2005-09-02 / Community

Chatting With Chapey

Eisendtadt, Bartwink Honored
by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Dr. Geraldine Chapey
Dr. Geraldine Chapey The Rockaway Music and Arts Council is celebrating its 50 th anniversary with a Jubilee Gala honoring Barbara Eisenstadt and Helen Bartwink. The gala will be held on Saturday, September 10th at the Brooklyn Museum Beaux-Arts Court at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 each. Tickets can be obtained by calling 1-718-474-6760.

We are very fortunate to be honoring two outstanding individuals who have really made a difference: Barbara Eisenstadt and Helen Bartwink.

Barbara Eisenstadt has served as the President of the Rockaway Music and Arts Council for fifteen years. Under her expert leadership the organization has grown and prospered. She is a born leader with demonstrated competence, effectiveness and accomplishments. Barbara has a vitality and enthusiasm for promoting music and culture. She loves children. She shares her contagious enthusiasm for music through expanding the Music Memory and NYC Opera programs in our schools. Through these endeavors, the children have the opportunity to expand their horizons and to participate in citywide competitions. This program encourages all children to develop their creative abilities.

Barbara’s personality is warm, collegial, responsive, agreeable and charismatic. Through her tireless efforts she has led the Rockaway Music and Arts Council in sponsoring the summer Sunset Picnic Concert Series. She is joined in this project by John Musumeci, who is an outstanding and recognized professional. He is an erudite and passionate individual who brings a vibrant and interesting array of talent to the Fort Tilden Concerts.

Barbara has also been a guiding force and added her personal touch to the Rockaway Museum and Cultural Trips. One of last years favorites was a high tea at the Waldorf Astoria, accompanied by an outstanding lecture by Arthur Schwartz and a delightful tour of the behind the scenes Waldorf kitchen which produces excellent cuisine.

Another great trip inspired by Barbara brought the RMAC to Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery. The cemetery is 160 years old and is considered New York’s buried treasure. The trip gave the group the opportunity to participate in a guided tour of the great artistic creations in the cemetery, which were developed by leading artists and architects. The Greenwood Cemetery is the final resting place for many famous people including Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ebbets, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Elias Howe and the notorious “Boss” Tweed, Albert Anatasia, and Joey Gallo. Barbara’s imprint is felt throughout the community. She and her husband Marvin have been extraordinarily generous in their support of the Peninsula Hospital Center and many other philanthropic endeavors.

Helen Bartwink had a dream and she decided that the dream should become a reality. Helen is passionate about culture, music and the finer things in life. The RMAC as we know it today began in Helen Bartwink’s living room. The first concert allowed music enthusiasts to enjoy an evening of wonderful entertainment. The evening started with Sam Levenson as a special host. From the beginning these concerts were an overwhelming success. In fact, the New York Times noted that one of the initial concerts was given by the acclaimed violinist Mischa Elman. His performance in Carnegie Hall was a major musical event. At the Rockaway concert Mischa Elman celebrated a landmark birthday. He enjoyed the concert and the people so much that he gave several encores. The New York Times goes on to note that the concert following Mischa Elman’s performance would feature two pianists. It was definitely a delightful forerunner to our last RMAC concert in Fort Tilden by two wonderful pianists.

Helen Bartwink has a wonderful smile and a charming manner. She wanted to share her interests with the next generation. She began to sponsor free children’s concerts. The first was a great performance by the Rockaway Five Towns Symphony Orchestra. Sam Levinson began the concerts with a narration aimed at children.

Sam Levinson’s love of children is well known. His quotes are legendary: “Insanity is hereditary: You can get it from your children” and “One of the virtues of the very young is that you don’t let facts get in the way of your imagination”.

Come and share a wonderful event with us. Help us to honor Barbara Eisenstadt and Helen Bartwink. The individuals serving on the committee to make the gala a great success are:

Barbara Eisenstadt, Sharon Gabriel, Anne Levine, Claire Heller, Shirley Golub, Sally Gwirtzman, Judy Rothman, Lori Musumeci, John Musumeci, Doreen Sirgiovanni, Eugene Pasternak, Geraldine Chapey, Judy Yaeger, Stephen Yaeger, Arlene Cornell, Harold Cornell, Bernice Meyers, Fern Lieberman, Helen Bartwink, Toni Ann Geraci-Falconite, Benita Lachner and Lenny Kohn.

The RMAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing top quality cultural entertainment to the members of our community. It truly presents concerts which would rival performances at Tangelwood in Lennox, Massachusetts. The RMAC has a great festival each year chaired by the outstanding and remarkable Fern Lieberman. This year’s event will take place on September 17 and 18. We present juried arts and crafts dealers, musical entertainment, food, demonstrations and wonderful events including a petting zoo and free pony rides. Please join us at the festival.

A special thanks goes to Lenny Kohn, the owner and creative talent behind Rockaway Graphics. Lenny has added an outstanding dimension by producing the great RMAC flags, which are displayed throughout the community. If you need creative, imaginative and beautiful printing creations call Rockaway Graphics at 718-634-1089. Kudos’ to Lenny Kohn, an outstanding talent in our community.

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