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A Look Back at the Arts Scene

Music highlights a busy year.

   The arts scene in Huntington this year was similar in a lot of ways to others years, except that in 2010, we welcomed back a member of one prominent family and said goodbye to another. Here are some of the highlights.

   The big story was music. It was everywhere, at both the and its park, at the , and at the Book Revue and even around town. Yes, we had appearances by actor Danny DeVito (in town with his own premium Limoncello at Bottle and Cases in February) and "90210" and reality TV star Tori Spelling ( to sign copies of her "Unchartered TerriTORI" book in June) but this year music was the star and the story.

    Soundtraks welcomed legendary, award winning singer- songwriter Jimmy Webb who signed copies of his new CD, "Just Across the River" in June. Paying a visit to the this year were rockers Pat Benatar and Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler, folk singers Judy Collins and Peter Yarrow, heavy metal artist Dave Mustaine and pop singer Rick Springfield.

    The Summer Arts Festival brought music to the Chapin Rainbow Stage in Heckscher Park courtesy of rock and blues guitarist G. E. Smith, dancer and performer Dobet Gnahoré (who sang in French and seven African languages), urban folk singer Jen Chapin, the Long Island Philharmonic and jazz musicians the Heath Brothers Quartet. Children's performers Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could were the highlight of the family night performers.

   The big year in music culminated with the third induction ceremony of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Nov.16 at the Inductees included composer, broadcaster, educator and author Oscar Brand, Carole and Paula, hosts of TV"s "The Magic Garden", jazz musicians Teddy Charles, progressive heavy metal band Dream Theater, New York Philharmonic principal clarinet Stanley Drucker, rappers Eric B and Rakim, composer and conductor Morton Gould, photographer Bob Gruen, drummer Roy Haynes, rock musician Al Kooper, agent Steve Martin, gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, disc jockey Dennis McNamara and the Roslyn club My Father's Place, band leader Eddie Palmieri, Velvet Underground rock legend Lou Reed, the Shangri-Las and musician John Zorn.

   Music was featured at the Heckscher Museum in a few ways this year. The "First Friday" series gave us love songs in February, jazz guitarist Tony Romano and flutist Michel Gentile in March, guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima in April, guitarist Steve Adelson in August, Folk Music Society in September, the Sunny Mountain Boys in October, the Willie Steel Band in November and Laura Cheadle in December.

   Some of the museum's exhibits for 2010 included the current ones, Night on the Town (till 1/2/11), A Timeless Legacy and Rock On! Masterworks of Rock Photography (till 1/9/11). The latter brought photographer Bob Gruen and disc jockey Pete Fornatale to the Museum and offered another collaboration with the CAC and film archivist Bill Shelley. Earlier in the year the Museum brought us other exhibits like Couples: The Art of Attraction, Arcadia/Surburbia Architecture on Long Island 1930-2010, the Long Island Biennial and Long Island's Best Young Artist, which was awarded in May to then Huntington High School senior Zach Teplin.

   The museum welcomed Dr. Michael W. Schantz as executive director toward the end of the year, while in July a celebration of its 90th anniversary took place with some members of the Heckscher family in attendance.  One of them, Timothy Heckscher, was elected to the museum's Board of Trustees this year.

   Another group said goodbye to one of theirs. Vic Skolnick, co-founder of the Cinema Arts Centre, died June 9 at the age of 81. Since he and his wife, co-founder Charlotte Sky, brought their vision to life in 1977 when they opened the cinema, the two had provided not only Huntington but all of Long Island a strong, solid venue from everything from independent films to Hollywood classics to seasonal favorites and everything and anything in between. While his vision is continuing with Sky and their son, co-director Dylan Skolnick, it is the support of the cinema's members that keeps the dream for an independent cinema house alive.

   You never know what films will show up at the cinema in any given year, and 2010 was no exception. The films ran the gamut from Charlie Chaplin films and shorts, to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, to the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, to a Valentine's Day screening of "Casablanca," to the 80's classic "The Breakfast Club." The cinema was also one of the only Long Island movie houses to show Jeff Bridges Oscar-winning movie, "Crazy Heart", weeks before he took home the top prize for that role. The cinema also encourages new film makers with their ongoing documentary production workshops.

    Special guests are another hallmark of the cinema, and this year's list included  the Long Island Roller Rebels, Carole and Paula of "The Magic Garden,"  Tony nominated playwright Charles Busch, actors Keir Dullea and Millie Perkins, leg endary talk show host Dick Cavett, and screen legend Leslie Caron. Live music was provided by guitarists Jonathan Bodian, Rene Izquierdo and Elina Chekan, elec tro-acoustic ensemble the Light Riders featuring Premik Russell Tubbs, pianist Evelyn Ulex and doo wop group Lenny Cocco and the Chimes.

   The cinema teamed up with Freeport music archivist Bill Shelley and the Heckscher Museum to play off its rock photography exhibit, Rock On! Shelley's films took us back in time to the music of 1967, also known as "the summer of love" and gave us rare performance movies featuring the Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion, the Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton and Crosby, Stills and Nash.


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