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February 2021 New Briefs

Artist Charles Fazzino with his pop-up library (photo courtesy of New Rochelle Council on the Arts)

Pop-Up Library Pops Up in New Rochelle

New Rochelle Council on the Arts unveiled a new “Pop-Up Library” at the New Rochelle Metro-North train station last month. The whimsical kiosk, designed by artist Charles Fazzino, was the last in a series that were otherwise installed throughout the City in 2019. The six pop-up libraries, each designed by different artists, are intended to promote literacy and encourage the free exchange of books. The message is simple: “take a book or leave a book.” Fazzino’s design is seven feet long and features built-in seating in the shape of red lips so that browsers can sit to read for a few minutes. Other kiosks are located at Glenwood Lakes, Hudson Park, Huguenot Park, Lincoln Park, outside of Columbus School and at Paws Place Dog Park at Ward Acres Park.

Karen Marie Marmer

In Memoriam: Karen Marie Marmer

Violinist Karen Marie Marmer recently passed away. Marmer performed with a number of European and American groups throughout her career, but of note was her involvement with the REBEL Baroque Ensemble, which she co-founded and co-directed with her husband and fellow musician, Jorg-Michael Schwarz. The well-known ensemble specialized in 17th- & 18th-century repertoires performed on period-appropriate instruments. She and Schwarz also formed Black Marble Violin, a group that explored rarely performed works written for two violins, as well as the Bedford chamber series Musica Antiqua Nova. Marmer studied at the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York City and Yale School of Music.

Historic Hudson Valley Receives Conservation Grant

Historic Hudson Valley has been awarded a Conservation Treatment Grant of $3,850 from The Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN), in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts. In all, $115,739 in grants was awarded to 22 organizations throughout the State. The grants are meant to provide “support for treatment procedures by professional conservators to aid in stabilizing, preserving and making accessible an array of unique objects” at museums, and historical and cultural organizations. Priority was given to objects that, once treated, will “impact public interpretive programs, exhibitions and education.“In the case of Historic Hudson Valley, the funds will aid the conservation of large bandboxes, c.1830, by Greenwich Studios, Inc.

Neuberger Museum of Art Announces Plans for Reopening

Neuberger Museum of Art has announced the first part of its phased reopening. Beginning in mid-February, it will begin welcoming students and faculty back for academic programming. Aside from delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum recently underwent a series of internal renovations that prevented the reopening of its doors until now. The next stage in the reopening plan will be to welcome the public back into its space. At that time, three exhibitions will be on view, each of which will feature work from the Museum’s permanent collections: Modern and Contemporary Selections from the Permanent Collection, African Art and Culture: Selections from the Collection, and Color and Motion, Ideas and Dreams: Modern and Contemporary Caribbean and South American Art from the Collection.

Sister Beth Dowd (photo courtesy of Songcatchers)

In Memoriam: Sister Beth Dowd

Sister Beth Dowd, Founder of the New Rochelle nonprofit Songcatchers, recently passed away. Dowd graduated from the College of New Rochelle and received a Master of Arts degree and a Master of Music degree from The Catholic University of America. During her accomplished career as a music educator, she was also active in campus ministry at the College of New Rochelle and music ministry at Blessed Sacrament Parish in New Rochelle. Songcatchers, which received a 2017 Arts Award by ArtsWestchester in the “Education” category, is dedicated to providing affordable and accessible music programs to multicultural communities in Westchester. The organization’s services consist of choral arts, after-school music and early childhood music programs. The organization’s mission is “reaching peace through music.”

Christy Havard (photo courtesy of Performing Arts Center at Purchase College)

New Interim Managing Director Named at Performing Arts Center at Purchase College

Purchase College recently announced the appointment of Christy Havard as Interim Managing Director of the College’s Performing Arts Center (The PAC). Leading up to her appointment, Havard served as Director of Production for The PAC, a role that she has held since 2005. Previously, she served as Production Manager at the New 42 Street Inc., which includes the Duke Theatre on 42nd St and The New Victory Theater. Seth Soloway, who is departing the Managing Director role to accept the position of Associate Dean for Presenting and External Relations at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, says of Havard: “Her extensive production background and natural leadership skills will be a great asset…[to] ably steer The PAC through [its] current challenges and beyond.”

New Initiatives for Paycheck Protection and Shuttered Venues Passed by Congress

Two federal initiatives, to be administered by the Small Business Administration, were recently passed by Congress

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) now allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. Second Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program (SVO) includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, including: theaters, live performing arts organizations and relevant museums. Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. 

A version of this article first appeared in the February issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNewsis distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

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