Friday, 25 January 2013 00:00
In anticipation of the opening in the coming months of The Space at Westbury (http://www.thespaceatwestbury.com/), the newly redeveloped performing arts center at the old Post Avenue movie theater, Mayor Peter Cavallaro announced the creation of the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts on Jan. 7.
“Westbury has a long history of supporting the arts, and is blessed with people of many talents, so we are going to undertake a mission of making Westbury the most arts-friendly community in Nassau County.
“Is that an ambitious goal? Yes, but with the coming opening of The Space at Westbury, we believe that a critical mass of arts, culture and entertainment will develop here, and we want to take advantage of the creative energy that the theatre will generate,” said Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro.
Cavallaro explained that the village will explore synergistic opportunities to promote the arts, as well as entertainment and dining in the village, using the theatre as the lynchpin.
“Westbury already has a fairly mature arts and culture scene, with the village, the schools, our churches, the Westbury Library, the Historical Society and other organizations all involved with art and cultural activities. The council will work to coordinate these existing resources and develop and promote a year-round program of art, culture and recreational events, complimentary to the activities that will be going on at The Space,” Cavallaro noted.
The mayor said his goal for the council will be to identify and develop a marquee annual event that will showcase Westbury as a center on Long Island for the arts.
“It could be a music festival, a movie festival, a comedy weekend, an annual art exhibit, or something else, or even a combination of these elements. The council will be working to see what develops, and seeking community input as to the types of activities and events that members of the community would find of interest,” Cavallaro explained, who said the council could evolve into a more formal structure like a “nonprofit or other vehicle.”
The mayor indicated that he and Deputy Mayor Joan Boes met with the volunteer Council members this past week to talk preliminarily about what the Council will do.
Boes, who was involved in the past with a former arts council in the village, said, “We are excited about the prospects of once again making the arts and culture a central focus in the life of the village, and developing programs and activities that will be attractive to all aspects of the greater Westbury community.”
The initial members of the Council, who attended the inaugural meeting are: Dana Boylan; Judith Gerard (a member of the Westbury Library Board of Trustees); Patricia Jenkins-Lewis; Rocco Lanzilotta (former school board member and former music industry executive); Doug LeClaire (former resident and producer of the Asbury Shorts Film Concert, which was exhibited in the village piazza this past year); Corinna Matacotta; Ray Muntz; Alex Nunez (graphic artist and creative professional). Several other residents have expressed an interest in joining the council (more members are welcome), while the council will eventually invite the owners of the The Space, as well as the village’s Business Improvement District and Chamber of Commerce to participate.
“Westbury is a tremendous community with tremendous resources. We have the ideal location, and a history of supporting the arts and culture. We want to make this a centerpiece of Westbury’s future, and the Council and its members will help move us in that direction,” Cavallaro said.
More information about the council will be posted form time to time on the village’s website (http://www.villageofwestbury.org/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ pages/Village-of-Westbury-New-York/149161925131450?v=wall).