###For more information about Free Arts Day, including a complete schedule of events, please visit: www.artsw.org/freeartsday For downloadable high-resolution images, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/artswestchester/sets/72157631836998033/detail/ Press Contact: Mary Alice Franklin, Media Relations Manager
ArtsWestchester announces that Free Arts Day will include 21 locations and 50 events on one day, all free. White Plains, N.Y. - This year's Free Arts Day event will take place on Sunday, December 2 at varying times depending on sites. Made possible by ArtsWestchester and its member organizations, and sponsored by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and The Journal News Media Group, the event offers the opportunity to enjoy free admission to historic sites, museums, films, concerts, art-making workshops and more--for the entire family. A complete list of Free Arts Day offerings is available at www.artsw.org/freeartsday. Highlights of this year's Free Arts Day include free admission to Westchester's leading museums, including Hudson River Museum (Yonkers), Katonah Museum of Art and Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (Peekskill). There will also be a variety of workshops and events presented by an extensive collection of cultural organizations including The Play Group Theatre, Clay Art Center, Hudson Valley Writers Center, Rye Arts Center and more. Free Arts Day was initiated in 2001, as a positive way to bring the community together in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedies. Since then, the event has steadily grown in popularity, attracting thousands each December and becoming a signature event of the holiday season in Westchester County. "One mission for Free Arts Day is to make the arts of all kinds accessible to Westchester residents and tourists, regardless of their location or financial circumstances," explains ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam. "We aim to enrich the lives of all residents and help them to experience the joy and benefits that the arts have to offer." The variety of events offered showcases the depth of talent in Westchester County: History buffs can enjoy a visit to Union Church in Pocantico Hills, courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley; music enthusiasts have the opportunity to hear famed pianist Robert DeGaetano at Downtown Music at Grace, presented by the Eastchester Arts Council; and film aficionados can take a behind-the-scenes look at an animated blockbuster film at Katonah Museum of Art. Another mission of Free Arts Day is to provide an incentive for residents to discover (or re-discover) cultural organizations in their community. "I am confident that once residents discover these organizations, they will be impressed with the wonderful arts and cultural offerings in Westchester and will return to those establishments again," says Langsam. "With the abundance and variety of participating organizations-dance companies, theaters, galleries and music halls-there is something for everyone." As a special treat, ArtsWestchester will be raffling off an iPad to one lucky Free Arts Day visitor. To enter the raffle, visitors should simply fill out the survey form at each Free Arts Day event they attend. Entrants may enter a form for each individual event they attend, thus increasing their chances of winning. Participating Organizations include: ArtsWestchester Blue Door Association Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts Castle Gallery (College of New Rochelle) Clay Art Center Downtown Music at Grace Greenburgh Arts and Culture Committee Historic Hudson Valley (Union Church of Pocantico Hills) Hudson River Museum Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art Hudson Valley Writers' Center Jacob Burns Film Center Katonah Museum of Art Mount Vernon Arts & Culture, Inc. Neuberger Museum of Art The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art Pelham Art Center Picture House The Play Group Theatre The Rye Arts Center Sarah Lawrence College Steffi Nossen School of Dance Westchester Fashion Academy for Children YCP TheaterWorks & M&M Productions Acting Company, Inc. Free Arts Day is sponsored by JP Morgan Chase Foundation and The Journal News Media Group, with support from the Westchester County Government, Westchester County Board of Legislators and New York State Council on the Arts.