Performing arts programs at CAST continue this weekend with free ‘Brass and Blues’ concert

When Southold’s Center for Advocacy, Support and Transformation moved into their new location last September, they quickly saw potential in the Treiber Gathering Hall for arts and culture events.

Since January, thanks to a two-year grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, CAST has used the space to offer a wide variety of free arts and culture events for the community.

“For us, it’s a way to provide opportunities and experiences for underserved community members, who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the arts, and at the same time these great events are open for all the community to enjoy,” said CAST executive director Cathy Demeroto.

As part of its new arts program, CAST will present a free “Brass and Blues” concert this Sunday, Oct. 9, on the Great Lawn at 53930 Main Road in Southold from 3 to 7 p.m., featuring performances by New Moon Acoustic Blues, Tula Vera and Brass Queens. 

New Moon Acoustic Blues is a high energy traditional blues act led by guitarist and singer Karl Schwarz according to the group’s website.

Tula Vera, founded in 2015, describes its sound as modern blues with a psych rock and punk edge that, its website says, has made them one of the most exciting bands in the New Jersey underground.

Brass Queens is an eight-piece brass band from Brooklyn whose sound is deeply inspired and influenced by the New Orleans tradition. Their site lists clients including the 2021 Met Gala, Chanel, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co., among others.

A $25 donation is suggested but not required for admission. For more information contact arts program director Siobhan O’Neill at [email protected] or 631-477-1717.

Ms. O’Neill has been using her roots in theater and her background as a producer in New York City to bring a wide variety of programing to the North Fork community.

To date, CAST’s arts and culture events have covered photography, dance, sculpture and many types of music, including folk and classical, mariachi bands, Latin jazz, salsa and more. 

“I think we’ve done a pretty good job of offering multiple disciplines across the board,” she said.

Ms. Demeroto said that under the state grant, CAST receives $49,500 each year to keep the program going and hopes to apply for renewal once the grant expires at the end of 2023. 

In the meantime, big plans are in the works for the arts and culture program, including a partnership with Riverhead’s East End Arts, to expand beyond the performing arts to add a literary aspect with author panels and related events. 

There will also be fundraising efforts to upgrade Treiber Gathering Hall by expanding a stage, improving lighting and sound systems and adding a sound booth and projector, among other projects.

Bringing in high-caliber artists and being able to present shows for free to the community is a very rare opportunity, Ms. O’Neill said.

“It’s a really beautiful thing to be able to offer that to the community,” she said. “We just know we have a really good thing going and we just want more North Forkers to come and see what we’re up to.”