Archive for July, 2014|Monthly archive page

A Successful First Season, Plans for Next Year, and Collaboration with the Bridge Art Show

By the end of its first season, Rivertown Artists Workshop was chosen as Westchester Magazine’s “Best of Westchester Award” in Best Contemporary Dance Series 2014. “What an honor!” Co-Director/Founder Naomi Vladeck said.

The non-profit Vladeck and Sara Levine co-founded began last October with RAW HOUSE, a performance program for (re) emerging choreographers living or working in the Rivertowns.

Daniel Fetecua's Pajarillo Pinta'o Company w/Pablo Mayor's Folklore Urbano Orchestra/Credit: Adrienne Sanders

Daniel Fetecua’s Pajarillo Pinta’o Company w/Pablo Mayor’s Folklore Urbano Orchestra/Credit: Adrienne Sanders

Its establishment in the Sleepy Hollow cultural community, she feels, is a bonus: RAW advocates for local artists to demonstrate their performance work, “(And) we’ve met a lot of visual artists doing that.” Highlights and successes in less than 10 months include:

• It produced 10 presentations that featured original work by professional contemporary dance artists living or working in Westchester

• More than 750 audience members saw new work by choreographers who dancedwith some of the most notable companies of the past two generations

• Post-show discussions helped audiences learn more about the artists and their work

• Artists received more than $7,000 in performance fees as well as promotional support, press and documentation of their work

• RAW was awarded grants from ArtsWestchester, The Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns, and Rivertown Runners

• A summer space grant from the RSHM Provincial Center allows RAW artists to rehearse their fall premieres

• Screenings of film shorts and documentaries about dance making were introduced in addition to monthly RAW | House series: Small House — its curated family series —  and Dance-on-Film

• The SLEEPIES (The Sleepy Hollow Art and Performance Awards) were inaugurated at RAW’s first annual benefit

“Bridgebuilder,” woodcut 2-3/4” sq./Sleepy Hollow artist and collaborative print project facilitator Jeff White © 2014

“Bridgebuilder,” woodcut 2-3/4” sq./Sleepy Hollow artist and collaborative print project facilitator Jeff White © 2014

Since September, Vladeck said, RAW had identified and connecting with local artists to help build its programs and find ways it can help them build work and community around their work.

“We have met some amazing talent along the way,” she said. “Jeff White, for instance, is a Sleepy Hollow resident and prolific fine artist who made a study of the river and bridge a focus of his work over the past few years, has engaged the community in different ways as he progressed.”

She added, “It will be fun to see how this project (bridge art show), and the artists who submit work connect across the ‘border’ of the river to build their own bridges and move their work forward in some meaningful way. That is the real promise of a program like this.”

RAW Talk, post show featuring new work by Joel Sherry, Megan Williams, Jonathan Riedel and Jonathan Gonzalez, facilitated by Lauren Gaul and Naomi Vladeck/Photo Credit: Dorothy Handelman

RAW Talk, post show featuring new work by Joel Sherry, Megan Williams, Jonathan Riedel and Jonathan Gonzalez, facilitated by Lauren Gaul and Naomi Vladeck/Photo Credit: Dorothy Handelman

“Now we are looking forward to deepening our commitment to local artists by launching Westchester’s first CSA for artists,” Vladeck said. As agricultural CSAs use funds prior to the harvesting season to grow food that’s later picked up, “RAW’s CSAs are a fun way for arts patrons to support art-making ahead of the season, getting funds into the hands of artists earlier in their creative process.”

Through a seed grant from ArtsWestchester, the first four CSA artists, three from Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, and one from Nyack, are already in the studio. “RAW will be coming out of the gate this season with a dynamic program of three presentations for October,” Vladeck said.

RAW: TALK with Shawna Emerick, Margaret Liston, Naomi Vladeck, and Jane Dubin/Photo credit: Mark Liflander

RAW: TALK with Shawna Emerick, Margaret Liston, Naomi Vladeck, and Jane Dubin/Photo credit: Mark Liflander

“One Night Only” is a late night cabaret featuring a series of spooky, sexy and slightly off-beat vignets of macabre, comedic and titillating performances. “The Grisly Kids” is a main stage projection from the mischievous minds of the Riedel Dance Theater. “Spooky Moves” is a special presentation by RAW’s Small House artists for young children and families, a series of curated fun contemporary dance themed for Halloween.

Ticket sales begin August 29, 2014; show times and dates are subject to change. For information about these events, RAW, or to purchase a share in its CSA, click here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Learning in Retirement about the New NY Bridge

Marion Shiffer was describing the New NY Bridge Outreach Team’s recent presentation to Learning in Retirement at Iona College (LIRIC).

“Brian was very professional and fascinating, very well organized,” Shiffer said. It’s the first time she learned how the new bridge would be built, “one direction at a time, while maintaining the old bridge until the lanes are open.”

Learning about the double spans that will each have four wider, and safer, traffic lanes/New NY Bridge Outreach

Learning about the double spans that will each have four wider, and safer, traffic lanes/New NY Bridge Outreach

Whether people reach out to project officials through the Community Outreach Centers, the Contact Us page on the New NY Bridge website, or word-of-mouth, special project advisor Brian Conybeare and the Outreach Team welcome opportunities to address groups.

Founded more than 20 years ago by a group of retirees interested in life-long learning, the academic, not-for-profit LIRIC program is sponsored by Iona College and affiliated with the Road Scholar Institute Network (RSIN). “Iona is wonderful to us,” Linda Whetzel said. “We’re a flexible group, where one person will make a suggestion, and then someone else will make it happen.”

Whetzel heads the Curriculum Committee, “a group of volunteers who design our programs and arrange for presenters and speakers,” LIRIC Executive Director Suzanne Page, Ph.D., explained. “These include our own members, faculty from various local colleges (especially Iona), government officials, community leaders, local artists, town historians, health professionals, and many other members of the community.”

Courtesy New York State Thruway Authority

Courtesy New York State Thruway Authority

Shiffer said bicyclists like her son will appreciate the shared use path. “Brian spoke at his group in Mt. Vernon, and he was very interested in it. Not many bridges have (paths like) that.”

Like Shiffer, Whetzel is amazed that the new bridge will be built next to the existing bridge. “It’s mind-blowing,” she said. “I’m fascinated by trivia, so that capability for rail service is also amazing.”

“The New NY Bridge is a historic project that interests students of all ages. Our educational outreach efforts include senior citizens learning in retirement all the way down to elementary school classrooms. The goal is to educate and inform everyone about the extraordinary efforts being undertaken to build this new bridge that will last for generations to come.” — Brian Conybeare, Special Project Advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo

What remained in her mind is that the project is on time, on budget and will last 100 years. “Those are three things Brian emphasized,” Whetzel said. And of course people asked him the cost of future tolls.

Self-supporting, LIRIC members pay $175 for a full year of classes (September through August) or $100 for six months (March through August). There are no fall-only memberships. The group meets once a week during summers, and its eight-week fall and spring sessions feature three days off-campus, and two days on-campus.

An efficient, multi-route bus rapid transit system is planned to coincide with opening day/New NY Bridge Outreach

An efficient, multi-route bus rapid transit system is planned to coincide with opening day/New NY Bridge Outreach

“(We’re) always on the lookout for informative, timely, interesting presenters,” Shiffer, past president, said. Courses include current events and academic subjects, and occasionally topics of interest to retirees. See listing is in the online catalog.

All are invited to LIRIC’s Open House on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in Spellman Hall. For information and a catalog, leave a message at 914-633-2675 or email spage@iona.edu.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Thruway Entrance at Route 119 Closed on July 28 and 29 after 8 p.m.; See Detour Routes and Maps

Note: The photo above is not Route 119 in Tarrytown and is indicated for signage only.

Note: The photo above is not Route 119 in Tarrytown and is indicated for signage only.

Per the July 25 press release from project officials:

“Nighttime electrical work on the Tarrytown approach to the Tappan Zee Bridge will continue the week of July 28. The Thruway will remain open to traffic as the nighttime operations continue, however traffic entering the northbound/westbound Thruway at Exit 9 will be impacted during some of the work. Traffic exiting the Thruway at Exit 9 will not be affected.”

There will be no access to I-87/I-287 north/west today and tomorrow from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. One detour is approximately 1.5 miles east on Route 119/White Plains Road to Exit 8A in Elmsford per map below.

detour map

My suggestion if you’re already in Tarrytown or Sleepy Hollow:

Take Benedict Avenue at South Broadway through to Route 119/White Plains Road in Greenburgh. Turn left at the light, and continue to I-87/I-287 north/west (sign is on the left).

Map, markers and route are courtesy of Yahoo! Maps

Map, markers and route are courtesy of Yahoo! Maps

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Personal Reminiscing: Two Months Before the TZB

August 2004: mom and dad on the balcony at Woodstock Playhouse, happy to be with each other, smiling at the sun

August 2004: mom and dad on the balcony at Woodstock Playhouse, happy to be with each other, smiling at the sun

Ten years ago this summer, before dad’s first stroke, he and mom wanted to go to Woodstock. So off we went. I think mom reminded him of what they’d told us kids, that the Tappan Zee Bridge went into the water.

Today is five months.

The call came one minute after 9 a.m. (my digital clock is a few minutes fast). “I have bad news for you,” the voice said, identifying herself as a doctor. I got angry at her for what nana called a “lack of bedside manner” and silently cried.

* * * * *

My parents married less than eight weeks before the new bridge opened. Dad passed away 24 hours before the final transit task force meeting. He would have wanted me to do the next right thing, like he did. I went, paid attention, wrote my story, and cried privately. Dad may have been there, too, because more cake than I ate was missing from my plate. Dad loved cake.

Missing you very much/Photographer: mom or Spence or me

Missing you very much/Photographer: mom or Spence or me

Directions to Lake Placid — where they honeymooned — from New York and New Jersey begin with “Take the NY State Thruway (I-87) north . . .” The new bridge was to open in two months; the Taconic State Parkway was “it” back then, mom said. When my uncle’s company moved him to Albany in 1954, he packed up my aunt and their three-month-old daughter and headed north.

Nana and papa missed their first grandchild so every other weekend, mom said, she and her parents headed north. “My dad loved driving the Taconic to Albany,” she said. My parents both had lots of stories, wonderful stories, about their childhoods, and teenage years and growing up, then how they met. A couple in love forever.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

On A Bus Home, Accompanied by Springsteen

October 1975. “Born to Run” is blasting on the bus radio, as we Westchesterites and Long Islanders fly through Rockland County. The SUCO bus left Oneonta at 4 p.m., and we’re due to arrive at the County Center at 8:30 p.m.

Especially  significant to the artist: her watercolor painting "Coming home on the Tappan Zee" /© Donna Davies Timm

Especially significant to the artist: her watercolor painting “Coming home on the Tappan Zee” /© Donna Davies Timm

Then we see it, the Tappan Zee Bridge. While I’m glad to be back for the weekend — and looking forward to catching up with friends I’ve not seen in two months — I’m unprepared for the little shiver that runs through me.

I chose the upstate New York college for its nutrition program, then wondered what made me think chemistry would be easier than in high school? The following year I transferred to community college, switched majors, and worked part-time.

The bridge was nearly 20, the average age on that bus; Bruce, not much older.

You’ve seen creative Tweets, read the press release, and perused the blog posts: Thursday is the deadline for the 2014 Bridge Art Show, a collaboration with ArtsWestchester, Rockland Center for the Arts, Rivertown Artists Workshop and Nyack Art Collective.

"Painter's easel and construction crane, Grand View, NY," photographed in 1954 by John J. Rooney, Jr./The Nyack Library Local History Image Collection and HRVH

“Painter’s easel and construction crane, Grand View, NY,” photographed in 1954 by John J. Rooney, Jr./The Nyack Library Local History Image Collection and HRVH

The project’s Visual Quality Panel — including RoCA Board of Directors President Robert L. Fellows — will select a Best of Show and two runners-up for the work, shown in Tarrytown and Nyack.

If I were a painter, my canvas would show the inside of that chartered bus, where you step up into seats on either side of the aisle; above them, compartments hold luggage and coats. In those seats, some teenagers are dozing, some are watching the bridge — illuminated against the dark sky — move closer, others are belting out, “Tramps like us baby we were born to run!”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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