- Mount Vernon Library – Rotunda Gallery With support from a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, we began bringing a series of exhibitions and related community programming to the Mount Vernon Public Library’s Rotunda Gallery in 2007. The library is one of the few professionally staffed cultural institutions in Mount Vernon and one of the most architecturally significant in the downtown area. For the past four years, we have produced exhibitions such as “Rock My Soul” on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, African sculpture from the Neuberger Museum of Art, and The Tapestry of the Diaspora.
- The Big Read An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture. Participating communities across the country encourage residents to read and discuss the same book during a designated period of time. From 2007-2011, the NEA awarded ArtsWestchester a grant to bring The Big Read to Westchester.The Big Read in Westchester HistoryIn October-November 2007, ArtsWestchester brought the county together with “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston.In February-March 2009, we made an even bigger impact with Ernest Gaines’ novel, “A Lesson Before Dying.”In February and March of 2010 ArtsWestchester, in partnership with Westchester Library System, Hudson Valley Writers Center, schools and colleges, local libraries, civic and community groups, cultural organizations throughout the county read and discussed “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.
In 2011, the book selected for The Big Read was In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.
- ARTSEE Festival
- Summer Youth Photography is a youth development collaboration between ArtsWestchester and the White Plains Youth Bureau that uses the arts to provide teenagers with on-the-job training and life skills that prepare them for future employment and/or college. Each summer, since 2002, approximately twelve students between the ages of 14 to 18 have spent six weeks working with and learning from a professional photographer drawn from ArtsWestchester’s roster of teaching artists.For the past several years, photographer Rick Falco has served as the students’ mentor and guide. Using state-of-the-art Fuji cameras, the students learn how to handle a camera both technically and as a tool through which to view the world. The students collectively develop a theme, plan their project and a hold a public presentation and exhibition of their work. Four days a week the students gather at the Arts Exchange, ArtsWestchester’s headquarters in downtown White Plains, then disperse throughout the city to cover their daily assignments.
In 2009, students learned valuable knowledge about green initiatives, the extreme significance of alternative energy usage and the value of the arts in the community through a generous grant from the New York Power Authority.
This annual project is supported by White Plains Youth Bureau; New York State Education Department 21st Century Community Learning Center; The Honorable Suzi Oppenheimer, New York State Senate 37th District; Key Bank; and cameras donated by Fujifilm Inc.
For information about this program, contact Jessica Cioffoletti, Associate Director of Arts in Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.