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Magazzino Italian Art Stages Latest Cinema in Piazza Series with WSDG

Cinema in Piazza screening

For the past four years, Hudson Valley art foundation Magazzino Italian Art has hosted a series of successful screenings as part of its Cinema in Piazza program. The series -- which showcases both classic and contemporary examples of Italian films to an appreciative crowd of local art and film lovers -- has become a fixture of Hudson Valley summer activity and has also acted as a springboard for the foundation to explore a variety of multimedia presentation formats within its programs. A key part of the growth of these efforts has been Magazzino's partnership with their Hudson Valley neighbors WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group), a global architectural acoustic consulting and AV integration firm who have utilized their expertise in these areas to bring these programs to life.

From the get-go, Magazzino's mission has been focused on exploring different ways that it can share its peerless collection of Italian art with community-driven programming. Cinema in Piazza was envisioned almost immediately after the gallery opened in 2017 as a way to help foster a greater understanding of the art and artists showcased within its walls. "Film is such a wonderful artistic language to communicate with because it allows us to give context to the situations in which this art was created, and also educate our community on where it comes from," explains Magazzino director Vittorio Calabrese. "We knew right away that we wanted to turn our backyard into a movie theater for these types of events, which led us to connect with WSDG."

Although perhaps best known for its internationally renowned recording studios and performance venues, WSDG has also regularly taken on projects with local businesses and organizations in the Hudson Valley as a way to stay connected to the community. "It's always been incredibly important for us to utilize our knowledge and expertise to help local partners," says WSGD founding partner John Storyk. "We share a lot of the same passions Magazzino does in regard to art and film, so it was natural for us to partner with them on putting together these events."

WSDG's services were initially utilized to perfect the acoustics and AV systems of Magazzino's courtyard screening area, giving the foundation an optimal location for their film programming. The success of the events led the foundation to expand its programming with further multimedia efforts. "We were really emboldened by their work on the courtyard because it raised the standards of what we could do with audio and video in these programs," says Calabrese. "Not only did they give us the ability to operate at a much higher level of quality, but they have always educated us on how to make the most of the technology so that we can do even more with it."

The expansion of programs has allowed Magazzino to explore other multimedia formats and art presentations that have been showcased outside the gallery -- including a recent event in New York City that was projected on the Italian Consulate Building. This eagerness to adapt to new formats and possibilities also served the foundation when Cinema in Piazza was at risk of being cancelled in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the foundation solved by creating an outdoor drive-in theater. "One of many things that Magazzino and WSDG have in common is a passion for adapting different spaces for artistic purposes," explains Calabrese. "We brainstormed the idea for the drive-in together and were able to put together something that was really memorable and special for our visitors without compromising safety at the events."

The foundation's latest Cinema in Piazza was held once again in the gallery's courtyard with reduced capacity, as part of a ramp up back into regular in-person programming. Calbrese says that the foundation has many more planned now that restrictions are starting to lift, noting that these activities serve a larger purpose for the Hudson Valley community. "There's nothing like being together and sharing a moment with art," he says. "You can't replicate that experience digitally, so we're proud that we've been able to keep holding these in-person events and sharing our passion with the community. WSDG really helped us to achieve that at the level we wanted, "It's been an honor of ours to support the arts locally and abroad with our work," concludes Storyk. "Magazzino has created something truly special here for the Hudson Valley community and we're pleased to be a part of it."



(14 July 2021)

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