BeaconArts member meetings are super welcoming and easygoing, yet are packed with information about what is going on around Beacon, NY. The meetings are fueled by each member's excitement about what he or she is contributing to the community at large through individual creative projects. This beat runs through every meeting, but January's is exceptional. Members recall what the organization and its fiscally sponsored projects accomplished over the past year, then an election for board members (or re-election, for some) is held.
Elevating the start of this month's member meeting was a performance of the song "Freedom and Truth," composed by Debra Kaye with words by the late Margaret Fuller. Fuller was a visionary women's rights and social activist, a transcendentalist poet, and an intellectual scholar and writer who used the power of her pen to advocate for women’s equality, abolition of slavery, prison reform, democracy, and human rights.
The song's performance honored one of BeaconArts' 2016 accomplishments: aiding in the installation of a Margaret Fuller Marker at the Beacon Visitor Center, commemorating Fuller's historic visit to then-Fishkill Landing in Fall 1844. Fuller lived in this area for seven weeks while writing America’s first feminist work, Woman in the Nineteenth Century. The book's publication profoundly impacted the women’s rights movement, inspiring the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. BeaconArts commissioned this song for the Margaret Fuller Historical Marker Dedication on May 21, 2016. The trio of performers - Debra Kaye, Kelly Ellenwood, and Kathleen Bosman - reunited to perform it live at the beginning of January's meeting.
New BeaconArts Board Members and Positions
Longtime Board of Directors President Dan Rigney ended his term of eight years at the helm of BeaconArts, leading it through an invigorating time for Beacon and growth for BeaconArts. Citing his background and involvement in artistic movements in other states, Dan may or may not have gotten choked up during his final speech as president, but promised to stay on as an active strategic planner with the group.
New to the helm, but no stranger to the daily workings of BeaconArts, is Kelly Ellenwood (professional opera singer and now teacher). She has long been an active promoter of members and BeaconArts fiscal sponsorship projects, and as a citizen, she is deeply rooted in several volunteer organizations in the area, including Beacon Art and Education Foundation.
Re-elected to her role as a Member at Large is Sommer Hixson, a PR professional and the Director of Communications for Glynwood. New Members at Large include the artist Rick Rogers, who almost always has an open studio in his gallery overlooking Fishkill Creek near Dogwood. Terry Nelson, founder of the Beacon Independent Film Festival and new Head of Day-To-Day Operations at The Ground Radio, is also a new Member At Large.
If you're not a member yet of BeaconArts, you can join right here, and it's really easy.
BeaconArts Annual Member Meeting Held At The Beacon Music Factory
The Beacon Music Factory may best be known by some as the home of Rock Band Boot Camps, where adults and kids immerse themselves in the study of covering of bands they love - costumes and all. The newest location for The Beacon Music Factory is on Rt. 52 and recently re-opened. The new space was renovated to accommodate the steady flow of aspiring musicians of all ages who come in for private and group lessons, band rehearsals, and sometimes occasional related gatherings, like a BeaconArts meeting.