MAD and powerHouse books will publish a historical compilation of New York City nightlife, THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC.

The FUN Fellows were identified through a competitive process. MAD invited 75 individuals from the art and nightlife communities to each nominate a candidate. From this group, 10 individuals and collaboratives were selected as semi-finalists by a collection of their peers, and the winners were chosen by a jury comprised of curators, nightlife luminaries, critics, and previous FUN Fellows.

This year, THE FUN Fellowship also presents its first publication on New York City nightlife. Highlighting over 30 New York City-based artists working in the social practice of nightlife, including past fellowship recipients, THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC will include essays and other writings from icons of nightlife including Michael Musto and Claire Bishop. Artists to be featured in the publication include #TOP8Friends, Sophia Lamar, Desi Santiago, Secret Project Robot, Suzanne Bartsch, Silent Barn, Ladyfag, and Frankie Sharp. THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC will explore the immense impact of nightlife on New York City, art, performance, and social gatherings. The publication will be published by MAD with powerHouse books.

“We are excited to work with powerHouse books on this publication—the first of its kind. Growing from the impact and success of the first three years of THE FUN fellowship, this publication will help grow the discourse around nightlife and bring international awareness to the vibrant variety of nightlife practitioners working in New York City today,” says Jake Yuzna, MAD’s Manager of Public Programs and founder of THE FUN Fellowship. “The book and the 2013 fellows continue to prove that nightlife in New York City is alive and flourishing.”


  • Frankie Sharp
    Bringing together fashion, music, and performers representing different eras, Frankie Sharp will create a single-evening exhibition on the history of New York nightlife. Staging a series of historic periods in their original form, Sharp will bring together groups of artists to wear outfits, play music, and create visuals from each of these eras during one large event. From Studio 54 disco to 1990s club kids and through to today, guests will be able to wander throughout the party, slipping from one era to another. Through this experience, Sharp seeks to discover new methods for exhibiting historical nightlife works in an experiential way.
  • Rob Roth
    An active member of the New York nightlife community for more than 25 years, performer, artist, and nightlife practitioner Rob Roth will utilize his FUN fellowship to document the historic party Mother. Founded in the meatpacking district in the early 1990s, Mother transformed the then-industrial neighborhood into a nocturnal focal point for performance throughout the 1990s. However, Mother's influence has fallen into obscurity due to a lack of documentation. Over the course of a series of oral history recordings, Roth will capture this important moment in New York nightlife. Through the stories and perspectives of those involved in the spectacle that was Mother, Roth aims to trace what led to its rise and demise. His project will culminate in dance tracks featuring clips from these recorded conversations, created through collaborations between Roth, DJs, and electronic music artists from the period.
  • Secret Project Robot
    Reacting to the groundswell of nightlife activities taking place in the Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the collaborative Secret Project Robot will stage the BK Nightlife Conference at MAD in August 2013. Bringing together grassroots and alternative venue organizers, nightlife practitioners, artists, and other voices from the community, the BK Nightlife Conference will explore the political, logistical, and artistic elements within the borough's nightlife.
  • Xtapussy
    Exploring the role of environment and context on nightlife and avant-garde social practices, the collaborative Xtapussy (Marie Karlber, Hayley Pisaturo, and Stewart Uoo) will stage a series of parties in non-traditional locations throughout New York City. Xtapussy's works will bring together performance, visual art, music, and other components to experiment with how the aesthetic and ethical critiques of social practice are affected by the physical, psychological, and contextual environments within which they are created.


THE FUN is organized by Jake Yuzna, Manager of Public Programs.
Full line up will be presented on the Museum of Arts and Design’s website at


THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife, approximately 300 pages will include essays by Michael Musto and Claire Bishop that position nightlife as a centuries-old arts practice that has been largely marginalized or ignored by the fine arts sector. Published by the Museum of Arts and Design and powerHouse Books, it will include profiles of about 30 artists from different eras of New York City nightlife, including #TOP8 Friends, Dances of Vice, FCKNLZ, JUDY, Lauren Devine and Patrick Sandberg, Rob Roth, Sophia Lamar, Woahmone, Xtapussy, CHERYL, Desi Santiago, Pendu Disco, S!CK, Secret Project Robot, SPANK, Spectrum, The Ho_se, Gag!, Suzanne Bartsch, Earl Dax, Silent Barn, Ladyfag, and Frankie Sharp. The book will be published in November 2013.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) explores the intersection of art, craft, and design today, through exhibitions and programs focusing on contemporary creation, materials, and processes, from handmade to digital. A dynamic roster of public programs engages visitors in the creative process, including open studios, workshops, tours, and master classes. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and current topics in the world of contemporary art, craft, and design are held in MAD’s 144-seat auditorium.


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