A Conversation with William Blake, Visionary Poet and Painter
An interview with the visionary and revolutionary 18th century English poet William Blake kicks off the new multi-media collaboration, "Conversations with Great Dead Writers." Blake's words are accompanied by images of his paintings and engravings as well as music. Written by David Herrstrom, edited by Eric Vuolle and Ben Johnson, produced by Ben Johnson and Ron Kostar. This is the first in a series that will include interviews with Moses, Spinoza, Baudelaire, and others.
A Conversation with Moses
This is the second in an ongoing series of interviews called "Conversations with Great Dead Writers." As our interviewer asks, "And who would be more interesting to interview than Moses, who talked with God Almighty and put into place God's plan?" Written by Stephen Zelnick, edited by Ben Johnson and Eric Vuolle, produced by Ron Kostar and Ben Johnson.
Jacob Landau's Stained Glass Windows: A Talk by David Herrstrom
The nationally-known Roosevelt artist Jacob Landau created 10 breathtaking windows, which he titled "The Prophetic Quest," for a synagogue in Elkins Park, PA. Each one is 23' high and 5' wide featuring a Hebrew prophet's quest for justice. This video of the talk was made possible by the architectural photographer Tom Crane and the videographer Eric Vuolle.
Coming to America: Three One Act Plays
Available starting Saturday, March 27, 2021
Why do people still come to America? "Coming to America: Three One Act Plays" is a YouTube presentation of plays that explores the complexity of immigration. Ranging stylistically from the realistic to the farcical to the absurd, they raise questions about why people continue to immigrate to America and the situations they encounter once they get here. The Roosevelt Players consist of Robert Axel, Claudia Luongo, Ron Kostar, and Maureen Parrot. Directed by Ron Kostar, Robert Axel produced the Zoom recordings, and Ben Johnson produced the composite video. Running time is just under an hour.
Click on the link, anytime on or after Saturday, March 27, for the premiere of this unique collaborative event.
Donations can be made to Roosevelt Arts Project, P.O. Box 5, Roosevelt, NJ 08555
Painting to Music: Exploring the Creative Process - Three Videos
Available starting Saturday, February 13, 2021.
Deirdre Sheean and Ellen Silverman open their studios to the camera as they create paintings to two very different improvised compositions by Alan Mallach and by Robert Thorn performing with Ron Kostar. Witness the making of art by Ellen Silverman in Part 1, and by Deirdre Sheean in Part 2, and then watch Part 3, a Participant Discussion recorded over Zoom at the project's completion, for reflections on their experiences. Produced by Ben Johnson and edited by Eric Vuolle.
Two Original Musical Pieces
The two pieces excerpted in Painting to Music are available here in their entirety. Edited by Eric Vuolle.
Written and performed by Alan Mallach
The Cantina Waltz
Written by Robert Thorn
Performed by Ron Kostar and Robert Thorn
A Walk in the Woods
Adding to the growing list of creative collaborations among members of the Roosevelt Arts Project, "A Walk in the Woods" (6 minutes) features paintings by Ellen Silverstein paired with the improvised music of Ron Kostar (clarinet) and Robert Thorn (guitar), produced by Ben Johnson.
Consisting of poems by David Herrstrom, drawings by Ellen Silverstein, and addtional images and video production by Ben Johnson, "Questions" is a powerful reflection upon racism created at the invitation of Ilene Dube, representing the Art Against Racism: Memorial.Monument.Movement.
VIDEO: Roosevelt Art Walk - October 3, 2020
In case you missed it or just want to re-experience the magic of the day, this collaborative video captures the beauty of the setting, and its many artistic pleasures and surprises. Using the backdrop of the Ron Filepp Woodland Trail, local artists showcased their work set to music by performers of the town. Exploring every sense, the Roosevelt Art Walk embraced artists young and old and media from puppetry to painting, poems to sculpture, abstracts to still life.
CV-19, or During the Plague
During the Plague is a short film montage of words and images in response to the question: "What was it like living during the Time of the Coronavirus?" Produced and directed by Ron Kostar and Eric Vuolle, with contributions from writers/actors Robert Axel and Claudia Luongo and more than fifteen other participants.
Fence-Line Gallery Responses
Since May, 2020, Ellen Silverman has put up displays of some of her paintings outside on her garden fence calling it the "Fence Line Gallery." For the first set of paintings, largely interiors, she solicited stories based on these images. This first collaboration yielded in a Floral Manner (5 minutes) featuring a narrative by Ben Johnson and music by Alan Mallach.
Now we have a second collaboration with a new set of Ellen's paintings, all from nature, called Lightscapes (11 minutes) featuring poems by David Herrstrom who conceived of the project as a dialog between word and image on the subject of "Light." Ron Kostar added another dimension with improv music and sounds of nature. Both were produced as videos by Ben Johnson.
The latest collaboration, Can We See is a three-minute video consisting of an original song by Pat Monteleone inspired by five drawings by Ellen Silverman, who also produced the video.
DVD & VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE
The dramatic story of the life of Benjamin Brown, founder of the town of Roosevelt, is now available from RAP as a DVD. To purchase "Benjamin Brown: In Pursuit of the Cooperative Dream," a 2 hour, 17 minute multi-media documentary reading, send a check for $15 made out to "RAP" to: Roosevelt Arts Project, PO Box 5, Roosevelt, NJ 08555. Be sure to include your mailing address!
The documentary is also available on YouTube here.
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Detail of Jeremiah
Frontispiece for Europe: A Prophecy (1794)