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.
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
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.”
“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.
“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.
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Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014