Halloween Fundraisers: Don a Costume for a Cause

Local Parents Band Together to Protest New Dog Park Site

Main Street Block Party a Fall Hit

Octagon Field Renamed McManus, Tensions Remain

Islanders Enjoy Fall for the Arts Festival

RIOC and RIRA Meet on Back to Back Evenings Last Week

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Next week launches the final week of the enormously popular Broadway Boot Camps at Main Street Theatre Dance Alliance (MSTDA), and there is still time to register. Broadway Boot Camps are an exciting new intensive workshop experience created by MSTDA assistant director Kimbirdlee and Jonathan Fadner in which children can learn and explore musical theater. This July, Jonathan directed the first boot camp to focus on kids creating an original musical fr...

Fade is what they refuse to do.  Disappearing into the background is not going to happen.  Fighting to ensure their fate does not befall the youth of future generations is what they are doing with all their might. And they are healing through the redemptive power of words. 

FADE is a new play by Coler Hospital-based non-profit Open Doors opening this weekend at Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance's Howe Theatre. Joel Francois and the...

This weekend 48 Roosevelt Island kids in three different casts will take the stage in the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance (MST&DA) children’s musical theater production of Beauty & the Beast Jr.   

With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Beauty & the Beast Jr.  tells the story of an arrogant prince cursed to live as a terrifying beast until he finds his true love. Belle, the quirky, dre...

The month of March has brought yet another exciting and eclectic art exhibit to the RIVAA (Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association) gallery on Main Street. Vernissage XVIII opened on Saturday night, showcasing the work of a broad and diverse range of local artists. The gallery space, chock-full of people as well as art pieces, percolated with energy and the enthusiastic admiration of viewers coming out to support art and artists.

For those who attende...

We have great theater all around us in New York City, and you don’t always need to travel across the river to see it. Oh What A Lovely War is coming to Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance’s (MSTDA) Howe Theater on March 29, and it promises to be a moving and thought provoking night of intense theater. The production evolved out of MSTDA’s adult musical theater class.  Performed by both seasoned actors as well as those newer to the stage, this rivetin...

February 22, 2019

Artists’ and the neighborhoods where their careers took flight can become inextricably linked – Allen Ginsberg and the East Village, Patti Smith and Chelsea, Romare Bearden and Harlem. Here on Roosevelt Island we are witnessing the creative (r)evolution of The Reality Poets, the core members of OPEN DOORS, an organization at Coler Hospital that supports the leadership and creativity of residents who have been harmed by gun violence. Islanders may have...

February 21, 2019

Things are going to start to get colorful around here come June, and it won’t just be the typical color of summer abloom. Roosevelt Island is the new chosen home for Figment, a dynamic arts festival which emerged out of Burning Man, a yearly week long art festival in the Nevada desert that has been rising in popularity since its inception in the 1980’s.

Figment is the brainchild of David Koren, and began 12 years ago on Governor’s Island. Since that ti...

February 11, 2019

The RI Jazz Collaborative Band, featuring Lynn Beville, provided live music at the opening, by Alexandre Tolipan

This year’s annual Black History Month Exhibition, running through March 3, is entitled Cultural Preservation. Curated by Lorraine Williams in partnership with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and RIVAA (Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association), the exhibit showcases a diverse range of African and African-American voices and visio...

January 14, 2019

Three casts comprising a total of 49 children from Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MSTDA) Musical Theater Class will produce the iconic Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast Jr., later this year. If you hear children out and about humming and singing lines from songs like Human Again and Be Our Guest, you’ll know why!

 Kristi Towey (center) is the executive director at MSTDA

But that’s not all to look forward to from longtime Island stalwart MSTDA....

November 3, 2018

When the historic Octagon building, formerly an insane asylum, reopened in 2006 as an apartment building, Victoria Thorson’s sculpture, the Oculus, was there to welcome its first residents. The bronze sculpture remained there on permanent display until September when she was told to come pick it up; the gallery in the lobby, next to the building’s entrance, would soon be closing its doors permanently.

For Thorson, the gallery’s closure represents a dis...

October 6, 2018

Although it is still listed as one of the “amenities” on the Octagon website, the 10-year old art gallery in the historic landmark insane asylum turned luxury apartment building has quietly disappeared. Local artist and Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA) member Laura Hussey believes the loss of the gallery negatively impacts the entire community.

A unique pocket of culture nestled in the architecturally inspired eight-sided residenc...

October 4, 2018

Roosevelt Island's distinguished history in medicine, healthcare, and treatment of communicative diseases, is on display as part of the fascinating exhibit “Germ City” at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY). 

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) contributed historic objects from its collections to this exhibit, including a sign from Goldwater Hospital. Coler Hospital loaned an iron lung, a nearly-obsolete mechanical respirator fitt...

July 28, 2018

Kimbirdlee and Jonathan Fadner of Common Man Musicals (CMM) are bringing a grown-up version of their new production, The Monkey King, back to Roosevelt Island’s Howe Theatre next weekend, August 3-5. The four-performance run will be the show’s last stop before making an appearance at Queens Theater August 12.

There was a buzz going around the community when The Monkey King premiered in May. The talented wife and husband duo developed their original scr...

June 25, 2018

Looking at the women featured in Sara Bennett’s photos, currently printed across stretched canvas on the grassy slope of Four Freedoms Park, it’s easy to imagine them as neighbors, aunts, or friends. They are pictured in their bedrooms, one adorned with photos, one painted purple, and all with the little tchotchkes and comforts that make up a life. The one fact uniting each: time in a maximum security prison for homicide.

“We put people in prison and w...

June 8, 2018

As a featured performer on multiple Grammy- and Latin Grammy-awarded albums, Leonardo Suarez Paz can have his pick of concert venues. The violin virtuoso is a veteran of first-rate stages around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Madison Square Garden. But when the opportunity to play at Roosevelt Island’s Good Shepherd Community Center came, he jumped on it. After all, the Island has been his home for the...

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