Thursday, April 13, 2017

2017 Yonkers Arts Initiative

ArtsWestchester is seeking applications for the 2017 Yonkers Arts Initiative. 

For the first time, individual artists who live or work in Yonkers are eligible to apply.

Funding is available for the creation of new work or community engagement projects.

 Join ArtsWestchester for an informal session to learn about this opportunity on Monday, April 17th at 5:30 at the Blue Door Art Center, 13 Riverdale Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10701

 RSVP to or 914.428.4220 ext 316.

Deadline for the grant application is May 3.

For guidelines and application visit:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mike Messer At Urban H20 October 26- $12 + Pay what you can!

 "Some of the most innovative and
exciting children's music ever!" (MTV) 
Mike Messer, lead singer and guitarist of popular children's group The Dirty Sock Funtime Band ,   will play a family concert at Urban H20.  Mike has been featured in several episodes of Jack's Big Music Show on Nick Jr. and guest-starred in an episode of Sesame Street. His other musical accomplishments include touring and singing alongside the late great Billy Preston.

This family music show (for pre-k through 6th grade is benefiting the Yonkers Partners in Education.  $2 from every ticket goes directly to them!

 Urban H2O events at CURB (Formerly Beczak) are held at 35 Alexander St., steps from the Downtown Yonkers Metro-North station with ample free parking. for info, please call 917 562 8584

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vote for your Yonkers Urban Arts favorites. Deadline July 31

In partnership with Community Engagement Through the Arts (CETTA), Blue Door Gallery, and the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District (BID), the city of Yonkers recieved over 120 submissions for their Open Call for Urban Art.

 Vote for your favorite today! The winning works of art will be displayed in three storefront and three mural locations in the Downtown Waterfront District.

 You may vote for up to one option per mural and storefront location. The voting period is Thursday, July 24, 2014 through Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

To vote, visit

Here's a sample of a few of the art pieces.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Yonkers Open Call for Urban Art

Yonkers is seeking urban artists to submit works for display in storefronts and outdoor murals in the Downtown Waterfront District.
Along with the mayor, the city's Department of Planning & Development, Community Engagement Through the Arts, Blue Door Gallery, and the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District, Yonkers' Open Call for Urban Art will connect residents and visitors with original artwork, showcase creativity and continue the revitalization of Yonkers' growing Downtown Waterfront.
Yonkers Open Call for Urban Art will exhibit original works of art in three storefront windows and on three outdoor murals.  Compensation ranges from $100 to $2500, depending on the size of the location.  You must select your location when you make a proposal.

All entries must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Entries after that date will not be accepted.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Latino/Latina playwrights sought for New Works/New World Playfest

HartBeat Ensemble  has been known for over 10 years as Hartford, Connecticut's home for new and local work.  

Currently they are accepting submissions for their inaugural NewWorks/NewWorld: A Latina/o PlayFest. The festival will showcase Hartford’s diverse community by celebrating Latina/o playwrights who align with HartBeat's mission of telling stories that explore voices that often go unheard. Selected plays will present their works to the public as a staged reading.

WHEN: Saturday June 28, 2014

WHERE: HartBeat Ensemble’s Carriage House Theater and Storrs House 360 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT. 
Mainstage readings will be held at the Carriage House Theater, Studio readings will occur at the Storrs House.

WHO: Who can submit? Playwrights, ensembles, and theater companies with new or unproduced work that explores the voice, culture, and experience of Latino America. Local Hartford, CT area Latina/o playwrights and their companies are strongly encouraged to submit. Spanish, English and Bi-lingual plays are accepted.

Deadline: April 21, 2014
Selected plays will be notified by May 5, 2014

Email submissions
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, October 24, 2013

200 trees being offered to Yonkers residents

This isn't about Art, but gardening and tree preservation is culture, at least in my biased opinion.

If you can make it to the Hudson River Museum on Saturday, you might get a tree!

Photo by Jay Baker
200 Trees will be offered to Yonkers Residents
Posted Date: 10/17/2013
Yonkers, NY – October 17, 2013 – Mayor Mike Spano announced the City of Yonkers, in partnership with the CBC Junior Girl Scouts Troop #1814, will host a Yonkers Green City Tree Give-Away on October 26th at 9:00 am at Trevor Park (Warburton Avenue in Yonkers). 
200 trees, made available through a National Wildlife Federation grant received by the CBC Junior Girls Scouts Troop #1814, will be distributed to Yonkers residents on a first-come-first-serve basis. Proof of residency is required. Additionally, the City’s Parks Department will plant several trees at Trevor Park.
“Yonkers has been a Tree City USA for 26 years and efforts like these continue to support the environmental health of our city and sound forestry management," said Mayor Spano. "Congratulations and thank you to the CBC Junior Girl Scouts Troop #1814 and the National Wildlife Foundation for providing this great opportunity for the residents of Yonkers." 
As part of their journey toward receiving the Girl Scout Bronze Award, Troop #1814 researched ways to counter the negative effects of tree loss on the environment, particularly in the City of Yonkers which suffered the loss of hundreds of trees during Superstorm Sandy and subsequent severe storms. Under the leadership of Troop Leader Irma Pereira, Troop #1814 applied for a National Wildlife Foundation grant and was excited to learn just a few weeks later that their application was accepted, awarding 200 trees for planting in Yonkers.
"The CBC Girl Scouts are determined to create an awareness of conserving and caring for our environment," said Junior Girl Scouts Troop #1814 Leader Irma Pereira. "In partnering with Mayor Spano, Yonkers’ Parks Department and the Yonkers Board of Education, we are using this opportunity to assure that an idea, and the courage to try and make a difference, can help all."
In addition to offering 200 trees, the Green City Tree Give-Away program offers an educational component for residents attending the event who will participate in a presentation on proper ways to plant, maintain and care for trees. For additional information please contact the Yonkers Parks Department at (914) 377-6427

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Yonkers Amphitheatre: Tonight: Free Jazz!

The new amphitheater. Photo by Frederick Charles.
Yesterday the Hudson River Museum opened up the new city amphitheatre right beneath the museum.  It's a 450 seat outdoor theatre, which will be programmed by the Hudson River Museum.

Last night before the fireworks, the Yonkers Philharmonic opened it up with a concert, followed by fireworks. 
(Of course, as it turns out, the fireworks were not visible from the Amphitheatre, as the band shell blocked it, so everybody had to get up and leave, but what the heck.)  And the concert ended late, so the fireworks started late.  

The theatre seems nice, although the sound system seemed a little underpowered.   It was difficult to hear the microphoned speaker from just above the theatre.

Next Generation Jazz Orchestra 
is playing in Yonkers July 5, 2013
The event was invitation only, (and I was surprised I wasn't invited!)  but there were plenty of seats available.  (And many people sat up on the hill and listened for free.  I expect that to be a constant)

Tonight, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra will play some big band repertoire from 7-8:30 pm.  These are talented high school musicians who recently played at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Enter the Amphitheater at the bottom of JFK Memorial Drive. There is ample free parking in Kennedy Marina just beyond the entrance.

There will be more free jazz at the amphitheatre this summer

July 12: Rebecca Coupe Franks Quartet 7- 8:30 pm 
July 19: Laurie Dapice Quartet 7 - 8:30 pm
July 26: Teri Roiger Quartet 7 - 8:30 pm

Here's a full list of summer scheduled events.  And to help those that are not yet members of the museum, from July 5 through August 24, the Hudson River Museum will be open FREE on Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 7 pm. thanks to Entergy. 

Jazz in July Fridays     7 – 8:30 pm
Friday, July 5 
Monterey Jazz Festival, Next Generation Jazz Orchestra
Exciting compositions from the contemporary big-band repertory, directed by Paul Contos and performed by highly-talented young musicians to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Friday, July 12 
Rebecca Coupe Franks Quartet 
New York-based trumpet player Rebecca Coupe Franks plays jazz festivals around the world, among them Saratoga Springs and Detroit, and has worked with Bill Cosby, Herb Ellis, Joe Henderson, Lou Donaldson, Virginia Mayhew, and others.
Friday, July 19 
Laurie Dapice Quartet
A jazz vocalist, Laurie sings favorites from the American Songbook with a rhythm quartet. She has performed in New York City’s well known jazz venues, including the Dream Hotel, NYC's Night Hotel, the Lexington Hotel, the AlhambraBallroom in Harlem, and the Apollo Theater.
Friday, July 26
Teri Roiger Quartet

A jazz vocalist, Teri also plays piano, composes music, and writes lyrics, and shares her love of music with students at SUNY New Paltz.
Drama Saturday     7 – 8:30 pm
Saturday, July 13 
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival presents Othello 
One of Shakespeare's most-loved tragedies in an abridged version, performed by a young and talented company, illuminates the tragic story of a brilliant man manipulated by his most trusted confidant and driven to murder. Set in the present in and around two army bases in Venice and Cyprus, the production explores domestic life in the military. Seven actors play multiple roles to focus on the lasting consequences of jealousy, racism, and deceit.
Friday Night Films in August     8 - 10 pm
Friday, August 2
The Wiz

A spectacular movie version of the hit Broadway musical based on L. Frank Baum's classic The Wizard Of Oz. Diana Ross and Michael Jackson head an all-star cast in a lavishly mounted production driven by Quincy Jones' high energy music as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion go to see the Wiz.
Starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Directed by Sidney Lumet. Universal Pictures. Rated G, 133 minutes. 1968.
Friday, August 9
Singin’ in the Rain
Considered by many to be the finest musical of all time, it tells the story about movies changing from silent to talkies and includes the famous songs "Make 'Em Laugh" to “You Were Meant for Me" and "Singin' in the Rain."
Starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donoad O’Connor. Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. Turner/MGM. Not Rated. 102 minutes, 1952.
Friday, August 16

Little Orphan Annie dreams of the day when her parents will rescue her from evil but her dreams are dashed when she discovers her family was killed in a fire. Annie finds happiness with millionaire "Daddy" Warbucks , who falls in love with the precocious little red head.
Starring Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, and Aileen Quinn. Directed by John Huston. Columbia Pictures. Rated PG; 128 minutes; 1982.
Friday, August 23
In this screen version of the Broadway play of the same name, Tracy Turnblad is a plump teenager pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and rallies against racial segregation.
Starring John Travolta, Queen Latifah, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Directed by Adam Shankman. New Line Cinema. Rated PG. 117 minutes. 2007.
August Alternative Music Saturdays     7 - 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 3Sonnyboy
A four-piece group, Sonnyboy, led by Shel Riser, is One of the best unsigned bands to come out of Minneapolis…” according to Rolling Stone. The high-energy band blends fun, R&B, hip-hop, and rock.
Saturday, August 10
Cliff Eberhardt

Known for his songwriting, expressive singing, and skillful guitar playing, plays a set of acoustic folk music. He released his first album in 1990 and composed original music for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Folger Theater production of Taming of the Shrew.
Saturday, August 17 The Sweetback Sisters
Describing themselves as a “renegade retro band,” whose members play fiddle, guitar, upright bass and percussion. They mix country, swing, honky tonk, and rockabilly music for a unique sound.

Saturday, August 24 Cheick Hamala
Lecturer, storyteller, and choreographer, Cheick Hamala Diabate plays the n’goni, a West African lute and mixes traditional West African sounds with American ones. He has appeared at the Smithsonian Institute, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest. 

Family Summer Sundays     2 - 3 pm
Sunday, July 14 Arm-of-the Sea presents the Rejuvenary River Circus 
A story that features masks and puppets, a hand-made set, and live original music. Follow Malakai along his journeys where he encounters a host of creatures, and then his journey back to health with the aid of his granddaughter.
Sunday, July 21 Joey Berkley Trio
Saxophonist, composer, and educator, Joey Berkley co-founded the Westchester Jazz Orchestra and directed Bedford’s Fox Lane Middle and High School jazz ensembles.
Sunday, July 28 Spin, Pop…Boom! Mad Science
Witness amazing feats of chemistry and explore spectacular reactions and produce demonstrations with the use of catalysts! Be amazed while you learn.
Sunday August 4 Birds of Prey
Master Falconer James Eyring and his live birds of prey show history of falconry and the habits and adaptations of raptors. Audience invited to ask questions.
Sunday August 11 Family Talent Show!
Local talent curated by The Purple Crayon Center, host of the music series Live! @ TPC. Acts: music, comedy, dance, and more! Children, teens, and adults, 10 years and up, interested in performing, submit samples of their work (recording quality not important) to The Purple Crayon at

See the full schedule of events at:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Today! Dig INto Legos at Riverfront Library from 1-3 PM

On July 3 from 1-3 pm, you can meet Master Model builder David Howard from Legoland Discovery Center, build a crazy Lego challenge, have your photo taken with it and have it emailed to you.

You can also check out the very cool Grand Central Terminal Lego replica which will be on display at at the Library, and check out some of the cool Lego books the Library has to offer.

For children ages 6 and up.  Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult or an older teen sibling.

At the Riverfront Public Library, One Larkin Center.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving Vietnam Memorial Will Stop In Hastings July 4-7.

The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC.  It commemorate the
58,272 men and women who died in service to their country during the Vietnam conflict.
"The Moving Wall," a replica of the Washington, D.C., Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will make its only NYC area stop next week when it is exhibited at Zinsser Park in Hastings-on-Hudson from July 4 to July 7.

The Moving Wall has been touring the country for nearly 30 years. Originally devised by Vietnam veteran John Devitt after he attended the annual commemoration celebrated in Washington for Vietnam veterans, The wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was displayed for the first time in Tyler, Texas, in October 1984.

There are currently two editions of "The Moving Wall" that travel across the U.S, spending approximately 1 week at each site.  They tour from April through November.

The exhibit is making its only visit to the New York area this year. It will be open for viewing from dawn to dusk at Zinsser Park, which is located off North Broadway.

For more information or questions, contact Lisa O’Reilly at 914-478-2380 ext. 642 or email

You can find out more about the project at

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Alamo Draft House- Hard Hat Tour!

I got to go on a special Hard Hat Tour of the new Alamo Draft House , which will be opening in mid-late July on Central Park Ave in Yonkers .  It was exciting, and I can't wait for it to open!

The old theatre that was there had 1780 seats.  This facility will have 6 theatres with a total of 666 seats, and all theatres provide dine-in service.  The theatres will range in size from 26 seats (a rental theatre that will be great for birthday parties and small events, as well as experimental films) to 224 seats.  That theatre will be equipped with both digital projectors and 35mm projectors, so classic films can still be shown.

Alamo is a cinema-eatery that started in Austin, and they now have 14 locations around the country.  They specialize in showing art-films and genre film festivals, as well as select new releases.  They also serve appetizers, food, over 30 different kinds of beer on tap (including hometown brewery Captain Lawrence), and desserts, making it a whole evening out in one.  

I spoke with the kitchen manager Jeff Rinehart, who talked about some of the exciting programs that they have that integrate food with cinema.  

For example, they sometimes have special meals that are timed to movies, so that you might get to eat Chocolate at just the right moment in Like Water For Chocolate, or have a piece of cake at just the right moment in 4 Weddings and a Funeral

They also had a special meal for the movie Groundhog Day, which consisted of the same 4 ingredients combined in different ways again and again and again.

I also spoke for some time with Alexis, the programming/community manager for Yonkers, who talked a lot about Alamo's community commitment.  They have a generous discount policy for non-profit rentals, and are eager to work with the community to create fundraising events and other activities.

  I suggested to her that a monthly Westchester film/slam, that featured works of young directors might be a great idea, and she seemed to really like that idea (but made no commitments of course)  She also said they were looking into the possibility of participating in the Yonkers Film Festival (currently slated for October at the Riverfront Library) They will also have a number of themed festivals and special events.  

Alamo strives for an uninterrupted movie experience, which means no latecomers, no advertisements other than trailers before the movie, and a strict no talking/texting/cellphone policy.  They admitted that they have their work cut out for them in NY.  Here's a sample of their policy.

One of the things making Alamo a great place to watch movies is our enforcement of the ‘rules for watching movies.’ In other words, we don’t tolerate disruptive behavior in the theaters and we’ve received a lot of press and accolades for our adherence to this position.  If you are a person who likes to talk, text or use your cell phone during a movie, we are not the place for you!  If on the other hand, you crave a great movie watching experience free from interruptions, please join us!We position ourselves as a theater that takes extreme pride in providing an excellent and undisturbed movie watching experience.  If you are a movie lover, you can expect a great environment at our theaters, free from talkers, texters, cell phone users or disruptive behavior.  We enforce the policy with pride and people who disrupt other patrons will be ejected from the theater.  Should you find this policy being broken, please help us and raise an order card to alert the staff and management about a disruptive patron.  Management will handle the problem and we appreciate your help in keeping our great environment in tact!

Guests cannot enter the theater after the movie has begun. This means when the feature begins, so you can still come in while our ad tape and trailers are playing. The reason for this policy is to preserve the movie watching experience with minimal interruptions, much like our no talking and texting policy. If you show up to your desired screening late we will happily give you a full refund or exchange your ticket for a different show.

Tim League, CEO and founder
of Alamo Drafthouse
Finally, I also got to speak with Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, who was on hand.  I asked him if he was worried about the Sundance cinemas that were announced in Dobbs Ferry.  He said (and I quote) "The tide rises for all ships."  Which is just the right attitude to have, in my opinion. 

Between Jacob Burns and Alamo and Sundance, Westchester is turning into a bit of a mecca for independent films!  And that will engender even more activity.

Find out more about Alamo at 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival

The Annual Ukrainian Heritage Festival - now in its 28th year - showcases the Ukraine and its people.

The festival features rides, vendors and an array of performers. There will also be vendors offering Ukrainian musical CDs and videos, gifts and clothing. There will also be plenty of authentic Ukranian cuisine, including varenyky, holubtsi and Chicken Kyiv-meals.

The festival began Friday with the Vox Ethnika/Band from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.   It continues today Saturday June 15 from 1-10 pm and Sunday June 16 from 1-7 pm

 The festival is held on the grounds of St. Michael's Ukranian Catholic Church, at North Broadway and Shonnard Place.

More info:

And here's a bio of some of the performers from their website:

Oksana Tomaszewsky
A long-time member of the Ukrainian American Youth Association's Yonkers branch, this year's MC is Oksana Tomaszewsky. This will be Oksana's 2nd year as an MC although she has performed on this stage numerous times as a member of the Chaika Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.
Oksana was born in Yonkers and has been active in the Ukrainian community since childhood. Oksana began taking Ukrainian dance classes at the age of 5 at the Ukrainian Youth Center, directed by her father, a local dance instructor. Ukrainian dancing quickly became a favorite pastime and she enjoyed performing and touring with the Chaika Ukrainian Dance Ensemble throughout the East Coast and Canada for over 15 years. After Oksana hung up her dancing boots, she taught Ukrainian dancing to children and directed groups in Southport, CT and Yonkers, NY. Oksana also served as dance instructor for a Ukrainian Cultural camp in Ellenville, NY for several summers.
Oksana has always been very proud of her heritage and loves everything about the Ukrainian culture. She collects vintage Ukrainian costumes and embroidery, and enjoys crafting Ukrainian vinoks. In her spare time, Oksana enjoys shopping, travelling, spending time with her family, and hunting down tag sales. Oksana currently resides in Cortlandt Manor, NY with her husband Michael and her sons, Mateyko & Lukian.
Nataliya Kukil
Ukrainian native, who came over to United States in 2000 along with her family, this year’s MC is Nataliya Kukil. Nataliya was born in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine and after her move she immediately became an active and devoted member of Ukrainian Youth Association’s Yonkers Branch. Nataliya often carried out the role of a MC for many of CYM’s and School of Ukrainian Studies’ Events. This is, however, Nataliya’s first time as an MC on the Yonkers Festival’s stage. After graduating from High school and moving onto the druzhynnyk role Nataliya volunteered as a vyhovnyk for numerous royi over the last ten years. She had also taught as a substitute teacher in St. Michael’s School of Ukrainian Studies in Yonkers for two years, after which she was invited to join the permanent teacher staff as a Ukrainian History instructor.
Beloved by her students Nataliya had taught for three years while working on her own studies as a future Physical Therapist. During her student life Nataliya had also worked with a Ukrainian Yonkers based travel agency- Dunwoodie Travel, where she found her passion for adventure and discovery. After graduating and achieving her Doctoral Degree Nataliya took up a more active role in UAYA’s administrative offices and has served as a secretary of the Yonkers Branch for the past year. Currently Nataliya is working as a visiting Physical Therapist in Manhattan and is putting her love for helping people to great use.
Since 1976, Ukrainian Dancers from allover the United States, Canada, and abroad have flocked to the secluded Soyuzivka Center in New York, hoping to work with master teacher and choreographer Roma Pryma Bohachevsky. While celebrated for her choreographies, and renowned for her classes, her summer workshops would provide the only exposure to world-class Ukrainian Folk Dancing for many in this country. In 1978, Mrs. Bohachevsky answered the dream of many, and founded Syzokryli Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, fulfilling the need for a premiere Ukrainian Dance Ensemble in the United States.
Under the direction of current artistic director Orlando Pagan and assistant artistic director Larisa Pagan, the ensemble has continued Roma Prymas legacy, taking Syzokryli to new heights with performances in Boston, Montreal, the Washington Cathedral in D.C., and even Puerto Rico. The ensemble has also performed with Ukrainian pop star Ruslana, and some of the male members were recently featured in a photo spread with top model Mirte Maas in the first ever issue of Ukrainian Vogue.
Founded in 1962, the Prometheus Ukrainian Male Chorus of Philadelphia is one of the oldest Ukrainian male choirs in the world. The Chorus has a long and distinguished history which includes tours of Europe in 1980 and 1984, as well as a tour of Ukraine in 1995. In 1980, the tour included concert stops in England (London, Manchester and Bradford), France (Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Rennes and St. Lorient), Holland (Utrecht), Austria (Salzburg) and Germany (Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Dusseldorf). In 1984, the Chorus visited Switzerland (Montreux Choral Festival, Bern, Luzerne, Zurich and Lausanne), France (Strasbourg) and Germany (Munich). Its first appearance in a free and independent Ukraine took place in 1995 with concert performances in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Strij, Drohobych, Ternopil, Truskavtsi and Chernivtsi. Over the years, Prometheus has performed at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York City, NY, Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL, John Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., Mont Royale in Montreal, QC, Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall in Toronto, ON, and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, among many other prominent venues around the world.
In April of this year, Vika earned the distinction of having the first Ukrainian song played full length in a major Hollywood film. Vika’s song "Want You" was featured in the movie "Arthur Newman - a Golf Pro" staring Academy Award Winning Actor Colin Firth, Anne Heshe and Emily Blunt. In late 2012, Vika’s song "Magic" was featured in the action thriller "Chernobyl Diaries" .
Vika completed her Masters Degree at the Kiev University of Culture and Art before embarking on her full time music career. Vika’s formal education spanned the spectrum of drama, creative direction, acting, dance and choreography, but her heart will always belong to her music. Over the last 14 years she has written and recorded her own songs and performed as the headliner act in major music festivals throughout Ukraine, Canada and the US.
In 2010 Vika released her newest rock album "Guilty Dreams" in three languages (Ukrainian, English & Russian) with several tracks shooting to number one requested on Kyiv Radio Stations.
Vika recently graduated with honors from the prestigious Recording Arts Program at Full Sail University with the goal of managing her own music production.
Vika’s songs are available in major internet stores such as iTunes, AmazonMP3, Rhapsody, Napster, eMusic, Nokia, CDBaby and others.
Korinya ia a dynamic ensemble that promotes Ukrainian folk music. A Ukrainian-American family Shepko-Hamilton was surrounded by singing. The grandmother Galina - daughter of the artist-musician Thomas Shepko and grandmother Anna had no idea that someday there would be a fifth generation of Ukrainian children carrying on the tradition of Ukrainian folk music.
They have been invited to many events and various festivals in the U.S. and Canada. In 2010 they took part in the festival "Land of Dreams. They sang for orphans in a nursing home, as well as Ivan Gonchar Museum in Kiev.
In the summer of 2012 they were invited to participate in the "Fifth World Boykivska Commemorative Festival" in the city of Turka in the Lviv region of Ukraine. This is a folk competition where they won first place, earning the title of "Ukrainian Folk Artists".
Korinya consists of 5 children of the family Shepko-Hamilton who live on 23 acres in the vicinity of the Catskill Mountains, near Soyuzivka.
VoX EThNIKA’s unique compositional approach to music received a wide recognition and has been very successful. Our CD albums have been distributed in USA, Canada and Europe.
Vox Ethnika performs Eastern European Folk and Pop music set to diverse modern arrangements. The band was founded by siblings Juraj and Silvia Matolak in 1994 and has since collaborated with numerous accomplished musicians in the NYC area.
Roman J. Wasylyk
Born in Manhattan, New York, Roman is no stranger to the stage. He has been a Master of Ceremonies, Starosta (Wedding M.C.) or Announcer at more than 100 events. He has established himself as a comedian extraordinaire who for the over 30 years, has performed improvisational comedy and stand-up at various clubs, venues and festivals, including the Connecticut State Ukrainian Festival, the St. George Festival on 7th Street in N.Y.C. and our very own Ukrainian Heritage Festival here in Yonkers.
His vocal range and linguistic abilities has allowed him to imitate many voices and nationalities. His "gigs" include the "Who's on First" Comedy Club in New York City, the former Granit Hotel and the U.N.A. Resort - "Soyuzivka" (both in Kerhonkson, NY), as well as the Garden State Arts Festival in Holmdel, N.J. He was also an on-air personality for classical radio station WJFF-FM in Jeffersonville, NY and is a graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yonkers Artists Showcase 2013

Artist Paul Greco takes us on a video tour of the annual Yonkers Artists Showcase 2013. This Exhibition includes Paintings, Collages, Sculptures, Constructions, Mosaics and Photography.

Friday, March 1, 2013

58th annual St. Patrick's Parade in Yonkers.

The 58th Annual Yonkers St. Patrick's Parade 

Yonkers St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009
Yonkers St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009 (Photo credit: LarimdaME)
Celebrate a great tradition - The 58th Annual Yonkers St. Patrick's Parade right here in Yonkers Downtown!

 Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 at 1:30PM 
 2013 Grand Marshall William P. Harrington

 Aides to the Grand Marshall include: Michael Bennett, Eileen Collum, Kathleen Ennis, Joseph Hallinan, Thomas Meier, Kenneth O'Brien, Ronan O'Brien and Mary Teague of the Tyrone House in downtown Yonkers.

 Parade Route: South Broadway @ Radford Street to Getty Square.

Reviewing stand on South Broadway at Hudson Street.

Yonkers St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009
Yonkers St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009 (Photo credit: LarimdaME)

Enjoy dining and celebrating in Yonkers Downtown afterwards!

There will also be the second annual McLean Ave Parade on March 23.

More information:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, February 15, 2013

50% off Rising Stars Summer Musical Theater Camp in Yonkers

peekingGroupon is having a great deal on a Yonkers Musical Theatre Summer Camp!

The Rising Stars Performing Arts Company (headed by Laura Rizzo) has a groupon currently running through Sunday.  You can send your kid to a day camp in Yonkers for less than half of what it normally costs!

 Click here to get the groupon!
The groupon only runs through Sunday, so if you are interested, you should get on it sooner rather than later.

Choose from Three Options

  • $400 for a three-week summer musical-theater camp that runs from Monday, July 1 to Friday, July 19 (an $850 value)
  • $400 for a three-week summer musical-theater camp that runs from Monday, July 22 to Friday, August 9 (an $850 value)
  • $749 for both of the above sessions (a $1,700 value)
Each day of camp consists of lessons in dance, drama, and voice, followed by rehearsal for the session-culminating musical, during which students perform backed by a professional orchestra and the camp’s lighting, sound, and costume departments. 

kids-performingOpen to kids aged 6–18, the camps run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, with optional extended care available until 5:30 p.m. for an extra fee.
Performances are scheduled for Sat July 20th and Sunday July 21st. (1st session) and Sat August 10th and Sunday August 11th (second session)

 Tickets are $12 for students and $17 for adults.

 Here's a typical camp schedule:

  Daily Schedule:
  9am-10am Dance Class
10am-11am Drama Class
11am-12pm Voice Class
12:30-1:00pm Lunch(provided by camper)
1:00-3:30pm Rehearsal for show
3:30pm Pick Up Time
Extended Care is available from 3:30-5:30pm for an additional $10.00 per hour.

   Get the Groupon

About the Rising Stars Performing Arts Company

laura_rizzoWhen Laura Rizzo is in a room, kids usually burst out in song. As the founder of Rising Stars Performing Arts Company she has directed more than 150 kids shows nationwide and earned awards and accolades for her directing, teaching, and choreography. With a degree in drama and dance education from NYU and experience in on- and off-Broadway productions, she helps aspiring performers on their paths to the musical theater big leagues by teaching them foundational acting skills and boosting their self-confidence through rewarding performances. To achieve this, she and her team offer summer camps and classes on musical theater, dance, and acting, as well as youth productions of classic musicals, such as Annie Get Your GunGuys and Dolls13, andSweet Charity.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Yonkers Restaurant - Guapo

Downtown Yonkers is slowly but surely becoming a nice haven for food, arts, and entertainment.

Newest on the scene is Guapo Cucina Mexicana, a gourmet and upscale Mexican restaurant.  Guapo means handsome, and the food is very beautifully prepared.  And it's delicious too!

Right now Guapo is offering (through Living Social) a 50% off deal-- pay $15 to get $30 worth of food!)  It's a great way to check out the restaurant and see if you like it.

I think you will!

Monday, November 12, 2012

55Plus Craft Show, Saturday November 24 10am-4pm

On Saturday Nov 24, the 55Plus Council of Older Artists will host a Fabulous Finds Holiday Craft Show & Sale at the James Harmon Community Center, 44 Main Street in Hastings-on-Hudson from 10am-4pm.  

The  event includes a selection of handcrafted items for family, friends, teachers and you. 

 The event includes a fund-raising raffle, tasty goodies for sale and an activity for children.

 55Plus Yonkers is a local not for profit organization that promotes opportunities for aging well. 

A portion of the raffle proceeds for the Westchester American Diabetes Association-Stop Diabetes Campaign.

For more information, visit

Thursday, November 1, 2012

2012 Presidential Candidates Arts Positions

Americans for the Arts Action Fund recently shared its newly compiled analysis of the presidential candidates' arts policy positions.  And now I'm sharing it with you.

The results should mostly come as no surprise. 

This report is one of the many programs and publications of ArtsVote2012, the Arts Action Fund's biennial initiative coinciding with the election cycle, that educates candidates and informs voters on issues impacting the arts and arts education.

 Arts Action Fund Logo
Barack Obama
Joe Biden
Democratic Nominees
Mitt Romney
Paul Ryan
Republican Nominees
Candidate would maintain or increase federal support of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
Proposed increase of $9 million for National Endowment for the Arts.
-FY 13 NEA budget request,
Rpt p.2 / PDF p. 6

-FY 13 NEH budget request,
Rpt p.11/PDF p. 14

"Reduce subsidies for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities."
-Romney/Ryan website
-Los Angeles Times

Candidate would maintain or increase federal support of museums and libraries.
Proposed increase of $9 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities and level funding of $232 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
-FY 13 IMLS budget request,
Rpt/PDF p.12

Congressman Ryan's House-passed budget calls for eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services, but it is unclear what Gov. Romney's position is.
- Ryan's FY2013 budget,
Rpt p.88 / PDF p.96
Candidate would maintain or increase federal support for public broadcasting.
Proposed level funding of $445 million for Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
-FY 13 CPB budget request
"Reduce Subsidies for...the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."
-Romney/Ryan website-10/3/12 presidential debate transcript
Candidate would maintain or increase Title I funding, which includes eligibility for arts education.
Proposed to reauthorize current Title I program, with level funding.
-FY13 budget request,
Rpt p18 / PDF p 22
Proposes to change Title I funding by expanding choice for eligible students to use federal funds to pay for public, charter, or private schools. It is unclear what impact this would have on arts education Title I funding.
-Romney education plan,
Rpt p.23 / PDF p. 24

Candidate would maintain support of national and community service, which includes eligibility for arts and music service.
Proposed increase of 1 percent to $1.1 billion for Corporation for National & Community Service agency budget.
-FY 13 CNCS budget request
Congressman Ryan's House-passed budget calls for eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service, but it is unclear what Gov. Romney's position is.
- Ryan's FY2013 budget,
Rpt p.88 / PDF p.96

Candidate maintains current incentives for charitable giving to 501(c)(3) organizations, such as a local nonprofit arts institution.
The Obama plan maintains the ability for households to deduct charitable gifts, but he proposes reducing the value of the deduction from 35 percent to 28 percent for those households that make more than $250,000.
-FY 2010-13 budget request,
blog statement

Gov. Romney has suggested maintaining a deduction for charitable gifts, but he has also proposed combining those charitable deductions with other tax deductions, such as mortgage interest, all of which would be limited by an overall cap that could jeopardize incentives to donate.
- 10/16/12 presidential debate transcript
National party platform includes a positive position on the arts and arts education.
"We will continue to support public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts... and for programs providing art and music education..."
- 9/4/12 DNC platform, p.16
GOP platform was silent on these issues.
- 8/28/12 GOP platform

In addition to this presidential comparative analysis, the ArtsVote2012 initiative features the new  Congressional Arts Report Card, which provides a snapshot of arts support by Members of Congress running for re-election in 2012.