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Songs of the Great Depression

Michael Lasser will be lecturing at Livingston Arts on Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 at 1:00 p.m., presenting a talk entitled The Songs of the Great Depression. Mr. Lasser has been discussing this topic for thirty years as a study of popular music as social history, specifically about the America these songs reflect. With the sharp economic decline of the 1930s, the music of the decade also took a decidedly gloomier turn, which included popular songs about social unrest and unemployment that echoed the everyday feeling of most American citizens during the Great Depression.

Along with lecturing, Mr. Lasser has also written two books, America’s Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley and American Songs II: From the 1890s to the Post War Years. Since 1980, he has been the host of the nationally syndicated public radio show, Fascinatin’ Rhythm and was also the theatre critic for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle for twenty years. Michael Lasser has lectured all over the country at various museums and universities including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art.

This event is free of charge and will be held at Livingston Arts Center, 4 Murray Hill Drive, Mount Morris. For more information, please feel free to contact Livingston Arts by either calling 243-6785, or emailing


Livingston Arts at Geneseo Farmer’s Market

Livingston Arts will have a tent at the Genesee Valley Farmer’s Market this season! Stop by to see us, become involved, and learn what we do up on “the hill”!

Each week we will feature different programs and affiliates of the art center.

We expect this pop-up art center will help increase our visibility to our community. Thank you to Cate and the Geneseo Farmer’s Market who have made this opportunity possible for us!

We will be at the market 3pm-6:30pm every other week: June 26, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21, September 4, September 18, October 2, and October 16.

Our features include local artists, the New Deal Gift Shop, Community Arts Grants, kid’s art classes, adult art classes, Dance-a-thon and more!

Marketing Manager and Program Assistant

We are seeking a part-time Marketing Manager and Program Assistant to promote and support our programming. Responsibilities include the creation and maintenance of web-based marketing content, administrative tasks such as scheduling, requisitions and content management in addition to other duties as assigned. This is an 18 hour per week position with the potential for growth.

• Interest in the arts
• Skilled in all Microsoft Office programs
• Extensive experience in common web-based applications and social media
• Organized and responsible
• Detail oriented
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Friendly and outgoing
• Ability to multi-task
• Excellent time-management skills
• A minimum of an Associate’s degree.
• Ability to work some nights and weekends
• Experience with Adobe Suite preferred
• Experience with fundraising preferred

Start Date: August 15, 2014
Application Deadline: July 16, 2014
Send resume and cover letter to:
Chris Norton
Executive Director
Livingston Arts
4 Murray Hill Drive
Mount Morris, NY 14510

GRAMMY Foundation Awards Music Preservation Grant to Livingston Arts!

Livingston Arts is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a $5,000 Preservation Assistance grant from The GRAMMY Foundation® Grant Program to support the preservation of SUNY Geneseo Professor James Kimball’s recordings of traditional New York State musicians and music. Our project will address the initial stages of preparing Kimball’s recordings and related materials for digitization, including basic inventorying, stabilization and assessment. Funded by The Recording Academy®, the Grant Program provides funding annually to organizations and individuals to support efforts that advance the archiving and preservation of the recorded sound heritage of the Americas for future generations, as well as research projects related to the impact of music on the human condition. This year the Grant Program is distributing more than $200,000 among 15 recipients nationwide. A complete listing can be found at

The project represents an exciting partnership with SUNY Geneseo and Jim Kimball, whose 40+ years of research in traditional American music has resulted in a unique collection of field recordings, interviews, manuscripts, printed materials, and instruments. Many area residents have experienced this collection “live,” through Jim’s presentations for historical societies, schools and libraries, and through dances and concerts with the Geneseo String Band, which he founded at SUNY Geneseo in 1976. Jim’s collection reflects his expert scholarship that never forgets its connection to the fiddlers, singers, dancers and storytellers of our region.

Those connections have been further enhanced and expanded over the years through his work with hundreds of SUNY Geneseo students, community organizations, and professional activities at the state and national level. We are looking forward to working with Kimball and the College at Geneseo to ensure that this work continues to educate and enliven our community, and beyond, for many years to come. SUNY Geneseo is collaborating with Livingston Arts and will eventually house the Kimball collection in the Geneseo Global Music Center in McClellan House on Geneseo’s Main Street.

May 9 Open House & Reception

Livingston Arts galleries will be closed May 1-May 9 in preparation for new exhibits. We will reopen May 9 for a reception & open house 5-7 p.m. All are welcome!

The staff and board of Livingston Arts are excited to invite the public to attend an opening reception for two new exhibits May 9, 5:00-7:00 p.m. Artist George Smith of Prattsburgh, the first Apartment One solo exhibitor of 2014, will be displaying his colorful, abstract photography May 9- June 28. His show is titled, Grateful Grapes. Also presented that night is a New Deal Gallery Exhibit, A Nation of Immigrants: Immigrant Artists of the New Deal Gallery Collection, as well as a guest lecture at 5:30 p.m.

George Smith’s images do not come directly from a framed composition, but are overlapped, manipulated, distorted and enhanced in a playful yet thoughtful way. “Smith’s use of local landscapes, flora and fauna root his work in the pictorial identity of the western New York region,” says Kala Stein of Livingston Arts. Apartment One Gallery at Livingston Arts supports professional artists by offering professional show space and a public opening reception.

A Nation of Immigrants in the New Deal Gallery will be comprised of the work of WPA artists who emigrated from their homelands to the United States. These artists came from all over the world including Japan, Norway, Russia and France. Their backgrounds bring unique styles and subjects to our collection and will create an exciting exhibition. Guest lecturer Christopher Breiseth PhD will give a Special Presentation at 5:30 p.m. on the Roosevelts and the first female cabinet member, entitled: “Franklin, Eleanor and Frances.” This talk will discuss not only FDR’s presidency and the role his wife, Eleanor played but also his hiring of the first female cabinet member, Frances Perkins as Secretary of Labor and the major influence she had over FDR’s presidency and the New Deal programs. This lecture is free and open to the public and will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. and should last about an hour. Visitors are then cordially invited to stay, view the exhibition and snack on hors d’oeuvres. Eagle Crest & O-Neh-Da Vineyards will be providing wine tastings.

Membership Drive

A Message from Executive Director Chris Norton

Membership Drive 2014

* Have you seen a live performance in Livingston County this year?
* Have you been hoping for more artistic opportunities in your community?

And if so, are you a member of Livingston Arts?

Chances are good that an arts program you saw this year has received support from Livingston Arts. Arts and culture bring people into a community and through the doors of local businesses. Studies consistently show that each dollar spent on the arts brings at least five or six dollars back to the community. That’s a heck of a return on your investment!

In these continued times of economic difficulty, and with the vacuum created by the demise of the SUNY Geneseo art program, those who appreciate arts and culture must band together. Nowhere will you find a better example of people working together than in good old-fashioned Livingston County neighborliness.

We have so many volunteers that help us fulfill our mission. Along with their time people also give with their checkbooks. This is where we are placing our focus during our Spring membership drive.

Because we are a non-profit, membership donations are integral to the sustainability of our organization and the arts and cultural we make possible. Not everyone can help monetarily, but if you can- please considering increasing your membership amount. Encourage your friends to become members if they aren’t already. Ask the local businesses you frequent if they are members.

This Spring we have a goal this year of raising $11,000 in total membership dollars. This is an increase of $2,000 over last year. So we need your help!

Livingston Arts has provided support services and collaborated with artists, schools and non-profits in our communities for the last 40 years. We help create programs that promote better quality of life for everyone in Livingston County.

Membership benefits include: ArtSphere, discounts in the Good Deals Gift Shop and classes at Livingston Arts Center and ad space for business members. Not to mention continued art and culture in our communities. You know that when you give to Livingston Arts your contribution will come back to the community – many times over. Thank you for your support!

If you know someone who would like to support our mission, please encourage them to become a member!

Benton Bash

Art for the People

Come toast the art of the Great Depression, Thomas Hart Benton and the Mount Morris New Deal Collection. See paintings from the New Deal gallery in a whole different setting. Hosted by Charred Bar and Grill on Main Street in Mount Morris. April 13th at 4pm. American Master Thomas Hart Benton was an influential muralist and painter during the Great Depression. This event is modeled after the “Benton Bash” in St.Louis where they hang original paintings by Thomas Hart Benton on the walls of a bar and celebrate his birthday. Benton wanted his art to be where regular folks could see it. We don’t have any paintings by Benton but we do have alot of work by contemporaries that were influenced by him. Come to Charred for drinks, food, ambiance and Benton’s 125th birthday while viewing some of the paintings in our collection.

The mission of Livingston Arts is to enrich the quality of life in Livingston County by encouraging and promoting the arts and cultural activities. If you would like to learn more, or would like to join us in our mission by becoming a member, visit or call 243.6785. Please visit our galleries and gift shop at 4 Murray Hill Dr., Mt. Morris, NY 14510.


KidStart, Livingston Arts Unveil Rockin’ the Arts 2014

Artists invited to apply!

Mt. Morris, NY March 28, 2014 – The staff and board of Livingston Arts and KidStart are excited to announce that Rockin’ the Arts 2014 will be held at The Wadsworth Estate on August 14 and the theme is “Light Up The Night.”

This fundraiser, hosted by Livingston Arts and KidStart, will benefit both children and arts programming. Help us celebrate local artistic talents, local flavors, and music. Last year’s event was a sold-out success with 200 attendees!

The event will once again feature a live auction as the focal point of the evening, hosted by Jesse Teitsworth, Benefit Auctioneer. New this year, a silent auction and Chinese auction of smaller items will be offered throughout the evening. Kelley Teitsworth joined the planning and event committee this year as consultant, sharing her knowledge in marketing, event planning, and auctions.

Applications are being accepted from artists who would like to participate. This may be something that is functional such as a light/lamp/torch or perhaps a painting that captures the delicate warm light of a sunset.  Artist applications are due by April 18. Click here for Application.

Proceeds from the auction and ticket sales for the event will be divided equally between Livingston Arts and KidStart. Livingston Arts enriches life in Livingston County by encouraging and promoting the arts and cultural activities. KidStart’s special services, day care, and Head Start programs are unique because they serve children both with and without disabilities in an integrated setting.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For updates on the event or to become involved, visit,,, or call Livingston Arts at (585) 243-6785.