When I became a County Legislator, a former legislator once told me, “You don’t always have to hit home runs – singles and doubles are important too.” Last night, I thought I hit a single, but later learned I really had an extra base hit!
Last year, I was approached by friends from the New Rochelle Arts Council. They mentioned that St. Gabriel’s Church in New Rochelle, a mostly Hispanic Church, was trying to put on a Spanish language version of the great play Godspell, but was having trouble with funding. The roadblock was paying for royalty rights. My friends at the Arts Council did not have the funding available to help them, and asked if I or the county could help.
Guess what my favorite play is? Yes, Godspell! My family loves to listen to the soundtrack, and I have enjoyed the play about ten times. It is such a positive presentation of my religious faith. I immediately said YES. St. Gabriel’s was so excited about this play, and it just had to happen. It was also important for city and county officials to step in and recognize that New Rochelle’s growing Hispanic community is part of the artistic culture of our city.
I immediately met with Chairman Ken Jenkins, and we were able to identify funding available in the budget of the Board of Legislators to help St. Gabriel’s purchase the royalty rights to Godspell. We gave them a grant of $3,500.
Last night was opening night in the St. Gabriel’s auditorium. The performance was fantastic, the room was full of electricity, and the crowd just loved to see Godspell in Spanish. Congratulations to director Rene Motolinia and the excellent cast and musicians. And a special thanks to Mike Dandry from the New Rochelle Arts Council, who was so committed to the play.
I was so touched in how thankful everyone at St. Gabriel’s was that I had helped them. They brought me up to the stage at intermission to say thank you. I was honored to be there for opening night and to be part of the celebration. It was very impressive to see how much work was put in by so many people over several months to make the play a big success.
Now you can see why I believe I had an extra base hit last night as a County Legislator.