Idea City

Idea City: A gathering of artists and those who love the arts

The recent Idea City meeting hosted by the Arts Council of Rockland at the lovely Nyack Boat Club was a vibrant evening that gathered over 70 artists in all disciplines, business supporters and community members who love the arts to share their ideas about expanding the presence of the arts in everyday life in Rockland County.

At the meeting the following ideas engaged the imagination of the community:

IDEA 1: Monthly gathering

Idea City participants found it was an excellent venue to meet other artists and arts organizations and develop a closer ‘community of artists’.  There was broad agreement that this was something that should take place on a regular basis beginning as soon as possible.

This project incorporates the additional ideas mentioned or written on the Idea Pads during the evening including: Salon ala Gertrude Stein, Monthly salons for creative people to share space/ideas “cross-pollination”, ways to foster collaborations.

ACTION: The Arts Council will (initiate) the next meeting in March.  Date and place to be announced.

IDEA 2: Arts Center

As has been created in a number of other communities, everyone would like to see a joint legislator/business community/community member taskforce to create a subsidized arts center.

This project incorporates the following ideas noted or written on the Idea Pads: Attractive gallery for shows, space, Dedicated Cultural and Visual Arts Performance Space, Hub, Theatre Space.

ACTION: The Arts Council has begun meeting with Rockland politicians to present the results of the Idea City meeting and begin public conversation about the creation of an Arts Center.  (see also#3)

IDEA 3: Arts Performance Space at Shared Use Path

An Arts Center to be located at the Exit 10 Shared Use Path.

A couple of Rockland business’ called the Arts Council to object to this placement of an Arts Center.  They urged us to locate the Arts Center closer to other business’, (restaurants, stores, etc.) to create more synergies.

ACTION: The Arts Council spoke with South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian regarding the feasibility of putting this on the agenda in discussions with the state.  She responded that is far too early to discuss what might be part of the Exit 10 area. 

IDEA 4: Arts Trail Bus & Arts Promotion Component

An extension of the 9W bus route, on one weekend day, for a three month trial in the Spring.  The bus would, for example, begin at the Arts Students League gallery in Sparkill, move to ROCA in West Nyack, up to Garner Arts in Garnerville, down to Hopper House and then to Union in Sparkill and back around.  It could accommodate additional stops for special events like Walk to the Beat in Nyack, Jamaican Steel Band Concert in Spring Valley, Shades Reparatory Theater in Haverstraw and others.  A key component of this project would include promotion for the bus and for events.

This project incorporates the ideas mentioned or written on the Ideas Pads: Rockland Tourism Arts Brochure

ACTION: This idea along with the Arts Center is on the agenda for discussion with politicians and business.

IDEA 5:  Entrepreneurial Skills and Skill Share For Artists

ACTION: Artists in all disciplines would like to improve their skills.  In part this could happen at the monthly meetings but to facilitate specific skills in an informal setting the Arts Council normally hosts 8 yearly Professional Development Workshops for Artists.

This project incorporates the following ideas mentioned or noted on the Idea Pads: Workshops for artists in appropriate subjects: photography, social media, marketing, etc.

Cost: Free for members  / $25 non-members

We will begin this year with the following:


It’s time to up your game and learn skills necessary to become a successful artist-entrepreneur in Rockland County.  Increase your income, build your audience, be your own boss and control your destiny.

When: Thursday January 28th, 2016 7:15 – 9:15pm.

Presenter: Jeffrey Friedberg is an award-winning children’s musician and a board certified music therapist.  He owns 2 arts businesses in Rockland County, Bossy Frog Productions LLC and Music For Life Creative Arts Therapy PLLC. He has performed for over 100,000 children and families, has released 8 albums of music for children and runs a full-time music therapy office.

Location: Music For Life Creative Arts Therapy 117 Depew Ave, Upper Nyack, NY 10960 (just off of Franklin Ave in downtown Nyack).

The Arts Council will host a digital photography workshop for artists in February

IDEA 6: Music Festival in Nyack

A number of artists as well as the business community would like to see a major music festival in Nyack’s Memorial Park.

ACTION: Nyack’s business community would like to organize this project. If you would like to be involved please email: and put Music Festival in your subject line.

There were a number of other projects or ideas noted or mentioned during the evening that we will keep on the minutes to discuss in more depth at future meetings:

  • GONE LOCAL, a gift shop for the work of Rockland Artists.
  • Inexpensive studio space for artists
  • Build dance programs
  • Dedicated Children’s Theater Program
  • Dental Insurance
  • Holi Hai Color Festival
  • Mentors for artists
  • Develop Rockland County Youth Symphony
  • Adult professional theater
  • Literary Community
  • Facilitate Business partnerships
  • Sharing talents with youth
  • Ways to direct more funds to the arts in Rockland

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