ArtsWestchester Recognizes the Work of Local Individuals and Organizations

Every year, ArtsWestchester recognizes the work of local individuals and organizations that have significantly impacted the cultural life of Westchester. The annual Arts Award luncheon brings together artists, government officials and business leaders – all to celebrate the arts and applaud these honorees. This year’s luncheon has been postponed until June 30 due to the COVID-19 concerns. If the event cannot be held in June, it will be rescheduled for October 7. Over the past several months, ArtsWestchester has been spolighting the 2020 Arts Award honorees. This month, read about the Ossining Public Library and A-Chord With Kids. For more info about the Arts Award luncheon, tickets, and the full list of 2020 honorees, visit

The Ossining Public Library offers the Westchester community with frequent, affordable and direct access to arts programming. From concerts to film screenings, the Library’s Camille Budarz Theater is home to numerous programs throughout the year. Its art gallery features the work of local artists, with new exhibits each month.

Now in its 125th year, the Library has served the Ossining community through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and an unprecedented boom in technology. Today, it offers a diverse calendar of events. Recent happenings have included a drumming circle for teens, a theatrical performance about Anne Frank, a weekly “I Heart Art” program that encourages children to explore art, and live jazz performances. There is also family story-time, memoir writing, art workshops and more. Not only does the Library provide the community with arts programming, it also embraces the community within those programs. For instance, the Ossining Union Free School District is featured in an exhibition each May.

A-Chord With Kids is a youth-run music program through which one young generation shares its talent with a future generation. This youth-to-youth peer program, which was founded in 2012 by Austin Weber, Chase, Alex and Cameron Goddard, students at Rye Country Day School, consists of volunteers who help children to build confidence and self-esteem through music education and mentorship. The program’s students are members of the Carver Center in Port Chester, a community-based organization dedicated to meeting the needs of underprivileged youth.

During the A-Chord program, these youth are introduced to different musical genres, learn music theory and sight-reading, and explore instruments with one-on-one instruction. They are also instructed on different types of musical ensembles, from orchestra to jazz band. The young volunteers in this program prove that anyone, no matter their age, can make a significant difference in their communities.

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

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