Tonight, we’ll be in attendance at ArtsWestchester‘s ArtsBash in White Plains, NY. We can’t wait to celebrate the arts in Westchester County and check out all the great work on display while also tasting food from some of the best restaurants in the area. Before mingling with artists and foodies, we reached out to learn more about the organization behind ArtsBash. Who better to ask about ArtsWestchester than their CEO, Janet Langsam?
FP: Under your direction, ArtsWestchester has grown tremendously over the years making arts more visible throughout Westchester County. What are you most proud of during your tenure?
JL: I’m most proud of expanding funding for the arts in Westchester so that it is more accessible to more residents.
FP: Artists and Westchester residents appreciate all the work you’ve done!
We love the concept of ArtsBash! How did the idea come about?
JL: When we first bought our historic building, we decided to have an open house and invite the community. There was nothing in the building, no tenants. We invited artists to bring their artwork and gave each one a room in which to show their work. More than 150 artists accepted our invitation. We added wine and food and it became ArtsBash.
Now, every room in the nine-floor building is rented by creative arts-related businesses and professional artists, and we’re approaching our 15th Annual ArtsBash. It’s expanded and grown since then, but art has always been at its core-artful food and phenomenal local artists in a unique space.
We’ve also extended the event’s reach to include affordable family fun on the following day, during “Family ArtsBash” – with a wide variety of workshops, activities, treats and prizes for children and their families.
FP : Do you cook at home? If so, what are some of your favorite meals to cook at home for yourself and your family?
JL: I cook simply because I’m always calorie conscious. No more boeuf bourguignon or scallops san Jacques. I cook fish two or three times a week. Love soups: chicken noodle, pea soup, carrot/ginger… and pasta with shrimp and peas. Some Hungarian specialties: noodles and fried cabbage; cauliflower with toasted bread crumbs. Lots of veggies like brussel sprouts with onions, soy and toasted almonds, squash, onions and parmesan. Turkey meatloaf also a favorite in my house.
FP: Sounds like your kitchen is the place to be!
We ask this question to everyone. What are some of your guilty pleasures? We like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name 🙂
JL: Pistachio nuts, potato chips, lemon meringue pie, manchego cheese, nova, chardonnay, whipped cream cheese on raisin toast, strip steak medium rare, lady fingers, guacamole.
FP: We can relate, our list is quite long also!
What kinds of arts events can Westchester County residents look forward to this spring and summer?
JL: Our STEAM exhibition runs throughout the summer, until August 16. It’s an innovative exhibition with an important message: it celebrates both arts and sciences as pathways to creativity and innovation. It’s also engaging – our staircase has been transformed into a musical instrument; guests are encouraged to interact with many of the installations, like a visual projection that warps and adapts as visitors pass and interact with the images. The exhibition is in collaboration with Westchester Community College Center for the Digital Arts, Peekskill Extension and sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Music in the Air is a popular program we offer during the summer months: a guide to the free and affordable (under $20) outdoor concerts throughout Westchester County. From jazz to family fun and rock and roll, our Music in the Air initiative is designed to give residents access to the events that best suit their interests and budgets. Hundreds of these happenings are listed in an events calendar on our website and in our monthlyArtsWNews newspaper.
FP: We can’t wait to see how the building has been transformed. Thank you so much for your time. We look forward to seeing you at ArtsBash tonight!