Fundraising efforts to rebuild Benedicts' studio in Milo

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Dexter & Faith Benedict's Fire Works Studio was destroyed by fire Nov. 1.

Fire Works Studio Reconstruction Fund

After over 40 years of teaching art to the school and college students of Yates County, Faith and Dexter Benedict find themselves bereft of a place to work, and even the tools and materials to work with following the disastrous fire that consumed their studios Nov. 1.

The Arts Center of Yates County has established the “Fire Works Studio Reconstruction Fund” to help get the Benedicts back to their work; Faith as a potter and Dexter as a metal sculptor. Monetary donations can be made payable to the Arts Center of Yates County with “Fire Works Fund” or simply “Benedicts” written in the memo line.

Once the insurance settlement has been determined, the fund will be used for any equipment or materials the Benedicts still need to get back to work as soon as possible. The remaining money in the fund will then become the seed money for the “Benedict Art Scholarship,” to be awarded by the ACYC for students furthering their art education.

One-woman show at Keuka College to benefit Benedicts

For Dexter and Faith Benedict, the morning of Nov. 1 brought tragedy—their Penn Yan studio, Fire Works Foundry, was engulfed in flames, resulting in the loss of many tangible pieces of their life’s work.

Dexter, professor emeritus of art at Keuka College, and Faith, a member of the Class of 1981, both taught art at the college for many years. The Benedicts have enriched the lives of many, through teaching commissioned artworks, and their friendship.

Now, one of their longtime friends, Naples resident and artist Linda Starkweather, is using an upcoming performance at the College as a fundraiser for the Benedicts.

A performing artist, Ms. Starkweather’s one-woman show, Traveling With A Broken Compass, will be staged Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. in the College’s Red Barn Theatre. While both performances are free and open to the public, donations for the Benedicts will be accepted at each show. Checks should be made payable to Dexter and Faith Benedict.

Traveling With A Broken Compass premiered at the first Rochester Fringe Festival in 2012. Updated to reflect our changing times, the show is part memoir, and Ms. Starkweather incorporates humor, political satire, multimedia, original comedic songs, and a dose of performance art.

“I have always believed that theater can be a vehicle for change,” says Ms. Starkweather in her artist’s statement. “This is an amazing opportunity to create a show that tackles our global concerns at a time that may come to be known as the most radical shift in human consciousness ever to be seen on the planet.”

In addition to the benefit performances of Traveling with a Broken Compass at Keuka College, the Arts Center of Yates County will collect tools, including tape measures, screwdrivers, drills, and saws, among others, to create a tool kit for the Benedicts. Tools may be dropped off at the Arts Center, 127 Main St., Penn Yan.

 Linda Starkweather's 'Traveling with a Broken Compass'

What: a one-woman show

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19

Where: Keuka College Red Barn Theatre

Admission: Donations to benefit the Benedicts

To donate, please send your checks made payable to:

Arts Center of Yates County

127 Main St.

Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527

(Add “Fire Works Fund” or just “Benedicts” on memo line)

Linda Starkweather's 'Traveling with a Broken Compass'

What: a one-woman show

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19

Where: Keuka College Red Barn Theatre

Admission: Donations to benefit the Benedicts