Symposia Community Events – June 2010

The Public Voice Salon TV Show June 10 at 7.30
A Citizen Dialogue on Culture, Politics & the Burning Issues of the Day
Join us for the taping of episode #2 in this historic project of community repair, aesthetic awakening, and democratic renewal: a rare public space where the citizens become the talking heads. In our age of slick, corporate-sponsored media, the vulnerable, questioning human voice is often smothered. We seek to revive the art of humane, spontaneous and hopeful democratic discourse (perhaps last witnessed in America in the 1970s)—although never before, to my knowledge, broadcast as a TV show.
Sweden, a country that truly cares about what its citizens think and feel, currently has 5,000 community salons scattered throughout its progressive land that are (now get this) financed by its government! The United States, on the other hand, sponsors zero salons to discover what’s important to its citizens. We feel this is a deficiency that ought to be repaired. Our hope is that the Public Voice Salon will spark a movement for authentic citizen dialogue across America—in small towns, suburbs, and big cities—so that the public might play an energetic role in strengthening our fragile democratic fabric.
Because a true Salon also celebrates the Arts, we welcome artists of all stripes—poets, singers, writers, painters, dancers, etc.—to share, discuss, and maybe even perform your work to enrich our conversation. Activists, dreamers, visionaries, storytellers and other Salon-ista types (with a unique point of view, project, or story to share) are also very much welcome.
The Public Voice Salon will be broadcast Thursday evenings (8 to 9 pm) on Public Access Cable’s channel 19. The show runs from June 3rd through Sept. 30.
Space is limited to 15 people, so please RSVP John at
John Bredin, creator and host of the Public Voice Salon, is a writer, real estate agent, and Professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Math Weekend Class – 9.30-10.30
5-9 years old

We provide challenge as well as encouragement in learning mathematics. We limit every session to 6 children so that we could do best in attending each child’ needs in his or her learning experience.
Parents are more than welcome to observe; quietness is greatly appreciated.
Fee is $20/session
5 and 10 packages are available
Please RSVP for trial class:

Dr. Chandra Budi

Seeing Children’s Development with Different Eyes – Creative Seminar
June 10th, 11th (1-3 pm) and 12th (9-11 am)

As a way of celebrating Mother’s Day I invite parents and caretakers to enjoy couple of hours in a day to talk about different topics in early childhood to gain more understanding towards our children and their developments. I hope the discussions and the articles will enable us to see early childhood issues in a different way such as “tantrum”, is it really bad? Does “terrible twos” exist? I do not see these as problems; rather I see them as invitations for us to understand children better.The Seminar is creative in a way I encourage participation, role-playing, and discussion.

If this is something that you feel like getting involved in and doing, please do not hesitate to contact me for further information at:

Dr. Chandra Budi  –
FEE: (30% of proceeds go to Hoboken Project Play) $ 75/day,  $150/3days
Articles, beverage, and pastry are included on the fee

RSVP is required through email

“Professional Pigs and Social Moguls” Book Club, June 26, at 7 pm

It’s a club that:
Reminds you that books can be just as interactive as the internet!
Encourages you to say more than just “Hi” to a colleague, roommate, or stranger.
Makes you think outside the box.
Increases your confidence.
Transforms you to feel as if you’re just as good a public speaker as Obama (okay, well, maybe not, but pretty darn close!)
Encourages you to USE the information in the real world.
Allows you to bond with others.
Requires you to have FUN!

Organizer: Robin Sampson
Book: Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

Guitar Circle

The group meets every Wednesday at 8pm at Symposia. Beginners welcome!
For more info, contact Carlos at

Public Voice Salon at Symposia Launches TV Show!

Join us at the Public Voice Salon  in our historic project to strengthen American Democracy.  In today’s “Letters” section of the NY Times (7.18.10), a writer asks “What happens to friendship and community when so many of our interactions are mediated through screens?”  One might also ask, what happens to politics?  Such questions related to the loss of community have, of course, already been taken up by such weighty intellectuals as Jurgen Habermas—who bemoaned the loss of the “public sphere”—and Theodroe Zeldin, who, in explaining why people have often been too frightened to talk much, publicly and even privately, noted the official discouragement of public dialogue since “The powerful have always known that they are threatened by conversation.”

We also seek to resist the growing anti-intellectualization of America—evidenced by the shift in Education away from the humanities toward a narrow, banal concern for business; and the sound-bite debasement of public discourse—by constructing a public Bohemian Salon that helps us re-humanize with talk of art, culture and ideas, and the sharing of personal stories.  (since I’m currently re-reading Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, I’m reminded of the Salon-like aura of the famous dinner party scene)  As we reinvigorate our intellectual, aesthetic, and social capacities, we might just renew our communities: and save our democracy.

Next taping, Friday, June 25, 7 pm at Symposia Community Bookstore, 510 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ.  Directions: 126 bus from Port Authority to 6th and Washington St; or PATH train to Hoboken, walk 2 blocks West to Washington St, 5 blocks north to the bookstore.

John Bredin, the founder and host of the Public Voice Salon, is a writer, activist, realtor, and professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Other June Events at Symposia

The Turnpike. The Parkway. The Shore.

Date:  June 19, 2010  at 7 pm

As passionately dismissed as it is celebrated, perhaps no other state in America elicits reaction quite like New Jersey. Though the Garden State has risen to the top of pop culture consciousness this past decade, its significant and diverse literary culture has gone sorely under the radar–until now. What’s Your Exit? A Literary Detour through New Jersey is a collection of contemporary fiction, poetry, and essay–most in print for the very first time–about, set in, inspired by a place that, beloved or begrudged, peaks the curiosity of all who have set foot in it…and those who haven’t.

What‘s Your Exit?: A Literary Detour Though New Jersey, edited by Alicia Ann Beale and Joe Vallese, will include feature new and previously published work from over 40 writers and poets.  Among the book’s contributors are Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Perrotta, Robert Pinsky, Jason Biggs, J. Robert Lennon, Alicia Ostriker,  Paul Lisicky , Louise de Salvo, Donna Steiner, Joe Weil, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Lee Klein, Suzanne Paola , James Richardson , Susan Fox Rogers, Gerald Stern, JC Todd, BJ Ward, and Sung J. Woo.

Contact Information: Alicia Ann Beale

Voices of Afghanistan

  • June 24, 2010  at 7 pm
  • In June ’09, Heather Metcalfe, Founder of Artfully Unforgotten, visited Afghanistan to learn more about the status of women. Come hear Heather speak about her visit to Afghanistan the women she met, as well as the challenges facing Afghan women and girls.
    VOICES OF AFGHANISTAN is a book and short film, based upon the interviews Heather conducted in Afghanistan. Together they feature the uplifting stories of four Afghan women who have struggled against the oppression of the Taliban and their own culture. These stories are complemented by images of the beauty of Afghanistan, alongside a multitude of voices exploring the conflict, culture and hope of Afghan women.
    The film and the book work together to:
    –      Showcase Afghan women building a nation’s future while finding their own empowerment.
    –      Offer personal stories through the voices of Afghan women to promote their continued growth, strength and beauty.
    –    Explore women’s empowerment; in particular the role of women post conflict and how education and employment are the key to empowering women that in turn contributes toward their country’s growth.
    –        Address challenges faced by the women of Afghanistan.
    –     Raise funds for Afghan women.
Contact Information
  • Heather Metcalfe
  • 917-815-1483
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