2007-04-06 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein RAA contact info:

Commentary by
Susan Hartenstein
RAA contact info:

One of the honorees at the RAA's Fundraiser was Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. Accepting the award for Pheffer was her Chief of Staff, Joann Shapiro. Presenting the award is RAA President Geoff Rawling. At left, looking on, is Megan Courtney, who was DJ and emcee for the evening.
One of the honorees at the RAA's Fundraiser was Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. Accepting the award for Pheffer was her Chief of Staff, Joann Shapiro. Presenting the award is RAA President Geoff Rawling. At left, looking on, is Megan Courtney, who was DJ and emcee for the evening. Phone: 718 474-0861; Fax: 718 474-4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com ; web-site: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org

Next RAA general meeting: Monday, April 9 @ 7:30 p.m. in building T-149, Fort Tilden, Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA).

Guest presenter: Musician/singer/ poet/RAA board member Dan Guarino. All are welcome to the open meeting. Bring your artwork, network with other artists. Come even if you just love the arts and can't paint a lick.

With more than 200 people in attendance, congratulations and thanks go to all the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, donors and contributors responsible for the success of the RAA Spring Fundraiser on March 31. It is not possible to name all those involved. But particular note must be made of a few: Marina Callaghan, Christine Mullally, Terry Collier and Regina Moerdyk organized the event. Ludwig's Catering provided the delicious and beautifully presented food. Jan Nebozenko designed and mounted the lighting. The large loft space was adorned by artwork brought for the occasion by RAA artists. Many works were generously donated for raffle. The dedicated volunteers who performed a variety of tasks, included many of the kidsmART teen assistants and instructors.

Congratulations, once again, to the honorees of the evening - Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, GNRA Superintendent Lisa Eckert, RAA Vice President Joseph Rothenberg, RAA Educator Khadejah Alleyne and the Rockaway Little League. Though Ms. Pheffer was kept in Albany on government business, her Chief of Staff Joanne Shapiro was a most gracious substitute. Joe Rothenberg, who secured capital funding for RAA expressed the spirit of the organization in his acceptance speech by embracing the other arts partners in Gateway and by humbly saying that the award was not for him, but for everyone in RAA. Khadyjah Alleyne who, over the period of a decade, has developed into a most exemplary instructor, showed in her emotional and heartfelt speech, one of the reasons the RAA education programs are so beloved by the community. She and Bernard Smith performed wonderfully on African drum and guitar, respectively. Megan Courtney was the DJ and emcee who kept the evening a lively pleasure. Geoff Rawling led the tireless team of "schleppers" and hangers. Tim Lawlor, owner of Harbor Wines and Spirits, must be recognized for his generosity in donating this amazing space, known as Loft 181. Located above the liquor store at 181 Beach 116 Street, it is a 5000 square foot newly renovated space, available to commercial entities for lease and rental by the property's owner.

Truly a team effort, the evening was an accomplishment of the families and individual members of our community who gave of their time, talents and money to support the educational programs, exhibitions and performance events of RAA. As we always say, RAA is a family. We are part of the community and the community is part of us.

It is with great regret that RAA sends its deepest condolences to the family of Genevieve Pulkoski. Mother of dedicated RAA member Sophia Pulkoski Skeans, Genevieve has been described by Marina Callaghan as "a bright light, an art enthusiast, a nature lover, a bonne vivante and a valuable member of the Rockaway community." She will be missed by all who knew her. Among those she leaves behind are Sophia and her husband Pat, her son Tom and his wife Laura and grandchildren TJ, Gregg, Steven and Charlotte.

The Rockaway Literary Festival is April 22 - little more than two weeks away. The myriad panel discussions, book signings, bookstore, readings, schoolchildren awards presentations, music and more will extend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Fort Tilden. No matter where you turn that day, you will find something to interest you. Of particular interest to me, especially since I appear in the latest opus of panelist Robert Sarnoff, is the screenwriting panel discussion and film clip screenings. The clips will be from films of the panel members. Rockaway has figured prominently in many of these films. The participating screenwriters have fascinatingly varied careers. Consider, for example, Pamela Popeson, who mixes media by combining video productions with live theater. The Bigger Thing was her first full-length multi-media play, which premiered Off-Off Broadway. It was optioned by True Love Productions for Off-Broadway. She has written a full-length feature film screenplay, Storm 38 . A frequent contributor to NYARTS Magazine and COVER Magazine, Popeson is also a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and The Playwright's Center. Jennifer Callahan is the director of The Bungalows of Rockaway. She has written, directed and held production jobs in television and film. She has also written for a variety of publications. Kevin Breslin is an award-winning filmmaker whose credits include The Women of Rockaway. Brett Morgan is an Oscar-nominated producer/director. His film, T he Kid Stays in the Picture, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

I'm sure I will CU@RoCA, soon.

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