2001-06-30 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

by Susan Hartenstein
From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance by Susan Hartenstein

From The Artists Studio
Rockaway Artists Alliance

Flushing Town Hall presents a wide array of cultural events at affordable prices Under the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, the programs and exhibitions at Town Hall educate the public to the rich artistic heritage of this borough and of this city, as well as encourage the work of emerging artists.

Flushing Town Hall was built in 1892, fell into disrepair and was restored by the Council, a not-for-profit organization that receives public and private funding. The Town Hall is a New York City landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, this beautiful Romanesque Revival-style building encompasses a state of the art theater. The programs presented this season have included opera, jazz, a musical and classical works.

Art classes are run for seniors and schoolchildren. Contemporary art and historical exhibitions are presented with accompanying lectures, tours and special events. For example, from September 20 – November 21 the Town Hall will present "El Ritmo del Mundo," which will feature an exhibit of ten Latin artists and performances of classical music, jazz and tango.

On display through July 29 at Flushing Town Hall is "Urban Landscapes: Photographs of Queens County Parks" taken by Paul Anthony, reflecting his love of and strong personal attachment to these very special places.

Perhaps the most intriguing program of Flushing Town Hall is the "Queens Jazz Trail Tour." New Orleans is considered "the birthplace of jazz." But Queens can be called "the home of jazz." More leading jazz musicians took up residence in this borough than any other place in this country. Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Milt Hinton, just to name a few, all moved to Queens in the 1920’s, when black musicians were not allowed to buy or rent in other suburban communities. The five-hour motor coach and walking tour is conducted by a trained musicologist or historian. It includes visits to the varied homes of these artists, to the Louis Armstrong Archives, a "soul-food" luncheon and a live jazz concert. The tours run the first Saturday of each month, usually except for July, August, January and February. Reservations must be made in advance. For more information about Flushing Town Hall, including prices, call or log onto flushingtownhall.org.

Reminder – open call to artists for Rockaway Artists Alliance’s ARTSPLASH 2001. RAA’s 2nd annual multi-media arts event from September 29 – November 11 in the Rockaway Arts Center at Fort Tilden, GNRA. Visual artists of all media and performing artists are invited to participate. Two awards of $250 each for excellence. August 15 is the deadline for submission. Steven De Polo, a staff member at a leading museum of contemporary art in New York City, will curate. Call the RAA office or log onto RockArt116@aol.com for details.

"Summer 2001," an RAA member exhibit, will run from August 18 – September 22. Submission of work should be made to sTudio 6 on Sunday, August 5 from 2 – 4 p.m. or Saturday, August 11 from 1 – 4 p.m. Submission is limited to two pieces. Contact RAA for further information.

The annual Brooklyn Arts Show of the Fulton Consortium takes place July 1 – 5, 12 – 6 p.m. on the corner of Fulton and Stuyvesant Streets, across from Boys and Girls High School. Each day from 1 – 7 p.m., there will be a concert featuring jazz, gospel, doo-wop and more from all over the country. On July 4, one of the acts will be the wonderful doo-wop group Seaside Enterprise featuring RAA’s James McKay, original member of The Flamingos.

Esther Grillo is seeking neighborhood children and volunteers for a mural apprenticeship program to assist in the restoration of the murals along Shore Front Parkway. A variety of jobs need to be done. The 84th street mural will be worked on the week of July 2; 102nd Street site, the week of July 16; 107th Street, the week of July 30. Work starts at 11 a.m. Contact Grillo or the RAA office if interested.

RAA thanks all who attended and all who helped behind and in front of the scenes for making its June 23 Building Fund Benefit such a successful evening of art, friendship and entertainment. Special recognition must be paid to Geoff Rawling, Jan Nebozenko, Kate Judge, Maureen McGuire, Kathryn Pierce, Karen McCallion, Karen Schnibbe, Kevin Callaghan, Pat Bishop and James Cantirino. Steve and Kenny Good are to be thanked for their great food, support and community-mindedness. Terrific job, "Horn Swaggle," Spider Lehrer, T.K. Kearney and friends. Several poignant moments – the presentation of the Susan Friedman Memorial Award to Carolyn Cryan; Susan Locke accepting an award given posthumously to Leon Locke; Marina Callaghan being surprised with a long-overdue award for all she has done for RAA. We laughed, we cried, we remembered why we were there. Just as Flushing has Flushing Town Hall, RAA’s goal is to make The Rockaway Arts Center a showplace of arts and culture for this part of Queens and beyond. We’re all in this together, and together we can make this happen.

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