Letter to the Editor: Smart Arts

| by V.Gail Myers |

VALHALLA, NY. On October 22, 2014, at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York, the formation of the SmartArtspreneurs ushered in a new initiative for the  Office of Cultural Affairs.  The group’s goals and successes are driven by the energetic, frontrunner Dr. Paula Rubenstein.  This early stage of forming a cultural arts advisory cohort will dawn new light on how our campus can  become a “creative campus” by engaging students in innovative and unique methods; always challenging in an academic setting.

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Under the auspices of Dr. Paula Rubenstein, Coordinator of Cultural Affairs for over 19 years here at Westchester Community College, a student-driven Cultural Arts Advisory cohort made its debut this past Fall semester, 2014. A primary goal is to educate students and our community members both locally, and in the Tri-State area, emphasizing the importance and many benefits of keeping cultural arts alive in our institutions of learning and communities.  To be considered lifelong, exposure to the cultural arts are an essential part of our human development and education, albeit existence, enriching us both personally and universally.

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Proudly, the SmartArtspreneurs announces the publication of its book this April. 2015, Into the SmartArts, published by Amazon.  It is available for purchase at the WCC bookstore, as well as through Amazon in paperback  and Kindle versions.  Additionally, an audio book version is being readied and scheduled for purchase early Summer, 2015.

Supplementing these various publications the SmartArtpreneurs conducted two (2) book readings on Wednesday, April 29.  The Harold L. Drimmer library, here on campus, and the Mahopac Public Library, Mahopac, NY provided the venues for our student authors to read their works and engage in an interactive question and answer period with audience members. They enjoyed support not only from classmates and faculty but also from a community support group know as Friends of the SmartArtspeneurs.   This Friday, May 8, our final book reading will be held at the Greenburgh Public Library, Elmsford, NY from 3 to 4 PM.  Everyone is welcome and we again extend an open invitation to our academic community as well as our community at large to come, to support and participate in launching our book.  This is historic and setting a new precedent, in that this is the first time that WCC students have published a book that wasn’t specifically an internal campus publication.

Indeed, the SmartArtspeneurs have been very busy and focused on achieving our goals.  However, we have even more to share!  A roundtable discussion focusing on the Creators of Art, the Consumers of Art, and the Commentators of Art has been taped and is being readied for airing early this Summer, 2015 on You-tube and other venues.  Our Webcast is comprised of six distinguished students: Justine Diaz, V.Gail Myers, Jose Ramos, Jessica Saba, Christian Vega, and Adam Virello; two very accomplished alumn: Brian Centrone and Cherise Gordon; and three dedicated, fascinating and extremely accomplished professors: Dr. Dwight Goodyear, Dr. Thomas Halsall, and Dr. Paula Rubenstein.

On Thursday, April 23 our new President, Dr. Belinda Miles graciously accepted a copy of Into the SmartArts that was presented to

her by several of the student authors, Dr. Paula Rubenstein, Coordinator of Cultural Affairs and Mr. David Sklar, Executive Director of FSA.

Act I of SmartArtspenuers will enjoy a short, well deserved intermission and will return in Fall, 2015 to commence with Act II.  We look forward to seeing the faces of those who participated in our well accomplished debut and anticipate the new “cast members” who will carry forward the initial goals and objectives to further cultural heights with their unique perspectives and contributions.

Please take notice of the Discover SmartArts glossy postcards and brochures around campus and on the display stand in the lobby of the Academic Arts Building.  Extraordinary performances from world renowned ballet and dance troupes, orchestras, acting troupes and vocalists will continue to grace the stage here at Westchester Community College; including many other entertainment choices such as the upcoming Ladies of Laughter’s “Funny and Fabulous” tour on Saturday, May 23 at 8 PM in the Academics Arts Theatre. WCC students always have FREE ADMISSION while regular general admission tickets are quite affordable.

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So, if you love the arts and are passionate about keeping cultural arts alive and well, please consider joining and/or supporting the SmartArtspreneurs’ Cultural Arts Advisory Co-hort.  The opportunity exists to earn 1, 2 or 3 credits as an internship study program while learning, broadening your horizons and having fun.  See you at the show!

V.Gail Myers

Cultural Arts Ambassador