Giving Rye is a new occasional feature highlighting non-profits and community groups in and around the City of Rye. Today meet Adam Levi of The Rye Arts Center.
Your Name: Adam Levi
Organization: The Rye Arts Center
Your role: Executive Director
MyRye.com: Tell us your organization’s mission.
Levi: Our mission is to inspire life-long enthusiasm and participation in the arts through best-in-class artistic offerings and educational programs. We strive to have a positive impact on our local communities by bringing attention to the importance of the arts, creating a destination for diverse voices and by providing meaningful artistic opportunity.
How long have you operated in Rye?
Levi: 63 years, since 1960
What programming or work in Rye is the organization best known for?
- Visual and Performing Arts classes, workshops and events. Over 2,500 students take part in classes and workshops throughout the year, in a variety of mediums and disciplines such as drawing and painting, sculpture, STEAM and technology, ballet/dance, and more.
- Outreach initiatives – the RAC hosts many programs, including Dance for Parkinson’s Disease, Headstart in neighboring Port Chester, and more. We reach over 50,000 people annually.
- RyesAbove – working with the Rotary Club of Rye, the RAC engages over 35 artists on a bi-annual basis to create beautiful, artistic butterflies that are then auctioned off – with all funds going to children’s scholarships and other outreach initiatives.
Looking forward to 2024, what will be your top initiatives?
- Expand our Outreach programming. The RAC already does a lot, but the demand is great – and we are working on a plan to expand into other types of outreach, particularly with the senior population. Therapeutic arts are a top priority.
- Continue to bring the arts to all through continued public art installations and initiatives, such as Rye Poetry Path, RyesAbove, and throughout the area.
Tell us about the population you serve and how they can get involved with your programming and services.
Levi: The RAC serves the entire county, with a bulk of our students coming from the surrounding communities such as Larchmont, Mamaroneck, White Plains, and, of course, Rye. As a cultural center, we welcome all – you do not have to be a resident of Rye, or even a member, to benefit from our offerings. However, becoming a member of the RAC has its benefits; it helps fuel the work we do and strengthen our message that community and the arts go hand in hand.
Are you a 501(c)(3) non-profit with tax exempt status?
Looking back across 2023, what were your organization’s top achievements?
- Increased community engagement. The RAC has long been a pillar of the community, yet some still do not fully understand the breadth of work the RAC does. As our messaging becomes clearer and more focused, the community’s support has increased.
- Cutting edge programming – the RAC is the largest multi-arts center in the region. There are so many opportunities to connect with the Arts at the RAC, and this year in particular, we’ve pushed it even more – offering a wider range of classes and workshops than we’ve ever done before.
How can local residents support your organization?
Levi: Yes! Becoming a member is a great way to show support. Also making a donation to our Annual Appeal. We also gratefully accept volunteer support, please contact us to get involved!
What local Rye residents and area businesses have been the longest, steadiest supporters of your organization?
Tell us about you:
How long have you been in your current role?
Levi: I’ve been in my role as Executive Director for 3 years, but closing in on my 24th year with the RAC.
Is the role full time or part time? Paid or volunteer?
Levi: Full time and then some 😊
How would your friends and family describe you in one word?
|Coke or Pepsi?
|Coke on rare occasions
|Regular or diet?
|Action movie or rom com?
|Cook, order in or eat out?
|Dog, cat or no pet?
|Balsamic vinaigrette or ranch?
|Ruffles Original, Lay’s Barbeque or Funyuns?
|Still, sparkling or tap?
|Sparkling all day, every day
What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
Levi: Lucky to be surrounded by such kind people, can’t name just one.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why, and who would you take with you?
Levi: England! Never been, but on my bucket list since age 3. I guess my wife and kids can come.
What is your favorite streaming / TV series?
Levi: Changes too often, I wish I could answer this.
What is your favorite movie?
Levi: I’m a cinephile, too many to list.
Where do you live in Rye and how many years have you lived in the City?
Levi: I don’t live in Rye, although I reckon I’ve spent more time here than anywhere else. Currently reside in Patterson, NY.