Heard Around the W@tercooler

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by Maria Ann Roglieri – 

Local Arts Groups Awarded Grants

WatercoolerThe Arts$WChallenge, a public/private matching grant program administered by ArtsWestchester, has raised $526,158 in private support for arts and culture. Matching county funds of $200,000 increased the total to $726,158. This money was awarded to 45 arts organizations in Westchester. Local recipients include: Irvington Clocktower Players ($2,410); Friends of Music Concerts ($1,350); Historic Hudson Valley ($5,000); Hudson Valley Writers Center ($5,000); Jazz Forum Arts ($5,000); Lyndhurst, A National Trust Historic Site ($5,000); RiverArts ($2,012); and The Tarrytown Music Hall ($5,000).

County Executive George Latimer remarked, “The Art$WChallenge program administered by ArtsWestchester is a powerful example of a forward-thinking public/private partnership that pays dividends for the economy. Since the inception of the Art$WChallenge in 2007, a total of $5,467,804 in private and public monies have been raised and invested in Westchester County’s cultural industry. This investment makes good sense when you consider that on an annual basis, arts and culture add $172.3 million in total economic activity to Westchester.”

Grammy for Local Musician

Jazz bassist and composer John Patitucci, who is a longtime resident of Hastings, won his fourth Grammy Award (this one with the Wayne Shorter Quartet — which won Best Jazz Instrumental Album).

New Rivertown Women’s Networking Program

The inaugural Rivertown Women’s Networking program was held January 29 at the Shames JCC with more than 25 women in attendance. This initiative aims to engage women from diverse backgrounds to facilitate connections and empower professional development. Attendees to the event included women from throughout the rivertowns, full-time and part-time professionals, entrepreneurs and community organizers. The next general session is scheduled for March 26 at the Shames JCC.

Irvington Grad Finalist in 2018 Global Citizen of the World Competition

Phoebe Forlenza

Kudos to Phoebe Forlenza, Irvington High School 2015 graduate, and currently a senior at Barnard College, for her nomination as a finalist in the 2018 Global Citizen of the World competition under the auspices of the International Education of Students (IES). The Global Citizen of the Year awards recognize IES Abroad students who made significant impact through philanthropic, academic, or personal efforts during their study abroad experience, and who also plan to continue their work after their time abroad. Forlenza was cited for her work in Milan, Italy, where she worked with Comune di Milano’s Center of World Cultures to help navigate legal and ethical issues surrounding immigration in a foreign bureaucracy. “She created lasting change in the lives of refugees, migrants, and immigrants who benefitted from her Italian translation skills and dedicated personalized support,” according to the IES. Forlenza’s mother is Jaffray Park resident Petra Kandus, who is involved in a range of civic and environmental activities in Irvington.

Shames JCC Celebrates 90th Anniversary with a Roaring 20’s Gala

The JCC was founded in 1927 and was originally housed in Yonkers, then in Dobbs Ferry, then in Ardsley, and is finally now housed in Tarrytown. To commemorate 90 years of serving the community, the Shames JCC will hold 90 days of celebration, beginning with its Anniversary Gala on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. The event, with a Roaring 20’s theme, will honor five individuals who were instrumental in each phase of the JCC’s growth: Beth and Jamie Geiger (past board chair) of Tarrytown who represent  four generations of JCC members; Irvington resident Nancy Lonky, a past board chair and also treasurer who was instrumental in growing the agency when it functioned without a centralized home; Susan Tolchin, a White Plains resident and the first board co-chair of the Tarrytown era, for guiding and supporting the JCC’s development through the Tarrytown years; and Irvington resident and board member Allen Halpern for his outstanding expertise and key support of the new building. For more information and to buy tickets go to www.shamesjcc.org/gala. The next scheduled celebratory events will be a party at the JCC with drinks and dancing and food trucks on May 11, and a Community Fun Day on June 16 (Father’s Day).

Tarrytown Executive to Be Honored at “Yes She Can” March Breakfast

Yes She Can, a Westchester-based nonprofit organization that helps teens and young women with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related disabilities develop transferable job and life skills and find employment, will honor three individuals who advocate for adults with autism at a breakfast on Friday, March 29, at the Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook at 8 a.m. The honorees are: Patricia Rowan, LMSW, a Westchester clinical social worker who is a program advisor and job coach; Paul Morris, an autistic individual with a career and living independently in White Plains, who serves as a model advocate for people with autism spectrum disorders; and  Joy Soodik, Senior Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer, Clarfeld Financial Advisors, who is committed to hiring people with autism to perform mission-critical work at the Tarrytown firm. Founded in 2013, Yes She Can has thus far helped 38 young women and found most of them employment in a variety of businesses in Westchester and Fairfield counties, and in New York City. For more information about the Awards Breakfast to support Yes She Can’s continuing work, go to YesSheCanInc.org/AAAA19.

New Preserve Manager for Rockefeller State Park Preserve

The Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve have hired Peter Iskenderian as the new Preserve Manager for the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. The New York State Historic Review Board recently voted unanimously to designate the Preserve and its 65-mile carriage road network for inclusion on the State Register of Historic Places.  The Rockefeller Preserve includes more than 2,000+ acres, 65 miles of carriage roads, and the 22-acre Swan Lake, and hosts more than 400,000 annual visitors from around the world. For more information visit www.friendsrock.org.

Please send your noteworthy news to mroglier@yahoo.com. Thank you.

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