Finding New Hope:
A creative project of the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Finding New Hope featured arts programming as a way to heal children and families who had lost loved ones in the events of 9-11.
The arts – especially the act of creating art – is positively therapeutic. Between 2002-2005, Bond Street Theatre created an amazing array of arts programs and activities through which children and adults can relieve anxiety and pain, and begin the process of healing.
We devised expressive theatre games, challenging skills games, hands-on arts projects, mask-making, boat-making, Cave Art explorations, body painting – all for both children and adults. These programs have provided uplifting and creative outlets for people of all ages and have been immensely popular.
One of the most memorable activities for both children and adults is the process of making “life masks” of each other’s faces by applying medical gauze directly on the face (after covering eyelashes and hair). The act of giving and receiving – being the sculptor and the mask model – is calming and enjoyable and builds trust. And the final mask is a beautiful image of one’s face at peace.
The workshops took place over a period of three years from 2002-2005 as weekend retreats for parents and children held in New York, Maryland, California, and Bulgaria.
The Palenville Circus:
In the small town of Palenville in Greene County, New York, Bond Street Theatre created an artists colony in 1985, the Palenville Interarts Colony, as a retreat for artists of all disciplines. As a way to bring the community and the Colony closer together, the group created a Children’s Circus – complete with Circus Band – that toured the County with their colorful circus tent, snappy costumes, and amazing feats of physical prowess!
The Palenville Circus was trained, choreographed and outfitted by Bond Street Theatre actors and the parents of Palenville, with the added Community Circus skills of Reg Bolton, and Englishman who had created community circuses on five continents. The Governor of New York named a day in our honor, Palenville Circus Day.
The Circus delighted audiences in New York for five years and encouraged the circus arts to thrive across three counties. Dave Brubeck and his sons gave the Palenville Interarts Colony and the Palenville Children’s Circus two fantastic benefit concerts in the Theatre on the Colony grounds.
We meet the children from the Circus from time to time; they always tell us how the Circus changed their life. It introduced them to theatre, gave them good presentation skills and, most important, open their eyes to their own potential.
The above are two outstanding and long-term programs. In addition, we have had the opportunity to introduce the theatre arts in many manifestations:
Finding New Hope was sponsored by the Lion's Club and Rotary Club.