New local arts foundation announced

Attorney Neil Garvey, right, appeared in more than 25 Shakespeare in Delaware Park productions including “The Tempest.”


Today, family and friends of Neil Garvey, the popular actor, lawyer and theater supporter who died in February, announced the establishment of a new foundation in his name. The Neil E. Garvey Foundation for the Arts, will raise money for local theater companies and other arts organizations and help to spread the word about the work they do.

A statement from today’s press release about the foundation’s launch follows:

“During his life, Neil Garvey fought tirelessly to help the theaters of Buffalo and Western New York, knowing that a strong community depends on a strong cultural component. The Neil E. Garvey Foundation for the Arts intends to continue that mission, to foster local theaters through fundraising initiatives, to build awareness for the many artistic endeavors throughout Western New York, and in turn to make Western New York a better place to live.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Picnic,” the first fundraising event to be held under the auspices of the new foundation, is slated for 5 p.m. July 26 in Delaware Park’s Marcy Casino. Visitwww.neilegarveyfoundation.com or call 856-4533 for more information.

–Colin Dabkowski

Builders are setting the stage for Shakespeare

Organizers say stage construction will be complete for the start of Shakespeare at Delaware Park.


In five weeks Shakespeare in Delaware Park will open with Richard III, the playwright’s legendary look at power corruption and violence in medieval England.

In the lead role, Tim Newell will travel the stage at the bottom of Shakespeare Hill, at least once the stage is built.

Right now, it’s a fenced-off area and the pieces of the stage are being readied for assembly.

Founder and Artistic Director Saul Elkin says his company is putting to good use the $87,000 provided by Erie County when the County Legislature amended the budget to put nearly a $1 million into cultural agencies.

When the Collins Administration cut the culturals last year, Elkin says the community quickly showed its support of the free summer festival.

“Terrific outpouring of generosity from the public,” Elkin said.

“In the hat that we pass at intermission, in the annual letter we send out asking for help, people went a step further. Almost everybody who previously donated went a step further.”

Elkin says the entire budget for Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the festival operations is $300,000.

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