Jeffrey A. Weiss Memorial Arts Series Brings Joy to Elant Residents
Local artists to provide workshops, exhibitions and performances for residents and public
GOSHEN, N.Y. (March 15, 2012) – With tears welling up in his eyes, Morton Waters, a resident of Elant at Goshen and a jazz enthusiast since he was 15, leaned over to jazz artist Christopher Dean Sullivan and said with a smile, “You can’t imagine what this has done for me today. It’s the greatest thing I’ve enjoyed in a long time.”
 
Mr. Waters was among the Elant at Goshen residents who were listening to the soulful sounds of jazz from the Christopher Dean Sullivan Trio from the Cornerstone Arts Alliance in Goshen. It was part of a recent kickoff event for the residents, celebrating the new Jeffrey A. Weiss Memorial Arts Series. The Arts Series is a new program that will provide free art classes, exhibits and performances for Elant residents and the public.
 
“They were so wonderful to enjoy this afternoon,” said Eugenia Mitchell, a resident of the Elant at Goshen Adult Home, of the jazz trio performance. The trio told stories about old-time jazz musicians and music writers during the event. Resident Fred Smith was so moved by the music that he got up numerous times, lifting his hands, moving and dancing as he felt the jazz beat. He added even more smiles to the day.
 
“I haven’t been to a good jam session in over 10 years,” Mr. Waters said. Now, because of Elias and Nettie P. Weiss’ thoughtful planned giving, Elant brought the entertainment to Mr. Waters and other seniors who enjoyed hearing and feeling the music they love. The bequest of $25,000 to the Elant Foundation was specifically earmarked to establish an art series at Elant at Goshen in memory of their only child, Jeffrey. Jeffrey had a passion for the arts throughout his youth and into his adult life before passing from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
 
“I want to express how grateful Elant and the Elant Foundation are for the Weiss’ generosity,” said Melissa McCoy, Elant’s Director of Corporate Initiatives and coordinator for the series. “This gift has created something that is meaningful and lasting for our residents. They will be provided exceptional experiences, activities and culture.”
 
The Elant Foundation has collaborated with the expertise of the Orange County Arts Council and Executive Director Dawn Ansbro, the Wallkill River School and Founder Shawn Dell Joyce, and a committee of community leaders to develop the first of four years of the art series with local artists. Residents who participate will have twice-monthly performances and presentations, along with instruction in numerous art forms including painting, sculpture, writing workshops, dance, theatre, poetry and music. A continually changing art exhibit will enhance the residents experience and will be open to the public. An art show of participants’ work is planned for September.
 
“Art has the power to heal, inspire and infuse the soul with joy,” said Dell Joyce. “Art classes nurture the spirit and infuse people with hope and creative energy. What better place to host local artists than Elant?”
 
Elant at Goshen resident Adele Thompson enjoyed a special jazz rendition of Happy Birthday from the trio as she celebrated her 95th birthday. “They (the jazz trio) were wonderful,” she said. “Everyone enjoyed today.”
 
Eugenia Mitchell was very excited to learn about the upcoming art programs, which are planned for every other Tuesday, and she was thrilled that watercolor will be among the classes. She started painting 30 years ago.
 
“The Jeffrey A. Weiss Memorial Art Series is a perfect example of just how beneficial planned giving can be for a not-for-profit,” said McCoy. “We are so grateful to the Weiss family for their thoughtful planning for Elant residents. It is our honor to facilitate the program in their son’s name.”
 
For more information regarding the Jeffrey A. Memorial Arts Series, contact 845-360-1261. For additional information on the Elant Foundation’s planned giving program, e-mailElantFoundation@elant.org.
 
 
 
Morton Waters, a resident of Elant at Goshen, tells jazz artist Christopher Dean Sullivan how much he enjoyed the Christopher Dean Sullivan Trio performance.
 
 
 
Residents at Elant at Goshen listen to the sounds of the Christopher Dean Sullivan Trio. Resident Fred Smith (seen standing) was so moved that he got up to dance.