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July 31, 2009

CONTACT: Ralph DiBart, Executive Director
914-960-1460 and 212-866-0191

New Rochelle’s emerging downtown arts district is being introduced to the public on Thursday, August 6th from 4:00 to 9:00 PM during the New Rochelle BID’s first Downtown ArtWalk . Ralph DiBart, Executive Director of the BID stated, “Downtown New Rochelle is becoming an attractive center for artists, dance studios, music, film and galleries. We hope to introduce many of these arts to the public during our first ArtWalk. We will also and celebrate the opening of BID Gallery 542, an art gallery in the former New Rochelle Trust Building at 542 Main Street. The space has been loaned to the BID by Cornell Pace Inc. Additional ArtWalks are scheduled for the Fall.”

Ivar and paintingsThe first show at BID Gallery 542 is being curated by Ivar Hyden, an artist and the owner of Backstreet Gallery , a downtown gallery and framing store at 43 Lawton Street. The show will feature new work by six artists with roots in New Rochelle. Established artists Scott Seabolt, Amanda Lepore, and Alexi Rutsch Brock will showcase their work and will be joined by three very talented former students from New Rochelle High School, Jesus Baez, Sandra Woodruff and Victoria Rolett. The BID’s goals for the gallery are to showcase established and emerging artists.

Ivar Hyden noted: “I feel it is important for the first BID Gallery 542 show to be focused on New Rochelle Artists, both established and up-and-coming. New Rochelle has a long history of welcoming and supporting the arts and the addition of this gallery in the heart of the downtown underscores this. We will be scheduling a series of exciting shows representing artists of many disciplines in the next few months and the response from residents, business owners, and the arts community has been tremendous.”

In addition, nearby studio spaces at 81 and 82 Centre Street developed in conjunction with the BID’s Artist Spaces Program will introduce new art arrivals to downtown. These include Ballet Atlantic (formerly of Pelham), Westchester Yoga Arts (formerly Pelham Yoga), and many artists from throughout Westchester who have rented studios in downtown, including Faith Goldstein, Janet Rogow, Judie Benzer, Leigh Ann Rooney, Louis Netter, Michelle Lewis, Moira McCaul, Nancy Miller, Peridot Smith and Steve Brock. Also on view will be a permanent art installation, a collaboration by Susan Doban Architect, PC and Jason Gorsline of A&G Designs, which has been installed in the lobby of 81 Centre. The installation interprets the intricate designs incorporated in the terracotta facade of this historic building.

The BID Artist Spaces Program seeks to work with property owners and artists to create and tenant art studios and to promote the arts downtown. Partial funding comes through a NYS Main Street Grant obtained by the BID and the City of New Rochelle Business Retention Fund. “We are delighted to welcome new and established artists to our growing Arts Community, and to our downtown,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “Their presence will enliven our central business core and is the perfect complement to our emerging restaurant district.”

In addition 81 Centre will feature a gallery show curated by John Reverol who is working with the BID Artist Spaces Program to create a permanent space for his new gallery Reverol & Co. Also on August 6th, Chris Mongiello will host a reception at 81 Centre; Chris is currently working with the BID Artist Spaces Program and plans to join the downtown arts roster this Fall with a music center and rock and roll school. New art studios recently developed through the BID Artist Spaces program will be available for viewing by artists and arts businesses interested in joining the downtown arts district.

These new and prospective art venues join established downtown dance arts venues such as Dance Connection, Capoeira Performance Arts, Roof Top Rhythms Dance Studio and Ballroom by Star Dance. Throughout the afternoon and evening, downtown’s growing restaurant district will also be open for great dining and many restaurants will offer their culinary arts al fresco. Concluding the evening, “ET” will come to downtown New Rochelle. Steven Spielberg's classic film is this year’s BID free outdoor movie at Library Green.

Mr. DiBart noted: “We are excited about the energy and creativity that the arts are bringing to downtown and to the public’s growing support of our efforts to make downtown truly a dynamic center for the surrounding communities.” Further information on the ArtWalk and downtown restaurants is available at

The BID actively promotes downtown with its popular Dine Downtown 2009 Campaign, Artist Spaces Program, Summer Music on the Green, Outdoor Movies and BID Family Saturdays.

The BID’s goals are to promote economic development, provide sanitation services, beautify public spaces, create enhanced technology services, pursue the historic restoration of building facades, and support the attraction of new and the retention of existing businesses in Downtown New Rochelle. In its eight year history, the BID’s efforts have resulted in $80 million of new, private, taxpaying downtown development.

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