Grand Openings! Congrats to all Involved with the Cinema Arts Centre and the Half Hollow Hills Community Library!

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Grand Openings of Wonderful Things! Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Congratulations to Dylan Skolnick, Charlotte, Skye, the full CAC Membership and the entire film-loving community on the grand reopening of the Cinema Arts Centre! It all began back in the early 1970’s with two movie buffs, some friends, a sheet and a reel-to-reel projector. Now, a full generation or so later, there are 10,000 members and approximately 150,000 attendees per year at this very special theater.
The CAC offers “compelling American and international films, restored classics as well as entertaining popular films, adventurous and cutting edge films and a remarkable array of monthly film series, often coordinated with music, art exhibits and more. Educational programming includes workshops in screen-writing and filmmaking.”
There’s really nothing else like it. We are so glad to see it’s doors reopened! Read about the theater and its renovation in Huntington Now, TBR News Media. Newsday (subscription required), and LI Business News (subscription required)
 
Congratulations dear friend, Helen Crosson, Board and Staff, and everyone involved in the Half Hollow Hills community on the grand opening of your new library! The brand-new, forward-looking, $24.7M Half Hollow Hills Community Library is located at 55 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway in Dix Hills. Here’s a sampling of press regarding the achievement, including the Half Hollow Hills Community Library’s own updates over the years. This is the SECOND library Helen has had a major hand in spearheading. Here is a past article about Helen, written back when this whole latest chapter started. You may also be interested in our tribute to America’s Public Libraries and great philanthropy in general, which also includes a little bit about Helen!

Girls Inc. of Long Island: Strong. Smart. Bold.

Kaylin St. Victor, "Girl of the Year" with Girls Inc Executive Director Renee Flagler

It was a privilege to witness Girl’s Inc of Long Island produce their Annual Gala. As an organizational wonk and a human being, I instantly fell in love with these strong, smart, empowering women, the folks they draw into their fold, and their skilled passion for the girls it is their job to nurture.

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Spencer’s Picks: Overcoming Pandemic Fatigue; Art, Science & Suggested Solutions; The Happiness of a Dog

Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy

Photo of Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. Photo by Katheryn Laible

 

As usual, when he’s not scrying into the mysteries of metals at the atomic level, or pondering puzzles of more efficient means of tapping energy, Dr. Thomas is bringing some light into our life. Here are a few of the things he’s brought to our attention:

Now that we’re about a month into the college semester with social distancing and remote learning, a lot of people I know are feeling a bit of a drag. You are not alone: Lonliness at Pandemic U: 14 tips for college students and their parents

Along similar themes, but more for everyone:: Your Surge Capacity is Depleted. This is Why You Feel Awful (and a couple good things you can do about it)

One thing that’s helpful is — to help! Here is a heartwarming and inspiring story from one of my very favorite professors from back in my undergrad time at Stony Brook. Bente Videbaek is an amazing person who has been working hard to make sure people have masks Facebook Page: “Humans of Mather Hospital”

When you feel a bit grounded and ready to stare some of the bigger challenges facing humanity in the face: Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. One of the speakers, Dr. Rose Mutiso, is a friend of mine – we were graduate students together. She’s the incredible CEO of the Mawazo Institute, which supports women scientists and leaders throughout East Africa. She has also spoken at TED and written in Scientific American about the challenges that people in Africa face building digital and clean-energy infrastructure.

One for the Coltrane fans out there: The most feared song in jazz, explained. It’s not too hard for a layman to follow this breakdown of “Giant Steps,” even as it’s still among the most challenging things a musician may face

Finally, no big point here, but a bit of joy for you since we could all use it: The happiness of this dog after they put prostheses on

Spencer Thomas received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. After some time at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, we are DELIGHTED to welcome him back to Long Island as a researcher at Stony Brook University. He also happens to be Katie’s brother. For a time, Spencer studied metals at the atomic level; the way atoms are arranged in a material can change its properties; one can take ordinary metals make them stronger, more flexible, corrosion resistant, even radiation resistant. We’re still endeavoring to understand what he’s doing now well enough to explain it so simply.

Spencer believes that no matter who you are, good communication can put scientific concepts within reach. The modern world demands scientific literacy and it is the responsibility of scientists to make that possible.

Congrats Grads. Thank you Teachers.

Photo of graduate by Terrence Thomas on Unsplash.

We see Harborfields High School putting photos of its entire graduating class along Pulaski Road, We’ve appreciated the William Floyd School District honoring its grads on Facebook. We are grateful Syosset High School will spend two full days to safely offering a graduation ceremony.

We know this is just a little bit of the effort being made to make up for so many who are missing out on all the fun of being a senior; who have instead had to navigate the second most exceptionally challenging roll out of an education transformation in their lifetimes; and who are now facing extraordinary uncertainty regarding how their next chapter will play out.

We want to hug them all.

We are also thinking of the teachers who have done so much to make that education transition happen. This is not how they wanted their creativity finally unleashed again! We think of too many tears shed, while missing out on getting to get misty eyed over the kids they’ve shepherded to this moment. We are thinking of a beloved teacher retiring this year who, instead of getting to celebrate it, got to wave to a few of her students and parents as she helped out at a no-touch pick up of locker contents.

EdSurge offers What Teachers Wish The Public Knew About Their Jobs During COVID-19

From Long Island Weekly: Above and Beyond: Long Island Teachers Step Up During Coronavirus

Newsday reports of how Long Island Celebrates Class of 2020 with Lawn Signs, Parades, Senior ‘Adoptions’ and More.

News 12 LI Covers Schools Lighting Up to Honor the Class of 2020

Insider’s got 20 Facts about the Class of 2020 That will Blow Your Mind

E-News offers Every Celebrity Celebrating the Class of 2020

John Krasinski’s Some Good News hosted these amazing quarantine commencement conversations.

Here is Business Insiders list of The Best Commencement Speeches of All Time.

The Muse offers Five Commencement Speeches to Inspire You

To those Graduating: All our best for whatever comes next. We wish you all the greatest of success.

Speaking of Appreciation for Art and Great Teachers…

Dudley Music at Coltrane Day 2019. Photo by Katheryn Laible

Part of that article with Roger Tilles talks about the power of dedicated teachers. This reminded us of a discussion we had with two incredible local artists, Diego Garcia and Dudley Salmon, who are among those featured in the Huntington Arts Council ” DEC the Walls Exhibition”

Check it out. It’s amazing.

We met Dudley through the local endeavor to advance the legacy of John & Alice Coltrane, and then he and Diego together when he was performing at another volunteer’s gallery opening. It was a deep and meaningful conversation. We will be following up!

One interesting note: While the musician is deeply grateful for his art teachers, the inspiration Dudley really wanted to talk about was his biology teacher…

Man on a Mission: NYS Regent Roger Tilles

It was his passion for the arts, his appreciation for teachers, and his firm belief grounded that the arts are fundamental to a good education that first led us to be intrigued by Roger Tilles. We got to sit down with him a million years ago last December. While so much has changed since then, we believe what he had to say remains relevant, perhaps even moreso than it was…

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Gifts of our Facebook Feed: Mastic Beach Ambulance Company, William Floyd School District, Northport Main St. Group, Northport-East Northport Public Library

We know these are just a few of our neighbors who’ve been giving it their best to be of service with their Social Media time. We love to hear about more!

The Mastic Beach Ambulance company has been sharing all sorts of great stuff, including their own efforts to keep Long Islanders fed, as well as tended to in emergencies.

We thought it was them generating these great profiles of local EMTs. They’re still probably the easiest place to find them, but we’ve realized it was the William Floyd School District that was soliciting and sharing them.

Now, they’ve turned to highlighting their Class of 2020.

Meanwhile, the Northport Village and Local Business Community is a model we think every downtown should follow! This group lets small businesses post their wares and how they’re offering them, as well as all sorts of information critical to the community.

Finally, WE LOVE LIBRARIES! While missing their visitors dearly, they are continuing to do wonderful things for the community. Last time, we mentioned the 3D Printer Army helping make shields for first responders. Lately, we’ve simply been loving the Facebook Feeds.

While we highly recommend following all of Long Island’s libraries, the Northport-East Northport Public Library seems to really be on a roll lately. Follow their Facebook page, scroll down through the past few weeks — it’s wonderful…

 

Firefly Lights!

The Firefly Artists Logo

First, Long Island’s Best: Share these amazing High School artists far and wide, would you? These kids are amazing. We at The Firefly Artists in Northport were honored to be among those giving a few of them scholarships. These kids should have gallery receptions and award ceremonies. At the very least, we can plaster them all over the internet. Follow the Heckscher Museum to see the awards ceremony and find more great stuff to share.

Meanwhile, as a Managing Partner of the Firefly, Katie has crafted a “Firefly Lights newsletter to send our love and care, assist our dear fellow Fireflies in marketing their wares, and share some of the ways our amazing artists have been lighting up our lives lately….Please enjoy and let us know what you think!

If you wish to receive these, please let us know – folks on our regular newsletter list are NOT automatically receiving them!

We look forward to crafting another soon — can’t fit all our amazing artists into just one!!! Do check out our page: The Firefly Artists and our brand new group, The Firefly Artists Gallery & Community Square, where our artists can speak for themselves and post art for sale!

It’s not the same as getting to gather in our beautiful gallery, but it’s something we hope continues to grow!