I LO+VE O+ because as the father of an alumni artist I have been able to witness the mission in action in a very personal way.
I was introduced to the O+ Festival in 2013 when my son was commissioned to paint a mural in the back wall of the old Reade Theater (currently BSP). I made the drive to Kingston from my home in Teaneck, NJ to watch him work on the huge project holding my breath as he worked on a lift 60 feet above Crown Street. I met Joe Concra and Denise Orzo and was completely swept up in the love and support my son was receiving. The mural is now a destination and inspired me to return as a festival volunteer in 2015 when my son was painting a new mural in Fair St on the side of RUPCO. I spent an entire week volunteering and watching my son’s mural and watching the other murals by well known street artist taking shape in Midtown. My son and all these artists were able to receive dental and medical care in return for their art. Accepting the invitation to become a board member was an honor and an opportunity to give back to the O+ community and help make the mission a reality.
I LO+VE O+ because of the holistic concept of helping artists gain access to healthcare options and supporting art in our local communities.
Marlene E. Furtick, longtime resident of Mount Vernon, NY. She went on to receive a bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a major in Dance and a minor in Theatre. Ms. Furtick was asked to join the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in 1973 by Mr. Ailey. She earned a Master’s Degree in Media Communication from the New School of Social Research in 1983 and her Master’s in social work from NYU in 1997. She is currently the clinic director for the Mount Vernon Office of Family Services of Westchester.
During the last several years she has found that collage is her medium. She has found the textures of paper and the recycling of paper is her form of expression. She is fascinated and enchanted with papers from around the world: texture, content, fibers, colors, etc. that are used to produce unique contrast in art. However, she is not limited to just paper; she enjoys working with fabrics and any other medium that opens her creativity. Her travels now serve as a catalyst for her art.
Peter Himberger, president and co-owner of Impact Artist Management (IAM) is an independent artist management firm that has specialized for the last 25 years in nurturing and guiding artists towards commercial and critical success. Overseeing all aspects of worldwide touring, publishing, recording, public relations, brand management, marketing, promotion, sales and distribution. Recently, the company launched Impact Artist Productions, a live events and film/tv production division.
Current Management Clients: Gipsy Kings, Jon Cleary, Clem Snide and Amy Helm
Past Management Clients: Dr. John, Thomas Dolby, Cassandra Wilson, Eliane Elias, GoGol Bordello, Hugh Masekela, Ike Turner, Angelique Kidjo, Michelle Shocked, Deelite, Cheb Khaled, Lisa Fischer, Teddy Pendergrass, WilIie Nile, Marcus Roberts and Johnny Clegg and Savuka.
Painter Joe Concra is a co-founder of O+. It is one thing to work alone in a studio and hope that your work connects with people. It is quite different when you work with others on a level that tries to change communities and the conversation about culture and health access in this country.