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News Briefs: May 2021

ArtsWestchester Announces New Board Member, Barry Shenkman

ArtsWestchester has announced that Barry A. Shenkman joined its Board of Directors earlier this year to serve a three-year term.  As President and Treasurer of the Jacob Burns Foundation, Inc., Shenkman has supported many non-profits in the Tri-State and Westchester area, including ArtsWestchester.  He takes an active interest in giving back, often supporting organizations by serving on their boards. This includes Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Jacob Burns Film Center and George Washington University Law School.   

In addition to a degree in Business Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Shenkman’s business focus is tempered by his love for the arts, whether visual, performing or film. Through the years, he has also created a body of work of mostly abstract landscapes that he has proudly exhibited in several local venues.  Shenkman is a long-time resident of Westchester, where he lives with his family. 

In Memoriam: Karen Johnson

New Rochelle resident Karen Johnson, a teacher at Albert Leonard Middle School (ALMS) for 22 years, passed away recently.  Nearly fifteen years ago, a group of young students asked Johnson to resurrect the school’s step team that had been initiated in the 1990s. Being the youngest daughter of Anne C. Scott, director of the New Rochelle School of the Performing Arts, Johnson gladly accepted the challenge. She proceeded to grow the team from an after school club (ALMS Sugarbabies) to a nationally ranked competitive team.  The name of the team evolved to ALMS P.R.I.D.E. – an acronym that stands for “Purpose, Responsibility, Integrity, Determination, Excellence” – a system of values that she expected every member of the team to carry with them in every aspect of their lives.  Johnson, nicknamed “Mama Johnson” by her students, devoted her free time to the team, joining them at competitions, step-camp trips and even college visits, as she aimed to expose her students to the goal of attending and graduating college.

Artist Opportunities: 

ArtsW.org is Westchester County’s guide for all-things-art. On its “Artist Opportunities” page, artists in all disciplines can find nearby working opportunities that will help to strengthen and further their careers. Below is a sampling of some upcoming opportunities. To get these opportunities sent directly to your mailbox, sign up here.

Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art (HVMOCA) and Studio Theater in Exile seek submissions for the newest installment of a collaborative project that began fifteen years ago: Writing the Walls. Poets and playwrights are invited to submit original works that are reflective of their interactions with artworks on view in HVMOCA’s How We Live: Part II exhibition. Although previous years of the program culminated in a performance during which poets read their works in front of the artwork that inspired their writing, this year’s Writing the Walls submissions, like last  year, will be presented as an online visual art and word event. A live reading is pending based on COVID-19-related restrictions. 

Deadline: June 15 

YoFiFest (Yonkers Film Festival) is calling for film submissions of all kinds for its ninth annual festival.  The program offers a full schedule of screenings, workshops, panels, networking opportunities and parties that celebrate independent and local filmmakers. Submissions are encouraged from an array of categories ranging from documentary and animation to television pilots and LGBTQIA-focused films by filmmakers around the world. ArtsNews readers will receive 20% off submissions with code YOAW21.

“Regular” Deadline: June 13  (Additional deadlines are offered)

Clay Art Center has opened applications for a national juried September exhibition, A Taste of Home.  Though this exhibition was initially slated for 2020, the theme now takes on new meaning post-pandemic.  Artists are asked to submit ceramic cups or drinking vessels that reflect their relationship to the meaning of “home,” whether presented as a humble but favored object, vehicle of expression, or object of desire.

Deadline: May 24


News Briefs: May 2021

MARSHA ON THE MOVE: Monthly Web Feature

When Business Council of Westchester President Marsha Gordon, is not advocating for businesses in the County, she can be found at the cinema or theater. Read Marsha’s reviews on ArtsWestchester’s “As a Matter of Art” blog: artsw.org/artsblog.

Sound of Metal (Amazon Prime)

Having been exposed, just a bit, to the beautiful and unique culture of the deaf community, this film shed great light on the great joy and kinship shared by so many.  The main character, acted masterfully by Riz Ahmed, loses his hearing due to the heavy metal music he played for years.  We experience the horror with him, as well as the anger, frustration and loss.  We see his willingness to do all that he can to regain his hearing, even though it means losing so much more … and then we experience his acceptance.  The strength of this film is that the viewer experiences this all, on a guttural level, and that final acceptance, felt by all of us, comes as a beautiful surprise.  Wonderful acting also by Paul Raci, who fosters this community of deaf people who live life to the maximum.

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