Program areas at Landmark on Main Street
In 1985, the Port Washington School Board closed the Main Street School that had served the community since 1909. Faced with the sale and possible demolition of this beloved structure, two local citizens' groups merged their individual visions for the future of the building and surrounding park. Overcoming daunting legal and financial obstacles, the newly formed Landmark on Main Street partnership mapped out a plan for affordable senior housing and a community center to share the space. The converted building was returned to the community in 1995. The multi-faceted, multi-generational space now houses four distinct nonprofits including the Parent Resource Center, Port Washington Children's Center, the Teen Center and Landmark on Main Street, home of the Jeanne Rimsky 425-seat theater and the Doctors' Gym. Additionally, there are 59 subsidized apartments for low-income seniors, 9 of which are for adults with disabilities. Landmark stands today as a testament to the fortitude and spirit of the entire Port Washington community. Through our unique history Landmark has rightfully become a regional treasure, reflecting the value we all place on the arts. Landmark strives to combine the business model of a for- profit performing arts center with our mission as a non-profit organization seeking to make performing arts accessible to all. Our method is simple; bring in great talent, raise awareness, and keep it affordable all while giving back to our community. Our goal is to bring performing arts to the community and in turn, the community to the performing arts.Landmarks ticketed season normally runs September through June. These performances help support our community programming through ticket sales and sponsorship generation. Beyond our ticketed program we offer over 30 free community programs and events throughout the year benefiting all within the community. We actively seek in-kind donations, partnerships, sponsors and grant subsidies to underwrite and sustain these programs. This year, due to Covid, our season ended on March 8. In all, 95 events scheduled between March 9 and June 30, were cancelled. This includes ticketed shows, free community events and theater & gym rentals. We continue to explore alternative means to deliver our mission-based programming, including streaming and outdoor events.Before the pandemic shut us down, we presented 20 ticketed shows, offering high-quality award-winning performers ranging from the iconic Graham Nash, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Darlene Love, Rufus Wainwright to the up and coming Darlingside, Flor de Toloache, Gaelic Storm, appealing to a broad range of audiences across all age, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. This year we had 14 sellouts, across all genres of music. In addition to providing income in itself, this very strong schedule allowed us to secure sponsorships from individuals and businesses; these funds are used to cover operating expenses and support our community mission. Our Community Free Ticket Program, underwritten in part by a grant from the Community Chest of Port Washington, allowed us to welcome over 450 community members to our concerts. We distribute tickets to a network of community services and organizations who in turn distribute them to underserved populations. And we offer free tickets to the senior residents with whom we share our historic building.We work with community leaders to identify and book performers with particular resonance to specific demographics in our community. And we actively seek community partnerships to extend and enrich our programs. Our annual grant from the ed. Foundation enabled us to offer our junior high school music students a special performance by Flor de Toloache, deepening the students appreciation for the professional concert, to which they are also invited. Our two flagship community series, also grant funded, address our mission of engagement and enrichment. Conversations From Main Street provides a public forum for the discussion of issues that matter to our community through presentations that are inspiring, thought provoking and sometimes controversial. Audiences have the opportunity to interact with experts in a variety of fields, ask questions, express opinions and share ideas. Topics reflect the interests of our community; this year we addressed ageism, domestic violence, parenting, standardized testing, and alternative medicine. Conversations From Main Street complements the entertainment portion of our season by engaging the community in meaningful dialogue, while providing the opportunity to forge new partnerships with community organizations. This program continues on a virtual platform.Afternoon T.E.A. (Theater, Entertainment, Arts) is Landmarks premiere series designed to give seniors a sense of community and social engagement through cultural activities and interactive live entertainment. Audiences are comprised of residents of the subsidized senior apartments located in the Landmark building, retirees and other seniors (defined as ages 55+) in Port Washington and surrounding communities. T.E.A. programs are held twice monthly, year-round, with a total of 24 programs annually. Programs range from live musical performances, comedians, impressionists, multimedia presentations to classic films, documentaries and dance. Free refreshments are provided. The program is largely underwritten by donations and grants. As a result of Covid, this series is now being offered online via Zoom. We resumed our twice-monthly schedule in October and expect to continue it on that basis through June, 2021.Our facility rental program recognizes the value of participation in establishing a lifelong appreciation for cultural arts. By allowing community performing arts organizations to rent our theater and gym at below-market rates, we provide hundreds of young performers with the opportunity to engage in the performing arts.We take pride in the breadth of our community support. Grants from New York State & private foundations, plus additional support from sponsors and Partners in the Performing Arts help sustain our ability to bring the performing arts to our community and our community to the performing arts.