The Clarkstown Arts Foundation, which got its start in November 2011, plans to hold the first “Clarkstown Arts Day” on Feb. 9, 2013. The foundation, which recently announced its president, vice president and a partial board of directors, is looking for more volunteers with an interest in voice, music, visual or performing arts to join as trustees. The foundation is meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. in the Clarkstown School District’s Chestnut Grove Administration building.
The Foundation’s goal is twofold according to its President Robert L. Pitkofsky. He said the purpose of the Arts Day is to showcase the arts programs in Clarkstown Schools and students' talents in music, acting, art and other areas. He hopes by bringing attention to the programs, they will be able to raise funds to support them at a time when school budgets are being reduced.
"There are a lot of educational benefits to the arts," said Pitkofsky, adding and he wants to make Clarkstown residents more aware of that. "It's an important part of our kids' education. It's often overlooked."
The event may also introduce students to different types of art that may interest them.
“We want to expose all the kids to the arts,” said Foundation Vice President Robert Carlucci.
In addition to planning the event and establishing its leadership, the Foundation selected a logo. The design of Clarkstown North High School ninth grader Heather Cazes won the foundation’s logo contest. Her creation was chosen from the more than 100 entries submitted by students. Cazes, who is also a singer and musician, will receive a $100 gift certificate.
The Foundation’s inaugural Board of Directors is charged with becoming strong advocates for the arts, music and dramatic arts in the Clarkstown school community.
Pitkofsky, an attorney in New City, was recently named as one of Rockland Economic Development Corporation’s “40 Under 40,” and serves on several not-for-profit boards throughout Rockland County. Carlucci is the principal of Robert Alan Agency, an insurance broker. He is a member of the Clarkstown Central School District Board of Education and founding member of the Clarkstown Central Athletic Foundation.
Amy Alinkofsky, Rockland Center for the Arts camp director and program coordinator, was selected as a trustee. She was also chosen as one of Rockland Economic Development Corporation’s “40 Under 40.” Joining Alinkofsky on the board is Cathy Malgieri, a Clarkstown teacher for 20 years. She currently teaches at Bardonia Elementary and serves as co-chairperson of Special Education Committee. She founded a non-profit animal rescue and teaches piano.
Laurie McDermott and Jim Russell were also named as trustees. McDermott’s background includes directing the Helen Hayes Youth Theatre and teaching acting. Russell teaches social studies at Clarkstown South High School and currently sits on numerous non-profits in Rockland.
Carlucci said they are looking for a total of seven to nine to trustees, particularly someone who can act as the organization's treasurer. Once that person is in place, the Foundation will apply for non profit status.
Clarkstown Arts Day is described as a district-wide celebration of arts in the public schools.
“We are planning to invite live music groups from across our district to perform, as well as provide participants with a take home art workshop, writer’s workshop and much more,” said Robert Kurkela, Foundation spokesperson. “We are committed to keeping the event affordable to encourage the greatest amount of participation by the general public.”
Carlucci said they are seeking volunteers to run a 40 to 45 minute activity in one of the art disciplines on Clarkstown Arts Day. Pitofsky said they hope to tap into local expertise.
Carlucci said the foundation will start fundraising but has not launched that effort yet. Anyone seeking more information, can contact Kurkela at firstname.lastname@example.org.