Artist profiles: Adelaide Punkin, Alex Datzuk, Art Life Culture, and Rock Yer Block

Adelaide Punkin. Photo submitted.
Adelaide Punkin. Photo submitted.
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TORRINGTON — Thirteen-year-old Adelaide Punkin is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and founder of Rock Yer Block.
The Rock Yer Block organization involves musicians raising awareness, and funds, for people suffering from acquired and traumatic brain injury (ABI and TBI).
She founded the organization in 2015 when she was only eight-years-old.
“One summer I was practicing and watching live concerts on YouTube,” Adelaide said in an interview with The Winsted Phoenix. “I heard about Live Aid, Farm Aid, and other music festivals to help people. I was inspired and wanted to give back. For my seventh birthday, I decided that I would hold a fundraiser concert instead of having a party. I asked my guests to buy tickets for $5.00 instead of bringing gifts. I gave the money to a local ABI/TBI agency that had a music program to buy new instruments. In 2015 I started Rock Yer Block and hosted the first Punkinstock. It was just me and a few of my musician friends, but a lot more people came and bought tickets.”
Adelaide’s father Alex Datzuk has been involved in the arts, media and content production, and music for 40 years.
Back in 2010 Datzuk founded Art Life Culture with the idea of promoting local art globally through new and alternative media. When it started, Datzuk primarily used the iPhone 4 and social media as an advertising platform and for streaming media as an alternative to cable and print.
The organization remained virtual with no physical location until 2018 until Datzuk and Adelaide decided to set up a studio in Harwinton for both Rock Yer Block and Art Life Culture.
For the father-daughter team, the partnership was perfect, with performance and visual art advocacy under one roof.
“In 2018 and 2019 we started producing shows with Art Life Culture and other local advocacy groups like Aim For a Better Tomorrow and opened our studio in Harwinton,” Datzuk said. “We had been running the Art Life Culture advocacy group since 2010 and we all began to work with ABI artists and musicians in the Harwinton studio and it all just kept growing.”
Datzuk said that the organization was planning its 2020 season, including Punkinstock IV, but then the COVID pandemic started, and live music concerts were postponed.
“Soon after that in mid-April, the studio was destroyed in a freak accident when a truck drove through our building,” Datzuk said. “We were forced to regroup and think about our plans for the future of Art Life Culture and Rock Yer Block.”
After the destruction of their original studio, Datzuk and Adelaide moved into a new location in Torrington on 42 Main Street, right below the office of the Northwest CT Arts Council.
Previously, Art Life Culture began its relationship with the council in 2010 and had the honor of being one of the first organizations to be fiscally sponsored by the council. Since then, they have supported the council whenever possible.
“The council and their staff continue to be an amazing resource for the Northwest Corner,” Datzuk said. “We want to provide space for their artists and include them in as many of our events as possible.”
With their new location in downtown Torrington, Datzuk said that he is looking forward to 2021.
“We plan on being involved as much as possible in the creative community,” Datzuk said. “Both organizations, Art Life Culture and Rock Yer Block have some great ideas to encourage growth in the creative sector.”
For more information about Rock Yer Block go to www.facebook.com/rockyerblock
For more information about Art Life Culture go to www.facebook.com/groups/ALCsalon

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Mike Cobb is a musician and writer based in Norfolk and has published articles in The NYC Jazz Record, The NY Press, NJ Starz, The Red Hook Star Review, Shindig!, Ugly Things, Ruta 66, Mondo Sonoro, Elmore, The Indypendent, The Lakeville Journal, and more. http://mc-obb.com