News Briefs: July/Aug 2021

Young Adult Leadership Council Liaison Alyssa Monte (left) with some of the Council’s youth participants at a field trip to the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (photo by ArtsWestchester)

Westchester Theater Groups Receive Grant Support

The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York) recently announced the recipients of this year’s NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund, which is a statewide theater regrant program. The Creative Opportunity Fund provides small New York-based theater companies that have annual budgets under $500,000 with funding to support their work and organizations. Several Westchester groups were among the 46 recipients, including Westchester Collaborative Theatre, Youth Theatre Interactions and Studio Theatre in Exile. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s grants were for flexible general operating support.

Applications Open: Young Adult Leadership Council

ArtsWestchester is seeking qualified youth to join its Young Adult Leadership Council, which will take place October 2021 through May 2022.  The Leadership Council provides young adults aged 17- 22 with career- and college-readiness skills through the lens of arts programming and administration. Council members apply those skills to plan, evaluate, attend, promote and develop ArtsWestchester’s teen programming twice monthly.  The Council will comprise of 15 youth that can serve on the Council multiple years for a maximum of three years. Application deadline: August 13 at 5pm

Karen Pasquale, senior advisor to White Plains Mayor Tom Roach; Janet Langsam, CEO at ArtsWestchester; Congressman Mondaire Jones;
and Mack Carter, Executive Director, White Plains Housing Authority. Background mural by artist Nick Kuszyk.)


ArtsWestchester Wins $50K Grant to Reimagine Public Housing

ArtsWestchester was recently joined by New York Congressman Mondaire Jones to announce a $50K grant from National Endowment for the Arts for the development of “A Plan for Arts & Culture at Brookfield Commons” in the City of White Plains. The federal grant comprises approximately half of the overall budget for the project. Says Congressman Jones: “The simple presence of public art and arts programming can transform an ordinary space into a community with vitality and identity. With this federal investment, more members of our community than ever before will be able to engage with the arts right in their own backyards.” The project, a partnership with the White Plains Housing Authority, will reimagine public housing by both infusing the arts and involving the community in the redevelopment process.


MARSHA ON THE MOVE: Monthly Web Feature

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (photo source Netflix)

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.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Netflix)

As so often happens, the animated movies say it best. This movie is superficially (and hysterically) about the apocalypse brought on by overactive technology. An evil iPhone-type “Siri” voice designed by a human orders robots to destroy humans. Certainly there can be much learned from this lesson (as I enter this review on my iPhone). But then we are not embracing the humanity that this movie really conveys. The movie looks at the power of family, represented by The Mitchells. For sure, they’re not a “perfect” family. In fact, they are as dysfunctional as most of ours truly are: father and teenage daughter tensions, the self-doubt of young people, and even the love of family pets are all addressed. Plus, the part I loved most: the power and fortitude of a mother to defend her children with all the strength to fight off anyone or anything that might cause them harm. There are laugh-out-loud moments for sure, so enjoy this terrific film on any and every level it meets your humanity.

Dr. Marsha Gordon is President/CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. When she is not advocating for business, building the economy or creating job opportunities, you can find her at the movie theatre enjoying many different film genres.  Most of the time, her husband Eli is with her… except if it is football season or if it is a very slow, sappy movie.

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

About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue.