Letters: Arts Access Update

For Arts Council, An Events Medley

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This article was prepared for the November 20, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

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Letters: Arts Access Update

I read your article "From an Artist, `Flying Colors"’

in the October 16 issue of U.S. 1 with a great deal of interest. Since

the Matheny School and Hospital is mentioned in the article, I wanted

to share our perspective with you.

Matheny is a unique facility in Peapack for children and adults with

developmental disabilities. In 1992 Robert Schonhorn, president, and

Dr. Gabor Barabas, medical director, conceptualized and created a

program called Arts Access. The program’s objective was to make it

possible for disabled students to express themselves in art, assisted

by professional artists.

In the book, Flying Colors by Tim Lefens, Mr. Lefens alludes to Arts

Access but never mentions it by name. Mr. Lefens was an instructor

in the Arts Access program, and he made innovative and important contributions

to the painting class. Mr. Lefens left Matheny in 1999, but the Arts

Access program flourishes today in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center,

which includes a theater, studio and gallery. Many of the artists

mentioned in Flying Colors are still residents of Matheny. They continue

to create great art, facilitated by professional staff and volunteer

artists. They enjoy freedom and creative self-expression in a warm,

caring atmosphere designed to help them improve their quality of life.

Sanford Josephson

Director of Public Relations, Matheny School and Hospital

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For Arts Council, An Events Medley

Fall is always an eventful time at the Arts Council

of Princeton, and this fall was livelier than ever. Within only six

days, we offered to our community at no charge three rousing events.

As always, the Arts Council is indebted to the numerous individuals

who enhanced these programs in invaluable ways.

On Sunday evening, October 27, the Arts Council hosted a Korean cultural

festival in conjunction with "Princeton Reads," the community-wide

reading and book discussion program coordinated by Princeton Public

Library. This year’s selected book was Chang-rae Lee’s "Native

Speaker," and the festival was intended to foster participants’

connection to the book and enrich their understanding of Korean traditions.

Over 150 people attended this free community festival, and we are

delighted to publicly express our gratitude to those who contributed

to its remarkable success. We thank Princeton resident Julie Kim and

members of the Princeton Korean Church for decorating the Loft Studio

with gorgeous Korean artifacts; Nassau Bagel and Sushi at 179 Nassau

Street and the Princeton Korean Church for their donations of bountiful

and delicious Korean refreshments; the Princeton Korean Dance Troupe,

under the direction of Kiran Paek, for performing a variety of traditional

dances in breathtakingly beautiful costumes; students of Westminster

Choir College for performing Korean folksongs and contemporary piano

pieces; and Barnes and Noble and Micawber Books for offering gift

certificates to those who wrote essays reflecting their feelings about

the book.

On the following Wednesday, October 30, the Arts Council of Princeton

hosted its annual Hometown Halloween Parade. Despite the soggy weather,

150 spirited adults and children turned out in costume (and rain slickers)

to parade through the streets of Princeton in celebration of Halloween.

The Arts Council would like to extend its gratitude to Palmer Square

Management and to Lynn Howard and the staff at the Nassau Inn for

thoughtfully offering refreshments to the parade-goers at the end

of their journey. Also, a special thank you to Mayor Marchand and

Mayor Reed; the Princeton University Marching Band, who played in

the rain right through to the very end, and whose cheerful music warmed

us all; Susan Data-Sumack and her horse Mac, who convinced us that

the Headless Horseman had come to Princeton; Quillen Rosen and her

dedicated volunteers from Princeton High School; Mercer Engine No.

3; and the Princeton Borough Police for their help in leading the

parade.

Two days later, on Friday, November 1, the Arts Council hosted its

third annual "El Dia de los Muertos" ("Day of the Dead")

celebration. As thrilling as it is to actually host the event is the

opportunity to collaborate with so many gifted local artists, institutions,

and businesses who contribute in countless ways. We want to thank

particularly Princeton University’s Latin American Studies Program

for its substantial financial support; Chevy’s Fresh Mex Restaurant,

the Whole Earth Center, Wild Oats Market, and McCaffrey’s for contributions

of fine Mexican cuisine; artists Heather Barros, Heladia Cruz, Kate

Germond, Jeffrey Henkel, Deborah Land, Arlene Milgram, and Libby Ramage

for creating the glorious altars in our gallery; John Burkhalter and

Rocio Sanchez for telling stories and playing pre-Columbian musical

instruments; Eduardo Fernandez and his Spanish students from Montgomery

High School; and Quillen Rosen and her eager volunteers from Princeton

High.

Finally, we cannot forget to thank the community for its interest

in and support of these three events and the multitude of Arts Council

programs held throughout the year.

Janet Stern

Program Director, Arts Council of Princeton


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