Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Urgent Fundraiser for Church Street School for Music and Art at City Winery

The Church Street School for Music and Art, the only not-for-profit school for the arts in Manhattan south of Canal Street, called on TriBeCa celebrities to assist at a fundraiser tonight at City Winery. Sugarland vocalist Jennifer Nettles, Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, actor/author Eric Bogosian, screenwriter/producer Ed Burns, and DJ Spooky’s Antartica Symphony performed at the benefit concert, titled Urgent Fundraiser for Church Street School for Music and Art. Another neighborhood activist, actor Harvey Keitel, currently in Los Angeles, sent a note of encouragement and support, read aloud to the audience by the school's director, Lisa Ecklund-Flores.

Between performances, Ecklund-Flores explained that the school is a victim of the transition between "old TriBeCa" and "new TriBeCa," and is "between a rock and a very hard place" due to escalating rents. The hope for the future is in how the local councilwoman and the community board are working towards acquisition, construction and renovation of a new space for the school. Fundraising now helps to stabilize the school's present programs and assists in creating a foundation for the future building.

Meanwhile, the mission goes on, as it has since 1990. Several of the performers spoke about how they are parents of students at the school. Ecklund-Flores told of a young student who registered for piano lessons but was afraid of the instrument. For a few weeks, teacher and student had their lesson under the piano, tapping its legs with drumsticks, until he was comfortable approaching the keyboard. Today, conductor/pianist Oliver Hagen is a master musician.

For more information about the school or to make a contribution, visit www.churchstreetschool.org.

DJ Spooky's Antartica Symphony
Eric Bogosian
Ed Burns & the Blue Jackets
Jennifer Nettles
Lee Ranaldo