Artsy Fun at Flat Rock Brook!

Last June 4 and 5, Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in Englewood graciously hosted an Arts for Life weekend. We opened each day with Anne Wennhold leading shamanic drumming, which primed us for classes in art from recycled materials (Herrat Sommerhoff), poetry (Teresa Carson), the craft of acting (Michael Bias), and body movement/dance (Alexandra Stavrou). Recorder player Amy Herbitter, who has taught that instrument for A4L, livened up lunch with a lecture-demo on the history and music of the recorder consort, from sopranino to bass.

September will bring the return of our acting and dance classes plus a hoped-for improv group that will eventually go on the road! For details, please email me at jguttman@me.com and ask to subscribe to my MailChimp email blasts. Don’t worry, we don’t badger you; it’s the best way to get up-to-date Arts for Life information and it comes about 5 times a year.

We have lots of great photos from last June. Here are some – just scroll down.

Hope we see you in the fall!

Jackie G.

Michael introduces acting exercises

It’s such a kick to move!

Getting with the rhythm of the drums

Herrat assists a student

His first art project, ever!

Finished product!

Dancers having a ball

Amy gives recorder demo

Adorable finished product creature

Great Days at Flat Rock

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but Arts for Life NJ has been chugging along. Our biggest challenge continues to be getting the word out, as the local weeklies have not been printing anything I send them – very frustrating!

Now along comes wonderful Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, my neighbor in Englewood, to invite Arts for Life NJ to partner with them for a FREE Arts Sampler Weekend – 2 days of participatory arts activities for older adults in a perfect environment, on June 4th or 5th.

For an overview of the day, please click on GREAT DAY(S) AT FLAT ROCK, just above, near the top of the page. Flat Rock is at 443 Van Nostrand Ave., just off the Jones Rd. exit from Rte. 4.

Details of the day can be found HERE and a registration form HERE. Although there is no cost, space is limited, so please do pre-register. For additional information or to inquire about bringing a group, please call 201-567-1265.

For those who have said they’d love to come to our programs but are still working, here’s your chance to see what Arts for Life NJ is about.

I look forward to meeting you in June. Meanwhile, if you want to receive the most up-to-date email information about our activities (and not overly often), please email me at jguttman@me.com and I’ll add you to that list.

Come be artsy with us!

Jackie

This program is supported in part with funding from the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

ACTING AND DANCE CONTINUE THIS FALL

The Actor’s Craft

Taught by Michael Bias, founder and director of The Garage Theatre Group, the title has been changed to truly reflect what this class is about. While we have plenty of fun and do play some theater games, this is not merely a “fun and games” acting class. Michael teaches the real deal – how actors prepare to go onstage and immerse themselves in a role. Students have noted that this class also gives them greater insights when they watch a play or movie. It’s like a sing-a-long vs. choral singing; both are fun, but the latter is also a significant educational experience.

Weds., Oct. 21– Dec. 2, 11 am-12:30 pm.  Extended to 6 weeks by student request (no class 11/25). Center for Modern Dance Education, 84 Euclid Ave., Hackensack

$15 per class, or $75 for 6 classes.

Michael Bias Michael Bias, founder and Artistic/Producing Director of The Garage Theatre Group, has directed/produced more than 100 plays and musicals including world premieres of Billie, More Than A Soap Opera, and Summer of Love, all of which he co-wrote, as well as this season’s Lost in History. Other directorial credits include Doubt, Runaways, Aida, High School Musical and The Wind in The Willows. Michael has critiqued for the Bergen Teen Festival of the Arts and participates in arts-in-education programs throughout NJ. He also developed a theatre program for adults with Aspergers Syndrome. Michael teaches acting at Fairleigh Dickinson University and also conducts acting classes for youth and adults.

Dance for Health and Happiness

Do you worry about your body image? Wish you moved more gracefully? Is your posture starting to sag? Dancer and choreographer Alexandra Stavrou’s focus on “sustainable fitness” addresses these issues and more in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. Each week’s traditional dance warm-ups lead to a choreographed routine. Warm up your body and warm your heart!

New Time: Thurs., Oct. 22-Nov. 12, 3-4 pm

$15 per class, or $50 for 4 classes.

Alexandra-Evangelia Stavrou, has performed throughout the US, Greece, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea, in venues ranging from Brooklyn Academy of Music and homeless sAlexandra Stavrou leads dance classhelters to remote village clearings. Trained in Modern and World Dance/Music, she was a member of the Haitian Dance Troupe “Shango” and the Balinese-American Dance Theatre. She was in the original cast of Philip Glass’s opera “Einstein on the Beach” and composed dances and music for NYC’s Public Theatre. She has been teaching seniors for over 40 years and teaches movement to youth with special needs.

Center for Modern Dance Education, 84 Euclid Ave., Hackensack

INFO: 201-638-5698 or jguttman@me.com

REGISTRATION FORM: CLICK HERE

Winter Class Wrap-up

Arts for Life NJ is wrapping up our winter acting and dance classes, now called Find Your Inner Actor and Dance for Health and Happiness. January classes were completely unplanned; they came about because our October and November students wanted to continue! I was concerned about January weather and, indeed, two dance classes had to be made up, but our stalwart group of acting students tromped in for a class, post-snow storm. I was persuaded to offer classes in January by those who reminded me that they are a great antidote to winter doldrums – and so they have been, and so I learn.  Now we look ahead to spring, but before that, on March 20, Arts for Life NJ will hold a mini-conference and workshop at Flat Rock Brook, co-sponsored by the Alliance for Arts and Health of NJ and the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. The entire event will be participatory, starting with a drum circle at 9:30am. Watch your email for more info. Meanwhile, stay warm and cozy.

Warm regards,
Jackie

 

Arts for Life Springing Up

Like the proverbial crocus, Arts for Life is inching its way up to the sunlight.  While we have substantive plans for the fall, this spring we are keeping A4L moving through collaborations with the Center for Modern Dance Education in Hackensack, the Garage Theater Group in Teaneck and Senior Source, a “new” kind of senior center located at Riverside Square. Here’s what’s happening:

Dance with Alexandra Stavrou – Fridays, May 2, 9,16, 2 – 3pm+    Center for Modern Dance Education, 84 Euclid Avenue, Hackensack.   A class to warm up the body and warm the heart. Samba, Charleston and Lindy to “Singing in the Rain” and “Zorba the Greek!” Emphasis on breathing, body alignment and posture – crucial for good dancing and good daily living.  Single class $15. Discounts for all 3. 

Acting with Michael Bias – Tuesdays, June 2, 9, 16, 10:30 – noon     Garage Theater Group, 960 River Road, Teaneck (Becton Theater at Fairleigh Dickinson University).   Take your first step onstage or brush up your acting skills. Exercise your creative imagination, warm-up your natural acting ability and let your expressiveness soar! Class is taught on the stage of the theater.  Single class $15. Discounts for all 3.

Acting Sampler with Michael Bias – Tuesday, May 13, 1:30pm    Senior Source at Riverside Square, 2nd floor near Bloomingdales furniture    A taste of acting. One time. No charge.

Questions? Directions? Registration?  Ask Jacqueline Guttman, 201-638-5698; jguttman@me.com

Arts for Life in May and June

Like the proverbial crocus, Arts for Life is inching its way up to the sunlight.  While we have substantive plans for the fall, this spring we are keeping A4L moving through collaborations with the Center for Modern Dance Education in Hackensack, the Garage Theater Group in Teaneck and Senior Source, a “new” kind of senior center located at Riverside Square. Here’s what’s happening:

Dance with Alexandra Stavrou – Fridays, May 2, 9,16, 2 – 3pm+    Center for Modern Dance Education, 84 Euclid Avenue, Hackensack.   A class to warm up the body and warm the heart. Samba, Charleston and Lindy to “Singing in the Rain” and “Zorba the Greek!” Emphasis on breathing, body alignment and posture – crucial for good dancing and good daily living.  Single class $15. Discounts for all 3.   DIRECTIONS?  http://www.cmde.org/directions.html

Acting with Michael Bias – Tuesdays, June 2, 9, 16, 10:30 – noon     Garage Theater Group, 960 River Road, Teaneck (Becton Theater at Fairleigh Dickinson University).   Take your first step onstage or brush up your acting skills. Exercise your creative imagination, warm-up your natural acting ability and let your expressiveness soar! Class is taught on the stage of the theater.  Single class $15. Discounts for all 3.

Acting Sampler with Michael Bias – Tuesday, May 13, 1:30pm    Senior Source at Riverside Square, 2nd floor near Bloomingdales furniture    A taste of acting. One time. No charge.

Questions? Directions? Registration?  Ask Jacqueline Guttman, 201-638-5698; jguttman@me.com

WHITHER ARTS FOR LIFE?

That’s whither, not wither!

Our Arts for Life Expo, held last October 30 through November 26 at BPAC’s Performing Arts School, turned out to be a mini-expo. Enrollment was very small due to an assortment of publicity issues, but those who attended were very enthusiastic and are looking forward to future courses. However, BergenPAC and Arts for Life have had a cordial parting of the ways and we are currently exploring other venues and formats for Arts for Life programs. The Expo was, in fact, an excellent learning experience, trite as that may sound.

I welcome any venue suggestions you may have that are neither senior centers nor faith-based organizations. I want the emphasis to be on ARTS, and to reach out to older adults who may not be affiliated anywhere but who want to learn and play. I’ve already heard from two arts organizations that are interested in brainstorming about collaborative efforts, and I will keep you informed as things develop.

It would be so easy to tell myself that I don’t need this in my retirement, that I should walk away from it and leave it to others, but the excitement I feel from all who learn about Arts for Life sustains my passion. These programs are crucial if we are to remain vital, to refresh our minds and bodies, and to just plain have fun in the later stages of life. There’s plenty of bad stuff out there; we want to celebrate the good stuff!

As I write this, snow and freezing weather are once again predicted. Stay warm and cozy.

Jackie

Arts for Life Series – Part I – with photos

We were small but mighty. Four classes were held, in appliqué, acting, drums and recorder. Quantity was low but quality was way up there, as the comments of the students will attest. From a drummer: “I play piano and would never have thought of taking up drumming if you didn’t offer such an appealing and affordable class in Bergen Pac. I bought a drum, loved the teacher, Kyle, and was inspired to learn more rhythms to the point that I gained enough confidence to play drum or tambourine in a few bands. Thanks  for enriching my life in this way.” An art student wrote, “I loved that teacher today.  She was so supportive and encouraging.  Just lovely.  It was fun, and I am looking forward to the next one.  The women were also very nice.  Glad I am doing this.  Thank you!” A brand new recorder player wrote, “I always marvel at stories of people teaching themselves arts/skills at an early age…And admire elders who can teach themselves to venture into new territory later in life. There is a delight & beauty in both journeys, revealing the special essence of being human.
Thank you for creating an opportunity & path for this journey.”  A former actress who had been hesitant about returning to the field, said that during her first class, she thought, “I’m back!” That’s called rekindling a new passion. These responses tell me we’re onto something special.

Hope to see you next time around.

Jackie

 

Arts for Life Expo Continues!

Samples from “Applique With Paper and Cloth,” taught by Holly Ciccoricco. Tuesdays at 1. Three more sessions happening! Or take Acting on Thursdays, Drumming on Wednesdays and Recorder on Mondays. Join us! We’re having a ball – and you will too.

Holly Ciccoricco's clas, "Applique With Paper and Cloth."

Holly Ciccoricco’s clas, “Applique With Paper and Cloth.”

IMG_2161 IMG_2165

You Meet the Best People at Arts for Life NJ!

You find the most interesting people when you get involved with Arts for Life! For example, let me tell you about The 2 Patricias, whom I’ve never met but really like. Both were very eager to take our poetry class. Unfortunately, we did not have enough people, but in trying to arrange for it, I learned about these two women. They are fascinating! One is a visual artist and the other a journalist. Both were concerned about whether they’d have the time to write poetry because one has an exhibit opening shortly and the other just completed a 50 year retrospective on the JFK assassination. I would never have encountered these women were it not for the Arts for Life Expo.

I love the fact that they were both exploring an area outside of their usual professions, because that’s what Arts for Life is all about. While we could not pull together our poetry classes this time, I hope we will succeed in the spring, if for no other reason then to allow me to meet two special people. Come join us! Let’s find out how special you are too!

It’s not too late to join us in our drum group, recorder group, acting class or appliqué group. Interested? Contact me at 201–638–5698 or, better still, jguttman@me.com.