North Hempstead, NY
– Over 50 artists, small business owners, and local officials attended the Town of North Hempstead’s free “The Business of Art – Round 2” seminar, held on Friday, October 25th at the Town’s “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury.
The seminar, which was also sponsored by the Town’s Business and Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC), Arts Build New Cassel, Art League of Long Island and the Long Island Development Corporation/Long Island Small Business Assistance Corporation (LIDC/LISBAC), focused on funding sources for artists, nonprofits and entrepreneurs.
“I’ve been doing work in the arts for a long time,” said Vanessa Greene, an organizer of Arts Build New Cassel: A Community Cultural Development Program. “When I first started, there wasn’t any talk of how important the arts are to our lives and to our community. But now, people finally get it. The amazing support we get from the Town of North Hempstead and Councilwoman Russell is what really makes ‘Arts Build’ possible, and allows us to have conversations like these.”
Town Councilwoman Viviana Russell, who moderated the program, has already taken an integral role in bringing the arts to New Cassel, such as the recent implementation of “Arts Build” which includes life-like sculptures placed throughout downtown New Cassel.
“By being here today, you are all taking a step towards further implementing art into your existing business structure,” Councilwoman Russell said. “By hearing from experts in the arts field you will learn about the importance of art and how it attracts people, brings them together, and boosts the economy.”
Other speakers at the event included: Lisa Robb, Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Peter Cobb, Program Officer, The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and Roz Goldmacher, President/CEO, LIDC.
“This is incredibly exciting! To see business and art come together and contribute to our economy like this is so creative,” said Charlee Miller, Executive Director of the Art League of Long Island, which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to broad-based visual arts education. “Business and art is a good marriage, and now more than ever, we need to be thinking about how to bring this partnership to the next level. We’re just starting to realize how many ways this can benefit us.”
After the featured guests made their presentations, there was a question and answer session followed by a meet and greet and an art exhibition. The exhibition featured the work of Robert Carter, Emmett Wigglesworth and Mario Tucci. Pieces from these artists will remain on display at the Community Center.
“Art is alive and well in North Hempstead,” said Roy Smitheimer, Executive Director of the Town’s BTDC. “We’re currently hosting the Gold Coast Film Festival, the former Westbury Theater just underwent a $10 million renovation and reopened as a beautiful concert hall called ‘The Space’. We have something really special here in the Town and we want to develop it so that it can be the economic driver for all of our vibrant downtowns.”
Town Clerk Leslie Gross also attended the event.
Peter Cobb, Lisa Robb, Roz Goldmacher, Roy Smitheimer, Oil Painter Donna Moraff, Councilwoman Viviana Russell, Town Clerk Leslie Gross, and “Yes We Can” Community Center Director April Brown-Lake.
The Art Exhibit at the North Hempstead “Yes We Can” Community Center.