Coltrane Home Update – Grateful to Hear: This is Getting Real

Dignitaries gathered at the press conference where a $1.75M Suffolk County JumpSMART grant to Friends of the Coltrane Home was announced.

Coltrane Home Reaches Transformational Milestone: Things are Moving!!!

John Coltrane was an extraordinary musician – sometimes compared to the genius of Einstein, other times considered on a plane all his own. He wrote what most consider to be his masterwork, “A Love Supreme” in his Dix Hills home.  Musicians I have encountered since learning more about this local, international, perhaps even cosmic treasure, have gotten me to appreciate his wife, Alice even more deeply.

Transcending music alone, both sought to be forces for good and were deeply, deeply spiritual.

Saving the Dix Hills Home

About 20 years ago, now, a Coltrane fan named Steve Fulgoni realized where the Coltrane house was, just as it was being scheduled for demolition. He partnered with all who were willing – family, fellow musicians, fans, local historians and more – to save it from destruction.

Spared the bulldozer, this group of ardent volunteers realized they now had a much bigger job on their hands. In the decades since they have done tremendous work – both on the home and in building awareness and appreciation of these legends.

You can read about the home, the Coltrane legacy and more on the website dedicated to this project.

A Transformative Milestone

Now, it seems, the project has reached a transformational milestone. It was a delight to hear about a recent $1.75M “JumpSMART” GRANT from Suffolk County. This, together with a $1M grant from the Mellon Foundation and countless other gifts is making the restoration of this National Treasure a reality.

You may find daughter Michelle Coltrane’s heartfelt thanks and see some images of ongoing work in this recent newsletter.

Fulgoni’s speech at the press conference about the recent grant is here:

Press Coverage

I am grateful to a motley crew of dedicated volunteers, including Friends of the Coltrane Home in Dix Hills Board Members and Coltane COLTRANE family members who help each other stay apprised of news coverage. Here’s the latest:

•    You can learn a little bit about other milestones in getting this home formally recognized and revitalized, as well as about the Suffolk County JumpSMART program in the Long Island Times article “Coltrane Home gets $1.75M from Suffolk County”
•    News 12 had a piece on the grant that features video of the interior of the home: “Suffolk County expected to announce over $1.7 million in funding for John and Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills”
•    There’s more detail in this article by John Valenti for Newsday (subscription required – or visit your local library~!), “Jazz legacy: John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills to get $1.75M grant for upgrades”
•   More recently, also in Newsday, Robert Brodsky published this beautiful, in depth article, complete with video of the home: “John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane home on Long Island undergoes renovation in effort to preserve history”
•    This article from Clive Young for Mix Online tells more about the Coltranes and the significance of the home, as well as plans for its future, “John Coltrane House Awarded $1.75M to Renovate Home Studio, More”
•    Here’s a little more about the JumpSMART grant from in Long Island.com: “Suffolk County Executive Bellone To Announce Nearly $2 Million In Jumpsmart Funding To The John & Alice Coltrane Home”
Learn More About the Coltranes
–    Here’s a beautiful, recent article from Jeff MacGregor in The Smithsonian magazine, “How John Coltrane’s ‘My Favorite Things’ Changed American Music”
–    Here’s a 2018 Synchronicity Article entitled, “Notes From Joe” with older clippings collected by Coltrane Volunteer Joe Natter that we published some years ago. Worth a re-read! “Notes from Joe”

Some Good Books

One book on John Coltrane that I think musicians, especially may appreciate is Ascension by Eric Nisenson,

“Nice choice!” said Noah, the salesman in a local bookstore, when I brought it to the counter. He then promptly recommended, . “Coltrane on Coltrane” by Chris DeVito and asked me if I knew that the Coltranes had lived around here.

I went home happily and shared my finds with some Coltrane Board Members.

“Chris DeVito’s book, Coltrane on Coltrane is a text version of every Coltrane interview out there,” said Steve, “There are some online audio versions of those interviews where you can hear John talking and really get a feel for who he is.”

A YouTube search reveals a fascinating set of interviews with and about Coltrane

Another board member offered a few of their favorite biographies: Ashley Kahn’s A Love Supreme and what they felt was the best scholarly biography, Lewis Porter’s John Coltrane: His Life and Music. We learned Lewis also has amazing lectures available online in his Deep Dives.

We also refer you to the Half Hollow Hills Library where Coltrane volunteer Ellen Druda, a wonderful, retired librarian has helped create a ‘Coltrane Computer’ with hundreds of images.

It’s all quite enlightening…Enjoy. <3

Feed the Hungry, Get a Raffle Ticket and up to $20 Off at the Firefly

Island Harvest Logo

Island Harvest Food Drive at the Firefly

The fact is, 1 in 11 children and so many others on Long Island live with food insecurity. Gratefully, our Fireflies are committed to doing what they can to help. Please bring non-perishable food or hygiene items to The Firefly Artists, 90 Main St, Northport, between now and New Year’s Eve.

There are 10 days left in our food drive, which is part of the Island Harvest Turkey & Trimmings Campaign. We’d really love to fill this box we have in the gallery, and hope you will help! It’s easy, especially as we are in one of the best places for last minute gift shopping, and we and at least a few neighbors will be open late to better serve your needs! Cash donations to Island Harvest are also welcome.

In thanks for your donation, you’ll get a raffle ticket to win a matted print or “Red” by Katheryn Laible or “Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn” by Steve Caputo. We’ll also give you $20 off any single purchase over $200.

Thank you for all you do to support our communities!

Left; Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn by Steve Caputo. Right: Red by Katheryn Laible

Catching Up With Jose: “Community” at Spotlight, Environmentally Conscious Public Art

Jose Tutiven and Bri Sanders at the Upsculpt Ribbon Cutting of "Lobster Buoy Boy" in Huntington early this month.

We’ve mentioned Jose Tutiven before. His reputation preceded him by 20 miles as he has earned the appreciation of folks Island-wide. His company, Colored Colors, “empowers unity amongst creatives…fosters long term relationships between the community of creatives and local business…[and]…serves as the platform to instill the mentality of artistry, commerce and community.”

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Arts Matter: LIAA Releases Numbers Detailing $330M Impact on LI

LIAA Board Member Marc Wong, David Okorn and Melissa Greenberger of LICF, and Lauren Wagner of LIAA show off key stats from a recent comprehensive study of the economic impace of Arts and Cultural organizations on LI

Share this with anyone involved in securing investment in the arts. We know the value is clearly deeper than economics. Still, that impact is profound and now we have numbers to clearly illustrate it!

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Shop Local! 2023 Northport Leg Lamp Lighting

How one village gets lit, including a Shopping Guide starring the merchants who light the Northport Leg Lamp!

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NHS Paint & Sip to Focus on The Leg Lamp!

Flyer for Northport Historical Society Paint & Sip Nite: The Leg Lamp

The Northport Historical Society offers fantastic programming, We are EXTRA excited about this event!

Northport Historical Society & The Firefly Artists invite you to take a painting journey of a Holiday Icon! Join us at the Museum as Executive Director (and Firefly!) Caitlyn Shea gives you step-by-step instructions to help you paint The Leg Lamp. Adult beverages will be served while A Christmas Story plays in the background to inspire your creativity. (And rumor has it, a Fra-Gee-Lay delivery will be at the Museum days before it makes it’s official debut!) 
 
What: “Paint & Sip Nite featuring The Northport Leg Lamp!
When: Thursday, November 16th at 6pm.
Limited Space Available! Ages 21+ Only!
Cost: $45 Society Member | $55 Non-Members.
To Register: visit the NHS website

 

We at The Firefly are absolutely delighted to join in this celebration of relatively recent history, and will be clearing our Darcy Arts Center special exhibition space to host a POP-UP SHOW OF WORKS by willing participants, together with on-theme pieces by our Fireflies!  This will be on view the weekend of 11/17-11/19.

Follow The Firefly’s Facebook and Instagram stories for more on what our Fireflies are up to. They light up everywhere!!!

We also love following their Northport Historical Society on Facebook, They do a great job of keeping us up to date with their events, while teaching us something new about our past all the time!

Hope to see you next Thursday!

Sold Out Story Slam Lights Up The Firefly!!!

Pictured, from left to right, Firefly Katie Laible and story slam host Liz Alexander with storytellers Katrina Buyers, Eric Eaton, Annie Mark, Glenn Perreira, Karen Paquet and Eric Alexander. Photo Credit: Joanne Kountarakis, Northport Journal

Pictured, from left to right, Firefly Katie Laible and story slam host Liz Alexander with storytellers Katrina Buyers, Eric Eaton, Annie Mark, Glenn Perreira, Karen Paquet and Eric Alexander. Photo by Joanne Kountarikis, Northport Journal

Story Slam at The Firefly! "I Had a Hunch..."

Inspired by The Moth radio hour, Elizabeth Alexander has been organizing storytelling events in Northport Village and the surrounding area for the past few years. In this, she is creating opportunities for the community to connect and be inspired.
 
Moth-style storytelling is a genre of personal narrative stories about an experience that took place in the storyteller’s life. It was such a pleasure to finally get to host this amazing event at the Firefly. What a way to get to know our neighbors!
 
This one kicked off with a spaghetti dinner and a hunch, rose into the astral plane, and told stories of angels who made themselves known. There was a one-woman motorcycle tour of the country and what happened when she dared to trust a stranger, a story about standing up for who you are, even if reluctantly, and a growing questioning of everything. 
 
We are blessed to have multiple sources of local media that care about and cover our Village. The Northport Journal is particularly focused on appreciating neighbors who go out of their way to make the world a better place for everyone. Last weekend, they quoted reader David Rivera in reporting on the event on social media:
 
“Let’s give three cheers to Elizabeth Alexander! Last night, Liz hosted Northport’s third Moth-like story slam in just over two years. Yet again, she did a tremendous amount of heavy lifting to find a venue, to recruit a half-dozen brave souls willing to tell personal stories, and to market the event so well that Slam 3.0 was a standing-room-only event, with proceeds going to Students for 60,000 and The Firefly Artists on Main Street.
 
Liz is one of many people who make Northport a great place to live. Next time you see her, please tell her so.”
 
She really is. <3
 
Want to be ready for the next one? They’ve announced the next theme, which was chosen by the audience: “Coincidences.”
 
Got a story you’re not quite sure how to tell? You’re not alone! Liz is helping folks find their voices by organizing online workshops with an excellent teacher of this fine craft. Stay tuned for details!
Moth-style details.