Erik Botcher, the Chief of Staff for City Council Speaker, Corey Johnson, called George Capsis, the publisher of WestView News, to say the City had awarded the paper an unprecedented grant of $5000 to support its enormously popular Free Concerts for Seniors program. “You ought to let people know the City supports you,” offered a delighted Botcher.
In its first season, WestView staged five heavily attended concerts in the now shuttered landmarked St. Veronica church at 149 Christopher Street, as a demonstration of what can be done with the many neglected and now closing houses of worship as traditional religion wanes.
Sarah Jessica Parker, in a dinner meeting with principal backer, developer Steve Witkoff, suggested that the programs should address all the needs and interests of the West Village community, with concerts for young people and children. This suggestion was met with enthusiastic support by Witkoff and he asked Capsis to comply and broaden the offerings. So, in September a new series, Sounds of the Great Religions, will start with the sights and sounds of the Greek Orthodox church with a choir of 50 voices.
To expand the program, the non-profit 501c3 West Village Fund seeks contributions—call George Capsis at (212) 924-5718 for more information.