2002-06-29 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

From The Artists Studio

By Susan Hartenstein
Rockaway Artists Alliance

A message from Marina Callaghan, Rockaway Artists Alliance secretary and special events coordinator: Do you believe that together we can build a comprehensive arts center in Fort Tilden, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay? There are many of us that do believe and have been working to that ultimate goal. RAA has made incredible progress in the last 5 years at restoring buildings T-6 and T-7. We've come a long way but we have a long way to go. Renovating these sites requires dedicated grant writing and fundraising to raise the significant monies we need to create adequate gallery, educational, workshop and studio space in order to better service our community and beyond.

Rockaway has no swimming pool, no bowling alley, no movie theater, no municipal pier and few recreational centers. Rockaway does have an organization that provides children with after school opportunities, a summer camp, a teen drama club, public events such as Movies by Moonlight, an interactive Fort Tilden Halloween show and continuous art openings, workshops, lectures, presentations and gallery events. We also provide entry-level jobs to our youth and consultant opportunities in education through our contracts with the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Board of Education.

If you believe as we believe, please join us in our 5th Annual "Building Fund Benefit" on Friday, June 28 at Pier 92 Restaurant at 7 PM. We are asking a $50.00 ticket price, though we would graciously accept more. Tickets may still be purchased for the event or may be bought at the door.

What do you get for your money? You get dinner, beer, wine, soda, raffles, music and dancing, all in one of Rockaway's most spectacular spots -- Pier 92 -- which is located on Jamaica Bay and 92nd Street, right behind McDonald's Restaurant. Most of all, you get the satisfaction of knowing you are part of a groundswell of support in helping to build a comprehensive arts center in Rockaway.

Tickets may be ordered before the benefit by calling our office between 9 AM and 1 PM at 718 474-0861.

Ask your friends and neighbors to come. They'll thank you. If you are unable to come we will miss you, but the name of the game is raising money and we'll still accept any and all donations.

*All artists wishing to donate something toward our raffle please contact Marina Callaghan or Maureen McGuire directly or through the RAA office.

* * *

5-STAR HIT for the 3rd year in a row: Movies By Moonlight 450 attendees on Friday, and 1100 attendees on Saturday. Previous attendance records were broken. They came from Rockaway, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and further. In a town with no movie theater and insufficient outlets for family entertainment, RAA is delighted to be able to bring you this community event. We could not have done it without the generous contribution of Blockbuster Video. From the numbers who attended it is obvious that there is a great need and desire for an event such as this. It is also obvious that there is a strong desire to expand Movies By Moonlight. Comments from those who attended and those unable to attend that weekend, reflect that these people would like Movies By Moonlight every weekend. RAA would love to do just that -- or to extend it to at least 2 or 3 weekends. But we need your help. We can't do it alone. We need sponsorship to present even one of these weekends of free classic movies under the stars.

Sponsors like Blockbuster Video are essential to bring you this entertainment. But sponsors must know the audience is out there. They have to know they are getting return on their dollar; that their money is serving a large number of people and that they are helping to fulfill a community need. They require concrete evidence of this. Therefore, RAA asks that all those who enjoyed themselves last weekend at Movies By Moonlight, please write letters stating that you want this event to continue and even to be expanded; that it fulfills a need of this community, a community without a movie theater, that is otherwise unanswered. It takes so little time to write such a letter. Consider all the benefit it could bring you. Please send those letters to RAA by email, if possible. If not, send by regular mail. The Email address is RockArt116@aol.com. Postal address: Rockaway Artists Alliance/ 260 Beach 116 Street/ Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

RAA has extended to July 7 the sTudio 7 exhibition that was part of Art Frenzy. This includes the "Best of Remembering" exhibition. Gallery hours are Saturdays 12-5 PM and Sundays 1-4 PM. If you haven't seen these splendid shows or wish to see them again, take advantage of this final opportunity.

See you at Pier 92.

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