This week, NYSCA grantees bring the avant-garde to Buffalo, share seniors’ stories in Rochester, prepare NYC students for fall auditions and more.
Storytelling helps Latino seniors preserve culture, memories
“Minerva Morales said giving older adults a voice to express their memories and cultural values is worthwhile for the entire community. ‘We pass on our values and cultures … (and) let others know who we are and where we came from,’ she said. Morales was one of the members of Centro de Oro who shared reflections on their native countries, childhoods and other reminisces during a July 6 presentation at Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s Floreano Conference Center at the Auditorium Theatre. About 50 family, friends and community members attended the event, titled ‘Cuentos del Alma: Keepers of the Culture.’ The presentation was part of the Creative Aging program at Centro de Oro, an Ibero-American Action League drop-in center that offers activities, companionship, and fitness and nutrition workshops for Latino seniors. Creative Aging programs are developed through a collaboration between the New York City-based organization Elders Share the Arts (ESTA), the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and Monroe County Office for the Aging, explained Julie Kline, ESTA program director. The partner organizations felt it was vital to reflect the diversity of Rochester’s elder population by offering a Creative Aging program at a center whose members speak Spanish, she added…Raquel Serrano, Centro de Oro’s program coordinator, said the seniors produced 47 submissions in Spanish that were to be published in an anthology. The book will be available for purchase at Centro de Oro for a $2 donation, she said. ‘They’ll be published poets and writers,’ noted [teaching artist Annette] Ramos. ‘Future generations will know their stories.’” NYSCA launched the Creative Aging partnership in collaboration with ESTA and the Monroe County Office of Aging through our Arts Education Program and also supports ESTA through our Special Arts Services Program.
Torn Space festival draws national performance companies to Buffalo
“Since its founding in 2003, Torn Space Theater has sought to bring audiences to the edge of their comfort zones. The company’s productions have sometimes required audiences to traipse through derelict industrial spaces, sometimes wearing dust masks or white handkerchiefs. Its summer series of Silo City performances have become increasingly complex and impressive, sometimes involving helicopters flying overhead on cue, sometimes dousing performers in buckets of blood. On Aug. 18 and 19, Torn Space’s latest site-specific spectacle, “The Gathering,” will unfold on a stretch of gravel on the grounds of Silo City, the former industrial complex on the Buffalo River. It is the first of three productions featured in the company’s Response Performance Festival, an attempt to connect Buffalo audiences and artists with creators cutting-edge contemporary theater from across the United States. Company artistic director and co-founder Dan Shanahan said the festival is an attempt to fill in a missing piece of Buffalo’s theater scene: the opportunity to see top-notch avant garde work from outside the region. ‘In the Albright-Knox … you can see the work that is being created right now and you can engage with it in an immediate way. But there’s no one doing it in this area as far as theater,’ Shanahan said.” NYSCA supports Torn Space through our Theatre Program.
Guided tour ‘hacks’ downtown Corning art scene
“Arts & Recreation, a new guided walking tour…will give special access and insight into some of Corning’s art stops. The leaders of the tour will play games, invent stories, and explore galleries with an insider twist. Groups will be no larger than 10 people, and those on the tour should be prepared to walk about 1.5 to 2 miles. Stops include The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, the Rockwell Museum, West End Gallery and 171 Cedar Arts. Guides will give directives that encourage interaction with the art in a new way. In between stops, tour guides will lead “hackers” along Market Street and tell stories of times gone by, maybe stopping for a game or two along the way.” NYSCA supports The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes through our State & Local Partnership, Folk Arts and Electronic Media & Film Programs; the Rockwell Museum through our Museum Program; and 171 Cedar Arts through our State & Local Partnership Program.
Summer a time for Symphoria to relax, connect with a new audience
Symphoria, the Syracuse-based symphony, presented 15 free symphonic and chamber music concerts this summer across Central New York – more performances than other regional symphonies like the Buffalo and Rochester Philharmonics and the Albany Symphony. Sean O’Loughlin, who conducted five concerts including the Fourth of July concert at the Lakeview Amphitheater, said these performances provide a more interactive relationship with the audience. ‘These concerts are very accessible between musician and audience – there’s not the typical stage and backstage area that you get in the theater,’ O’Loughlin said. People at the Northeast Wine & Jazz Festival at Clinton Square were free from the etiquette expected in concert halls and could to talk to their friends as the symphony played. Many shouted ‘woos’ or ‘yeahs’ when they heard something they liked…Many of the musicians talk to people and friends in the audience before and after the concert. Catherine Underhill, managing director of Symphoria, said there were more than 5,000 people at the Fourth of July concert at the amphitheater.” Concerts offered audience members, including young people new to classical music, a way to engage casually and without the challenges of winter weather. NYSCA supports Symphoria through our Regional Economic Development Council Program.
A Boot Camp Prepares Young Artists for High School Auditions
“Getting a chance to attend some of the most competitive performing arts high schools in New York City requires an audition. And to nail an audition, you need skills, a little extra polish and — perhaps most of all — confidence. A two-week program at Lincoln Center aims to give students the finishing touches they need to win a spot in a performing arts program, with tips on everything from technique to handshakes to posture. Welcome to “audition boot camp,” a program run jointly by Lincoln Center Education and the city’s Department of Education. It’s primarily for students in Title I schools, where at least 60 percent students come from low-income families…The camp launched in 2014 with 98 eighth-graders over concerns that the top audition schools did not reflect the diversity of the student population, said Carmen Fariña, the city schools chancellor.” NYSCA supports Lincoln Center through our Presenting and Music Programs.
The Bluffs Alive With Music for Montauk
“Beginning Sunday, the bluffs will be alive with the sound of music as Music for Montauk returns for a week of concerts under the direction of Lilah Gosman and Milos Repicky. Since taking over the program a few years ago, the couple have brought world-class musicians to “the End” to perform creatively conceived programs in unconventional outdoor locales. This year, the series will include four regular concerts and an “immersive musical experience” at a benefit event to be held at the Art Barge, on Friday, Aug. 25…On Sunday, the performances kick off at Fort Pond House at 5 p.m. with “The Opening of the Wells.” The program was inspired by “a Moravian custom to celebrate the fresh flow of spring water in the new season.” The songs and instrumental solos chosen “evoke water nymphs and the magic of the woods under the weeping birch tree in the evening light.” Additional events include Mozart and Schumann concerts and a tango night with cocktails and dancing. “Guests are encouraged to take picnics, chairs, and blankets to all of the free concerts, which are also family friendly.” NYSCA supports Music for Montauk through our Music Program.