First published by Michael P. McKinney via LOHUD on May 9, 2018
OSSINING – The Bethany Arts Community has launched its first season with an eclectic mix of performances, exhibitions and classes aimed at showing that art, in its various forms, can be created, appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.
For the remainder of the month, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, a presence on New York City and global stages, will be at the center’s Somerstown Road campus.
For a dance project it’s working on, the company will have members of the public who show up Saturday afternoons participate in the project — they don’t need dance experience. There is also a free master class on Saturday mornings where experienced dancers ages 16 to 22 can work with the company.
The center has been up and running since January. The 25-acre property, formerly used by missionaries for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, was acquired in 2015.
“From the beginning, we wanted to provide a space that attracts and nurtures this caliber of international talent, while also making these artists and their work accessible to our regional community,” said David Lyons, founder and executive director.
GRANTS: ArtsAlive announces $63K to 34 arts groups
MEDAL: Bill T. Jones received National Medal of the Arts from President Obama
PURCHASED: Maryknoll site sold to arts organization
On a recent afternoon, as the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company was using one space, 11 girls from an Ossining elementary school were in another space learning flamenco.
“I’m willing to put in 30 years of time, energy and money to have those flamenco dancers who are down there today change the world tomorrow,” Lyons said of the group.
Meanwhile, another area was set up for children participating in the Scribble Art summer program, and in yet another, an exhibition of works from various artists was being prepared for an opening.
The vision for Bethany Arts is a place where people can come to see the world through different perspectives and perceptions and learn “how to pass on the word of art,” said Lyons, who grew up in Croton-on-Hudson and has lived in Dobbs Ferry and Sleepy Hollow.
Plans are to eventually offer studio spaces for artists, given that such space can be difficult to find and expensive in Westchester, said Zak Shusterman, the attorney for Bethany Arts.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Bethany Arts Community.
WHERE: 40 Somerstown Road, Ossining.
COST: Varies. For example, Cumbia for Kids and Spanish Art of Flamenco for Kids is $40 for eight weeks. Scholarships are available. There is no charge for the Saturday afternoon sessions with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and no charge for the Saturday morning master classes. An exhibition of various visual artists, this Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m., is also free to the public.