Author Archives: Aya

Notes From the 6 Train: NCPTW Conference

So these past two weeks are so incredibly hectic. I got to get a break from the city and went to Salt Lake City to present at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing. I had such a blast!

My presentation was titled Art & Rhyme:
Understanding the Importance of Writing Centers in the Development of Female Artistry. I also got to write a semi-research paper *yay, who doesn’t enjoy research papers?* & interview dope women artists. I interviewed a former high fashion model turned fashion designer who works with Barneys, to a radical black/ queer performing artist, a circus inspired satirical burlesque performer who focuses on women’s identity in society, as well as jewelry designer and painter, and classically trained dancer.

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I asked them questions about how writing informs their art practice, how writing has helped find opportunities that have furthered their practice/ encouraged growth, (such as grants, residencies, etc.), if the idea of report talk vs. rapport talk *a theory about how women & men are socialized to communicate* factors into the way men and women artists communicate about their work, what tools/ support in writing centers would they want that would affirm & support women their work?

Our hotel that looked like The Shining

Our hotel that looked like The Shining

While I was working on this presentation, I have to admit, I felt a little overwhelmed. But, ultimately, I feel good that I did it. I introduced an important topic to a group of people who may not otherwise ever get this information, plus, my presentation was well attended and afterwards, several people told me about how much they enjoyed it.


Plus, I got to bond with other FIT writing tutors and go in a trip that was all sponsored on FIT! (Who doesn’t want to do that?)

All Things Color & Love,
Aya Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: Dias De Muertos

This young talented dancer caught my eye during her performance at the event "Noche de Altares", a celebration of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

This young talented dancer caught my eye during her performance at the event “Noche de Altares”, a celebration of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Halloween can be tough, as it’s a time people openly disrespect a plethora of groups and communities through completely disrespectful cultural appropriation. I’m not suggesting to stop learning about other cultures, that would be absurd. We live in New York City, that’s kind of the whole point of living in this city! But there are ways to do in a tasteful, respectful and fun way, and in ways that will probably help you learn more about the traditions, culture more than dressing in some ridiculously offensive costume.

With that being said, is Halloween not your thing but you still want to blow of some steam this weekend once midterms conclude?


I am doing art management/ direction for a performance piece on Halloween, so I won’t be doing much socializing. However, I am excited to say that I am celebrating my first Dia de Muertos! Dia de Muertos is a traditional Mexican tradition that takes place on November 1-2, in which families honor their dead by setting up alters, visiting their graves, and celebrating their lives.


There is a Dias de Muertos festival being held this weekend by Mano a Mano, a cultural organization that focuses on Mexican culture. Below is the link to their website to learn more, as well a link to a video by Amanda Sternberg, the Hunger Games actress, where she talks about in depth about cultural appropriation.

What are you doing when midterms release it’s grips on you? Comment below.

With Color, Love & Fashion,

Notes From the 6 Train: LNAP Time Again!

It’s LNAP time again. LNAP, Late Night Against Procrastination, is when the writing studio stays open until midnight. The tutors stay in order to make themselves available to students who need extra help during midterms and may not be able to come to the writing center due to other obligations such as work or school.

Don't be like this person.

Don’t be like this person.

There’s food, snacks and drinks in order to keep your energy high while grinding out the final few pages of your paper or job application.

You don’t have to set up an appointment, you can simply walk in anytime between 9:00- 11:45. If you still unable to make this time but still need help, you can always do online tutoring, or make a traditional appointment via the website, walking in or calling the center.

Learn more about the writing center here at their blog:

With Color, Love & Fashion,

Notes From the 6 Train: Using Your HART!

So I want to tell you about this super cool art collective doing incredible community based work. As an artist interested in building community, I am still figuring out how to do that in a productive way. HART (Harlem Art Collective), founded by Kristy McCarthy, is providing a framework for me to figure out how to do just that. HART is “a politically conscious and socially active collective of artists who are either based in or have a special connection to Harlem.”


HART created the Guerrilla Gallery on East 116th Street between Second and Third that avenues accepts art from any East Harlem resident, as long as it’s waterproof. I helped out out a bit at this weekend’s Guerilla Gallery, and below are the results.


HART also has an East Harlem apartment that offers housing at an affordable rate (read, actually affordable, not just “NYC affordable) and accepts Airbnb in “order to use gentrification in the community’s benefit and that it’s a way for money to come into the neighborhood without having the rents go up.” (Kristy)



The money made from Airbnb is then uses a portion of the proceeds to fund free art workshops for area residents. Finally, local artists can use the apartment as free studio space &use free art supplies.

If you want to read more about what HART is up to, you can check out these articles at the bottom of this post. You can also send a message to the collective by searching for HART: Harlem Art Collective on Facebook.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: It’s Raining Research

Each semester at the writing center we choose a topic to delve into deeper in order to become tutors and writers, so we are more helpful for you all! This semester’s focus is research. I know this sounds super boring, but it is imperative while in school and incredibly important for artists. Many students loathe research because it’s time consuming and hard. It’s hard because many of students, including myself until last week, aren’t aware all of the resources that the FIT library has to offer for researching.

Artists who make are, without engaging in thorough research beforehand, and claim that they were “inspired” by another artist seems fishy. Without research and thoughtfulness, inspiration can quickly become copying.

Here are three ways the library can aid you in your research process (that you probably don’t know about):

1. You can instant message librarians!

You want to ask a pointed question such as “I am interested in researching trends of the 20’s, what are good resources to start research?

They usually answer quite fast. If they don’t respond immediately, they will email you probably within the next hour at the latest.

2. You can email them.

If you have a question at 2 am you can email them and you get a response in 24 hours (usually, much faster than that.)

3. You can text them.

Same deal. This way you can receive a response while on the go.

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In order to access these resources you simply go to the FIT library home page, click the “Ask A Librarian” tab and explore the researching possibilities!

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All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane