A creative writing workshop for children aged 9-18; a three-day festival of West African art; a set of dance workshops for seniors; a series of folk, jazz and blues concerts – ArtsWestchester is helping to bring these cultural programs to life in Westchester County this year.
The organization is awarding 29 “Arts Alive” grants that support projects by local organizations and artists, helping to ensure availability of the arts to residents in all corners of Westchester County. These programs help to hone creative skills during all stages of life, provide entertainment for the whole family, and present cultural opportunities for artists, artistic organizations and residents alike throughout Westchester County.
The grant recipients represent artistic expression of cultures from around the world in an array of genres that include dance, writing, visual art, music, theatre and more. Each of the programs will incorporate community involvement and/or engagement as the basis of their intent, thereby enlivening the cultural landscape of our neighborhoods.
Arts Alive grants were awarded in three categories: Arts Alive Project Grants, which provide Westchester-based organizations and artists with financial and technical support for projects at the grassroots level; Arts Alive Artist Grants, which support works that relate to the community in a significant way; and Arts Alive Education Grants, which provide support for partnerships between individual artists or cultural organizations and Westchester public schools (grades K-12).
Here are just a few examples of some of this year’s Arts Alive recipients:
• Artist Christine Aaron’s The Memory Project will consist of mixed media sculptures that use community members’ memories for inspiration.
• The Warner Library will feature flamenco workshops with Rebecca Thomas as part of a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
• Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden’s Breath of My Ancestors is a collaboration on African heritage that will feature sculpture, photography and performance art by local artists.
Arts Alive Project Grantees:
• Arts and Culture Committee, Town of Greenburgh (Greenburgh)
• Asbury Methodist Church of Crestwood (Crestwood)
• Black Marble Duo (Peekskill)
• Cross Cultural Connection (Peekskill)
• EMBARK Peekskill (Peekskill)
• Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden (Yonkers)
• Greenburgh Public Library (Greenburgh)
• Groundwork Hudson Valley (Yonkers)
• Hamm & Clov Stage Company (Yonkers)
• Little Radical Theatrics, Inc. (Bronxville)
• Mount Vernon Public Library (Mount Vernon)
• Neighborhood House (Tarrytown)
• Niji No Kai, Corp. (Valhalla)
• Nowodworski Foundation (Purdys)
• OCA -Westchester & Hudson Valley (White Plains)
• Ossining Documentaries & Discussion Series (Ossining)
• Ossining Public Library (Ossining)
• Peekskill Arts Alliance, Inc. (Peekskill)
• PJS Jazz Society, Inc. (Mount Vernon)
• Rebecca Thomas (f/a Warner Library)
• Saint Paul’s UMC (Ardsley, Hartsdale)
• Sidra Bell Dance (White Plains)
• Tribes Hill (Valhalla)
• Tutti Bravi Productions, Inc. (New Rochelle)
• Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services (Mount Vernon)
Arts Alive Education Grantee:
• Dene Ross (Riverside High School, Yonkers)
Arts Alive Artist Grantees:
• Christine Aaron (Larchmont)
• Evan Bishop (Yonkers)
• Edward Poneman (Tuckahoe)
Arts Alive grantees are chosen through a competitive process that includes a panel of community members and arts professionals. For more info, visit: artsw.org/artsalive.
This program is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts.
A version of this article first appeared in the February 2017 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.
Image above: White Plains Cherry Blossom Festival, organized by Arts Alive grantee Niji No Kai, Corp. (photo courtesy of Niji No Kai, Corp.)