#GivingTuesday: The New Victory Theater
Leading up to #GivingTuesday on November 27, or the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I am highlighting non-profit organizations that are meaningful to me. As a reminder, #GivingTuesday is a day to celebrate giving – a day when families, charities, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more can come together to encourage giving during the holiday season. Appropriately, it’s also after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
From now until November 27, I will now be focusing on NY-based institutions. I hope that you will consider them in your charitable efforts on #GivingTuesday and in other ways as well, by using your time and/or your voice. Thank you.
When I was a young girl, I would see Cora Cahan almost every day. She was the Executive Director of, what was then, The Feld Ballet. She walked the hallways and poked her head into studio classrooms where hundreds of young children from around New York City were given high-quality ballet instruction for free. She was amazing to watch from afar. I knew that she had done some great things and have been lucky enough to watch it unfold before my eyes.
Together with Eliot Feld, she was a driving force behind The New Ballet School (now Ballet Tech), where I was a student. Having worked with the Board of Education, she and Mr. Feld were able to audition public school children– with no previous ballet training– to see if they had potential to become dancers. And, then those same children were excused for part of the regular school day for their ballet training. Cora Cahan was also behind the creation of The Joyce Theatre, which has become a leading dance venue in Manhattan. If you know about dance, you know about The Joyce.
Cora Cahan is a force who makes things happen in my city.
In 1995, she spearheaded the rehabilitation and restoration of The New Victory Theater, New York’s first theater totally devoted to children and families. And, being a frequent visitor to The New Vic, the programming is tremendous. And honestly, this does not come as a surprise to me. Cora Cahan continues to serves in leadership there and, trust me, she knows good art.
The programming is consistently fantastic. It’s entertaining to an adult, just as much as to a young child. Plus, it’s fresh and current and diverse, with lots of international troupes performing. Last year, my son and I saw Chinese acrobats, Brazilian capoeira, and Argentine Tango dancers. Last month, as guests of The New Victory (thank you MamaDrama for arranging) we saw Colombian hip hop dancers/ aerialists. Even though my son and I are personally drawn more to the dance programming, there are plays and musicals as well, all geared for smart family entertainment. I’m already getting prepared to buy some more tickets for upcoming shows. Guess which ones?
Thank you, Cora. I’ve never said it. Together, you and Eliot Feld, changed the course of my life, providing me with opportunities and opening my eyes to an arts world I am still learning to appreciate.