Happy New Year! Now that 2023 has arrived, I am taking some time to reflect on the past year. It was a transformative year that brought many new and exciting opportunities for Sparkle on Stage, Inc. In 2022, we found a home on the Nautical Mile in Freeport and officially opened our doors on July 6th.
Since then, we have hosted a variety of events including Drag Queen Bingo, Cemetery Cinema, Storytime Sundays, Murder and Mayhem with Regina Feeney, Magic with Zah Alexander, and most recently our inaugural Winterfest, including performances of the "Nutcracker ... It's Not Just a Ballet," and A Christmas Evening with Joseph Anthony Smith.
One of the most rewarding things about having our own space is connecting with people. Everyone that has stopped in to see what we are all about has commented on how wonderful it is to have a family-friendly offering on the Mile. We have also met many talented artists, musicians, and actors who just seem to be drawn to our space. All who enter have noticed the good vibes in the air.
As a Cultural Arts Center, our mission is to keep our doors and minds open to all types of entertainment. We have listened to the numerous suggestions we have received as to the kinds of shows, classes, and events people would like to see. We have incorporated many of these ideas this year, but in 2023 we are adding even more exciting programming. We are always open to anyone who wants to teach or perform, so please reach out to us with your ideas.
We also found out how much funding and volunteers it takes to make the magic of the arts happen. We could not have done what we did this year without the tireless dedication of many volunteers. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has given their time, talent, or financial support. But, as we appreciate all the help we received, we will need even more help in 2023.
Despite the successes, 2022 has brought some serious challenges. As some of you may know, on December 23rd, south Freeport was hit with an 8.1-foot tidal surge. Many Freeport homes and businesses were damaged by the rising flood water. Sparkle on Stage Cultural Arts Center was affected as well. We had some losses, had to invest in a wet/dry vacuum, and spent much of our holiday cleaning up water. But we continued to keep the holiday spirit, played the songs of the season as we threw out costumes, snacks, and, most tragically, PIPS ice cream (we lost our freezer). As we continue in 2023, we welcome any donations that will help us clean up and replace what we lost.
Speaking of 2023, we already have some exciting activities planned. In January, Bella Noche returns for Drag Bingo, and Cemetery Cinema will be showing “Bride of the Monster,” a classic horror sci-fi with the legendary Bella Lugosi. In February, help us celebrate Black History Month with our concert series produced by artist-in-residence, Freeport’s own Nic Ashe.
We also have a new artist, Clemente Ettrick, showing his beautiful work reflecting the artistry of dance. Some of it is already here and available for purchase.
For our younger performers, Miss Robyn will be teaching a Staged Reading Workshop starting on January 13th. It includes an informal performance in May. Registration is open now. We are also offering Vocal, Piano, and NYSSMA Lessons and Prep. Call for more information on pricing and lesson times.
If you haven’t done so already, Subscribe to our website so you don’t miss any news or events. We are starting our membership loyalty program (Sparkle Stars) in the next few weeks. You will be able to earn points toward tickets to events, merchandise, and other prizes. Sparkle on Stage Cultural Arts Center is growing. Please join us on our journey!