Starting a Chain Reaction

When we think about the concept of critical mass, we think about the amount of a substance needed to start a chain reaction. Those are the nuclear physics that ArtsWestchester was pondering when we started planning the ARTSEE festival. How can we start a chain reaction? What we were envisioning was an explosion of people going to cultural events at multiple venues throughout the county. Short of atomic energy, how could we make this happen? First, we reasoned, there had to be something new, a unique array, an experience different from the usual. Suppose we assembled a series of new works…arts happenings, never-before-seen-or-heard music and dance, performances you might want to explore in New York City, but don’t have the fare, don’t want to travel late, don’t want to spend a mint. What if we reached out to all of the arts organizations in Westchester and asked them “What’s new?” Well, there’s lots new… enough for a festival presented by 40 arts organizations with 70 events…all new work. The chain reaction we are hoping to start is one in which people tell people that there is something special going on in Westchester. Then, we hope for, plan for, and pray for the explosion of more than 50,000 people attending events from March through July.

Still, there’s another concept of critical mass that drove our thinking…that is, the critical mass of cultural venues visible in places such as NYC’s Museum Mile where there are nine museums within walking distance of each other. We were envious. Our cultural venues in Westchester are so spread out over our vast landscape that it’s hard to believe the critical mass that is actually in our own backyard. So we brought them together in one brochure, one festival, 40 venues and 70 events. It’s called ARTSEE. We hope to SEE you there.

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