2001-06-16 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

by Susan Hartenstein

From The Artists Studio
Rockaway Artists Alliance

It was all we thought it would be and more! For the second year in a row, on a peninsula that has no movie theater, 1000 people flocked to the Rockaway Artists Alliance’s "Movies by Moonlight" weekend. They came from the length and breadth of Rockaway. They came from Howard Beach, Astoria, Staten Island, Harlem, Red Hook, Park Slope. They even came from Florida. (No kidding, Florida.)

They laughed and cried at Chaplin, tapped their toes to "Bye Bye Birdie" and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Congratulations to Kate Judge, who conceived of and organized the event. Thank you to Chris Jorge, vice president of RAA, for securing the bulk of the funding from Blockbuster Video, and a very special thanks to Blockbuster Video, in particular, Maureen Abdelnour. This is a corporation that had the vision to answer a public need in its community. Without its generous sponsorship, "Movies by Moonlight" would not have been possible.

Gateway National Recreation Area, RAA’s partner in this unique urban national park is to be thanked for its understanding of the link between art and nature. Kate Judge and RAA greatly appreciate the many people working behind the scenes. Ultimately, it was the hundreds who attended "M x M," that made it the tremendously successful weekend it was. See you again next year.

Open call to artists – RAA ARTSPLASH 2001 – The Rockaway Artists Alliance is hosting its second annual multi-media Arts event throughout the month of October and into November at Fort Tilden, in conjunction with Gateway National Recreation Area.

The curator is Steven De Polo, a staff member at a leading museum of contemporary art in New York City. Visual artists of all media and performing artists are invited to participate. Sculpture, photography, fine arts, dance, video, poetry, ceramics, music and performance will all be considered for this extravaganza. RAA’s Studio 6, Studio 7, sculpture garden and the surrounding park will be utilized. Performing artist participants will form the framework of special events, both indoor and outdoor.

Two awards of $250 each will be presented for excellence. They will be chosen from all selected participants. There will be a site walk on Wednesday, August 1 and Sunday, August 5 at noon. Deadline for submission of work is August 15, 2001. Please call the RAA office at (718) 474-0861 for appointments or additional information including acceptance notification, drop-off times, sculpture installation arrangements and submission guidelines.

ARTSPLASH 2001 begins September 29 and ends November 11. Opening reception is October 7.

RAA’s Building Fund Benefit is fast approaching. Saturday, June 23 at 7 p.m., you can join RAA for a beautiful summer evening of art, dancing, food, friendship and fun. Wine, beer and soda will be served.

Taking place in building T-149, Fort Tilden GNRA, the event is designed to raise funds to complete the Rockaway Arts Center, serving all the people of this area with exhibits, classes and special events like "M x M." Honorees this year are State Senator Malcolm Smith, Gateway’s Superintendent Billy Garrett, Rockaway Chamber of Commerce President Liz Sulik and the late publisher of The Wave newspaper, Leon Locke. Admission is $30 each (or more, if you are so generously inclined.) You are encouraged to make your reservations early, since seating is limited. Your reservation is confirmed with payment. Make checks payable to RAA at 260 Beach 116th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

Flushing Town Hall is a marvelous cultural institution in Queens about which you will learn more in a later column. "Rags" is the first musical theater production at the hall. Remaining performance dates are June 14, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and June 17 at 3 p.m. June 17 is a special Father’s Day performance that includes brunch. "Rags" received 5 Tony nominations including Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical. Call Flushing Town Hall for prices and details.

Also at Flushing Town Hall, on June 28 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m., the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts will host a free seminar for visual artists, "The Nuts and Bolts of Artistic Endurance." Panelists will include John-Paul Maitinsky, Director of Education at the Queens Museum of Art and an independent curator; Lynn Lobell, Grants Officer with the Queens Council on the Arts and Sarah Schmerler, author, critic and educator. Contact Flushing Town Hall for reservations.

Keep reading this column for important cultural events, in Queens and beyond, that are of interest to artists and art lovers alike. Enjoy.

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