News and Updates
Curtain Call 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015 12:00 AM

Executive Director, Ginny Louloudes // Photo by Robert Kidd

There is something special about Curtain Call, our annual member event, which is worth giving up a precious free Monday night for. There is a certain quality to the evening that makes us all forget the bitter cold outside. There is a magic to it. Curtain Call is a singular evening because we so rarely take a step back and truly celebrate and honor the work we do as a community.

Todd Haimes kicked off the evening with a warm welcome. It was a delight to see him emerge from the gorgeous set of Fiasco Theater's production of Into The Woods. What better place could there be to celebrate theatre than on a stage brimming with theatrical possibility thanks to Roundabout's presentation of Fiasco's thrilling work. As Todd introduced Ginny Louloudes, we were reminded of a reason many of us are so committed to the theatre: lifelong friendships.

A.R.T./New York Executive Director, Ginny Louloudes, gave great care to her speech Monday evening. Refining and editing it until the final moments. Some of us even saw her with a pen and note cards, fine-tuning her speech in the lobby before the house opened. Her dedication shined through in a speech that highlighted the power of theatre to create social change and what we can accomplish when we work together. She left us with Sondheim's famous lyrics, "Someone is on your side. No one is alone."

The DeWitt Stern Local Hero Awards are always a delight. Architects, restaurateurs, massage therapists, press reps, and fashion designers were among this year's eclectic group of local heroes. Awards in hand, the heroes lit up the stage as José Cheo Oliveras’ and DeWitt Stern's Joseph Bower’s charm warmed the room.

While we work in the trenches of nonprofit theatre, it can be easy to forget that what we do is worth celebrating. Perhaps that is why the first big idea of Lear deBessonet's keynote speech, "theatre is a public good," resonated so strongly with the crowd. Lear introduced us all to radical inclusivity and redefined the idea of a V.I.P. She stirred the crowd and left us thrilled about the possibilities of theatre as we flooded into the lobby for a reception full of laughter and intense conversation.

Even as the A.R.T./New York staff began to clean up, camaraderie and excitement permeated the theatre. Staff and members alike spilled out into the streets, pubs, and apartments of New York still talking about the ideas of the evening. That is the magic of Curtain Call. It is an evening that brings the community together and focuses us, energizes us. It was an evening that prepared us for the hard and rewarding work ahead.

 

-Kati Frazier, Communications and Membership Coordinator


 All photos by Robert Kidd

 
From Crisis To Creation
Thursday, February 19, 2015 12:00 AM

On February 9, A.R.T./New York had the privilege of presenting at the CUNY Graduate Center at a gathering entitled “Crisis to Creation: A Town Hall on the Future of New York City Theatre.” The event, organized by Brad Burgess in collaboration with Frank Hentschker, was centered around strategies to sustain theatres and theatre artists in New York City in the wake of the financial crisis and the seemingly endless challenges facing artists who live and make work in the city today. The evening culminated in the presentation of the inaugural Segal Award to Majority Leader of the New York City Council Jimmy Van Bramer, and remarks from DCA Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, both champions of NYC’s arts and culture.

The evening featured a number of speakers, all of whom make theatre or provide services to theatres in New York City. These range from the local (4th Street Arts Block) to the national (Theatre Communication Group) and many in between, including the Asian American Arts Alliance and One Percent for Culture. The evening opened with an invocation in the form of a 'letter' from Ellen Stewart, the deeply missed founder of LaMama Experimental Theatre in the East Village, read by their current Artistic Director Mia Yoo. Stewart’s was not a typical path to the theatre, and what she created at LaMama reflected her unique personality, sense of style, and vibrant artistry. She used the metaphor of the pushcart, which was returned to during the evening, as a way to describe our theatre community and what we have to offer one another as we move forward. Generosity was the watchword of the evening, inspired by Ellen.

The presentations were each unique and interesting (props to Jennifer Wright Cook from The Field for being my personal Powerpoint hero), covering topics ranging from The League of Independent Theaters’ Charter Barter program in schools to National BlackFest’s upcoming presentations at The Lark to ArtsPool’s launch of its collective insourcing services (you know we’re big fans of theirs here at A.R.T./New York). But what was most exciting was the breadth of the services and support that are available to theatres and artists here in New York City. The sheer number of committed, passionate, generous administrators and artists who are creating work and connecting artists with services is outstanding. Being in a room with Gus Schulenburg from N.E.T., nobody could believe that theatre is in crisis. Rather, we are pushing the cart forward, if slowly.

Is it enough? No. Can we do more? Of course. But there are solutions being enacted. One of A.R.T./New York’s responses, and the one that was presented on Monday, are the two state-of-the-art performance spaces we will open on West 53rd Street in the summer of 2016, which you can read about here. Affordable space is one of many responses to the crisis of 2008. As one audience member described the theatre project after the event—“So, you want artists to have more, for less? Usually it’s the other way around.” That sounds about right.

Ann Marie Lonsdale, Director of Programs

 
Best Wishes, Ann Marie // Reporting
Thursday, January 22, 2015 12:00 AM

 

Hi everybody!

Grant season is upon us! Doesn't it feel like everything is due all at once? DCA is due February 9, and  NYSCA funding guidelines will soon be available, among many others. A.R.T./New York's own Nancy Quinn Fund will open for applications on Monday, January 26.

We all focus so much on the application process, and rightly so. Contributed income is crucial to all our nonprofit ventures. But once you receive the grant, the process is not over! Reporting is a crucial aspect of the grant process, and provides vital information to any funder. I say this mostly because we have two deadlines for reporting fast approaching:
 
  1. Creative Space Grants for FY15, Cycle 1 (July-December) - Reports due January 31, 2015 
  2. Nancy Quinn Fund for 2014 - Reports due February 28, 2015

All reports will be due by email to me at alonsdale@art-newyork.org. I can't stress enough how important it is to provide reports as per the funders' instructions by the due date-put that date in your calendar and treat it like an application deadline. In some instances, a late or missing report can and will disqualify your organizations from future opportunities for funding.

Your reports help A.R.T./New York collect crucial information about the field, and help us to make the case to our funders about the vital impact of the grant making programs that we administer. Your help here is invaluable! We are so looking forward to seeing your reports. If you have questions about any of this, contact me or our Programs Coordinator, Adeola Adegbola, at aadegbola@art-newyork.org.

Best wishes,
Ann Marie

 
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