Anya Tikka| Democrat
Bradley Diuguid stands in front of the Catskill Art Society in Livingston Manor during the Trout Parade earlier this year. Diuguid, a graduate of Eldred Central School, went on to college and then, found himself back at home, in Sullivan County.
Catskill Art Society finds a 'Diuguid-er'
Story by Anya Tikka
LIVINGSTON MANOR July 23, 2013 Bradley Diuguid, who recently took over the executive director’s position at the Catskills Art Society in Livingston Manor, is a onetime Monticello resident and Eldred High School graduate.
He has returned to Sullivan County after working in such illustrious places as Waterwell, The Juilliard School, the American Repertory Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Long Wharf Theatre and Puppet Showplace Theatre.
Diuguid had this to say about his chosen career, “I was very shy as a child. The theater helped me to break through. The ability to take on another person’s point of view and to explore it helped me. It showed me how powerful the arts can be.”
He continued, “Sharing with young people who had perhaps similar issues as me (is important). Arts can be very powerful.”
Originally from Monticello, Diuguid remembered fondly his early Sullivan County days in Eldred High School plays, Renaissance Fair in Tuxedo, summers at the Forestburgh Playhouse, and classes with a friend in New York City by train from Port Jervis where his parents John (the former mayor of Monticello and noted local attorney) and Evelyn drove him.
Diuguid went on from Eldred to study at SUNY New Paltz and Harvard Graduate School of Education, majoring in English and theater.
Diuguid intends to build on his theater background at CAS, because despite its visual arts emphasis, “It is a multi arts center,” he added.
In its mission statement the center states it wants to promote all art forms; dance, theater, music as well as visual arts.
“A big part of what attracted me here, and partly why they chose me, was to develop their live performances. A major project is developing our own performance space. There is a second floor to the art center, all open space right here, it really needs a lot of work our vision is to convert it to performance space. Like a little theater with flexible seating we can move around, and also studio classrooms.”
CAS is raising money for the performance space project. Diuguid is applying for grants, and also appealing directly to the public to donate to that project.
“They can feel they are part of art,” Diuguid said.
The center already offers short performances, classes, and a drama camp.
“A major CAS program is the Trout Parade, already in its 10th year,” Diuguid said. “Other regular programming includes the yearly High School Art Show, solo and two-person shows, and a members’ show two times a year where any member can exhibit their work.”
Diuguid is in touch with other local cultural centers like the Forestburgh Playhouse and Bethel Woods.
“We are all in the same boat… [though] we operate in different parts of the county, have different programming, and different audiences. We all are in the situation, of doing good, high quality work to entertain and inspire the public in local area,” he said.
Diuguid explained he’s in charge of the day to day operation of the center, and he does not decide on the exhibits.
“They are chosen by an independent jury panel, several experts in the field…”
“It’s great having a venue like this we have the ability to make our own shows place for people to get together,” Diuguid said.
“Rural areas are given short shrift as far as the arts,” Diuguid said.
Of his being back “home,” Diuguid noted, “I really loved Sullivan County, loved growing up here. I’m so glad there was an opportunity that fit.”