FROM LAUREN - This is the page I intend as the interactive page. It is my hope that students, parents and friends who have been here will use this page to talk about the house and their experiences. I'm still learning how this whole web site thing works so it may not be so interactive for the next day or so!!!
I started this program in the summer of 2010 with 5 students and one staff person from the Martina Arroyo Foundation. Here are a few of their comments from that experience. From Parent Kathy Snyder: What a sense of relief I felt when my daughter told me that the young artist program she had been accepted into was offering safe, affordable housing. I believe that the culture, teachers and mentors she was surrounded with while in NYC was invaluable to her continued development as a young opera singer. Living with other singers provided the opportunity for networking and sharing of ideas which has also aided in her development as a young artist. Without this offer we would have struggled to find adequate housing which might have resulted in her not being able to attend and a loss of a great educational experience.
From Tenor Alex Pikarsky: This summer has taught me the true meaning of the word Flaniganized. Flaniganized is the past tense of the New Age New York verb Flaniganize. Okay, what on Earth is this young vocal artist talking about? Here it is: Flaniganized means coming home everyday after the unexpected is thrown at you, as it will be in most cases when people are creating art together, and being able to talk about it with your peers and many experienced in your field and constructively go over the situation in detail so that you can handle your next artistic curve ball with a little more flare. Flaniganized also means being able to "all out" focus on your art because most of the other worries that would plague your normal young artist today, don't apply to you. Can I be able to handle that next scheduling curve ball thrown at me? Yes I don't need to work at a job as many hectic hours and juggle my time like your average young artist in the Big Apple. Could I have been as successful in my art making if I had to worry about normal New York rent, normal New York food costs, normal transportation on top of that, and normal security costs? Absolutely not without draining my wallet or my brain to a fiscal and intellectual deficit maybe only psychologically parallel to our nations' government. Being Flaniganized provided me with an environment sincerely optimum for artistic stimulation and growth. Without a setup like this, honestly, I probably wouldn't have been able to afford to take place Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance program this summer. The thing is though, not only did being Flaniganized help me afford this program, it helped me afford my future by guiding me towards a much more mature and experienced way of creating my art through the many priceless master classes given to us in the house over dinner with many revered contemporaries in the field, the conversations over breakfast will all my musical colleagues I lived with, and the fact I was given a time in my life where my sole concern and worry was my art making.
From Jasmine Muhammad: Having the opportunity to live in a home where there are virtually no needs, wants or worries is generally unheard of. In the case of a musician (vocalist and instrumentalist alike), I've come to find that having the conveniences of a renowned opera singer at my fingertips is quite the experience and so rare that even the idea of it should not be taken for granted. Living in a manner that provided such an ease of access to living from one day to the next was grand. Waking up, not worrying about where to find breakfast makes it far more easier to just focus on the important thing which is, in this house, the voice. Lauren's vision is so necessary and provides an opportunity that some singers could only dream of. A home where food is taken care of, pianos are provided, access to Lauren's incredibly extensive library, and, of course, the access to Lauren as a person, thinker, and educator, all creates one serious situation that anyone would be so fortunate to experience.