The newly renovated theater at Fox Lane Middle School was dedicated last week to Suzanne Grant, a six-year former Bedford Central trustee and avid community volunteer who died prematurely in 2019. She was also a co-owner of PORCH Home + Gifts, a store retail at Mount Kisco.
Last Thursday night, the college’s second-floor theater honored Grant with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by live performances. During the ribbon cutting, Grant’s husband David Grant and two children Dylan, 22, and Samantha, 25, both former students of Fox Lane High School. Dylan graduated from Tufts and Samantha is a teacher in New York.
David Grant said his wife was a supporter of the performing arts. “The school board named the theater in honor of Suzanne’s death,” he said. “This theater is the ‘gateway to the school district’, an important space for children, teachers and the community.”
The 200-seat theater has been completely modernized from a dated space with brick walls with old risers to a formal auditorium filled with retractable theater-style seats on a motorized platform to allow for floor space and seating. flexible, new sound panels improving acoustics, a completely renovated floor and a new grand piano.
About 100 people attended the dedication, which was also posted on the district’s website. Grant, who is president of the Suzanne Grant Foundation, told the audience, “We wanted to remind everyone who entered this space that Suzanne lived her life representing certain values - caring, inclusion, kindness, integrity, honesty and Grace. We hope these values bounce off those seats, ricochet off those new walls, and reflect on those new floors and in the souls of everyone who walks into this room.
Matt Vanacoro, the School District’s Performing Arts Coordinator, played the role of MC and accompanied many performers on the piano. The 21 performers performed a variety of rock, jazz and classical music and were students, alumni, current and former music teachers. Performers included the high school string quartet, music teacher and clarinetist Bryan Filetto playing jazz and a vocal trio with alumni Samantha Grant, Casey Crowell and Linsey Ruzza who sang the last song they performed in the neighborhood as students.
Bedford Central School Board President John Boucher thanked the audience for making the event possible. “One of the first families we met when we moved here was the Grant family. You couldn’t buy better neighbors. Boucher recounted how Suzanne convinced him to come to the school board. “Suzanne made me want to give back a little. “
In his speech, BCSD Superintendent Joel Adelberg said, “I just can’t tell you how touched I am to be here. I look around this room and see so many faces from so many members of the community who represent to me the heart, soul, passion, potential and power of the Bedford Central School District. There would be no one who would bring this group together more than Suzanne.
Grant explained that the space has been remodeled for use by all ages. “This space is important for all children participating in science fairs, reading marathons, art exhibitions, concerts, speaker presentations, student meetings, enrichment seminars. Plus, it’s great that students and teachers from five different elementary schools can use this theater.