Grants Awarded to Local Artists


ArtsWestchester has awarded $53,000 in grants  to more than 37 local arts organizations, artists, and special projects.

The Museum of Arts & Culture (New Rochelle) received an ArtsWestchester Arts Alive grant for a program entitled “Shakespeare’s Women.” (from left) Hon. Judith A. Myers, West. Cty. Bd of Legs., Theresa Kump-Leghorn, Museum of Art & Culture, NYS Sen. Jeff Klein, and Lawrence Salley, ArtsWestchester


The following organizations/artists received Arts Alive Grants: (31 Grants Totaling $38,400)

Adie Diaz (Cortlandt Manor) Theatrical production centered around a series of true stories about successful Latinos from Westchester County.

African American Cultural Appreciation Council (New Rochelle) Series of exhibits, workshops & performancesas tools to overcome prejudices in America

Antonia Arts, Inc. (Peekskill) Series of 6 workshop introducing young people to potential career paths in the performing arts.

Artemis Chamber Ensemble (Croton on Hudson) Chamber Orchestra arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s “The Sound of the Earth.”

Arts & Culture Committee (White Plains) For “Poetry in Motion,” a series of interdisciplinary workshops.

Chappaqua Public Library (Chappaqua) Exhibition of the work of Chinese Artist Masheng Wang:  Calligraphy and painting.

Collegium Westchester (Ossining) 2 concerts for chorus and orchestra and one chamber music performance.

Cross Cultural Connection, Inc. (Peekskill) Creation of professional-amatuer (pro-am) ensembles for students to work side-by-side with professional musicians.

Family YMCA at Tarrytown (Tarrytown) The Tarrytown Y Dance Program: Gateway to the Arts

Field Library (Peekskill) Creation of “Vintage Peekskill,” a historically themed mural using local vintage postcards as the image source to embody pride of place.

Fort Hill Players (White Plains) Free Summer Theatre in the Parks

Greenburgh Public Library (Elmsford) Cultural outreach program highlighting music, art, crafts, literature and cooking from Latin American countries, Spain, the Carribbean.

Kelli Brickman (Peekskill) Youth Mural Arts Program:

Contemporary Banner Project

Indian American Cultural Association of Westchester (Dobbs Ferry)

Museum of Arts & Culture (New Rochelle) Shakespeare’s Women—including theater workshops and visual arts

New Rochelle Opera, Inc. (New Rochelle) 4 fully staged productions of “Die Fledermaus”

Nigunim (Yonkers/Scarsdale) – A Festival of New Improvised Jewish Music

Niji No Ki (Valhalla) Cherry Blossom Festival—A Japanese festival which includes performances, ceremonies, foods and hands-on craft workshops.

Nowodworski Foundation Charity for Cult. And Edu. Exchange (Purdys) Supplemental arts curriculum for students at the Port Chester Library

O’Bey Foundation (Mount Vernon) African Drum and Dance Call, free community African drum classes meeting in Mount Vernon once a week for 20 weeks.

Organization of Chinese Americans (White Plains)  Presention of Asian culture, arts and heritage to Westcehster and neighboring communities at Kensico Dam Plaza

Ossining Arts Council (Ossining)Viva Ossining!  A month long celebration which includes an exhibition by OAC members, dance program, puppets and Behind the Frame the first in a series of short films.

PMT Productions (Ossining) 2011 Spring Main Stage

Musical Production of “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Port Chester Arts Initiative (Port Chester) A celebration of local art, diversity, inclusion, music and culture held each spring showcasing musicians from around the world

Presbyterian Jazz Society (Mount Vernon) 3 jazz concerts presented at First Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon.

Red Monkey Theater Group (RMTG) (Dobbs Ferry) Production of Shakespear’s “Twelfth Night”.  Premier with free performance at St Paul’s Church/Historic Site in Mount Vernon, followed by a mini-tour in lower Westchester County.

Revelators (Yonkers) Will present a production of “Hairspray with a Zig-Zag” an adaption of the Broadway hit musical.

Sisters in Support (Peekskill) For walking tours, workshops and a festival to acquaint students and adults with Peekskill’s role  in the  “Underground Railroad.”

Songcatchers (New Rochelle) Composers of the Future X, children work with professional composers and musicians from the Westchester Chamber Symphony.

Taghkanic Chorale (Yorktown Heights) Two concerts: Spring: “Chichester Psalms” by Leonard BernsteinWinter: “Christmas Cantatas” by Bach

Westchester Chamber Music Association (Rye) 3 concert series: A free performance at Greenburgh Public Library; 2 regular concerts at Congregation Emanuel of Westchester (Rye, NY).


(Each Artist Will Receive a Grant of $2,500) (Total $5,000)

Arts Alive Artist Grants are also funded by the Artist Tier of the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts and provide direct support to artists to create original new work that incorporates the community in some way.

A) “Pieces in the Park”
Artist Ariel Plantz will work in Cooperation with the Port Chester Recreation Department, Three Port Chester Schools and the Clay Art Center. Ms. Plantz will work with school groups to come up with a design for two benches at Lyon Park in Port Chester. With input from the students, she will cover both benches completely in mosaic tiles. The benches will be placed adjacent to the park’s existing play area.

B)     “Story Board Exhibition: A Greenburgh Story”
The story of the Greenburgh school system is the advent of American integration and the Artist intends to compile oral histories and photographs, which will be used to create an exhibit and powerpoint and will form the framework for a larger documentary film project on Greenburgh’s role in the birth of American integration.  The Artist will begin by compiling social histories of the people who lead the fight for change (the Artist has provided a preliminary list of names of key people) in the Greenburgh schools using still photography and taping in-depth conversations about their role in their fight for change. The first phase of this documentary project will showcase the innovative thinking of Greenburgh’s community and school leaders and will culminate in an exhibition of photographs by the Artist and a powerpoint presentation at ArtsWestchester, combining it with a panel discussion lead by Vic Leviatin, a former teacher at Woodlands High School.


(Each of Four Projects will Receive $2,500) ($10,000 total)

The Arts Partners Challenge Grant Program is a local arts-in-education funding program that is administered by ArtsWestchester.  This program is funded and supported by the Local Capacity Building Initiative of the Arts in Education Program at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).  For the 2011 Arts Partners Challenge Grants cycle, ArtsWestchester is administering this grant for Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Westchester Counties.  The Local Capacity Building Initiative is a statewide effort to provide local support for widespread participation in arts in education.  ArtsWestchester was invited by NYSCA to make grants in support of partnerships between schools and teaching artists or cultural organizations that focus on the integrated study of the arts and non-arts subjects.

“The Mosaic Mural Project”

Ariel Plantz/ Clay Art Center and Park Early Childhood Center, Ossining
The Ossining School District underwent a building/grade re-organization at the outset of the 2009-10 school year, which resulted in the creation of an early childhood center at Park School, where all district Pre-K and Kindergarten students are now enrolled.  A happy surprise awaited students and faculty as they discovered that an interior courtyard attracted local birds, such as robins, starlings, blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, goldfinches, and even a hawk. The bird activity in the courtyard was quickly embraced by students and faculty, resulting in its integration with classroom lessons, which is reflected in class discussions, students’ drawings and work products.  The courtyard has provided multiple opportunities for students to go outdoors and have the environment become part of their learning right in our own back yard. The Mosaic Mural Project will extend and enhance these activities for the Kindergarten students –continuing to utilize the courtyard to propel and support student learning across disciplines while also immersing them in an art form and the artistic process. Through a collaborative effort with Ariel Plantz of the Clay Art Center, Park Early Childhood Center will merge the arts with the Kindergarten curriculum by creating a three-dimensional, mosaic tile mural for the courtyard which will integrate themes of science, nature and literature. Each Kindergarten class (353 students) will meet with the teaching artist once per week over a 5-week period to create the tiles which will make up the mosaic mural, reflecting themes and concepts learned through the students’ study of living things, their experiences with books, and their time in the courtyard.


Jeffrey Schrier and Albert Leonard Middle School
Sustain/Maintain will focus on curriculum from the Art, Science, and Social Studies school programs.  Approximately 400 8th grade students will be planning and brainstorming ideas that will help generate a sculptural piece of work.   The school community will rally to collect recyclables determined to work best for the proposed work, and thus learn directly how quickly vast quantities of seemingly useless materials are wasted, as an extension of our contemporary life style. Through social studies and science curriculum the students will be made aware of how recycling benefits the local community by reducing each individuals’ carbon footprint. In addition the students will learn how the unimaginable tons of unrecycled discarded material impacts our environment on a global level, i.e., the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, global warming, increase of sea level, decrease of ozone layer, etc.  By studying the local coastal ecology of New Rochelle, the Sound, and New York waterways, the students will gain an appreciation of efforts in recent history to reverse negative environmental impact. They will also learn how early habitation in the New Rochelle an NY coastal regions relied on natural resources and then the impact of later industrialization. The theme for the proposed work will develop out of these explorations.

“Free Will at Blythdale”

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and Mt. Pleasant Blythdale UFSD
The Mt. Pleasant-Blythedale Union Free School District educates children grades K-12 who are in the hospital with rare medical or physical conditions. The school district, along with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, will provide these children with the opportunity to take part in activities that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to because of their conditions. The program will expose a group of 50 6th-12th grade students to Shakespearean language, basic acting skills, and the various characters in Shakespeare’s plays. They will also learn how early habitation in the New Rochelle an NY coastal regions relied on natural resources and then the impact of later industrialization. The theme for the proposed work will develop out of these explorations.

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and Pearls Hawthorne School

“Free Will at Pearls School”
Approximately 300 7th and 8th grade students will explore and come to understand Shakespeare through participation and theatre workshops.  During 8 workshop sessions, students will explore, with two Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival teaching artists, Shakespearean language and the basics of acting. In addition, they will learn about Shakespeare himself and his plays’ many characters and themes.  

ArtsWestchester is your 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 provide leadership, vision, and support, to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts.  ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich Westchester: our grants help fund concerts, exhibitions and plays; we bring artists into schools and community centers, and build audiences through our marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into the Arts Exchange, a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations, and the community.

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