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All Souls Church in Stony Brook hosts a Shamanic Drumming meditation session in its Parish Hall basement, 10 Mill Pond Road, Stony Brook on Thursday, Jan. 30 from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Led by experienced shamanic drummer Ric Statler, the meditation seeks to integrate the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts of the human self, creating a state of well-being. Free. Call 631-655-7798 for more info.

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Telescopes 101

Is there a telescope gathering dust in your closet because you don’t know how to use it? Have you been thinking of buying a telescope and want to know what to consider before making a purchase? Jeff Norwood of Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions will answer all your questions at a workshop held at the Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s Educational & Cultural Center, 97P Main St., Stony Brook on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $40 fee. To register, call 631-689-5888.

Kadam Holly McGregor speaks to attendees of the MLK Peace & Unity Multi-Faith Prayer Service Jan. 20. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Two events during the past three-day holiday weekend drew residents from the Three Village community as well as surrounding areas to Setauket to remember Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the civil rights activist. 

Guest speakers Liz Gannon-Graydon, founder of What BETTER Looks Like, and environmental activist Saad Amer, founder of Plus1Vote, conduct a workshop Jan. 18. Photo from Building Bridges in Brookhaven

On Jan. 18, despite snow in the forecast, more than 100 people attended the 4th annual Martin Luther King Unity Festival at Setauket Presbyterian Church organized by the civic group Building Bridges In Brookhaven.

The day included music, workshops and a panel discussion on the theme of Building the Beloved Community Across Generations.Approximately 20 nonprofit groups were also on hand for the Be the Change volunteer fair. The event provided an opportunity for attendees to discuss the life, legacy and vision of King, according to Susan Perretti of Building Bridges.

Tom Lyon, also of the group, said the event provided “a lot of very valuable networking and planning for future collaborations.”

Among those participating Jan. 18 was Community Growth Center of Port Jefferson Station, which held its Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace & Unity Multi-Faith Prayer Service and Concert two days later at The Bates House in Setauket. On Jan. 20, a standing-room only crowd filled the venue to hear speakers and enjoy music. Participants were also encouraged to bring donations for Pax Christi’s men’s shelter.

Among those speaking at the event was Father Francis Pizzarelli from Hope House Ministries and Kadam Holly McGregor from Kadampa Meditation Center of Long Island. Before leading a meditation, McGregor told the attendees that everyone can become like King if they work on themselves.

The H.I.M.S. from Hope House Ministries, Vinny Posillico from Singing Bowls-Sound Healing and Stuart Markus, a folk singer of Gathering Time, entertained the crowd.

Perretti said she and others from Building Bridges attended the Jan. 20 event to support the center and was reminded at both events of King’s dream of building the “beloved community,” a society based on justice, equal opportunity and love of one’s fellow human beings.

“It was wonderful to be part of a gathering focusing on unity and what we have in common,” she said. “There were faith leaders from the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It feels more important than ever for us to come together and respect our differences.” 

Michael Hoffner, executive director of Community Growth Center, was inspired by the turnout, and said the annual event at The Bates House aims to bring people and religious leaders together from different faiths to spark a change of heart and create changes from the inside out. He said he believes that the answer to our country’s “current problems require a deep spiritual solution.”

“We as a community and a country need to awaken to a deeper sense of love, peace and unity that can only come from a transformation of the heart,” he said. “We can’t expect peace to come from laws and policies alone — peace in our world can only come from peace in our heart. Peace on the inside leads to peace on the outside.”

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Photo courtesy of Heckscher Museum

Too cold outside? Then come in to the Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave, Huntington for its annual free “Draw In’ WinterFest on Jan. 26 from noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy an array of art activities in the galleries including making a digital action painting while sipping hot cocoa, collage and paint your own masterpiece with artist Robyn Cooper and much more. First 50 children under age 10 will receive free art supplies! Call 351-3250 or visit for more information.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

Simple Gifts Productions, a professional performing arts company for kids and teens, presents “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at the Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s Educational & Cultural Center, 97P Main St., Stony Brook on Jan. 25 and 26 at noon and again at 2 p.m.

This “revised” version is a fresh approach to the all-time 1967 classic, based on the beloved comic strip by Charles Schultz. Featuring all your favorite Peanuts characters, this charming revue of vignettes and songs is fun for ages 4 and up. Running time is one hour. Tickets are $15. To reserve tickets online, visit

Photos from Simple Gifts Productions

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The Town of Smithtown School Aged Child Care Program will hold its annual Preschool Fair on Wednesday, Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Community Rooms of the Smithtown Library, located at 1 North Country Road. 

The Preschool Fair will offer parents an opportunity to visit with representatives from multiple nursery schools and preschools in and around the Town of Smithtown. The expo serves as a popular event for parents to source and gather information regarding prospective programs.

The snow date is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25. Advance registration is not required.

 For further information, call School Aged Child Care at 631-360-7517. 

'Bali' by Paton Miller

Gallery North kicks off the New Year with an exciting new exhibit titled Allegorical Narratives: Paintings & Drawings by Paton Miller. The show runs from Jan. 17 to Feb. 23 with a special opening reception tonight, Jan. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Allegorical Narratives is Miller’s first solo exhibition at Gallery North and features a selection of paintings and drawings that highlight the artist’s use of metaphor and symbolism throughout his works. 

A painter of canvas, copper and board, Miller forges broader narratives out of personal adventures, allegories within which one meaning, story or image is doubled by another. 

A house, a mule, a dog, a boat, his imagery is distinct and subtly touches on the fundamental elements of our existence such as our personal journeys, life’s hardships or family. Through these insistent motifs, Miller’s painted spaces refigure his life history, his adventures and his sense of connection to others. His allegorical narratives are endless, as well, holding past and future in a spiraling cycle of regeneration. They describe a puzzle with an unknown number of pieces, assembled by the songwriter of an eternal ballad.

Born in Seattle, raised in Hawaii, Miller has been a resident of Southampton for 45 years. His work is in the collections of The Heckscher Museum of Art, the Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall and The Long Island Museum, and he has served as a curator of East End Collected at the Southampton Arts Center for five consecutive years. He has also shown internationally at the International Invitational Art Expo in Shanghai, China, and the Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy.

Miller will also be participating in an ArTalk at the gallery on Feb. 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. To reserve your seat, call 631-751-2676.

Gallery North is located at 90 North Country Road in Setauket. Hours are Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Photo by Maryann Zakshevsky

Surprise your Valentine with a romantic dinner at an elegant mansion where luminaries from the 1920s and ’30s dined with members of one of America’s most famous and powerful families. 

On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport hosts its annual Valentine Dinner at Eagle’s Nest, the historic waterfront estate of Rosamond and William K. Vanderbilt II, one of the most glamorous and romantic settings on Long Island.

The estate and its beautiful, early 20th-century Spanish Revival mansion are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The estate is the home of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum.

 This popular event offers limited seatings of 50 at 6 and 8 p.m.

The evening begins with hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer in the Memorial Wing of the mansion. After a brief tour of the living quarters, dinner will be served in the Northport Porch. Dessert and coffee will follow in the Lancaster Room and Moroccan Court, adjacent to the Vanderbilt Library. 

Choice of entrees include prime rib, chicken with Madeira sauce, stuffed sole with spinach and feta in a tomato dill sauce and heart-shaped cheese ravioli with vodka sauce.

The evening is a rare opportunity to enjoy an intimate dining experience with a spouse, partner or special friend and to celebrate in Gold Coast style. Seating at this exclusive event is very limited and sells out quickly. Tickets are $150 per person, $135 members. Reservations are online only at

Proceeds from this special evening will benefit STEAM education programs. For more information, call 631-854-5579.

Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly in a scene from 'An American in Paris.' Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

One of the greatest, most elegant, and most celebrated of MGM’s 1950s musicals, An American in Paris, heads to hundreds of select theaters nationwide on Sunday, Jan. 19, and Wednesday, Jan. 22, courtesy of Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events. 

Gene Kelly stars in the 1951 classic. Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron star in the 1951 comedic love story about mixed signals and zany pursuits. When Jerry Mulligan (Kelly) leaves military service and returns to Paris to chase his dreams of being an artist, he’s soon pursued by a wealthy heiress who wants to be more than his platonic patron. But Jerry falls in love with Lise (a then-19-year-old Caron in her film debut), a French shop girl who, unbeknownst to him, is his best friend’s fiancée. Naturally, a love triangle ensues. 

The film, which also stars Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary and Nina Foch, was set to the music of George Gershwin and features I Got Rhythm, Love Is Here to Stay, I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise, ’S Wonderful and The American in Paris ballet, a 17-minute dance featuring Kelly and Caron.

Directed by Vincent Minelli and choreographed by Kelly, An American in Paris was an enormous success, garnering eight Academy Award nominations and winning six (including Best Picture).

This special two-day event includes exclusive insight from TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz.

Participating theaters in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17, 2196 Nesconset Highway, Stony Brook on Jan. 19 at 1 and 4 p.m. and Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.; Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas, 1001 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.; and Island 16 Cinema de Lux, 185 Morris Ave., Holtsville on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. To purchase your ticket in advance, visit

The interior of Alls Souls Church. Photo from Daniel Kerr

All Souls Church, 61 Main St., Stony Brook has added Gregorian Chant/Music of Taizé to its monthly programs, providing a time for quiet meditation to clear the mind and rest the soul. The historic chapel will be lit with candles and alive with mystical chants and songs. This is a unique opportunity for reflection and/or silent prayer for people of all faiths (or no faith) searching for a spiritual connection in their lives. Next session will be held tonight, Thursday, Jan. 16 from 8 to 9 p.m. For more information, please call 516-607-9111.