Welcome to CAN DO. The Cultural Arts News Direct Online Long Island edition, which as far as we know is the only edition. But that does not really matter as we will be concerned here with Long Island artists, musicians, actors, sculptors, theater techs, poets, writers and any other creatives I may have missed in the list. For too long Long Island has been viewed as a cultural wasteland when in fact the exact opposite is true. Look on TV, movies, concerts where ever and you will find Long Islanders at the forefront. Maybe it is the sea air, the crazy traffic or an amazing educational system is a point that we can debate here as well as promote ourselves, our events and our ideas about arts on Long Island. We welcome open discussion and invite you to tell us what you personally think about the arts on Long Island and how we can create a center for culture that we deserve to have here. Countless retail buildings are put up that remain empty and contribute nothing to the economy or the quality of life. Quality of Life is what drew people to Long Island and we must maintain that quality throughout the region. I have posted below an article from Poetry Place Magazine, congratulations to the poets and good luck enjoy the article and remember CAN DO.
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The New York Foundation for the Arts' mission is
The New York Foundation for the Arts' mission is
to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives.
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Article Poetry Place
Issue #03 - April 9, 2010
April is National Poetry month, and not to be outdone, the East End of Long Island has a few of its own proverbial irons in the fire. Momentum may be gaining on the project to have a home for poetry on Long Island located at the Horse Barn of the Sears Bellows County Park in Flanders. Early last March, the current Suffolk County Poet Laureate Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan presented a business plan and illustrations to the Suffolk County Legislature for converting the approximately 1,800 sq. ft. barn into an archive to store sacred materials gathered by the North Sea Poetry Scene over the years.
Turning a Horse Barn into a Home for Poetry and Poets
By T.J. Clemente
David Axelrod, a former Suffolk County Poet Laureate, three-time winner of the Fulbright Award and author of 19 publications, his most recent being, How to Apologize, (Paradise Island Books) explained that he has been gathering 40 years worth of material for this archive. Axelrod explained that Long Island is a unique place because of its concentration of artistically oriented folks, "more than I have seen studying all over the world on the Fulbrights," he said. Nuzzo-Morgan explained that the poets are looking to enter a long-term extremely favorable lease on the county property. Axelrod added that there are studies claiming that for every dollar spent on the arts there is a seven dollar return to the community. He cites the success in the 1970s of the East End Arts and Humanity Council Headquarters on Main Street.
Axelrod said that he is still proud of the effort. Nuzzo-Morgan, when asked to give an example of the precious materials now being warehoused in climate controlled storage, responded, "Things like an original 1871 Anthology of William Cullen Bryant." Nuzzo-Morgan, who is 100% Long Island schooled, said her own work was influenced by Anne Sexton, whom she refers to as, "wonderful!"
With the one-story horse barn will come a new cultural presence on the East End with events such as poetry readings-like those currently presented in the summer at the Walt Whitman birthplace. Axelrod mentioned that, with the abundance of talent here, the possibilities are endless. Nuzzo-Morgan said that during these challenging times an outlet for poetry and the arts may have an uplifting effect on the soul of the community. Axelrod thinks it will go beyond the soul, having a positive effect on the commerce of the Riverhead area. He proudly points out that over his 30-year career, poetry has had a profound influence on his life.
Nuzzo-Morgan believes that the 200-plus members of the North Sea Poetry Scene create a wonderful force for enrichment of the intellect on the East End. She sees an uphill battle to establish a home at the Horse Barn. But she, as well as fellow Suffolk County Poet Laureates Axelrod, Dan Moran and the very first Suffolk County Laureate George Wallace, are optimistic that there could actually be a place on Long Island where the works of the past can be collected and secured and that could serve as a launching point to exhibit the work of the present. The result being a rich cultural future for the area.
Axelrod suggested that anyone interested in this effort can email Nuzzo-Morgan at email@example.com.
Hopefully in the near distant future one will be able to read and hear poetry at the Horse Barn. Hopefully, the powers that be will give these enthusiastic artists a poetic license to build not only their dream, but the dream of many poets on the East End. Hopefully, next year's National Poetry Month will be celebrated at the Horse Barn in Calverton.