Join us for Art Heart: Storytelling and Portrait Trading on Saturday, May 11th (2-4 pm) at Sunnyside Arts. Register here.

Participants will engage with the music and history of Astoria native Tony Bennett from the archives of the Greater Astoria Historical Society to inspire and trade personal stories with a partner.

Then, the story partners will trace each other’s faces on transparency paper and incorporate what they heard in their stories to create a composite portrait of their partner.

All are welcome to this pay-what-you-wish Queens community building event and kick-off for our June No, YOU Tell It! “Left My Heart” show. Questions? Contact

Workshop Facilitators

Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is a writer, educator, and storyteller. Her recent work has appeared in HiLoBrow, Marie Claire, Hippocampus Magazine, and numerous anthologies. She designs and teaches college essay writing workshops through The Center for Fiction, House of SpeakEasy’s SpeakTogether program, and at high schools nationwide. She is the producer of No, YOU Tell It!, a nonfiction series that brings storytellers together to trade tales, speak each other’s words, and empower voices on the page and stage. Kelly Jean is also the editor of the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology, available from Palm Circle Press. Follow @noyoutellit for more.

Zach Rothman-Hicks is an educator and multimedia conceptual artist who creates interactive performances and projects intended to spark reflection, dialogue, and action. He has been a New York City Public School teacher since September 2009 and an Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College since 2012 and Queens College since 2022. In April 2020, while a student in the PIMA MFA Program at Brooklyn College, he initiated Gabbing with Gays, a project that explored Emotional Intimacy in the LGBTQIA+ community. This project inspired future interactive art pieces, which were presented at the Staten Island Museum, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Newhouse Center, Alice Austen House, Easton Mountain, Queens Public Library, Hunters Point Park Conservancy, Chashama, Culture Lab, and the 14th Street Y.

André Knights is a Health and Wellness Instructor and certified LMT. He has worked with at-risk youth in an alternative school setting in the New York City Department of Education for more than 20 years. Prior to this, he worked in the Adult Literacy Program at the Brooklyn Public Library. He and Zach have collaborated on numerous social practice art projects since 2021.