The arts are taking center stage on Long Island this October in the form of Arts Alive LI – an island-wide, multi-venue arts festival presented by the Long Island Arts Alliance and Bethpage Federal Credit Union.
A press conference was held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in E. Garden City last week to kick off the new event.
Throughout October, both Long Islanders and tourists will be able to experience a variety of great artists and performers, many of whom are native Long Islanders, including Patti LuPone, Jane Monheit, Christian White, Robert Armetta, Frank Winberley, The Emerson String Quartet and Blue Oyster Cult. Arts Alive LI will also feature food and street festivals, professional dance and theater organizations and free family events.
"Arts Alive LI has something for everyone,” said Theresa Statz-Smith, executive director of LIAA. “I truly believe that thousands will discover, as they journey to exhibition spaces, museums, theaters, historic venues, festivals and other gathering places, why Long Island is one of the strongest cultural destinations in the country.”
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was on hand to express his support for the program. “It’s a great way to provide an outlet for the talented crafts people and artists that we have here in Nassau County,” he said. “And although we are neighbors to New York City, which is a Mecca for the arts, here in Nassau County we really are proud of all that we have to offer. And it is Arts Alive Long Island that will certainly make the world know that this is a center of culture and arts.”
In addition to spreading culture throughout Long Island, many are optimistic that Arts Alive LI will also be a boost for the economy. Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association, called the arts “an economic engine for our region” and “a critical part of our economy."
Kirk Kordeleski, president and CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union, said, “Supporting Arts Alive LI makes good business sense.” He added, “The arts industry, in many ways, has an opportunity to lead the way as we go into this new economy and we build jobs and we grow with collaboration ... We think Long Island is at a tipping point and that arts can lead the way to some success. This is the start of something very strong, very successful and very important.”
Jack Bransfield, president of Roslyn Savings Bank and LIAA chairman, called Bethpage Federal Credit Union “the role model for corporate support in our community.” Bransfield also thanked all the other sponsors and supporters that have made Arts Alive LI possible, including the Long Island Community Foundation, WNET and the Long Island Rail Road.
A listing of October events can be found on ArtsAliveLI.org.