What is the Purpose of the New Humanities and Arts Advisory Council?

The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.

To the Editor,
Since 1977, the Croton Council on the Arts has been the principal vehicle for promoting artistic expression in our village and bringing the fruits of those efforts to all of our citizens. While I am certainly not an artist myself, I have had the great pleasure of attending a good number of the exhibitions and productions of the CCOA and its numerous offspring for many years. I am sure that the overwhelming majority of Croton residents join me in appreciation of CCOA’s efforts in spreading the arts throughout our community.

Yet now, more than 40 years later, our Village Board feels compelled to create a separate Humanities and Arts Advisory Council under the direct purview of the Board. Perhaps I just don’t understand exactly what the purpose of this new entity is meant to be and how it is supposed to mesh with CCOA and other arts organizations already established in Croton.


It strikes me as a duplication of effort in this area and holds the potential for conflicts in a venue that should be devoid of them. Or is it that the Board wishes to exert more control over this phase of life in Croton? Or does it have something to do with the Board’s grandiose (and exceptionally expensive) plans for Gouveia Park? Or is there already a schism in our arts community of which the new council is a manifestation? I simply don’t know.

I found it instructive that during the discussion of the new arts council during Monday’s Board Work Session, the name of CCOA was not mentioned once.

I hope when the resolution to create the Humanities and Arts Advisory Council is brought to the floor, someone will explain exactly how it is intended to interact with CCOA and the other representatives of our arts community and why it will enhance, and not detract, from Croton’s art scene. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Joel E. Gingold