2003-10-17 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

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


Guy Nevirs and Squid plus Danny Mars­ton on drums and Danny Mulvanahey on guitar entertaining the large crowd at Band Night, one of the weekend performance events at ARTSPLASH 2003. Photos by John J. Grillo.Guy Nevirs and Squid plus Danny Mars­ton on drums and Danny Mulvanahey on guitar entertaining the large crowd at Band Night, one of the weekend performance events at ARTSPLASH 2003. Photos by John J. Grillo.

On October 25, the RAA is holding its sixth annual Building Fund Benefit. RAA’s mission is to encourage and engage residents of its community, particularly its youth and seniors, in the arts and cultural activities. In order to fulfill this mission, RAA is building the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA), a comprehensive arts center that would compare with those of Mass MoCA or MoMA. The positive impact, economically and socially, of a major cultural center in Rockaway will effect us all. RAA has begun, but much is needed to complete this mission. We are asking our friends and neighbors to pause for a moment to reflect on what RAA has meant to them personally and on what RAA has brought to their community. We ask that you realize that in contributing to this mission, you are contributing to your family.

Are you someone who attends the 8 or 10 free receptions RAA holds to open exhibitions that rival some of the finest at city cultural institutions, whose entrance fees are constantly rising? Do you enjoy the family atmosphere, great performances and eclectic mix of food at these openings? Has your son or daughter received employment from RAA in a community offering few jobs for young people? Have your children attended an RAA after school program or summer day camp, at a very reasonable fee, where you knew they would be nurtured and secure and not be somewhere getting into trouble? Have you practically killed to get on that waiting list? Have you or one of your parents gone on one of our free seniors’ gallery tours? Was your child one of Esther Grillo’s apprentices, learning skills that would last a lifetime? Do you live on Shore Front Parkway or Beach Channel Drive, along the length of Rockaway, and see RAA’s murals everyday? Do they fill you with a renewed pride in your neighborhood? Are you an artist who has exhibited in our galleries or performed on our stages and who has found a home among other artists? Have you and your family participated in the excitement of one of our interactive Halloween productions? Have you and your family enjoyed our free movies under the stars? Have you checked out the cost of the fundraiser tickets for other cultural organizations? Do you know that a major cultural institution in Rockaway will bring in tourist dollars, provide more jobs for adults and teens, provide for expanded programs and classes for our young people and adults of all ages? Would you like to be able to find, close to home, the finest in art, music, dance and more in a beautiful building in a gorgeous national park? This is not a trivial pursuit. It will impact the economic and social life of our community and the community at large.

The fulfillment of this vision requires money. RAA has begun by renovating building T-6 (sTudio 6) and revitalizing T-7 (sTudio 7). It has transformed these buildings through hard work and determination. We have received seed money from the state to renovate T-7, but much more is required for this huge structure. The short list is a new roof, heating, cooling, wheelchair accessibility, windows, plumbing and I could go on. These are necessary for creating a comprehensive arts center that will properly serve the public and attract tourism and business to Rockaway. Nothing else like it exists in this area of Queens.

Therefore, once a year RAA asks those who believe in our mission and who benefit from the programs and exhibitions of RAA, to give something back. Once a year RAA throws a party that is not free. Once a year RAA holds the Building Fund Benefit to raise funds for this very important cause. If this year’s ticket price of $100 is beyond your means, we will miss your presence at the fundraiser, but whatever you can afford to send to the office as a contribution will be appreciated.

We hope you can join us on October 25. Cocktails, dinner and dancing at the Beach Club, starting at 8 PM. We honor Councilman Joe Addabbo, educator Nancy Cusack, GNRA partner Rita Mullally-Kirk and RAA member Esther Grillo. Attire is festive. Dress in a costume or not. Dress fancy or not. And if you can’t come, be part of the vision anyway.

Reminder: Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19, 1-4:30 PM – 2 afternoons of performing artists at the outdoor Rockaway Moon Stage, Fort Tilden. (If weather is inclement, performances will be in sTudio 7).

Thank you to Guy Nevirs and Squid, Strumdaddies, Danny Mulvanahey, Danny Marston (who did triple duty) , Seanchai and the Unity Squad, event organizer Kalin Callaghan, sound and light people Apryl Green and Jan Nebozenko, Roger Carreau and all who attended for making Band Night an awesome event.


Return to top


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History