Published on September 24, 2021 | Staten Island Advance | Written by Carol Ann Benanti
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Association for a Better New York (ABNY) has asked Staten Island’s Sundog Theatre to collaborate on its “Together We Are New York” campaign that celebrates the diversity of being a New Yorker.
Now, Sundog is asking you to help paint it.
ABNY chose one organization in each borough, tasking them to put together a campaign conceived by community leaders and local artists. The project’s principal sponsors are Amazon, Resorts World New York City and RUBENSTEIN.
Each borough came up with ideas on how to best celebrate what it is to be a New Yorker, expressing them through community engagement and public art installations or showcases.
Chosen by Sundog, Staten Island’s community conversations consists of Victoria Colella, arts education manager at Sundog Theatre; Kristine Garlisi, chief of staff, The Nicotra Group and executive director of The Lois & Richard Nicotra Foundation; Beth Gorrie, director of Staten Island OutLOUD; Dennis McKeon, executive director of Where to Turn; David Nudelman, creative director of StereoType Co.; Jeannine Otis, performer, teaching artist, and Sundog board member, and Colleen Siudzak, manager, Visit Staten Island at the borough president’s office.
Adaptability, resiliency, and tenacity rang true with everyone. Equally as important were community, family, and vibrancy of the city through arts and commerce, as well as diversity, hope, and dreams. A focal point will be daffodils, the flower that serve as a memorial to those lost on 9/11.
The project, that will include priming the wall for the mural, kicks off Saturday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m. at Skyline Park, 171 Harvard Ave. in New Brighton.
Refreshments will be served and community members — adults and children — are welcome to participate in the painting. There will be one more community date still to be set where people can help paint.
The finalized, completed mural is scheduled to be celebrated Saturday, Oct. 9, at 1 p.m. when the Staten Island community is again invited to join in.
“Sundog is honored to be working with ABNY and Amazon,” said Susan Fenley, Sundog’s executive director. “Our eclectic focus group brought out important and striking qualities of our New York City community. By helping us express pride in being New Yorkers, this also is the perfect project to help Sundog celebrate its 20th year.”
“Sundog Theatre’s experience and dedication to creating contemporary, original, and thought-provoking art is the essence of this citywide initiative and ABNY is thrilled to work with them as our Staten Island partner for Together We Are New York,” said Melva M. Miller, CEO of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY). “The collaborative nature of their artists’ installation, from community conception through community participation in painting the mural, encapsulates the spirit and civic pride of Staten Island!”
Sundog Theatre is a performing arts organization that provides contemporary and original theater for adults and children, educational touring shows, acting training, and programs that bring teaching artists into schools to support curricula through the arts to help make learning come alive. For further information phone 718 816-5453, visit SundogTheatre.org or email info@SundogTheatre.org.
ABNY is a coalition of corporate, nonprofit, labor, educational, health, cultural, and government leaders focused on exploring and implementing ideas that keep New York City moving forward with more than 250 member organizations.