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News Briefs: December 2020-January 2021

Westchester Collaborative Theater Celebrates Ten Years

Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT) in Ossining is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month with Cheers to 10 Years!, an evening of live-streamed theater and music. The December 12 event will reprise scenes from three of the Theater’s past productions and preview work from its upcoming 2021 season. In addition, musicians Alexis Cole and K.J. Denhert will each perform. WCT nurtures new stage works by helping its 130+ actor, playwright and director members to develop their skills and receive feedback and critiques from their peers. The company typically presents two mainstage productions and several play readings annually.

Copland House and NPR’s Tiny Desk Series

Music from Copland House went straight to the source for its latest performance: the writing desk of Aaron Copland himself. The group recently performed on NPR’s famed “Tiny Desk” series. Typically, the intimate video performances in this series are recorded live at the desk of All Things Considered host Bob Boilen. However during the pandemic, groups have been recording from their own creative locations. Performing in the video are Curtis Macomber (violin), Carol Wincenc (flute) and Artistic and Executive Director Michael Boriskin, playing Copland’s own piano. The set includes Duo for flute and piano: II. Poetic, somewhat mournful; III. Lively, with bounce, which was written at the desk that is featured in the video.

Alan Simon (photo credit: Barry Mason)

In Memoriam: Alan Simon

Arts patron Dr. Alan Simon recently passed away at his home in Greenwich, CT. Professionally, Alan was a dentist for many decades, whose ready smile put patients at ease and gave them confidence in his skills.  He and his wife Deborah (Debbie) have been collectors, patrons, trustees and friends of the arts for many years as well. An avid traveler and talented photographer, Alan loved to traverse the world, and once said “I want to see the world before I leave it.”  A loyal arts supporter, he and Debbie never missed an ArtsWestchester exhibition and have always focused their support locally, helping to keep the arts alive in Westchester. Cultural organizations they have supported include Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, the Bruce Museum, Clay Art Center, Performing Arts Center at Purchase College and ArtsWestchester.   

Laura deBuys
Dave Steck

ArtsWestchester Appoints Two New Affiliate Board Members

ArtsWestchester has appointed two new Affiliate Board Members to its Board of Directors. Laura deBuys, President and Executive Director of Picture House Regional Film Center, and Dave Steck, Co-Founder and Executive Director of YoFiFest were both nominated by their Affiliate peers and then confirmed by ArtsWestchester’s Nominating Committee and Board. Each will serve a two-year term.

Laura deBuys has served as president and executive director of the Picture House Regional Film Center in Pelham since 2014. In non-COVID times, Picture House screens films 364 days a year for more than 42,000 people, fields more than 40 arts education programs
in area schools and partners with countless non-profit and community-based organizations throughout Westchester. She was previously the stage manager of over 100 productions including Broadway shows, national tours and corporate events. She has also developed marketing and fundraising strategies for established organizations like the Salvation Army of Greater New York, Children’s Hope India, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and more.

Dave Steck is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the YoFiFest (Yonkers Film Fest). Steck is a filmmaker who specializes in telling compelling stories with stylistic visuals and engaging narratives. He has created and produced feature films, television shows, commercials and more, giving him a unique approach to projects and a vision to unlock their potential. The two-time Emmy Award-nominee was an Adjunct Professor at Sarah Lawrence College in the Graduate Writing Institute, served on the Yonkers Arts Council board and is also an active member of Arts Round Table – Yonkers, and the YOHO Artist Studios. His digital collage work has been shown in galleries including Blue Door Art Center, Urban Studio Unbound and more.

A version of this article first appeared in the December-January 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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