United Cultural Fund grants total $228,000 for 2013

By Barb Van Atta

Broome County Arts Council Board Chairman Fred Xlander and Executive Director Sharon Ball today (March 13) announced the awarding of more than $228,000 in United Cultural Fund (UCF) grants for 2013. Seven arts and cultural organizations will share in $210,428 in UCF general operating support grants. Project grants totaling another $18,298 will be shared by 14 organizations and individual artists. Read the rest of this entry »

Kudos to UCF winners — and donors

The Broome County Arts Council will announce $224,754 in United Cultural Fund grant awards for 2012 at 1:30 p.m. today (March 8) at BCAC’s downtown Binghamton office and gallery.

The United Cultural Fund, BCAC’s largest program, is an annual combined campaign for the arts that provides general operating support to established nonprofit arts organizations and project grants to other community nonprofits and individual artists in Broome County. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why support non-profit arts and the United Cultural Fund

Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund opened its 2012 Campaign on November 3rd with “An Artful Evening with NPR’s Susan Stamberg, a fundraising event at the Binghamton Riverwalk Hotel, featuring National Public Radio’s premier arts correspondent. UCF 2012 is the only combined campaign for the arts in the region and seeks to raise $308,325 for competitive grants to non-profit arts and cultural organizations, community non-profits and individual artists in Broome County. In a speech to Binghamton Rotary #64 yesterday (December 13th), BCAC’s Executive Director Sharon Ball explained how the UCF helps sustain arts non-profits for the benefit of the entire community.

Thank you very much. I’m grateful for the invitation to speak to you this afternoon. I know the good work that Rotary does all over the world and I commend you for the good work that Rotary does here in this community.

What a year it’s been for our community! First the economy, then the economy, then the economy, and then the second 100 year flood in 5 years. Another hit, another blow to the body of this already challenged region and the people who are determined to stay here, to do business here, care for their families and friends here, and maintain their neighborhoods – right here in the once renowned “valley of opportunity”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reservation deadline approaches for evening with Stamberg

As you probably know, the Broome County Arts Council is presenting NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg in an appearance here on Nov. 3. “An Artful Evening … with NPR’s Susan Stamberg” at the Riverwalk Hotel & Conference Center, 225 Water St., Binghamton, will begin with cocktails at 5 p.m. Dinner is at 6 p.m. followed at 7:30 p.m. by Stamberg’s speech, “Why The Arts Are Important.”

WSKG, the local NPR affiliate, is BCAC’s media partner in this event. Recently, WSKG’s Gregory Keeler interviewed Stamberg about her career and her upcoming visit to Binghamton. Here’s a link to that conversation.

The reservation deadline is Monday, Oct. 31. Ticket information is available at www.BCArtsCouncil.com or by calling (607) 723-4620. Proceeds benefit the Broome County Arts Council’s 2012 United Cultural Fund Campaign.

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Doubleday St. art installation fascinates

“…and to think that I saw it on Doubleday Street”: An art installation
on the history of Doubleday Street in Binghamton by Judy Salton

Submitted by Margaret Johnston

If Dr. Seuss himself had been on Doubleday Street last weekend, I could not have been more amazed. The outdoor art installation by Judy Salton works on so many levels. Salton is exploring the concept of place in a very intimate and profound way. She started with historical photos of the neighborhood from several families and then painted them life size and placed them exactly in front of the space where the photos were taken. We see a procession of little children from St. Paul’s that might be a communion or a May Day celebration and a small child cooling off in a tub of water in the exact driveway where it happened 50 years ago.

The neighborhood has changed — deteriorated, really — since then, plagued with a drug trade and a lack of upkeep to the old houses on the street. Salton captured the current residents in life sized portraits. One especially endearing one is of two brothers; nearby is their sister who clearly loves to pose. Another is a woman walking her two dogs, the hound raising his leg, all captured on wood panels in front of the houses they live in.

The art and the concept are amazing enough but the really miraculous happening on Doubleday Street is the transformation of the neighborhood. As Judy painted the large panels outside, neighbors came up to see what was happening. The children brought her their art work. When I was there on Saturday (June 18) at least 10 children wanted their portraits painted. People who grew up on Doubleday Street stopped by and told stories about the old neighborhood to current residents. There was a sense of place, of history, of community, of hope on Doubleday Street.

It is hard to explain, but you can get a preview with this short video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAKV9ZOLtJs

MORE on the art from press release:

An exploration of the changing complexion of Doubleday Street since the 1950s and 1960s is presented in graphic form through an outdoor installation of paintings by current resident and artist Judy Salton. The earlier neighborhood is represented by large grisaille paintings up to 16 feet in length, based on black and white photographs from that time when the largely Irish Catholic neighborhood centered on St Paul’s Roman Catholic School and Church. The flavor of the street today as the neighborhood begins to coalesce is shown through various free-standing wooden cut-outs of full color, life-size paintings inspired by today’s residents.

Paintings will be displayed at various locations on lawns and sidewalks. Take a stroll through this old neighborhood, wander among the current residents, take a look at what went before and hear stories old and new. Doubleday Street has been a neighborhood for most of its 150 years. Affluent in its infancy, blue-collar church- and school-centered by its centennial birthday, its greatest evolution took place after  1960. The economic decline of the last 25-plus years has seen the area survive through its less inviting years. Judy Salton comments, “Understand that change is inevitable and should not be feared. It may open paths to wonderful opportunities. …we are creating a new neighborhood of diverse possibilities.”

You can see it on Doubleday Street from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays, July 2 and 9, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, June 26, July 3 and 10. New portraits and paintings are still being added.

Editor’s Note:  “and to think that I saw it on Doubleday Street” is funded in part by a project grant from the United Cultural Fund, a program of the Broome County Arts Council.

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Did you ‘spring’ into the arts this weekend?

Did you visit a gallery, attend a concert or like, Nick Linnehan, check out the kids at EPAC (see comment)? Join the conversation — no registration required (see below) — and talk about the arts in your life.

Impressions of Windsor’s Window on the Arts Festival

Binghamton artist Judy Salton

Window on the Arts & Music Festival 2010Windsor celebrated its third annual Window on the Arts Festival on Saturday (Sept. 18), and it was  perfect. Painters, potters, jewelry makers, fabric and glass artists, farmers and food vendors plied their wares on the village green. Musicians played (Kelly Birtch was playing classical guitar when I arrived) and sang for the people who wended their way from tent to tent, table to table.  Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Savoyards have a hit

Reviewed by Tony Villecco

While W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan’s operetta ‘Ruddigore’ may not have as many familiar “hits” as some of their other collaborations, the Summer Savoyards’ opening night performance on July 8 proved both a delight visually and aurally.

Now in its 50th season, the local troupe proved once again why it has lasted so long and continues to produce exceptional community theater. The Savoyards traditionally present the fas- paced, comedic and melodious shows with community residents, almost all amateur performers, but very strong actors and singers to boot. Read the rest of this entry »