Photo Flash: BTC Raises Over $150K For Down Payment On 'Forever Home' In Hastings
Broadway Training Center of Westchester, one of the region's premier performing arts schools, has raised more than $150,000 for a down payment on a permanent home, thanks in large part to a highly successful fundraiser last weekend and matching funds pledged by a handful of Westchester families.
At the school's Winter Gala and Alumni Show on Jan. 4, co-artistic director Jason Brantman and Fiona Santos announced to a packed audience inside the Irvington Theater that BTC intends to buy the property at 10 Washington Avenue in Hastings-on-Hudson, which has housed the school in a turn-of-the-century, 4,369-square-foot loft since its founding 28 years ago. What's more, they revealed that the owners, John and Miriam Wazeter, who were in the audience, had agreed to sell the adjacent lot and two-story building at 12 Washington Avenue, which until recently housed an antiquarian bookstore, Riverrun Books & Manuscripts.
The combined .4-acre lot will provide an additional 3,568 square feet of space for BTC's future growth, effectively doubling its floor space and allowing the school to offer more classes, more rehearsal space, a larger waiting area and a small black-box theatre. In honor of John Wazeter's mother, who taught piano out of 12 Washington for years, one of the rooms will be named The Frances S. Wazeter Music Room.
"This is an incredibly exciting new step in our development," said Brantman and Santos. "We are deeply grateful for this initial outpouring of support from the BTC community."
"Our vision," they added, "is to provide an even greater breadth of opportunities to enrich our students, families and the community at large, and to ensure that future generations throughout Westchester, Rockland and the Bronx can benefit from our unique offerings aimed at developing character on and off stage."
Terms of the planned sale were not disclosed. The school's lease expires on Aug. 31, 2020.
'There's No Place Like Home'
The Jan. 4 fundraiser, whose theme was "There's No Place Like Home," attracted nearly a sellout crowd. It featured a 90-minute alumni show, a live auction, silent auctions and an after-party for VIP ticket holders at an elegant Westchester home. It also honored Sarah Barnard of Irvington, who has played a crucial role in supporting BTC for more than 20 years.
Importantly, the evening marked the start of a two-year capital campaign to raise $1.5 million toward BTC's home of the future. That amount will cover not only the cost of buying the property, but also a reserve fund for needed repairs and funds for expansion.
Brantman and Santos said the school will be forming a Capital Committee in the coming months for people who are interested in helping with the fundraising effort.
Photo Credit: George McCann, Leslie Kahan
The Sound of Music Eidelweiss
Avenue Q Give Us Your Money
Jason Brantman, Auctioneer