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Lewisboro to Examine Creation of Arts Council

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The Lewisboro Town Board listened to a proposal this week to create an Arts Council and liked the idea enough that it will begin to look into ways  it could be constructed.

Peter Gross, a former town board candidate and a musician, made the proposal at Monday night’s board meeting.

“Other towns throughout the county have them and I think it would work well in Lewisboro,” Gross said. “We have a rich array of artists here and there is an interesting array of venues.”

Gross said the Arts Council would be responsible for helping to coordinate, foster and promote the arts in Lewisboro. It would create a calendar of events that would  promote exhibits and concerts and workshops and would also help to coordinate dates and venues in order to avoid conflicts.

The town board discussed how the council could be constructed and whether it could be modeled after the one in Ridgefield, Conn. The discussion centered on whether it should be an independent agency, government run, or a hybrid.

The board seemed to favor some sort of hybrid, in which it would appoint one or two members, which could allow it to apply for government grants and funding. The town needs to figure out the legal machinations and implications of how that could be accomplished and Gross, along with town officials, will meet with the town’s attorneys to examine those issues.

Supervisor Peter Parsons said that while he like the idea of the town being involved to some degree, he felt it was important the an Arts Council be able to feel free to put on any type of show that it wants without fear of repercussions or possible government restrictions.

“I want this group to be able to put on something edgy without the town having to take a position on it,” he said.

Gross said that some of the ideas he’s envisioned for the council include an open mic night for teens and their bands, mentoring programs for seniors and  youngsters, merchants displaying local art, and pairing graphic artists with writers.

“We have some empty commercial space in town and I thought we could put up some artwork there until they’re occupied,” he added. “The whole idea here [behind an Arts Council] is to put Lewisboro on the map as an art destination and a place that’s happening.”

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