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Holidaze- A Variety Benefit Show

Holidaze is a holiday variety show held at Mt. Morris CSD. This event is not only to get everyone in the community amped up for the oncoming holiday season, but to also benefit Livingston County Hospice, a great cause that touches many people thoughout the community. One ticket is given to individuals that donate a minimum of $10 to this great cause. Not only are you supporting Livingston County Hospice but you will also experience some wonderful entertainment as well… You can get tickets for Holidaze- A holiday variety show, at The Good Deals Giftshop @ Livingston Arts!

Q&A with Educator of the Year, Rob Antonucci

Livingston Arts is proud to present our 2015 Educator of The Year award to Rob Antonucci, for his exceptional work and dedication to the arts & arts education at Geneseo Central School. Antonucci received his undergraduate degree in illustration from the University of Buffalo, and started his career working at GCS in 2002 as a student teacher, while attending RIT for his master degree. Shortly after his student teaching ending Antonucci was hired as a full-time art teacher at Geneseo. When he’s not teaching or working on his graphic design projects, you might find Antonucci coaching various sports at GCS, playing guitar in his metal band, watching a Bills game, or spending time with his wife and children at his Geneseo home. Livingston Arts spoke with Antonucci about his career, what it takes to be a good arts educator, and how important art is for school districts.

Livingston Arts: So what made you want to become a teacher?

Rob Antonucci: I went to UB for my illustration degree. I went there for four-and-half years and when I finished up my degree, my illustration professor, who was originally from Poland, was going back over to teach a semester there and needed people to cover her classes. She asked me the semester beforehand if I would you like to teach her illustration class. So I agreed and I took over teaching for her, and that was really the first opportunity I had to teach or even thought about teaching really. My parents were both school librarians, so I was familiar with that lifestyle, but for the first time I thought might want to teach for a career. I taught the semester at UB and then I applied to RIT for grad school.

LA: So in terms of teaching secondary education, you’ve always been at Geneseo Central, correct?

RA: Oh yeah, I did my student teaching with Beth Adams, and around the time I finished that, Ms. Adams had her baby and I took over as her sub for the rest of the year. That summer, the other art teacher for the middle and high school took a job in Avon and I was hired here full-time at Geneseo.

LA: So you started in 2002, what made you want to stay here in Geneseo?

RA: Well for the first couple years, [My wife and I] lived in Henrietta and I didn’t know if I was going to stay here long term, because at first I didn’t know if I wanted to keep teaching middle school. After after while though I just fell in love with it. At first there was a stigma in our art program that you don’t want to teach middle school or middle school kids are really hard to teach, and I didn’t agree with that at all. I fell in love with teaching them. I know they’re high energy but the kids are awesome and I just really enjoy it.

So the kids were just so good that I said: I don’t want to be anywhere else, I want to be here. Eventually in 2008 we moved to Geneseo because I liked the school so much that wanted my kids to go here.

LA: Do you think it takes more than just being a talented artist to be a good teacher?

RA: I was actually just having this conversation with my kids the other day. Generally, art teachers need to be able to draw or paint, but it needs to be so much more than that. You also need the ability to teach and communicate with kids, give them honest feedback, and honest criticism. So what I’m doing is motivating kids and I’m giving them positive feedback to improve their skills.

LA: Whenever there’s a school budget crisis in any school district, it seems art and music are the first departments to get a cutback. How important is art education to students?

RA: Well I talk to kids about this all the time, in your other classes your memorizing information, you’re about history or events that are happening through out history, you’re learning it and regurgitating answers on a test, and that’s fine, memorization is a very important skill to have. The other important skill that kids need to have is coming up with their own solutions, and challenging kids to solve a problem in their own way. Giving them options, like they have in an art class or even in an English class, saying: You have to do X, and you have to decide if you are going to do it this way or that way. In other classes, especially in a math class, two plus two equals four. In an art room you can make two plus two equal whatever you want to. Kids need to make their decisions on their own. They need to come up with solutions and that’s an important part of the development of the young brain, not only memorization but also creativity.

Join us this Saturday, October 10th for our annual meeting and dinner where Livingston Arts will present our Arts Achievement Award to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter for her tireless efforts to promote the arts across our nation and in our schools.
Our Arts in Education Award will be presented to Geneseo High School art teacher Rob Antonucci.
Also the Volunteer Award will be presented to SUNY Geneseo student Amanda Gnirrep.
It will be at the Interfaith Center in Geneseo and dinner will be provided by the philanthropic chefs. Tickets are available by calling Livingston Arts at 243-6785 between noon and 4pm. Tickets are $30 for members and $40 for non-members.


September 26: One Big Soul, a Great Depression Symposium

On Saturday September 26 Livingston Arts and the New Deal Gallery present One Big Soul, a Great Depression Symposium. The title is a quote from John Steinbeck’s 1938 novel The Grapes of Wrath: “Maybe all men got one big soul ever ‘body’s a part of.” Presentations are free and open to the public. The event will be in South Hall Room 338 on the campus of SUNY Geneseo. At 1 pm Dr. James Spiller presents FDR and the New Deal Policies. At 2:15 pm Dr. Wanda Wakefield will talk about American Sport in the Great Depression. At 3:30 pm there will be a panel discussion including critic, author and radio host Michael Lasser titled: Entertainment During the Great Depression. All talks are free. The day will end with a 6:30pm showing of The Grapes of Wrath at the Riviera Theatre in Geneseo. Cost for the film is $7.00 ($5 with student ID).

The great depression of the 1930s is a microcosm of America. It is an era that can help us understand our present and define our future. The 1930s experienced great social upheaval caused by massive economic problems. The era saw a flowering in culture and new ideas. While economic insecurity caused some to turn their fears into prejudice and intolerance, many others became concerned for the welfare of their fellow man. For more information call 243-6785 or visit the website at

The New Deal Gallery featured in Democrat & Chronicle Column

New Deal paintings once comforted TB patients

By Jim Memmott

One of the many New Deal programs to revive the nation’s economy during the Great Depression paid painters to paint. It was art for the artist’s (and the public’s) sake. A radical idea that worked.

And some of the paintings produced are on display here in the appropriately named New Deal Gallery, a cozy set of rooms in a building on the Livingston County campus on Murray Hill, about 40 miles south of Rochester.

The paintings are often gentle landscapes that comfort rather than confront. This is appropriate, as they were first hung in the rooms of the tuberculosis sanatorium that was open here from 1936 through 1971.

“You wanted pleasant paintings where people were ill,” says Chris Norton, executive director of Livingston Arts, which houses and oversees the gallery. Click here to read more!


If you or your organization in Livingston and Monroe Counties are interested in grants to support your arts, cultural or heritage program, than join us for one of these fabulous seminars! You must RSVP to Betsy for the seminar you would like to attend at

Monroe County applicants, new OR previous must attend one seminar. Livingston County applicants must attend one seminar if they are new to the application process. If you cannot make one of these dates or times, please email Betsy to set up a one on one meeting!

Monroe County

Thursday, June 25th, 6:30pm-8pm – Village of Spencerport Office

Saturday, July 18th, 11am-12:30pm– Mill Art Center, Honeoye Falls

Thursday, July 23rd, 6:30pm-8pm, Henrietta Public Library

Saturday, August 1st, 11am – 12:30pm – Penfield Public Library

Livingston County

Saturday, June 20th, 10am – 11:30am – Town of Ossian Town Hall

Thursday, July 30th, 6:30pm – 8pm – Wadsworth Library

Thursday, August 6, 6:30pm- 8pm – Livonia Inn

Saturday, August 22nd, 11am-3pm – Livingston Arts Center

Grants are DUE:

First Thursday in September for Livingston County Applicants

First Thursday in October for Monroe County Applicants

Please feel free to call or email Betsy with any questions or concerns! or 243-6785