2006_01_fjacksonlg.jpgName, age, occupation, where do you live and where are you from?
My name is Frank Jackson and I'm 37 years old. I live in Little Italy, NYC and I was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

You founded Art For Progress, can you describe what your organization does and why you started it?
AFP is a 501(c) 3, non profit organization that provides support and resources to emerging artists in New York City while raising funds for arts education. AFP also works to advance awareness of the arts in New York City by producing several diverse arts events during the course of the year where we feature AFP artists.

Knowing many gifted artists, and understanding their struggles with the business end of their profession, I saw an opportunity to help them and also create a community where they can help each other. At the same time, I wanted to create a new forum for the arts without all of the barriers and pretentiousness that are inherent in the art world.

With what seems like so many artists in New York, how do you choose which artists to support?
So far, many of the artists that we have worked to support have come through referrals from other artists. We are working with artists who truly believe in what we are doing and want to get involved and help support our goals. In the near future we'll be launching a new artist community web site which will dramatically expand benefits for our artists. We'll also be offering memberships to artists that are interested and ready to move forward.

Art For Progress has a goal of opening a gallery – how is the progress on that?
It 's a long term goal, but we're always keeping our ears to the ground in hopes of finding the right match for us and property owners who are interested in the arts and the goals of our organization.

As your organization also supports arts education in NYC public schools, what do you think the state of arts education is right now?
What arts are the most lacking in the school system? Since the city's public schools are continuously struggling to get the necessary funding to support their general needs, I would have to say that they are more focused on utilizing their resources toward their math and science programs. With that being said, arts education has suffered quite a bit. Fortunately, there are organizations that work very hard to offset the disparity of funding for the schools and although it's never enough it does help.

You're also a DJ, who are your inspirations when it comes to music?
I'm such a music lover that I have so many influences. Anything from Pink Floyd to dance music icons like Danny Tenaglia.

What place or thing would you declare a landmark?
A place that you cannot pass without looking at or remembering a specific event in your life.

When you need to get away from it all, where is your favorite place in NYC to be alone?
I have little spot in Central Park where I can go and feel like I'm many many miles away from the city.