David Houston receives Alexander Schanzer Memorial
Smart With Art Award for arts professionals who share the arts
through performance and education


Long Island Arts Council at Freeport
Sunday, November 3, 1 to 5 p.m. at
Freeport Yacht Club, 533 Guy Lombardo Avenue
Freeport, NY 11529


October 2019
Arts Happening on the South Shore
Arty Party Fundraising Brunch
Sunday, Nov. 3rd, 2019
1 - 5 pm
Freeport Yacht Club

Arty Award
Joanne Phillips

Theatre Arts Award
Robyn Workman

Alexander Schanzer Memorial Award
David Houston

Dozens of raffles to win!
Live entertainment
Great food

You can buy a ticket, and/or place an ad in the journal to help honor our awardees and support the Arts Council at Freeport . . .
The Arty Award:
Joanne Phillips
Joanne J-Bird Phillips lives and breathes "the arts" and in particular, music (and yes, that's her legal name). She was born in The Bronx, grew up in East Meadow (EMHS Class of '71), and moved to Long Beach in 1977.
Growing up in a family of professional drummers, band leaders and successful entrepreneurs, she was already genetically predisposed to "perfect timing", literally before she could walk, and had a love of "business". Joanne's mom was active in doing charity work all the time, which instilled a strong sense of "helping others" as a normal and expected way of life. Joanne learned to play drums at age seven. She still performs monthly as the House Band Percussionist for Plays & Pizza at Lucky Jack's in NYC.
Fast forward to 1973, Joanne married her college sweetheart and moved to Long Beach, where she is currently a 42 year resident and active Community Leader in the Arts. Joanne had two children, son Hal, and daughter Elyssa.
With a love of sports as well, Joanne is the Co-founder of Long Island NY's very first Semi-Pro Football Team...the Long Island Panthers, based out of Gordon Heights (Suffolk County). (The team won their league championships in 2017 and awarded Joanne with a giant "bling championship ring".) Years later, Joanne became Associate Producer of horror film "KNOCK KNOCK" in April of 2005 which was eventually picked up by mega film studio Lionsgate.
In September 2011, the Director of the Long Beach Public Library asked Joanne to do something unprecedented: produce a rock music festival for the city. Eager to take on the challenge, Joanne came up with the concept of linking an energy and synergy of "musical arts" between Long Island and New York City, and came up with the idea of "Long Beach ROXX NY" - the only bona fide, multi-day rock music festival to be held in a library venue in all of New York State - and that remains to current day.
In 2012 Joanne started a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that would support Performing Arts & Music in New York Education – J-Bird Music for The Arts, Inc. ( The mission of the nonprofit is of extreme importance to Joanne, who takes this all quite personally and seriously: JBMFTA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing services that nurture a community supporting performing arts and music in education for youths throughout New York State.
In 2016, Joanne became a Credentialed Journalist with the US Press Association; she was accepted as a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/NY Emmy Awards; became a Credentialed Journalist with New York Sportscene, and she was accepted as a member of the New York Emmys Press Corps.
Joanne has been seen/featured on television news, several broadcast/internet radio shows and interviewed by many press/media outlets regarding her work with J-Bird Music for the Arts.

Joanne is a nationally known Endorsed Rock Bass Musician, Endorsed by Hartke (the world's leader in bass amplification equipment). She is the Bass Player & Percussionist with Classic Rock/Pop music group Turnpike Joe & The Traffic Jam, now in its 42nd consecutive year entertaining Long Island. She just recently has been accepted to the Theater Producer Development Program at TRU (Theater Resources Unlimited) in NYC, where she plans to get an extraordinary education and pursue a supplemental career in Broadway and Off-Broadway producing. 
The Theatre Arts Award:
Robyn Workman
Robyn Workman always knew that her life would involve the performing arts. She’s a lifelong Freeport resident and has contributed to the community in many capacities over the years. She spent many years being a PTA “mom” as her own daughter progressed through the Freeport schools following in her mother’s footsteps. She studied voice and piano from an early age and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts cum laude from Long Island University.
Her career as a performer and entertainer has spanned over 30 years. She has been sharing her love of the performing arts with her students for more than 20 years. She contributed to the John W. Dodd Drama Club as a producer and director. She acted as the manager of the FHS Music Parents Organization and served as the Arts in Education Coordinator for the Nassau Region PTA.
Thirteen years ago, Robyn created the Broadway and You children’s theatre program at the Freeport Recreation Center. A program she directs and is very proud of, as she works with the children of Freeport and surrounding communities. “This program helps children use their imagination, gain confidence, and be part of an extended family...” she points out. Broadway and You alumni often come back to help with productions and mentor the younger children. They earn community service hours for Honor Society, ROTC, and other student organizations/clubs.
For the last three summers, the children of Broadway and You have had the opportunity to perform as participants in the Long Island Arts’ Council Summer Concert Series on the Nautical Mile. Robyn Workman is currently the Drama Teacher/Director and Choir Director at Head Injury Association, which serves adults with traumatic brain injuries. “It’s a privilege to work with these special individuals”. They have taught me so much as we work together,” she says.
Robyn is also a private teacher of voice, piano and NYSSMA prep. Her latest endeavor, working with other community members, is to establish a non-profit performance space. Its purpose will be to empower, enrich and entertain our community by providing a permanent home for the cultural and performing arts.
The Alexander Schanzer Memorial Award:
David Houston
David was born in 1938, attended Austin High School and then spent two-and-a-half years at the University of Texas, majoring in Fine Art, Painting. Then he spent a summer at TCU in Fort Worth studying stagecraft while working as assistant set designer, then designer, at the new now-famous Casa Mañana Theater. There followed five years of set-design for star-package summer stock (Phoenix, Casa Mañana again, Dayton, Hampton Beach NH, Dayton again).
David became part-time interviewer and eventually editor-in-chief for Starlog and Future Life magazines. During the 60's, he also worked at Nathaniel Branden Institute, the NYC school that taught Ayn Rand’s art and philosophy.
David’s first novel was Alien Perspective, This was followed by other novels including Gods In A Vortex, which received excellent reviews but made very little money before vanishing from bookstores and memory His best-selling book, Jazz Baby, a biography of Joan Crawford’s miserable childhood, was published by mainstream St. Martin’s Press -– and that wasn’t a money-maker either. Time to get a job. Working for Olsten in Dallas, he wrote quick-training manuals for popular office software. They lured him to Melville to head a new technical writing department, which got him to Long Island 30 years ago. 
Tech writing can be as dull as it sounds, so David jumped at the chance to be more creative – to become an actor. As coincidence would have it, the publisher of Shadows on the Moon was also the director of a theater in Queens. He asked David to develop a one-man show for his theater, with scenery, background music, and himself costumed as Charles Dickens. David to cut the show from two acts to one and perform it at the Port Washington Public Library. And a tradition was born.

Among the original works David has written, directed, and in some cases starred in for libraries and schools, there’s Great Scott and Zelda, Lily Alone (Lillie Langtry), Murder and Madness and Poe, The Ghost of Dorothy Parker, The Last Dance (Fred and Adele Astaire, a musical), Abe Lincoln in the 21st Century, Walt Whitman to Begin With, Eclipse (eclipses in fiction), and A Rodgers and Hart Audition (celebrities of the 40s, a musical.) Every spring since Long Island Reads began, David has presented performance readings “in the style of radio drama” (background music and sound effects) derived from that year’s chosen book.  
Today, David lives in Farmingdale with Rick Heuthe, a fellow actor. They have often appeared on stage together in regional theater productions and also in a number of David’s original plays, including "Let's Do It" with David as Noel Coward and Rick as Cole Porter. They finally married a couple of years ago “after a 28-year engagement.”
Committed to the idea that the power of the arts is to touch the mind and enrich the soul of the individual and community through advocacy and education. Executive Director - Laurence Dresner. (516) 223-2522.