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Pleasantville’s Arc Stages, PCTV Beneficiaries of $50G State Grants

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One of the productions at Arc Stages, a community and educational theater company that recently received a $50,000 grant from the state Council on the Arts for a new sound system.

Two Pleasantville organizations, Arc Stages and Pleasantville Community Television (PCTV), each received $50,000 grants from the New York State Council on the Arts recently to help support their popular programs that benefit the community.

The money earmarked for Arc Stages will go toward a sound system for the expanded theater that is being built at the Wheeler Avenue site.

Meanwhile, the funding for PCTV is to support expansion of the station’s educational programs, including updating studio equipment and constructing a new educational studio and soundstage.

Earlier this year ArtsWestchester awarded Arc Stages a $12,000 grant to support its Visions and Voices playwriting festival along with an $8,500 matching grant.

“Our workshops and classes have been increasing every year by a big percentage,” said Adam Cohen, executive artistic director for Arc Stages. “We’ve added a community stage program that allows anyone to audition for a show where the community puts on a show every year. Also, our shows with professional actors have been steadily growing over the years as well.”

Last year, the theater company also received a $30,000 general supporting grant.

Plans for the larger theater space have been in the works for years that increase the current theater seating. Cohen said he knew the plan would take some time.

“It wasn’t something we could do right away and so we’ve been operating in the current theater space since 2012,” he said. “Now we are finally moving in the right direction.”

Construction plans for the larger theater will utilize an unused part of the current space to expand classrooms and dressing rooms, use spaces for set-building, props and costumes as well as office space, all located within the existing footprint of the building.

Arc Stages recently held its spring gala, an annual fundraising appeal for various projects and upcoming campaigns.

At PCTV, station manager Shane McGaffey said the grant money will go toward building a studio classroom.

“The studio classroom we are planning will be used for after-school programs, camps and to train people who want to produce their own shows by themselves,” McGaffey said. “The more people we can train, the more access we can provide to produce more shows.”

The new education studio at PCTV’s facility, which is located on Lake Street, will be built in a room that is currently not being used.

“The building itself will not be changed but the new studio will have its own entrance and egress,” McGaffey explained. “We will be adding heating and cooling, a new floor and walls and new equipment including lights, cameras and microphones.”

Other equipment that will be purchased with the grant will include a digital switcher, audio mixer and light board.

Once the new education studio is complete, McGaffey said he will still be available to help produce shows.

“We’re hoping people who are interested in producing their own programs would sign up for a class and learn how to use the facility,” he said.

Training to use studio equipment is expected to take about three or four sessions.

“We’d like to have an after-school program, a program for seniors and adults who want to produce shows. The new studio can also be used for audio and video podcasts, something that is easy to set up,” McGaffey noted.

“This new education studio is a way to engage a larger part of the community and to give the community a voice. The more content you have and the more interesting the content, the more people become engaged and want to get involved.”

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