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Art, Drama, Music and Books
Art, drama, music & books

Friends of the Bronxville Library Board Elects New Officers PDF Print Email


By Irena Choi Stern, board member, Friends of the Bronxville Public Library 

The Friends of the Bronxville Public Library (FOBPL) Board elected four new officers at its Sept. 15 board meeting, the final one chaired by outgoing president Dina Grant. The officers for 2020-2021 are:  Rekha Waggoner, president; Lauren Toal, vice president/president-elect; Zahabia Brainch, treasurer; and Laura Kinon, secretary. 


Rekha Waggoner

“Bronxville stands out because of the incredibly strong, smart and talented women who live here, and we are thrilled that four of them have assumed leadership of our beloved library,” said Irena Choi Stern, chair of the FOBPL Nominating Committee, which included Isabelle Ingersoll, Jody Klessel and Dina Grant.

In addition to those on the Nominating Committee, the members of the board include Grace Gilmer, Heather Lamadrid, Margaret Mager, Carolyn Mattson, Chiara O’Connor and Vanessa O’Friel.

Over the years, the FOBPL has quietly filled in where library budgets have not been able to meet the need, funding all adult and children’s programming, including the summer reading program, author events featuring nationally recognized writers, including Min Jin Lee and Fiona Davis. On Sept. 16, the FOBPL organized an author event with Barbara Demick, discussing her latest book, “Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town,” and on Sept. 30 it will present an evening with  Fiona Davis, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Lions of Fifth Avenue.”

The FOBPL also funds a museum pass program to New York City institutions, as well as access to e-books, databases and other internet resources available without charge to Library cardholders. The library has long been a central focus of the community, with residents donating to the 2001 renovation of the building, the majority of which was funded by the sale of a Childe Hassam painting that had been hanging for decades in the Library. The ongoing programs are funded by community support through annual donations to, and a benefit organized by, the FOBPL.

Photo at top by A. Warner; Other photo courtesy Friends of Bronxville Public Library

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


OSilas Gallery Reopens With "A Photo Album of Ireland" PDF Print Email


By Elizabeth Vranka, Executive Director of OSilas Gallery at Concordia College

Sep. 23, 2020: OSilas Gallery at Concordia College is pleased to announce the reopening of the Gallery on September 17. 

The Gallery is thrilled to welcome visitors again since closing its doors in March due to the pandemic. The opening show is A Photo Album of Ireland, which will be on view through November 7, 2020. 

The health and safety of our community is our priority, and visitors will note new health and safety protocols in place on campus and in the Gallery. The Gallery's new health and safety protocols can be found by clicking here.

A Photo Album of Ireland is a touring exhibition. It emerges from an ongoing democratic archive that is a celebration of ordinary and extraordinary histories, viewed from the perspective of private individuals and families. From the earliest photographs taken in the 1850s to photo-booth images from the 1980s, these images reveal details about how people lived, worked, and gathered that official historical records may have overlooked.

Taken as a whole, this collection of more than 90 photographs creates a rich tapestry of images that tells of the triumphs and times of turmoil in the life of a nation. From quotidian scenes of pastoral picnics, holiday celebrations, and parlor portraits to snapshots documenting the impact of The Troubles in the North; from joyful wedding parties to solemn funerary processions; from the documentation of Irish historical sites by the world-renowned Shackleton family to the unheralded efforts of an anonymous family photographer; A Photo Album of Ireland presents the people's account of history that is at once personal and powerful.

The exhibition will present an extensive range of digitized images from early Ambrotype portraits and informal Box Brownie images to 35mm documentary photographs and Polaroid images. The overall exhibition design concept will emulate a family photo album, with images of various sizes installed salon style.

This exhibition was organized with support from Culture Ireland's International Culture Programme to celebrate Ireland 2016. It was curated by the Gallery of Photography, Dublin, and organized by ExhibitsUSA in partnership with Culture Ireland.

A Photo Album of Ireland will be on view in OSilas Gallery through November 7, 2020. Gallery hours for the general public are Thursdays 12 pm – 5 pm and Saturdays 2 pm – 5 pm. Special Gallery hours for Gallery Members only are Tuesdays 12 pm -5 pm. Visitors are encouraged to make an appointment to view the show outside of regular Gallery hours by contacting Executive Director Elizabeth Vranka at  CLOAKING . To join the OSilas Gallery and have access to the Gallery during special hours, please click here.

OSilas Gallery is located on the campus of Concordia College, 171 White Plains Road, Bronxville, in the Donald A. Krenz Academic Center on the second level of Scheele Memorial Library. Free parking is available on campus and accessible via Concordia Place off of White Plains Road. For more information on exhibitions and a full listing of gallery events, please see All visitors to the Gallery must comply with the Gallery's safety protocols, which can be found by clicking here.

Photo courtesy OSilas Gallery


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


Registration is Open for Art Classes at OSilas Art Studio in Bronxville PDF Print Email


By Elizabeth Vranka, Executive Director of OSilas Gallery at Concordia College New York

Sep. 9, 2020: OSilas Art Studio is pleased to announce that registration is now open for fall 2020 art instruction. 

The Art Studio, which is located on the campus of Concordia College in Bronxville, is offering weekly in-person classes in accordance with New York State guidelines, ranging from elementary school-aged studio art to honors middle and high school art. 

All instructors have ample experience in Art Studio, and Zoom class instruction should classes need to transition to online instruction. 

Fall semester classes begin in September and run to early December.

In addition to in-person class instruction, the Art Studio is offering virtual classes. If students would like to take class individually or with a small group of friends, private and semi-private lessons are also available virtually or in-person. A limited number of private/semi-private slots are available, and a minimum of six sessions are required to reserve a slot.

Art Program Director Lisa Rao is excited to welcome students back to the studio after a busy summer of Zoom instruction. Rao said, “The instructors and I were thrilled with the way our art students were able to transition from in-person instruction last winter to distance-learning and with the quality art they produced. We had a very busy summer of virtual class instruction as well as private instruction, but it will be wonderful to have our students back in the art studio, creating art.”

Please note that the health and safety of our students, instructors, and the Concordia College community is our priority. Students and families will be required to follow Concordia College’s safety protocols, including limited class sizes that allow for social distancing and the wearing of masks at all times on campus. Further information on Concordia’s safety plans can be found here:

For more information on all classes and to register, please visit or contact Lisa Rao at lisa.rao@concordia– or 914-337-9300 x2433.

Photo courtesy of OSilas Gallery

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.



Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps Get New Ambulance Courtesy of The Community Fund PDF Print Email


By Amy Korb, Executive Director, The Community Fund

Sep. 9, 2020: On August 17, 2020, the Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps took receipt of a new ambulance for their fleet. The state of the art vehicle is crucial to the organization's success and the impact it makes on the whole community.

Each year, The Community Fund sets aside $50,000 to assist EVAC, which receives modest aid from the Town of Eastchester but relies heavily upon private donations. Every three years, the Fund gives EVAC a check for a new ambulance, which runs about $150,000. The Fund has partnered with EVAC for the past 20 years to ensure that Bronxville, Eastchester, and Tuckahoe have the most up to date vehicles.

Maxwell K Goldberg, Deputy Chief & Public Information Officer and EMT-B, is thrilled with the new purchase. "Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps would like to extend our sincerest thank you to The Community Fund for making the purchase of 57-B4 possible," he said. "This 2020 Chevrolet G3500 Chassis with a Braun Express Type III Ambulance configuration is the perfect addition to our fleet. As new residents enter the community, our call volume continues to grow, and the addition of a fourth ambulance allows Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps to meet the demands of the community with top-notch medical care. Thanks to the generosity of The Community Fund, 57-B4 is loaded with state of the art cardiac equipment, enhanced safety features, and a sleek design. Combine these features with the great reputation of Braun Custom Ambulances and we are confident you will see this particular unit on the road for a decade or longer."

EVAC strives to keep three ambulances in service at all times. The addition of the new ambulance gives them extra flexibility to handle the maximum amount of calls.

Jonalie Korengold, President of The Community Fund, understands the importance of this specific grant. "Now more than ever, our community needs the most up to date medical resources. With donations from our friends and neighbors, we are happy to purchase for the Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps a new ambulance to be used in our area."

The Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. (EVAC), which started in 1952, is the sole emergency ambulance provider for the town of Eastchester and the villages of Tuckahoe and Bronxville. The mission of EVAC is to provide quality, compassionate, cost effective, and expeditious pre-hospital emergency medical care to our community. As an advanced life support service with paramedics on duty 24 hours a day, EVAC provides care that meets national standards for pre-hospital emergency medical services delivery.

For 100 years, The Community Fund has been supporting agencies and community programs which provide services to residents of the Bronxville 10708, Eastchester and Tuckahoe (BET) area, including: 

-Family initiatives, including cancer support groups, bereavement counseling, and drug and alcohol and counseling services. 

-Senior living assistance, including escorts for transportation, housecleaning services, shopping assistance, and recreational programs. 

-Youth support, including after school programs, teen scene activities, summer enrichment programs, and drug and substance abuse education in BET schools. 

-Health care funding including the free flu shots in partnership with NY Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, and the purchase of state of the art ambulances for Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps (EVAC), the primary ambulance provider in our area.

Photo courtesy The Community Fund

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff

Experience the Joy and Color of OSilas Gallery's 7th Annual pARTners Exhibition on the Gallery Website PDF Print Email


By Rebecca Portnoy, Associate Director of Communications, Concordia College New York

Aug. 26, 2020: OSilas Gallery's annual pARTners Exhibition is a highlight of the spring season. 

It features art created by local high school students with special needs in collaboration with Concordia College New York students and the OSilas Gallery & Art Studio. 

This spring, just as students delivered their work to the Gallery for installation in anticipation of a March 12 opening, Concordia College closed in response to the pandemic. The art sat unhung in the shuttered Gallery for months.

With the young artists from Tuckahoe and Bronxville High Schools unable to gather in the Gallery or experience the excitement of an opening night reception, Executive Director Elizabeth Vranka was determined to hang and photograph the show.

With the help of Jennifer Lotz, an OSilas Gallery Advisory Board member, and Ines Abukhadra, a senior at Bronxville High School, the show was installed.

"As soon as the show went up, I knew we needed to share it more widely – even if only virtually," said Vranka.

Inspired by Concordia's 2019-2020 college theme of Civics and Civility, the students worked over several months to create pieces expressing kindness, tolerance, inclusion, and a sense of home.


"The Gallery has become a colorful world of peace and harmony with crafted trees gracing welcoming streetscapes, and collaged and painted houses evoking a sense of community and belonging," said Vranka.

This year's pARTners Exhibition is a colorful, joy-filled exhibition that reminds us of the kindness and goodwill we experience in our communities every day. 

The delay of its installation has only made the show more powerful and relevant. I'm so grateful for the student-artists who shared their work and for the art teachers who made it possible."

High-resolution images, along with information about the exhibition, can be found at

OSilas Gallery looks forward to reopening to the public on September 17. 

For more information about OSilas Gallery and its events and exhibitions and new protocols to keep visitors and staff safe and healthy, please visit

OSilas Gallery integrates the visual arts into the cultural and educational life of the Concordia College campus and surrounding community by providing quality exhibitions and programs that are diverse in style, content, and media; memorable, thought-provoking, and spiritually enriching; and of artistic originality, integrity and excellence.

Photos courtesy Concordia College Bronxville

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

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