HACK-ART-THON: ACT Labs NYC/Live Ideas 2019

New York Live Arts Theater
Awards Ceremony May 12 @ 6:30
Free to public with RSVP

BREAKING THE STIGMA AROUND MENTAL ILLNESSIn partnership with FINE ACTS and NAMI NYC, National Alliance of Mental Illness.

ACT = Art x Change x Technology

Eight pairs of carefully selected and matched Fellows, an artist and an AI technologist, take part in a two-day HACK-ART-THON to work on prototype of art x technology projects that raise awareness or contribute to a concrete solution for Breaking The Stigma around Mental Illness. The projects, from performances, interactive art pieces, to apps, must use some form of AI technology. Mentors from the fields of technology, art/activism, mental health, PR and presentation will advice the Fellows throughout the process. The prototypes will be presented in front of the jury and audience. The winning team will receive $5000 in grant funding to continue developing the project. Other prizes include year-long mentorship and support, artist residencies, opportunities to present their work and more.

Why is this important?  In June 2018, the designer Kate Spade and the culinary icon Anthony Bourdain committed suicide within three days of each other. Their deaths prompted immediate public debate on mental health, the stigmas and silences that surround mental illness. None of us are immune to anxiety, depression or despair despite every occasion to live in denial of this fact. According to a 2016 survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness (*44.7 million). This number doesn’t include those of us who work in the military, are under age, incarcerated, or homeless. Often, these are the communities that are the most disproportionately affected. The stigma surrounding mental illness often prevents us from seeking the help we may need, or from reaching out to someone we know to be suffering. A lag in public awareness has kept us from the most pressing concern: where is the funding for nondiscriminatory mental health services that can be accessed by all? We cannot separate our mental health from our collective well-being. Removing the stigma and layers of silence that surround mental illness is urgent and important. Talking to someone is the first step.


Our selected pairs are:

Katy Gero & Anastasia Voron
Artyom Astafurov & Beth Graczyk
Jennifer Ding & Dominika Jezewska
Ishaan Jhaveri & Esther Manon Siddiquie
Keely Garfield & Cynthia Hua
Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang & Nia Laureano
Jared Katzman & Rachel Kunstadt
Marco Berlot & Zeelie Brown


HACK-ART-THON (Fellows only)
Saturday May 11 – Sunday May 12

Prototype Presentation & Award Ceremony 
May 12, 6:30pm
Free with RSVP – click “Buy Tickets” above

ACT Labs are events that explore the intersection of human rights, art and technology, and develop a range of solutions – from immersive, participatory art pieces to apps with a strong art component. The concept and format of ACT Labs (fineacts.co) has been created and developed by Fine Acts, a global platform for socially engaged creative solutions.


NAMI-NYC helps individuals and families affected by mental illness build better lives through education, support, and advocacy. Our programs and services — all of which are available free of charge — are led by trained volunteers with lived experience. As individuals and family members personally impacted by mental illness, we understand your experience because we have been there. For more information visit www.naminyc.org or call our Helpline at 212-684-3264.