Three Women Hope To Boost Local Economy And Bridge Community Through Cultural Street Fair

A trio of Riverdale women, Lisa Cooper, Linda Manning, and Tracy Shelton, are hoping to bring together a Bronx community and help boost local businesses through a new cultural street fair featuring live music, performances and art.

A trio of Riverdale women, Lisa Cooper, Linda Manning, and Tracy Shelton, are hoping to bring together a Bronx community and help boost support for local businesses through a new cultural street fair. This leadership team is the creative and driving force behind the upcoming Riverdale Festival of the Arts.

The Riverdale Festival of the Arts is a live music, performance and visual arts Street Fair and Festival. It will held on Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 from 11 am - 4pm. The Festival will take place on West 256th Street (between Delafield and Mosholu Avenues) and on the Grounds of Riverdale Neighborhood House (5521 Mosholu Avenue, Bronx NY).

According to KRVC (Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation) Executive Director, Tracy Shelton, "We are always looking for new ways to support the businesses in our communities. In the past 18 months, we've helped establish local merchants groups; organize a holiday shopping shuttle, Fall Funday and other festival events; held our first outdoor Movie night and more; all with the goal of encouraging residents to stay and support what we have locally. The Riverdale Festival of the Arts enables us to build on our successes. The event has been organized to reach the businesses, not for profits, schools and residents in a new and interactive way. I hope it enables people to discover something new - right in the neighborhood. For all these reasons, KRVC is proud to be the sponsoring organization of the Riverdale Festival of the Arts."

The event will kick off on-stage with live music performances from local and international talent across all genres brought together by Linda Manning Productions. Jazz will be performed by the internationally renown, Eric Alexander Trio, and singer Alma Micic (originally from Serbia) backed up by her husband, Rale Micic (they currently own the Riverdale Music School). New York City's Sweet Fix will rock the house, while a performance by a Wind Ensemble from the Bronx Arts Ensemble will engage the audience with a classical interlude.

The visual arts will include local and international Artists and Art Institutions, as well as art workshops. Participants include Derfner Judaica Museum + Art Collection and Elisa Contemporary Art. Local artists include Barbara Laube, Adam Shultz, Nu Ryu, Matthew Turov, Ginny Howsam Friedman, Joanne Cooper and others.

New York gallery owner, Lisa Cooper, owner of Elisa Contemporary Art has been using the power the art to help drive awareness and commerce in Riverdale through several initiatives. Last March, she spearheaded a North Riverdale promotion based on the color Orange and engaged other businesses to join in and cross promote. She is currently working with Sotheby's Real Estate to create a pop-up gallery in their South Riverdale offices and host a series of special events including Art and Design focused lectures, Artists Talks and Wine Tastings. The Riverdale Festival of the Arts is the latest venture.

According to Lisa, "Arts and Cultural events are a great way to connect a diverse community. It provides a platform that engages people of all backgrounds and all ages. It creates an opportunity to start a conversation and discover points of common interest."

Live Performances from local schools, and community theater will also take place throughout the event.

What: Riverdale Festival of the Arts
When: Sunday, October 23, 2011 from 11 am to 4pm
Where: 256th Street (between Delafield and Mosholu Avenues) and on the grounds of Riverdale Neighborhood House (5221 Mosholu Avenue) Riverdale NY

About the Riverdale Festival of the Arts Team

Lisa Cooper
Art has always been an essential part of Lisa's life. A born and raised New Yorker, Lisa's playground was the city's art galleries, museums, and public art events. Professionally, Lisa spent over 20 years in key strategic roles directing marketing communications campaigns for some of the world's leading consumer brands, including IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Mercedes-Benz before launching her Art Dealership and Gallery, Elisa Contemporary Art.

Over the past 4 years, Elisa Contemporary Art has participated in high-end art fairs in New York, the Hamptons, Boston and Miami. Lisa has curated shows in private and public art spaces within the Tri-State area. This includes several recent shows in New York City at The Atrium (formerly the Citigroup Center) and Saint Peter's Church. Lisa also launched art consulting services.

Lisa has been a juror for several Gallery shows including the Blue Door Gallery in Yonkers (NY), a guest lecturer at School of Visual Arts and Queens College, hosted events on "The Art of Collecting" and is currently a member of the Arts & Architecture Review Committee at Saint Peter's Church in Manhattan.

She has lived in Riverdale for the past 14 years with her husband, Mitch Cravens.

Linda Manning
Linda has been a Riverdale/Bronx resident for twelve years now and has been actively involve in the community. A year and a half ago Linda began producing and hosting a regular jazz night at a club in Riverdale which was born out of her love for the music and her desire to create a vibrant community where the residents of Riverdale can experience world-class music and the artists can play in an environment where they can explore their craft.

Linda Manning is an award-winning playwright and performer who has worked in the theater for the past twenty five years regionally and in New York. This spring she received a BRIO Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts for her screenplay Learning to Drive. Her new play, Bite The Apple, was workshopped by the Directors Company in New York City in February. Her play GUY was a semi-finalist for the 2007 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference. She was a founding member of The Invisible Theatre in New York City where she wrote, acted, and produced.

Linda lives in Riverdale with her husband, Michael Pinney, and their two daughters.

Tracy Shelton
Tracy Shelton, Executive Director, joined the KRVC team in April 2010 (KRVC is the sponsoring organization for the Riverdale Festival of the Arts), with extensive experience in the public interest and strong community ties and involvement. In her short tenure at KRVC, she has developed an ambitious and extensive program of activities, initiatives and events for the organization. Prior to becoming Executive Director of KRVC, for nearly two decades, Ms. Shelton worked for the New York Public Interest Research Group/NYPIRG as a Consumer Attorney. Ms. Shelton received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College and a Juris Doctor Law degree from American University's Washington College of Law. Ms. Shelton moved to Riverdale in 2002 with her husband, Marvin, and their two children Brian and Justin.

This festival is being held in association with the newly formed North Riverdale Merchants Association and support from sponsors including: Exec-You-Van, Weichert Realty, Verizon Wireless, DJ Drugs and Salvatores of Soho.