June 14, 2006

What's On Your MInd

James Pritchard

Occupation: Artist/Musician

Southold Resident: 23 Years

I have several things I want to discuss, one of them being what happened to jazz nights at Scrimshaw Restaurant in Greenport? The proprietor Rosa Ross had Teddy Charles, Bob Hovey and four [or] five other musicians performing on Friday nights at the bar at her waterfront restaurant. The music was as good as what you'd find in Manhattan, and there was no cover charge. But now it's been put on hold because the musicians were in need of an audience; people just weren't coming out to support them.

Besides the beautiful environment, and community of creative people who make the North Fork what it is, I feel it is a very special place. It's my wish that people would take the time to support the musicians, actors and visual artists on the North Fork by attending the plays and performances, which in turn creates a community and makes it a unique and special place to live.

There are many talented local musicians playing regularly at the vineyards, like Toby Altman and Dee Lavagilia. And during the summer months the East End Arts Council provides an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the Wine Country Music Series that's held at various vineyards.

There's a plan afoot to create a permanent arts center at the old Peconic Lane School in Peconic. That's if it's possible to reach an agreement between the EEAC and the Southold School district. The old vacant building would become artists studios, gallery space, the theatre space could host musical performances and staged plays, there's even talk of an outdoor sculpture garden, and perhaps even a LILCO/LIPA solar energy education center. This facility would create a focus point and would make the arts more accessible to the North Fork. And certainly draw in visitors and tourists alike to experience the rich talent of the East End.

People need to turn off their TVs or iPods and go out and see a live performance or art show, instead of the canned entertainment the media has been spoon-feeding them through their living room. If you buy a painting or go hear live music you're enabling the artists to keep the faith and their artistic endeavors. And it will only encourage the community to develop into a lively and interesting place to live.

I think that in the 20 years I've lived here there's been a fair amount of effort in preserving the environmental beauty of the North Fork. But I wish people would take a more active role in encouraging the artistic future of the North Fork as well.

If you live or work in the North Fork area and want to give us a piece of your mind about something, let The Independent Traveler – Watchman know; contact Rick at 324-2500 or e-mail news@indyeastend.com and we'll pass it along to R.B.Stuart

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