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Westchester Community College Events




The Fine Arts Gallery at Westchester Community will feature the work of Esperanza Mayobre from September 13 through November 22. Mayobre is a Brooklyn-based Venezuelan artist whose multidisciplinary work uses materials in unconventional ways to address a range of topics. Describing her installations as “fictive laboratory spaces,” Mayobre creates metaphorical environments that invite multiple points of entry and engagement.

Show hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The gallery is located on the third floor of the Academic Arts Building, across from the theatre. For information, please visit or phone 914-606-6621.




A performance of Wassa Pan Afrika’s Yedee Ba will take place on Saturday, September 16 at 8:00 p.m. in the Academic Arts Theatre on the Valhalla campus at Westchester Community College.

This electrifying ensemble takes audiences on a journey through the diverse traditional African heritage by fusing dance, music, stories, and songs. Colorful costuming, elaborate choreography, and pulsating drumming will have audience members dancing in the aisles!

Tickets are $24 (general admission), $22 (students), and $18 (children under 13).

Tickets can either be purchased in advance by mailing with a check or by cash at the Box Office, 30 minutes before the scheduled performance time. For online credit card purchases, please visit and click on the “Buy Tickets” link.

For more information about this performance or the many other exciting cultural events, please call the Office of Cultural Affairs at 914-606-6262 or visit us online at




Westchester Community College is presenting chamber music matinees in the Classroom Building, Room 200 on the Valhalla campus.

Strictly For Strings Fall Frolic is on Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 pm.

Musical treasures from the Baroque Period will include masterpieces by Bach, Vivaldi, and Corelli.

Captivating Springtime Classical Music Treasures will be presented on

Sunday, April 15 at 3:00 pm. Enjoy time-honored compositions by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.

Tickets are $20 (general admission), $18 (seniors), and $14 (students). See both shows for $34. For tickets or information, phone 914-606-6262. See the college website for more information at





Aquila Theatre Company’s Sense & Sensibility will be presented on Saturday, September 23 at 8:00 pm in the Academic Arts Theatre on the Valhalla campus at Westchester Community College.

This live theatrical production, based on Jane Austen’s popular novel, portrays the plight of women caught up in a male-dominated world. “Wildly inventive, laser sharp and innovative.” (The New York Times).

Tickets are $24 (general admission), $22 (students), and $18 (children under 13).

Tickets can either be purchased in advance by mailing with a check or by cash at the Box Office, 30 minutes before the scheduled performance time. For online credit card purchases, please visit and click on the “Buy Tickets” link.




Westchester Community College is presenting its Poets and Writers Series with readings in October. The reading, lecture, and dramatic presentation series lets the best of today’s writers share their secrets with literary aficionados. Presentations in the Gateway Building’s Davis Auditorium and are free and open to the public. Each writer will present two readings.

Ava Chin on October 5 at 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. In her Eating Wildly book, an M.F.K. Fischer Award winner, the joys of foraging are revealed. Chin explores uncultivated tracts of land in search of physical and emotional sustenance.

Christopher Michael on October 31 at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. He has been on many celebrated national slam poetry teams.

For more information about this performance or the many other exciting cultural events, please call the Office of Cultural Affairs at 914-606-6262 or visit us online at




The Great Books Forum offers an opportunity to encounter extraordinary works of classic and modern literature in the company of other interested readers from the college and the community. Led by members of the college’s English Department faculty, discussions are wide-ranging and spirited. Along with the works themselves, dialogues focus on issues of context and interpretation. The events will take place in the Gateway Center, Room 131, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

The theme for fall 2017 is 20th Century American Drama:

Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night (led by Prof. Casey Ellis) on Thursday, October 5.

Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (led by Prof. Brian Centrone) on Thursday, November 2.

Marsha Norman’s ‘Night, Mother (led by Prof. Cynthia Robinson) on Thursday, December 7.

Participation is free and open to the public. No reservations necessary. The Great Books Forum is sponsored by the English Department and is underwritten by the Cultural Arts Fund of the Faculty Student Association. For information, email Professor James Werner at





Catapult will be presented on Sunday, October 15 at 3:00 pm in the Academic Arts Theatre on the Valhalla campus at Westchester Community College. As a finalist on America’s Got Talent Season 8, this must-see show features a magical theatrical art form, shadow dancing, which combines dance, storytelling, and sculpture. Fresh off their three-year European tour, Catapult is touring in the U.S. for the first time.

Tickets are $30 (general admission), $28 (students), and $24 (children under 13).

Tickets can either be purchased in advance by mailing with a check or by cash at the Box Office, 30 minutes before the scheduled performance time. For online credit card purchases, please visit and click on the “Buy Tickets” link.

For more information about this performance or the many other exciting cultural events, please call the Office of Cultural Affairs at 914-606-6262 or visit us online at





Westchester Community College’s next season of the Friday Night Film Series features six outstanding contemporary films. The season includes a brief introduction to each film, film notes, refreshments and discussions. Doors open at 7:10 p.m.; refreshments are served at 7:20 p.m.; with screenings beginning at 7:45 p.m. in the Gateway Center’s Davis Auditorium. Use Parking Lot #1.

A season subscription costs only $54; for seniors 60 and older, the cost is $48. A single admission is $11; for seniors, $10. For further information, please phone
914-723-3186. For school closings due to inclement for weather, visit All films subtitled in English. Film titles are subject to change based on DVD availability.

HAWAII, OSLO     Oct 20   (Sweden, 2004)            125 minutes

This is a story about a handful of strangers who cross paths during the hottest day of the year in Oslo. Each has his own life obstacle and hardship to bear. One insightful individual may be able to save everyone—except himself.

COMING HOME   Oct 27   (China, 2014)                        109 minutes

A devoted couple is forced to separate when the husband is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia. He is determined to resurrect their past together and reawaken his wife’s memory.

DARK HORSE   Nov 3 (UK, 2015)                        85 minutes

Based on a true rags-to-riches story, some locals convinced to invest in the breeding of a championship racing horse. While initially not promising, the stallion has as much heart as strength. Although a horrific tragedy ensues, a happy ending prevails.

THE NIGHTINGALE   Nov 10 (China, 2013)            100 minutes

Zhu desires to return to his small home town in the country, and takes his granddaughter along. Spoiled, petulant, and selfish, she resents leaving behind the creature comforts of her luxurious Beijing apartment. However, as the pair becomes lost overnight in a forest, they bond. This movie offers a subtle criticism of consumerism in contemporary China and the unintended consequences of its former one-child policy.

TANGERINES     Nov 17   (Georgia, 2013)            87 minutes

In 1992, local Apkhazians are fighting to break free from Georgia. In an Estonian village, almost everyone has returned to their homeland, where only two men, Margus and Ivo, had stayed. However, Margus will leave as soon as he harvests his tangerine crop. This is a touching anti-war story about Estonians who find themselves in the middle of someone else’s war.

A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND Dec 1 (UK, 2015)            111 minutes

In a world difficult to comprehend, this true story is about Nathan who struggles to connect with people – most of all his loving mother. When Nathan is taken under the wing of an unconventional and anarchic teacher, the pair forge an unusual friendship and Nathan’s talents win him a place on the UK team at the International Mathematics Olympiad.



Alice in Wonderland, a presentation by the National Players, will be performed on Sunday, October 22 at 3:00 pm in the Academic Arts Theatre on the Valhalla campus at Westchester Community College.

Lewis Carroll’s classic has been adapted for this live theatrical play, which presents an Alice for our time, a precocious girl who wants to remain a child. She falls into a secret 21st century wonder world, where she befriends unusual characters and must face her greatest fear.

Tickets are $24 (general admission), $22 (students), and $18 (for children under 13). They may be purchased in advance by mailing with a check or with cash at the Box Office, 30 minutes before the scheduled performance time. For online credit card purchases, please visit and click on the “Buy Tickets” link.

For more information about this performance or the many other exciting cultural events, please call the Office of Cultural Affairs at 914-606-6262 or visit us online at





August 18, 2017 |



ROI by Frank J. Rich







By Frank J. Rich



Potential is one of those oft-quoted terms used to express the opportunity in someone or the future of some thing, such as a business venture. It is usually followed by a concern that reaching that potential requires something yet to form. Potential, it appears, has a dark side. Perhaps, it is because so few of us know how to measure it.

In simple terms, potential is the “likelihood of doing or becoming something in the future.” As it applies to business, we see new products, services, capital improvements, businesses, and personnel decisions, for their potential to be profitable. NPV (Net Present Value), IRR (Internal Rate of Return), and other calculations are used to help measure the “potential” success of these things. But like most things, we have less than perfect knowledge about them and proceed with certain “reasonable” assumptions in place. Good business sense, a knack for judging people, education, and experience all combine to reduce the risk of poor decision making. But, as you might imagine, the opportunity in “potential” begs for serious efforts at measuring it. One such measurement device is called Five Forces Analysis (M. Porter), and means to focus attention on a common experience to achieve very practical results—the kind that seem to have a greater “potential” for success. Here’s how it works:

Five Forces Analysis assumes that there are five important forces that determine competitive power in a situation—supplier and buyer power, competitive rivalry, and the threats of substitution and new entries. Each locus provides an opportunity to look carefully at the fundamental elements of any business venture. A review of these practical (common) experiences provides unusual acuity in measuring the potential of most ventures.

Supplier Power, or how easy is it for suppliers to drive up prices. This is measured by the number of suppliers of each key input (of your product or service), the uniqueness of their product or service, their strength and control over you, the cost of switching from one to another, and so on. The fewer the supplier choices you have, and the more you need suppliers’ help, the more powerful your suppliers become.

Buyer Power, or how easy it is for buyers to drive down prices. Again, this is driven by the number of buyers, the importance of each individual buyer to your business, the cost to them of switching from your products and services to those of someone else, and so on. If you deal with a few powerful buyers, they are often able to dictate terms to you

Competitive Rivalry, or the number and capability of your competitors. If you have many competitors, and they offer equally attractive products and services, then you’ll most likely have little power to operate freely in the marketplace. If suppliers and buyers don’t get a good deal from you, they’ll go elsewhere. This is often the scenario created by poor customer service. When a company fails to measure, specifically, its success at satisfying customer requirements, it is sitting on a time bomb. When its customers become aware of an alternative they bolt to another supplier. On the other hand, if no others can do what you do, then you are dealing with the market from a position of strength.

Threat of Substitution, or the ability of your customers to find a different way of doing what you do. For all businesses the greatest source of competition is the alternative use of the same resources. If substitution is easy and viable, this weakens your power to influence the buying decisions of your customers.

Threat of New Entry, or the ability of others to enter your market. If it costs little in time or money to enter your market and compete effectively, if there are few economies of scale in place, or if you have little protection for your key technologies, then new competitors can quickly enter your market and weaken your position. If you have strong and durable barriers to entry, then you can preserve a favorable position and take fair advantage of it. This is why it is imperative for companies to invest in technology.

The Drill

Begin by checking the factors above for the size and effect of the force noted above. For example, use a single “+” sign for a force moderately in your favor, or “” for a force strongly against you. Finally, assess your particular situation in light of the strengths and weaknesses you have noted in each of the areas above. Think through how each affects your “position” and “potential” for achieving the goals you set. The tally will help you see what changes are needed to increase your power with respect to each force.

The Porter method is a useful tool to help measure “potential” and to determine the balance of power in your industry. It is not a perfect predictor of these, but an effective tool in the effort to prepare a favorable market model for yourself and your company. Discovery is often the means to greater success, and not surprisingly, great fun.



August 18, 2017 |

Save the Date for a Tavern Talk by Dr. David Gioe


Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands invite you to save the date of October 3rd, at 7:00 PM, for their 2nd Annual Tavern Talk, hosted at the Newburgh Brewing Company.

This year, Assistant Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point and former U.S. Intelligence professional, Dr. David Gioe will speak on “Data Breaches Before the Internet and the Case of Oleg Penkovsky & the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

The event is free to the public and the tap room will be open, so stop by for a more casual atmosphere to enjoy some fascinating history.

For more information, please call 845-562-1195.

Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands supports the efforts of Washington’s Headquarters, New Windsor Cantonment, and Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Sites. Members enjoy free admission, emailed announcements of upcoming events, and invitations for “members only” events.

August 18, 2017 |

Annual Native Plant Weekend to Benefit The Native Plant Center, Hosted by Rosedale Nurseries on September 9 & 10


The 8th annual Native Plant Weekend at Rosedale Nurseries, 51 Saw Mill River Road, in Hawthorne, New York will again benefit The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College. The plant sale takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A large selection of native shrubs, trees, perennials, grasses and ferns will be available for purchase at the nursery, and personal shoppers will help customers find the best plants for their gardens.

“Native plants are growing in popularity, and this event allows gardeners to choose from a large selection at a great time of year for planting,” says Carol Capobianco, Director of The Native Plant Center. “In addition, customers will get individualized attention and personal shopping advice on their specific site needs from our knowledgeable volunteers. Many thanks to Rosedale for annually hosting this wonderful weekend.”

Four free educational talks will be offered on various aspects of native plants. The talks spotlight Go Native U, a program on sustainable gardening with native plants that The Native Plant Center presents in conjunction with Westchester Community College’s Division of Workforce Development and Community Education.

The talks are scheduled as follows:

Saturday, September 9

Native Host Plants for Butterflies and Moths, by Kim Eierman (11 am.)

Native Plants for Shady Areas, by Missy Fabel (2 pm.)

Sunday, September 10

Native Trees that Attract Wildlife by Guy Pardee (11 am.)

Plants and Best Practices for the Fall Native Garden by Carolyn Summers (2 pm)

Nursery staff and Native Plant Center volunteers will be available throughout the weekend to help customers pick the perfect plants for their purposes. The selection is diverse, including many beautiful, hardy, low-maintenance native plants. In addition to a large plant selection, Rosedale sells gardening books, supplies, decorations and more. A percentage of proceeds from the event will be donated to The Native Plant Center.

“Rosedale Nurseries is pleased to sponsor this year’s native plant sale to benefit Westchester Community College’s Native Plant Center,” says Richard Schnall, Vice President of Rosedale. “We have assembled a varied collection of native woody and perennial plants for sale, including plant specimens grown on our own Hudson Valley Farms. Our very knowledgeable sales staff will be available to assist with all purchases.”

For more information about the benefit, The Native Plant Center, or Go Native U (Fall classes start September 25, featuring a special all-day event titled “Understanding Pollinators”), call The Native Plant Center at (914) 606-7870, email, or visit For information about the weekend benefit specifically, call Rosedale at (914) 769-1300 or visit


The Native Plant Center was established in 1998 as the first national affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. The Native Plant Center maintains demonstration gardens and educates the public about the environmental necessity, economic value and natural beauty of native plants through conferences and its Go Native U classes and certificate program.




August 17, 2017 |

The Children’s Hour at Pelham Art Center


The Children’s Hour

Curated by Lisa Banner
September 15 – October 28, 2017
Free Opening Reception: Friday September 15, 6:30-8PM
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.” —Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5.
Everyone begins life as a child, and as a society we look back on that time when we were innocent: playing, learning, and growing. Childhood is a time filled with imagination, games and play. But it is also a time when we absorb the stories, memories and dreams that make us who we become later in life. Artists often use the motif of childhood to remark upon social conditions, using the framework of childhood to understand larger truths about human nature.

Artists: Randy Bolton, Holland Cunningham, Cristina Grassi, Elizabeth Holtry, Scott Hunt, Leslie Lerner, Dennis Masback and Andrew Shears.


Randy Bolton, Wheat Field, 2008, Digital print on canvas with sculptural object (wood, paint), 7’2″ x 5′. 
Courtesy of Littlejohn Contemporary.

Using metaphorical childhood scenes as a device to examine adult issues, the artists here depict children to simply convey complex ideas. Children’s stories, often loaded with moral lessons, are not all sugar and spice. At times hard lessons are delivered to children through myths, fables, and parables, or moral tales. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with stories like Hansel and Gretel, or The Gingerbread Man, instruct and disturb forming minds and moral compasses. Stories like Dick and Jane, or Jack and Jill seem innocuous, but carry deeper meaning. Charlotte’s Web, a dearly beloved story by E.B. White, relates the desperate efforts of barnyard animals to save one of their own, by calling attention to his distinctive and special qualities. While it is read to children, the story carries a metaphor for human interactions in society, which is valuable for all ages.

Some artists in this exhibition take inspiration from those stories and blend them with the imaginative and playful side of childhood to create social satire. Randy Bolton uses children’s book illustrations as a distinctive visual vocabulary to express social satire. Cristina Grassi depicts children’s nightmares with enormous creatures chasing after them. Dennis Masback creates trompe l’oeil paintings that seem to be ripped from a child’s notebook. Holland Cunningham uses actual found snapshots of children to explore the past in shades of gray. A Gothic sensibility of unsettling and shadowy monochromatic memories is explored by Scott Hunt and Andrew Shears. Leslie Lerner (1950-2005) created a personal mythology paired with a lyrical and delicate vision of childhood. Finally, Elizabeth Holtry examines innocence as a time connected to a remote historical past, where children laugh as they play with creatures like rats and cockroaches, evoking awe and respect from the viewers.

Our ephemeral childhood ends with adolescence and is remembered in this close examination of works that celebrate the all too brief; Children’s Hour

The exhibition will be on view September 15 – October 28, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday September 15, 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

About Pelham Art Center
Pelham Art Center’s mission is to provide the public with a place, the resources and the opportunity to see, study, and experience the arts in a community setting. Currently serving more than 16,000 adults and children in Westchester County and parts of the Bronx by offering high-quality free and affordable art programs year round, Pelham Art Center is committed to the belief that the public’s access to and participation in the arts strengthens communities and fosters lifelong engagement in the arts.
These events and programs are made possible, in part, by the ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from: New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency; Westchester Community Foundation, McClellan Sotheby’s International Realty; Meridian Risk Management/Joan Solimine Real Estate, Bayside Travel and ArtEffects; Westchester Jewish Community Services; Nurses Network of America; Town of Pelham; Junior League of Pelham; New Rochelle Campership Fund; the Rutsch family; Jon and Nancy Warner; Members; and Annual Fund Donors.

August 16, 2017 |

Volleyball is Staats’ Love


Slater's Slant







By Chuck Slater



There is no doubt that the area’s best volleyball player is Panas’ senior hitter Yvette Burcescu, chosen the state Player of the Year as a junior last January. And Diane Swertfager, the tremendously successful Hen Hud volleyball coach, is equally certain the second best is her own senior hitter, Zoe Staats. “She’s definitely second best,” the coach who has won three state championships said. “And she’s my captain. And she jumps. Boy, does she jump. She has that God-given ability in her vertical jump,” Swertfager said. “Combine that with her speed and she plays like she is 6 feet, 5 inches — not 5 feet, 11 inches. She even started for me as a freshman. It’s rare for a freshman to make the Hen Hud varsity, much less start.”

Zoe Staats plays her sport year-round. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DENISE STAATS)

And a young freshman. Now as a senior, Staats does not turn 17 until late September. After Staats suffered a late-season leg injury last year, Hen Hud lost to Panas in the sectional semifinals. Now she is fully healthy again and better than ever after an eventful summer of volleyball success.

Staats played at the GEVA (Garden Empire Volleyball Association) camp this summer then helped win a national title on the GEVA all-star team. In the competition in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Staats’ squad upset a favored Florida group in the semifinals then whipped a Pennsylvania team in the final. “I played a lot of right side but also all around,” she reports. The right side is just right for her — “Because I’m left-handed.” And she got one more thing over the summer: A new serve, even though her old one was pretty devastating. “It’s a topspin serve,” she said. “They insisted I use it and it was very, very effective.”

According to her dad Otto, his daughter was an all-around athlete when young — then she met volleyball. “She’s always got a volleyball in her hands,” said her mother, Denise Staats. “It’s what she loves.” “For me it’s volleyball all year round,” Staats agrees.

Staats was seven when she was introduced to the sport at one of the Swertfager’s clinics. Soon, her mom signed her up and she was playing club volleyball for the Downstate Juniors in Peekskill; playing it and loving it. “I like everything about it; I like all the skills,” said Staats. “Passing, serving, retrieving, hitting.” She masters them so well she already has a volleyball scholarship to Rhode Island to continue playing in college.

As part of her year-round volleyball dedication, Statts also plays for the Downstate club. One of her teammates: Yvette Burcescu. Wow!

August 16, 2017 |
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