As a child playing piano in recitals and competitions each year, I dreamt of being a classical pianist a la Van Cliburn.  I even auditioned for the “Ted Mack Amateur Hour” with my duet partner playing the theme from “Exodus”.  When I was in my late teens and still fancied fame, Dad broke the news to me that there is so much talent “out there” and if I wanted to further my music career I should teach so I could “make a living”.  Well, that didn’t happen!  I always loved to sketch wherever I roamed and then started painting with water colors.  Didn’t become famous doing that either!  I love music and appreciate art in so many forms.  Luckily, New York City and specifically, Staten Island is the perfect place to experience art, music, theater, dance, the written word, the spoken word and more.  If you, my gentle readers, were not aware of that fact, read my blog each week, treat yourself and expose your children to ART and CULTURE!  Last Wednesday, Staten Island Arts welcomed Staten Island Borough President James Oddo and Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, (the largest municipal funder of culture in the U.S.), to the Culture Lounge located inside the St. George Ferry Terminal.  I invited you, my readers, to attend this informal gathering with Mr. Oddo and the Island’s arts community with a goal to creating a Cultural Plan for Staten Island and discover how we can all work together to support the arts. Below are some of the attendees and a peek of the "Freshkills - Landscape in Motion Exhibit".







The photography exhibit Freshkills - Landscape in Motion, illustrating Freshkills’ transformation from landfill to park, can be viewed at the Culture Lounge (St. George Ferry Terminal). Programs will include a virtual reality workshop to explore parks of the future with Iris VR, discussions about landscape photography and photojournalism and a conversation between Freshkills Parks’ Manager for Programs, Arts and Grants Mariel Villeré and Department of Sanitation artist-in-residence Mierle Laderman Ukeles.  For program dates/times, visit

Participate in a Bird and Nature Walk on Wednesday, 10/26 at 10 at the Mt. Loretto Unique Area, 6450 Hylan Blvd. The fields, wetlands and thickets of Mt. Loretto provide the perfect habitat for migrating sparrows and other songbirds, which will be the focus of this bird walk. Meet in the DEC parking lot at Kenny Rd. & Hylan Blvd. Call 718-727-1135 for details or visit

Attend “10 Steps to Starting Your Own Business” on Wednesday at 4 at the St. George Library, 5 Central Ave. This course provides a basic overview of the steps needed to take to start a business and how NYC Business Solutions can guide you through each step along the way.  Registration is required by calling 718-285-8400 or email  For details, call 718-442-8560 or visit 

Bring your children to the Tottenville Library, 7430 Amboy Rd. on Wednesday at 4 for Just Treats, No Tricks! Halloween Party for Kids for Halloween story-telling, games and fun.  Wear costumes!  All are welcome. Call 718-984-0945 for details.

Check out Antonio's Acoustic Showcase on Wednesday at 8 at Mother Pug's, 1371 Forest Ave. The Acoustic Wednesday series features talented acoustic musicians from Staten Island, the surrounding NYC area, and tri-state area. This month's artists are:
Vincent Vok
Stephanie V.
The Rabid Weasels
Universe Ignore Her
Antonio Mancilla
An open mic will start shortly after the end of the Showcase. This show is FREE, but tips for the featured artists are encouraged. For info, call 718-442-9831. 

The Mother/Daughter Art Exhibit is now at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, 420 Tompkins Ave. Mary Mondello will show her pastels and Mary Rose will show her abstracts.  For admission and exhibit times, call 718-442-1608 or visit

If you are an Educator and/or Administrator, you can participate in the Annual Educator Open House for FREE on Thursday, 10/27 at 4:30, at the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor, 1000 Richmond Terr., Bldg. A. Meet with Staten Island Museum education staff, mingle with colleagues, view the latest exhibitions and learn about upcoming programs available for students and teachers. Educators who attend the reception will receive a 10% discount for one school program if they book during the event. Register online or contact the Museum's education department. For more information contact Lorretta Lonecke at   

Bro Nite - Free Yoga Class for MEN takes place on Thursday at 7:15 at 5 Boro Power Yoga, 176 Rose Ave.   Men are FREE for this new monthly practice -- Bring or send the man in your life with some of his friends for a 60-minute practice to move, sweat and breathe.  Open to all - especially beginners.  For info, call 718-667-5279. 

Attend a Lecture Series - The Evolution of Sound Signals presented by Arnold Konheim, on Friday, 10/28 at 6 at The National Lighthouse Museum, 200 Promenade at Lighthouse Point (behind St. George Post Office).  Admission is $10; Museum members are Free.  For info, call 718-390-0040.

On Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 at 7, the Fright Night Festival at St. Andrews Church, 40 Old Mill Rd. is a must! The 300-plus year old church, located in Richmondtown at the base of “Snake Hill”, is transformed into a scary good time.  Tickets are available at the church office at 40 Old Mill Rd. or can be obtained at the door. For ticket info, contact the office at 718-351-0900 or email:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will be presented on Friday and Sat. at 8 by Sea View Playwright's Theatre at 460 Brielle Ave. For ticket info and reservations, call 917-817-1067.

Join your friends at the annual Egyptian Festival on Saturday 10/29 from noon to 8 at the recently purchased Coptic Orthodox Diocesan Center, 500 Todt Hill Rd. There will be Shish Kebab and kofta as well as other Egyptian and Mediterranean food--gyros, stuffed grape leaves, baklava and a host of delicious deserts available.  Egyptian souvenirs, Christian books, jewelry and perfect unique Christmas gifts can be purchased. Children will enjoy rides and games, pumpkin curving, face painting, arts, crafts and much more. You will experience for the first time in Staten Island the pharaonic village tour, the mystery of the pyramids and the resurrection of the Pharaohs.  I attend this festival each year, and it never disappoints. Don't miss it at their new venue!

Attend the Halloween and Autumn Art Show on Saturday at 3 at Liberty Tavern, 382 Forest Ave. The event will feature local artists from Staten Island who will display their original canvassed art on the walls of Liberty Tavern. An acoustic band will entertain. Also the mural in the backyard, dedicated to West Brighton and the many landmarks and staples of Staten Island's amazing North Shore, will be unveiled.  There will be pumpkins and art supplies for children in the backyard available for painting and decorating. Call 718-442-8121 for further details.

From a Horse's Mouth takes place on Saturday at 6 at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, 1000 Richmond Terr. This celebratory dance/theater production, featuring 25 distinguished performers from our community, has received standing ovations for its captivating story-telling and exceptional dancing, with rave reviews from critics around the United States.  For ticket and reservation information call 718-425-3504 or visit

The Halloween Cemetery Flashlight Tour takes place Saturday at 7 at the Lake Cemetery, 36 Willowbrook Rd. Established in the early 1830s, Lake Cemetery tells the tale of early Staten Island and its people! Bring a flashlight, wear a warm jacket and explore this hidden gem. After the tour, visitors are welcome to explore on their own.  Price is $20; students $10.  For details, call 917-545-3309.

A Candelight Vigil for Sandy Victims will be held on Saturday at 8 at the Sgt. Michael Ollis VFW Post 9587, 575 Mill Rd. 

View the "Creatures Great and Small" Photography Exhibit on Saturday or Sunday 1-5 at the CPG Gallery (Creative Photographers' Guild), 814 Richmond Terr. Featured photographer is Joyce Coletti.  Exhibiting Photographers: Willie Chu, Bruce Cohn, Joyce Coletti, Connie J. Frisch-Cherniak, Robin George, Robert Haber, Marilyn Kiss, Jeff Mason, Gail Middleton, Paul Nueckel, George Roos, Virginia Ross, Doug Schwab, Joan Velazquez, Fritz (Steven) Weiss and Richard Xuerub.  For info, visit

Frighthouse 2016 takes place on Sunday, 10/30 at 2 at The National Lighthouse Museum, 200 Promenade at Lighthouse Point (behind St. George Post Office). Admission is $5 for Adults, children under 5 Free, $10 for a family.  Events are as follows:

Family Scavenger Hunt and Model Trains - 2-4
Meet Gladys - 2:15
Scary Stories with Jessical Kratz, author of "The Lucky Lighthouse" - 2:30
Costume Contest - 3:15.

Light refreshments will be served.  For details, call 718-390-0040 or visit

Borough President James Oddo will host “Halloween Hoopla”, a FREE Halloween event for children and their families on Monday, 10/31 from 2-5 at Bloomingdale Park. The event will feature a hay maze, pony rides, inflatable attractions, photo spots, a costume parade and trick-or-treating as well as music and spooky story-telling. 

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month! If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault and could benefit from a strong support network, please contact Lauren at 347-607-8965 or email at for more location and times of this Staten Island based meeting. 

If you see something, say something!  This is real and frightening, folks!  Reach out and ask that friend or acquaintance if she or he is OK.  You may be able to open the door for them, to offer help which many do not or cannot ask for.

The Open Arms Center for Hope, an affiliate of Mt. Sinai Center for Community Enrichment, Inc. will present the 8th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk on Saturday, 10/29 at 11.  A Forum will follow with light refreshments at 382 Jersey St.  For information, contact Neil Berry at 347-671-5323. 

The Second Annual Heart Fundraiser in memory of Robert Cognetta presents a 1920’s Themed Murder Mystery Dinner on Thursday, 11/3 from 6-10 at the Vanderbilt at South Beach, 300 Fr. Capodanno Blvd. featuring an interactive live murder mystery show, hor d’oeurves, 4-course sit down dinner, dessert, raffles, Red Carpet photos and more.  For info on tickets and reservations or to make a donation, call Ronette at 347-996-9883 or

If you want to share photos from the weekend events you participated in, please let me know.  If your organization would like to promote their event or if you have events specifically for children to participate in, or volunteer opportunities, please do not hesitate to call me at 646-258-9696, leave a comment below or e-mail me at

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