2007-07-06 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance Summer in Rockaway 'Ain't' Just the Beach
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

Rockaway Artists Alliance
Summer in Rockaway 'Ain't' Just the Beach

Commentary by

Susan Hartenstein

RAA Contact Info:

Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474-4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; web site: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org.

Two Calls To Artists:

ARTSPLASH 2007: RAA's annual juried multi-media cultural event is a major showcase for a full spectrum of visual, literary and performing artists.

Deadline for receipt of entries: July 25, 2007

Dates: September 8-October 7, 2007

Opening reception: September 16, 2007.

GIFTED 2007: RAA's Annual Member Group Show:

Location: sTudio 6 at Fort Tilden, Rockaway, Queens, New York.

Eligibility: Open to RAA members only (membership is $25). Deadline for receipt of entries: October 4, 2007

Dates: November 18-December 16, 2007. Opening reception: November 18, 2007. For both shows: For details and additional information, please contact RAA. See above for contact information.

Full prospectuses and entry forms may be downloaded from: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org.

The Summer Moons Free Concert/ Entertainment Series:

When: every Thursday evening through August 30. Start Time: 7 p.m. Where: RAA's outdoor Rockaway Moon Stage (if rain: indoor stage in sTudio 7) in Fort Tilden. Bring the family, beach chairs and/or blankets (some seating available if you get there early enough) and your favorite cool drinks.

July 12: Seaside Songfest: Singers from top pop groups of the 50's and 60's. Top classic tunes from the 50's through the 90's. Rock N' Roll, Pop, R&B, Gospel, Jazz and Funk.

Seaside Interprise will perform with their backing band Common Ground. These guys are a treat to hear. Seaside Interprise's James McKay is a longtime RAA board member. McKay also sings with Traditionally Yours. Both groups include former members of The Flamingos, The Revlons, The Drifters, The Coasters and The Costas Review. McKay was a member of The Flamingos, inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Among the classic songs to be performed on July 12 are "Leaving Georgia," "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," "Mustang Sally," hits by Otis Redding, The Temptations, and Gladys Knight and the Pips, and more.

Seaside Interprise was formed in Rockaway in 1989. All of its members lived on the peninsula at the time, though there have been a few changes in the group since then. James McKay is one of the originals. He has been singing for 53 years.

Seaside Interprise distributes its CDs through Subway Records. The company website is: www.subway records.com. It records for Tycam Records.

James McKay has been an exhibiting artist with RAA for many years. He was a teaching artist with the organization and also a New York City art teacher. Caring deeply about his profession and his students, he has served as mentor to many of the children of this community. McKay is Chairman of the Fulton Artists Consortium. His works are displayed in this country and abroad. The venues in which his works have been exhibited include the Fulton Art Fair, the Rockaway Artists Alliance galleries and the African Caribbean Latino Festival at Floyd Bennett Field.

The Rockaway Theatre Company Production Of "South Pacific" by Rodgers and Hammerstein is being presented July 6, 7, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. and July 8 and 15 at 2 p.m. Director: John Gilleece; Musical Director: Walter Birkhold. Call for your tickets ASAP at 718-850-2450. RTC shows have been selling out quickly. Advance word has it that this may be the best RTC production to date. And the set, painted by James Cantirino and his crew, is a blast - I mean that almost literally. (You'll see why when you attend the production.)

On Saturday, July 14, the Sixth Annual Belson Memorial Ocean Swim and Music Festival takes place. The day begins at 10 a.m. at Bell's Beach (the boardwalk and Beach 92nd Street) with the Steve Belson Memorial Half-Mile Swim, which is not a race. At 6 p.m. the Rockaway Lobster House (on the bay behind McDonald's at Beach 92nd Street) will feature some of the finest musical talent from this peninsula. Both events raise funds for the Steve Belson Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund will grant ten $1000 college incentives this year to lifeguards who work anywhere on the Rockaway Peninsula and are currently attending college. (Applications are due by July 7.) Steve Belson was a lifeguard and firefighter. He died a hero on 9-11. I'm sure you will read more about this event in this newspaper. You could also log on to: belsonmemorial.blogspot.com. What does this scholarship fund have to do with art? I didn't know Bells very well. But I know those who did. He was an artist at friendship, at celebrating life and living it to its fullest. So go have a great day at the beach and then hear some of the best music around. In doing so, you celebrate Bells and life and give an important hand to some great kids.

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