KATONAH, N.Y. – Three cultural institutions in Katonah collaborated earlier this month to bring community awareness for each organization. It just may be the beginning of a paradigm shift in which all of them will work together in the years ahead.
The Katonah Museum of Art , John Jay Homestead and Caramoor held the “Portrait Tour of Katonah’s Cultural Gems," a day-long event on Nov. 5 that showcased each destination. The afternoon ended with a tour of the Katonah Museum of Art’s (KMA) exhibition “Eye to I: 3,000 Years of Portraits.” Caramoor is lending two art works to the KMA exhibition.
“They are three very different types of environments,’’ said Belinda Roth, the Interim Executive Director of the KMA. “There were two historic homes and one art museum. The idea was to have a portrait tour involving Katonah’s cultural gems. I think it was very successful.”
Roth, Margaret Moulton, the KMA’s Public Program’s Manager, and leaders at the other cultural organizations arranged the Portrait Tour. Caramoor CEO Jeffrey P. Haydon, John Jay Homestead Executive Director Wendy Ross and Board President Heather Langham, and Mercedes Santos-Miller, Rosen House Manager at Caramoor were co-collaborators.
The five-hour event included lunch at Caramoor. The group met at the KMA and took car pools to the Homestead to begin the tour. After spending time there, the group visited Caramoor and returned to KMA to finish up. The program sold out with 40 visitors. “It was incredibly easy from a transportation standpoint,’’ Roth said.
It was also easy to work out the collaborative details among all three groups. In years past, they might have viewed themselves as disparate entities competing for the same cultural dollars, but that is no longer the case.
“The organizations are all at the point where we want to collaborate,’’ Roth said. “We understand the benefits and can draw on each other’s audiences. There is a lot of overlap of people interested in art, music, and history. We can expand the footprint of our organization and others. It was easy to organize and execute. We all believe there are so many more opportunities to grow this cultural collaboration.”
Roth said a collaborative effort for next summer is already being discussed. Each of the organizations has a lot of strengths. By working together, they are finding they are even more powerful in reaching the community.
“I think we are creating something for our community that is very special,’’ Roth said. “It is mutually beneficial and our donors really appreciate it. People have come up to us and expressed how delighted they were to see us all working together. The reaction has been very positive, and it can only strengthen our organizations’ public awareness and financial support.”