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Remembering Ruby

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Ruby Dee was never too busy. That is how I remember her. Would she record a TV spot for ArtsWestchester? Happy to do so. Would she say a few words at a local school? In a heartbeat! A poetry reading with her family at ArtsWestchester? Of course! Accept an arts award? Yes…but…heaven knows she didn’t […]

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Saving the Planet, One Song at a Time

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It was perfect synergy to be sitting in the historic Music Room at Caramoor on the day that Pete Seeger passed away. Yes, I am old enough to remember the Weavers, the group that brought Pete Seeger to lasting fame. For those of you who have ever had a Kumbaya moment, you can thank and […]

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Remembering

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Every new year, I try to take stock, checking out gains and losses.  For me, this is not about finance, but about people who have crossed my path during their lifetime, but sadly have left us in 2013.  First, of course, is the incomparable Nelson Mandela, my model for graceful compromise, inclusiveness and patience.  He […]

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A Voice for the Arts

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There was love in the room. Hannah Shmerler was being honored for her voice by the Taconic Opera. Though operatically, she had sung Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, and Michaela in Carmen, it was another voice for which she was being honored this week. For years, Hannah has been the voice for the Conservatory […]

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Two Things I Learned From Koch

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I can’t wait to see the movie “Koch” not just because he was a colorful Mayor. But, let’s just say, I knew the man. He was my boss, so to speak. Some time ago…actually a long time ago in the late seventies, I was Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for New York City when Koch […]

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Rainmaker

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Last week, ArtsWestchester lost a dear friend. Bill McNamee, our board member for nearly ten years passed away all too soon. As a busy senior executive, he travelled the world for Citigroup, yet always found ways to help ArtsWestchester, and in doing so, helped thousands. More often than not, he’d return our calls from some […]

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A Poet’s Job

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Loss is always sad.  It is especially so when the loss is someone who was an inspiration to others.  Brenda Connor-Bey was that kind of someone. Brenda wrote poetry. She taught poetry.  She read poetry, both to herself and aloud to others.  Robert Frost noted that “a poem begins with a lump in the throat.” […]

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The Wild Things

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Like many parents of my undisclosed vintage, I raised my kids and grandkids on Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are. His books inspire imagination. They also encourage parents to value their children’s imagination.  And, not for nothing, they create an interest in nature. Naughty Max is sent to bed without his supper, yet alone […]

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