Today’s news:

The City Island Theater Group will hold auditions for Wait Until Dark, by Frederick Knoww and directed by Eileen Marcus, at Grace Church Hall, 116 City Island Avenue, on Thurs., Dec. 17 and Fri., Dec. 18 at 7:30 pm.

The mystery thriller’s heroine is Susy Hendrix, a blind Greenwich Village housewife who becomes the target of three thugs searching for the heroin hidden in a doll, which her husband transported from Canada as a favor to a woman who since has been murdered. The trio tries to convince Susy that her spouse has been implicated in the crime and the only way to protect him is to surrender the doll. More murder and mayhem ensue when she refuses, with the stage lights turned off for the final scene when Susy levels the playing field by plunging her apartment into total darkness.

Performance dates are Feb. 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 8 pm and Feb. 21, at 3 pm. For more info go to: auditions@cityislandtheatergroup.com.

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Forty Plus of New York, a self-help organization, welcomes managers and professionals who are looking for work. Since 1939, thousands of members have used their Forty Plus skills and techniques to land worthwhile jobs. To arrange an orientation and tour of the Forty Plus offices on Seventh Avenue, call (212) 947-4230.

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Applications and guidelines for the 2010 BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Awards will soon be available online on the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) website at www.bronxarts.org. As in the previous year, please note that the distribution of BRIO applications will be primarily online. Hard copies can be picked up in person at BCA’s main office at 1738 Hone Avenue in the Morris Park section of the Bronx. In addition, the application and guidelines will be available at Bronx public libraries, BCA’s Writers’ Center and BCA’s Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos Community College. This year’s submission deadline is Fri., Jan. 29, 2010.

This year marks 21 years of BRIO Fellowships demonstrating the Bronx Council on the Arts’ ongoing outreach and support to artists creating work in the literary, media, performing, and visual arts. Bronx artists may apply in one of the following categories: Acting, Choreography, Crafts, Dance, Digital Arts, Fiction, Film Animation, Illustration/Artist Book, Installation Art, Instrumental and Vocal Music Performance, Mixed Media, Music Composition, Narrative/Documentary/Experimental Film or Video, Non-Fiction, Painting, Performance Art, Performance Poetry, Photography, Playwriting, Poetry, Printmaking/Drawing, Screenwriting, Sculpture, Spoken Word, and Storytelling.

A total of 25 awards of $3,000 each are available this year to Bronx artists. Eligible applicants must be 18 years or older, live in the Bronx, and not be enrolled as a full-time graduate or undergraduate student. Individuals who work for BCA or who are recipients of any of the Council’s awards in 2009 including BRIO, Bronx Writers’ Center Fellowship Program, Chapter One Fiction Competition, or Digital Matrix Commissioning Program are also ineligible.

Application assistance is available at free BRIO workshops to be held on Tues., Jan. 5, 2010, from 6 to 8 pm at Riverdale Neighborhood House, 5521 Mosholu Avenue; and Thurs., Jan. 7, 2010 at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street. Space is limited so RSVP for a session by calling (718) 931-9500 x35.

This year’s submission deadline is Fri., Jan. 29, 2010 postmarked by the Post Office (not metered) or hand-delivered to BCA’s main office at 1738 Hone Avenue, by 5 pm on the same day.

The selection of the awards are based solely on artistic excellence and decided by a panel of professional artists of various disciplines. All materials involved in the selection process are kept confidential and are reviewed anonymously. Winners are notified of panel decisions by mail approximately four months after the deadline date and are invited to an awards ceremony in June to receive the first payment of $2,500. The remaining balance of $500 is to be paid to the artist upon completion of a community service activity which is required of all awardees.

Funding for BRIO is provided by the NYS Council on the Arts and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs-Greater New York Arts Development Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Carnegie Corporation, Scherman Foundation, Krasdale Foods, Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, the Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and BCA’s membership program.

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The Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture will host a WinterFest celebration on Sun., Dec. 20, at 11 am at the Meeting House, 4450 Fieldston Road, corner of Manhattan College Parkway.

Come celebrate the end of the secular year, the lengthening of daylight and the joy of family and friends.

The festivities will begin with a WinterFest Platform at 11 am. The platform includes a reading by author and Riverdalian Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa. There will be music, songs and a celebration.

Following the program there will be a potluck luncheon for members, friends, visitors and newcomers. For more information call (718) 548-4445.

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