Billie Holiday Theatre Renovations Slated to Wrap Up This Spring, City Says
A $4.1 million renovation of [the Bedford-Stuyvesant] Billie Holiday Theatre is set to be completed this spring, according to city officials. The…project will reconstruct and expand the 45-year-old space, bringing new seating, dressing rooms and air conditioning units, among other upgrades. Construction kicked off in summer 2015, officials said. It is the first revamp of the space inside Restoration Plaza at 1368 Fulton St. since its inception in 1972…The Billie Holiday Theatre’s stage has hosted notable entertainers such as Smokey Robinson and Samuel L. Jackson, officials said.” Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Restoration’s executive director for the Center for Arts & Culture: “The renovation of this historic destination, a destination formerly led by theater pioneer Marjorie Moon for 42 years, gives us a new opportunity to build on that legacy and also present dance and music concerts, large talks and film screenings right here in the epicenter of black culture in the U.S.” NYSCA supports the Billie Holiday Theatre through our Theatre Program.
Bill Cunningham’s memorabilia will join the New-York Historical Society’s permanent collection
“The personal items of beloved fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who passed away in June 2016, will have a new home at the New-York Historical Society’s permanent collection. Known for riding around Manhattan on his Biria bicycle with his Nikon camera in tow, these personal belongings, along with the blue French worker’s jacket that Cunningham often wore have been donated by his former assistant and a personal friend, reports the New York Times. The collection will also feature Cunningham’s library of over 200 books, photographs, and notes along with his feather collection and tools. These items will join a series of Cunningham’s photographs that were donated at an earlier time… Cunningham worked with the New York Times for more than 40 years and captured some of fashions most iconic photographs. Upon news of his passing, the city temporarily renamed the corner of East 57th Street and 5th Avenue, where often photographed, Bill Cunningham Way. The exhibit honoring his life and work is expected to debut sometime around the spring.” NYSCA supports the New-York Historical Society through our Museum and Regional Economic Development Council Programs.
State funds to support creation of Auburn arts district — but what shape should it take?
Auburn is one of five central New York municipalities slated for an arts and entertainment district as part of a $49,500 grant awarded to CNY Arts through NYSCA’s Regional Economic Development Council Program, along with Cortland, Oneida, Oswego and Syracuse. “The Citizen spoke to two key figures in Auburn’s arts and entertainment scene about the concept and how they’d like to see it executed: Auburn Public Theater Artistic Director Angela Daddabbo and Schweinfurth Art Center Executive Director Donna Lamb.” Daddabbo: “If someone comes to town (or comes from town) to visit the Seward House, for example, a designated arts district could help make the connection between them visiting the SHM and visiting the Willard Memorial Chapel or the Schweinfurth Art Center or the Cayuga Museum or the Harriet Tubman Home, etc. The longer people stay and visit and have lunch and shop and spend the night in a hotel, etc., the more the local economy benefits.” Lamb: “An arts district would provide greater visibility to our arts organizations and increase cultural tourism in the city. It would be used to help brand Auburn as a cultural destination. Collaborative marketing and programming, signage and a website would all help to increase cultural tourism and expand our audiences. This would also have a positive economic impact on local businesses and potentially attract more arts-related businesses.”
A Free STEAM Activity Center is Coming to the Meatpacking District
ARTech, a free, pop-up activity center featuring family-friendly workshops, installations, and interactive activities is coming to the Meatpacking District for two months starting in March…to inspire school age children to learn more about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and its impact in fun…ways. The Meatpacking Business Improvement District is partnering with the Children’s Museum of the Arts and the New York Hall of Science to bring the 8,000-square-foot activity center to families. Inside ARTech will be a variety of activities, from a GIF making station to a recreation of CMA’s infamous Ball Pond. Families will also be able to enjoy the Velocity Area, where children can make their own custom wheeled vehicles to race down ramps, as well as the Danny Rozin Installation, made up of giant pixelated painting mirrors that respond to movement. Children can learn about the night sky with a visit to Starlab and use the award-winning design kit, Rigamajig, to make creations with wooden planks, pulleys, bolts, and more. Families will also get a chance to explore ecology, connected systems, sustainability, and climate change through art installations created by artist-and-scientist teams.” NYSCA supports the Children’s Museum of the Arts through our Museum and Arts Education Programs and the New York Hall of Science through our Museum and Electronic Media & Film Programs.
Spaceworks Appoints Risa Shoup as Executive Director
The Board of Directors of Spaceworks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the shortage of stable, affordable rehearsal and studio space for artists in New York City, has named Risa Shoup as its new Executive Director, effective March 1…Shoup comes to the organization with a strong background in community development and the arts. Shoup most recently served as Executive Director at FOURTH ARTS BLOCK (FABnyc), a neighborhood nonprofit founded in 2001 by cultural and community groups on New York’s Lower East Side to purchase eight properties from the City of New York and secure them as permanently affordable spaces for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. Shoup has previously held management positions at The Invisible Dog Art Center, BRIC Arts Media, The Wassaic Project and Chashama. Shoup is also affiliated with Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts – New York, through which she serves as a consultant on CreateNYC, the City’s first cultural plan…Founded in 2011, Spaceworks currently operates five spaces serving more than 5,000 artists, including playwright Young Jean Lee, Soho Repertory Theatre Company, sculptor Esther Ruiz, and choreographers Kyle Abraham, Doug Varone, and So You Think You Can Dance alum Sonya Tayeh. Its spaces house 34 visual arts studios and have hosted over 46,000 hours of rehearsal to date.” NYSCA supports Spaceworks through our Dance Program.
Oscar Isaac to Headline Hamlet at the Public Theater, Co-Starring Keegan-Michael Key, Peter Friedman & More
“Sam Gold’s production of the Shakespeare classic will begin previews on June 20 at the Public’s Anspacher Theater (not in Central Park) and open on July 13 for a limited engagement through September 3. The eclectic cast of Hamlet will include Roberta Colindrez (Fun Home) as Rosencrantz, Tony nominee Peter Friedman (Ragtime, The Heidi Chronicles) as Polonius, Keegan-Michael Key (TV’s Key and Peele) as Horatio, Gayle Rankin (Cabaret) as Ophelia and the Second Gravedigger, Matthew Saldívar (Peter and the Starcatcher) as Guildenstern and Anatol Yusef (TV’s Boardwalk Empire) as Laertes.” NYSCA supports the Public Theater through our Theatre and Presenting Programs.
Martin Scorsese to honor Robert De Niro at Lincoln Center
Martin Scorsese and a who’s who of celebrities will be celebrating the legendary career of Robert De Niro on May 8th at Lincoln Center. The 73-year-old actor will be the 44th recipient of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award. The nonprofit said De Niro’s work on and off camera, especially his role in co-creating the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002, made him an “unparalleled figure of New York film and culture.” Scorsese, who has worked with De Niro on nine films, will personally present the award. The pair is teaming up again for “The Irishman,” produced by Netflix for an expected 2019 release.” NYSCA supports the Film Society of Lincoln Center through our Electronic Media & Film and Arts Education Programs.
Adirondack Center for Writing brings back PoemVillage
“In April 2016, the Adirondack Center for Writing set out to welcome poems from locals to celebrate the creativity and talent of the Tri-Lakes community for National Poetry Month. Organizers were blown away to have been sent over 400 poems, and see the storefronts of downtown Saranac Lake come to life with them. Now, the center is calling for submissions to its second annual PoemVillage event. ACW welcomes all forms of poetry from anyone living part time or full time in the Tri-Lakes region of Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and Lake Placid. All submissions of poetry from community members, elementary kids to seniors, will be displayed in the windows of partnering businesses in downtown Saranac Lake. This year PoemVillage will boast an even fuller schedule of events throughout the month, including local poets readings performances, PoemVillage Pub Crawl, and more.” NYSCA supports the Adirondack Center for Writing through our Literature Program.