Jenny Lynn Stewart: A New York Spirit

It makes me feel happy. I feel happy when I sing. People who hear me sing tell me THEY feel happy; that I make their hearts happy. It’s the most joyful thing that I can do, I feel, for me and for others.

Photo:  Bill Westmoreland

JENNY LYNN STEWART, dramatic soprano, is a performer of uncommon versatility.

In 2021 Jenny officially became a member of the New York City Artist Corps when she received a $5,000 City Artists Corps Grant from New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA)

Ms. Stewart was recognized for The New York Spirit, a musical program of uplifting and inspiring songs targeted for the 55+ senior audience together with stories of success during the pandemic intended to lift the audiences’ spirits and inspire them for their lives going forward.

Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts was Jenny’s original participating partner for The New York Spirit for a performance on September 18, 2021 that was free and open to the public, a requirement of the grant. Due to Covid restrictions, the New York Library system decided to postpone all in person performances.

Jenny contacted the City Artist Corps and told them about the development.  She was told that The New York Spirit must have a performance that was free and open to the public by October 31, 2021 or she would have to return the grant money.

After spending countless hours searching for a participating partner who would host The New York Spirit for a concert that was free and open to the public, Jenny found Bruce’s Garden.  www.Brucesgarden.net.   There, she met the Artistic Director, Aaron Scott who agreed to host a performance of The New York Spirit  that was free and open to the public on Saturday, October 23, 2021.  Aaron Scott in addition to being the Artistic Director of Bruce’s Garden, is a well-known jazz musician and played drums with the McCoy Tyner Trio.

The New York Spirit has come full circle and is now scheduled for a performance at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 2 P.M. The concert is free and open to the public.

The New York Spirit

An upcoming performance will be at:
Lincoln Center’s New York Library for the Performing Arts
Bruno Walter Auditorium
Saturday, April 30, 2022, at 2:00 PM
The concert is free and open to the public.
Free tickets required.

The Eventbrite link

This program is made possible by the New York City Artist Corps.

Jenny will be accompanied by Matthew Martin Ward, piano and Ritt Henn, bass.  The performance is directed by Ira Siff. 

Jenny has toured in the United States and internationally in such Rodgers and Hammerstein classics as Carousel (Nettie) and The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess) with fellow artists including Marie Osmond, John Davidson and Patrick Cassidy.

Ms. Stewart’s performance of her one-woman show “Give a Little Bit More, Richard Rodgers Revisited” at Don’t Tell Mama in New York City received amazing reviews including John Hoglund of BackStage saying “I believe she sounds most like a combination of a very young Barbara Cook and the late opera great Eileen Farrell. Her luminous sound fills the room with vocal magic.”  Audiences left the club full of joy and passionate about the performance.

Her classical music career includes solo performances at Carnegie Hall and the title roles in Aida and Tosca.

She has received reviews in “The Boston Globe,”, “Backstage,” “The Greenville News,” and “Press Focus” to name just a few.  “The Boston Globe,” for instance wrote “As the Mother Abbess, Jenny Lynn Stewart turns in a very successful “Climb Every Mountain.” Outside “Sister Act,” where else could a nun get such an emphatic standing ovation?”

Some of her tailor-made programs include a “Tribute to Barbara Cook,” “On Broadway:  The Forties and Fifties,” “The Sixties:  On Broadway,” “Lift Your Spirit (That’s The Spirit)” “Sondheim, Rodgers and Kern,” and “Magical Musical Moments,” a potpourri of Jenny’s unique offerings featuring moments from Broadway shows, popular songs and classic opera arias.  Her shows have been described as “classy, elegant, and fun-filled and holds great appeal for audiences of all demographics.”  She specializes in preparing programs for unique purposes such as fund-raisers, political events, and corporate events.

Ms. Stewart also has estimable opera, concert and recital experience. Her operatic repertoire includes the title roles in Aida and Tosca, Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, Leonora in La Forza Del Destino, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana and Magda in The Consul. Also, Ms. Stewart has performed the roles of Anne Coleman and Abigail Clark in the opera Mary Dyer by American composer, Richard Owen with New York Lyric Opera. She has sung with the Fort Worth, Arlington, Brooklyn Lyric, il Piccolo Teatro dell’ Opera and Surry, Maine opera companies, the Interlochen Opera Theater and Mid-America Productions. Ms. Stewart made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist with the Manhattan Philharmonic in the Dvorak Requiem.

Adding to her credits, Ms. Stewart was a Finalist in the Center for Contemporary Opera’s International Opera Singers Competition and was honored to be the soloist for a special veteran’s memorial service at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, in the Memorial Amphitheater.

Ms. Stewart is a frequent and acclaimed recitalist with a deep and varied repertoire. Her recital appearances include Ann Arbor, Dallas, Detroit, Lenox and New York as well as Busseto, Italy and Graz, Austria. She has been featured as the opening recitalist for the prestigious Morning Music Club’s recital series in Nyack, New York and has presented recitals at New York City’s Donnell Library to warm and enthusiastic audiences.

Ms. Stewart holds degrees in television and radio from Michigan State University and in voice performance from the University of Michigan. She continued her education in Europe, first at Karl-Franzens University, in Graz, Austria, studying the German language and then in Busseto, Italy where she worked with Renata Tebaldi and Carlo Bergonzi. She has explored the Wagnerian repertoire with Mr. Jean Cox and Anna Reynolds in Peesten, Germany. Her voice teachers and coaches include Nancy Stokes Milnes, Sherrill Milnes, Gene Cline, Bill Lewis, James de Blasis, Ira Siff, Gustav Meier, Leona Witter, Laurel Miller and Charles Riecker.

Holly Savas: Mom, Artist, VP Creative Action Network: An Artists’ Conduit for Change

I needed to use what I knew about working with big companies, my own company . . . to spread the word that art can change the world. . . Having something to do that spreads good in the world that makes me not focus on [my children] so much [so] that they can go out and do their own thing so they can become more autonomous in the world.

Creative Action Network (CAN) is the go-to online marketplace for social impact art and merchandise that supports independent artists and worthy social causes, via the products we sell on our website. We believe art can change the world, and it’s our mission to keep spreading that message while giving back to organizations we care about. 

Holly Savas is a mom, artist and VP of Brand, Art & Community at Creative Action Network. She’s a passionate supporter of artists and of universal arts education in schools and makes it her mission to raise awareness and give back to her community whenever possible. Her job at CAN is the perfect combo of all of those things rolled into one.

ART CAN CHANGE THE WORLD…

Creative Action Network doesn’t keep their opinions to themselves, and neither should you! When it comes to speaking out about important issues like gun reform, racial justice and gender equality (just to name a few) they’re getting louder by the day.

Raising our voices together means we can create lasting change, and their global community has put together a beautifully designed collection of activist posters that gets our messages across, all the while supporting hardworking social organizations like The Dream Corps. Head to their shop for the latest and choose from thousands of posters depicting the causes you care about! ~ Team CAN

https://creativeaction.network/ (sign up for our email newsletter to get the latest!) https://www.instagram.com/creativeactionnetwork/
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https://twitter.com/thecreativeact
Latest product (here are two): Mother’s Day 20% off sale starts 4/2  Green New Deal poster book that gives back to Sunrise MovementFeminist Socks including a new “Thanks Mom” variety 5-pack of famous feminist moms for Mother’s Day, with sales supporting UltraViolet organization

 Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9th! Head to Creative Action Network for a collection of meaningful gifts that celebrate mom, including feminist socks (think RBG!) books that are chock full of beautiful activist art and so much more. Every gift supports a worthy social cause like women’s rights, the environment and civil justice. Take 20% off everything at CAN + free shipping over $50 until Mother’s Day.”


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Mike Turner: Giving Voice to Truth

Politics, to me, has nothing to do with Republicans and Democrats, and the left and the right –all these labels that we want to apply to people we don’t agree with us. I wanna focus on what we DO agree about; I want to build off that consensus about what we can do about this particular social issue.

Take one part blues, one part folk, one part country. Add a dash of Southern gospel, rock and jazz. Season with world-weary experience. You’ll have a taste of Mike Turner’s eclectic original music.

Raised outside Detroit in a family steeped in the traditional mountain music of West Virginia, Mike grew up listening to the diverse sounds of gospel quartets, classic country and Motown. A 30-year career in law enforcement gave him a perspective few encounter – a world populated with smugglers, gun runners and folks on the wrong side of the tracks, and the law.

In retirement, Mike picked up the ukulele and tenor guitar, wrote his first song and hasn’t looked back. He was named 2016 Traditional Gospel Entertainer of the Year by the Alabama Music Association, and 2017 New Gospel Entertainer of the Year by the North American Country Music Associations International (NACMAI). His recordings have played on Internet and terrestrial radio in the US, the UK, Europe, New Zealand and on the US Armed Forces Radio Network.

Mike directed and was a featured performer in the Alabama Bicentennial program, “200 Years of Alabama’s Music,” in 2019; and was showcased on the “15 Minutes of Fame Stage” at the 2020 Monroeville (AL) Literary Festival.

Mike handles A&R and public relations for Music For World Peace Records; and manages its subsidiary label, Blue Uke Records.

Mike makes his home on the US Gulf Coast, where, when not writing and performing, he sails an historic schooner.

Website: Mike Turner (miketurnersongwriter.com)

Facebook:: www.facebook.com/MikeTurnerSongwriter    

YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/MikeTurnerSongwriter                                  

Email:  SailorUke@aol.com

Jeannie Moon: Isn’t It Romantic

I write about relationships and I write about the ability of love to heal…We call the genre the literature of hope because we’d like to see it’s not just about that happily-ever-after; it’s about giving a hopeful optimistic view of how things can go. It doesn’t always mean it’s perfect, but it means like that idea: Love always wins.

Award-winning and best selling author Jeannie Moon is a native Long Islander and imagines that conjures an image of big hair and a nasally accent, but that’s not the Long Island that she knows. Raised in a north shore town that once would have been called bucolic and now people call trendy, she married her high school sweetheart and her children were born in the same hospital as she was. She has deep roots here, and it gives her a history.
A strong sense of home which reflects in her fabulous stories.

Like most women, she wears a lot of hats. When she was in college, she planned on becoming a famous sportscaster. However, never being objective, she leaned more toward the publicity side of the business, doing work for local papers and local teams. But the plan took a detour and she found herself in the front a classroom, teaching English. Teaching was in her blood, and she was hooked.

Jeannie’s books have received a number of honors. In addition to multiple starred reviews, Jeannie has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best and the Holt Medallion contests. In 2018, Jeannie’s novel, Then Came You, won the Bookseller’s Best Award for best long contemporary romance. Jeannie was the recipient of the 2018 RWA Service Award presented by Romance Writers of America for outstanding service to the romance community.

Her latest book Christmas in Angel Harbor is out now and to find out more about Jeannie, connect with her on her website, Facebook, Instagram and Book bub.

Readers can keep in touch with Jeannie on social media, as she’s a regular on Facebook and Instagram. Visit her website http://www.jeanniemoon.com for a complete listing of her books, social networks, and special appearances and events. If you’d like to book Jeannie to speak to your library patrons, book club or writers’ group, please check her Extras page for a list of available workshops.

Joan Kane & Gary Morgenstein: Taking a Bite of a Sweet Divide

I believe we’re broken. Everybody is broken in some way. Everybody has a story to tell. There are cracks in us…Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken objects by highlighting their cracks with golden powder. . . the original object is even more beautiful than before it was broken…America is going to be even more beautiful; we’re looking at our brokenness. And I really believe with my heart and soul that we’re going to be even more beautiful after this. ~Joan Kane

GARY MORGENSTEIN’S
A BLACK AND WHITE COOKIE
 IS A NEW OFF-BROADWAY COMEDY/DRAMA
ABOUT AN AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWSTAND OWNER ENCOURAGED TO FIGHT HIS EXORBITANT RENT INCREASE BY AN ECCENTRIC JEWISH RADICAL  

DIRECTED BY JOAN KANE, THE PRODUCTION NOW PREMIERES
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21 AT 7:00PM/ET AS PART OF TFTNC’s ON THE AIR SERIES
&  SUNDAY, JANUARY 24 AT 3PM/ET ON THE EGO ACTUS WEBSITE

Incorporating the pandemic experiences of the past eight months into their production that Covid-19 brought to a halt in March, the award-winning Ego Actus Theatre Company will still present Gary Morgenstein’s new drama A Black and White Cookie, but in an updated version that is set against the backdrop of New York City reopening, post-pandemic. The play’s schedule has been updated. The premiere will air as part of Theater for the New City’s virtual On The Air series. It is now slated for Thursday, January 21 at 7:00PM/ET, with an additional performance on Sunday, January 24 at 3PM/ET.
 
Directed by Joan KaneA Black and White Cookie was originally scheduled to premiere at the Pulitzer Prize-winning Theater for the New City on March 26, 2020. There are plans to stage the show at TFTNC when in-person performances are again allowed in New York City. 

The cast features Morry Schorr (Modern Family/ABC-TV), Roslyn Seale (The Color Purple/National Tour), Julie T. Pham (The OA/Netflix), Chris Collins-Pisano (Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation/Off Broadway) and Mansoor Najee-ullah (Mulebone, G.R. Point, The Mighty Gents/Broadway).

Harold Wilson, a gruff, conservative African American senior, has finally reopened his East Village newsstand following the coronavirus lockdown. Then an exorbitant rent increase forces him to close after 30 years and reluctantly retire to Florida with his niece. Enter Albie Sands, an eccentric 1960s Jewish radical, who persuades Harold to fight the landlord. Overcoming their many differences, Harold and Albie form a powerful and unlikely friendship to confront corporate greed – and prejudice. 

Said Gary Morgenstein: “For this new production, it was important to update A Black and White Cookie by layering in the terrifying burden of the pandemic to portray a city struggling to come into the light. While the play reflects hard truths about fear, disease and bigotry, it’s ultimately positive and uplifting. What the world needs now more than ever is love and understanding, and faith in ourselves, and each other. If these two stubborn old guys can come together, so can all of us. You just gotta believe.”

Gary Morgenstein’s (playwright) novels and plays have been featured in national media from the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Parade Magazine, the New York Post, Sports Illustrated to NPR. His sixth novel A Fastball for Freedom, the sequel to his critically-acclaimed dystopian baseball-science fiction A Mound Over Hell (“1984 Meets Shoeless Joe”), will be published by BHC Press on March 25, 2021. In addition to A Black and White Cookie, he is the author of the stage dramas Saving Stan and A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx, and the off-Broadway sci-fi rock musical The Anthem.  Morgenstein is developing the scripted television series Joyland, set during the tumultuous 1960s, with veteran network executive Russell Friedman and the award-winning Broadway performer and director DeMone Seraphin, who will direct the pilot episode on Zoom in early 2021.
 
Joan Kane (director) is the founding Artistic Director of Ego Actus and directed I Know What Boys Want at Theatre Row, Six Characters in Search of an Author in Oslo, Norway and Kafka’s Belinda in Prague. She also directed both Safe and what do you mean at 59e59 Theaters and in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, getting four star reviews for each. Kane was awarded Best Director in the 2016 United Solo Festival was named to the Indie Theatre Hall of Fame by nytheatre.com. She has also directed plays and readings for the Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the NY Fringe Festival, Theater for the New City, Urban Stages, Workshop Theater, Nylon Fusion, Abingdon Theatre, Oberon Theatre, the Samuel French Short Play Festival, the Midtown International Festival and The Actors Studio. Joan has an MFA in Directing from The New School, an MS in Museum Education from Bank Street College. She is a member of The New York Madness Company, the Dramatists Guild and the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers. Kane recently directed two plays during the Ego Actus Survival is Insufficient 10-play reading series.
 

KINTSUGI is the Japanese art of repairing broken objects by highlighting their cracks with golden powder.  Often undertaken as a form of art therapy to encourage resilience, the art of kintsugi follows a slow and painstaking process that requires patience and concentration. Day after day, week after week, step after step, the object is cleaned, gathered, cared for, mended and celebrated.  The object becomes even more beautiful then it was before it was broken. Its about accepting and celebrating our brokenness.

ABOUT EGO ACTUS
The award-winning international production company Ego Actus (Latin for “My Way”) was founded in 2009 by Joan Kane and Bruce A! Kraemer, who created an independent theatre company dedicated to creating art for art’s sake. Since then their shows, which have been presented in New York City and Europe, have been nominated for 61 awards, winning 21. Ego ActusOff-Broadway shows have included Play Nice! at 59e59 Theaters, I Know What Boys Want at Theatre Row and Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara at HERE, with other critically acclaimed productions at Theater for a New City, Urban Stages, and the WorkShop Theater. The European productions included Safe and what do you mean at the Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Kafka’s Belinda and The Telegram in the Prague Fringe festival, while The Metamorphosis was performed in Prague and Budapest. Their two reading series have included Off the Page, seven scripts read to live audiences at TornPage and Survival is Insufficient, 10 scripts seen on Zoom.