by Peter Tarsio
I attended the meeting and the presentation of the the Nyack Library on Mon April 8 where the board of directors and the newly appointed director spoke to a room of at least 70 people about the imminent demise of the Carnegie Room Concerts, one of the better known and outstanding programs at the library.
The meeting began with an general outline of the present condition of their financial status and then in due course moved along to a discussion and question and answer session. The Carnegie Room concerts seemed to be the bone of contention with the board and they are seeking ways to end the series or to restructure it. However, I heard no plan as to what they were intending to do other than to curtail the program for whatever reason to balance the budget as they complained that the program was running in the red.
Many of us signed a list to speak in turn to the actions that they make seek in order to rectify their complaint that the series although outstanding in its own right is now being considered for cancellation as of this coming June.
Many of the people attending the meeting were outraged that this program and its artistic director Mr. Yashar Yaslowitz would be treated in such a cavalier manner. We all spoke in turn and there were several outstanding speakers who directed their comments with a certain vehemence and were not pleased with the decision to cancel this series since it plays such a vital role in the community and the artistic and musical performances are on the highest level of professionalism outside of the city of New York.
I did stand and talk to the point that the program was commendable and having been a performer and supported and donated to the program I find this deeply disturbing and I told the board that they are mistaken to treat this with such disdain and that they should reconsider their decision which is not yet in a final stage
Mr. Yaslowitz stood and made his account of how his program was doing and I was astounded to hear that his account was starkly different from the board’s explanation, who outlined a very dim and bleak picture of what they considered to be a complete failure from their financial report.
I suggested that an advisory board be set into motion to assist Mr. Yalsowitz in contending with the situation that is now threatening to close an outstanding artistic contribution to both the Village of Nyack and the tri state region. This series has been cited in many publication such as the New York Times, Huffington Post and in Rivertown where the most highest praise has been given to his endeavors and also for organizing single handed the Carnegie Concerts at the Nyack Library. I think the consensus from the public was to affirm that the program should continue. A final decision has not been reached but I will be informed by various means as I have been well connected to the program over the years.
Pianist Peter Tarsio has performed in the Carnegie-Farian Room at the Nyack Library. He teaches at the Northern Westchester Music Teachers Alliance in Yorktown Heights, NY.
See also: Curtains For Carnegie Room Concerts? 4/7/2013