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‘239 Arts’ Provides Community For Artists in Broadway

Mae Roney is an aspiring actress and musician in NYC looking for a break on Broadway. She started and runs a weekly meeting for fellow young artists in New York to meet, workshop projects, collaborate, learn from each other, and share fellowship.

“I get so excited when I see somebody else get excited about a project that they have. My favorite way to create is to encourage somebody to get more excited and to open up pathways for other artists,” Mae shares.

Video Transcript

Meet Mae Roney: actress & musician

Manhattan, New York

(Mae walks through a busy New York street and waits for the Subway)

Mae Roney: It can be hard to get the opportunities that you want to get as an artist here in New York. Yes, there’s a lot out there, but it’s big. There’s a lot of people here that also want to do the things that you want to do, and you might not get to do it that time. And that’s hard.

(Mae and two other musicians play music at a Subway stop. A man gives them money.)

Mae created ‘239 Arts’, a space where young artists can find support and encouragement.

And so with 239, what I hope to do is create a space where no matter how bad your week has been and how many auditions you didn’t get, or how many projects are not happening for you, you can come to 239, and it can be a place where you have some kind of artistic outlet every week that you can count on.

(Mae speaks to a group of actors)

You’ll use your name first. You’ll say — I would say, “Hi, I’m Mae.”

James: Hi, I’m James.

(Mae and James shake hands. Mae turns to another person.)

Mae: Then I would say, “Hi, I’m James.”

Aiden: Hi, I’m Aiden.

James: Hi, I’m Mae.

Mae: Now I take Aiden, and he takes James. Okay?

Speaker 6: Hi, I’m Aiden.

Mae: Hi, I’m Bree.

Speaker 6: Hi, I’m James.

Speaker 7: Hi, I’m Mae.

Mae: Hi, I’m Jill.

Speaker 7: Hi, I’m Jill.

Speaker 8: Hi, I’m Bree.

Speaker 7: Yeah, we did it!

(laughter)

Mae: That was pretty good guys. I have to be honest —

I think it’s so important for young artists to support each other because there aren’t a ton of opportunities for new artists to just come into a group and have the opportunity for people to hear it.

Woman 1: (singing) Waiting for the work I could do, things to look to, something I could fulfill — (speaking to another woman) Can we go back a little? Can you tell me what that is, please?

Woman 2: Yeah.

Woman 1: So like, easier than I’m making it.

Woman 2: Yes. That is true. (audience laughs)

Mae: I get so excited when I see somebody else get excited about a project that they have. My favorite way to create is to encourage somebody to get more excited and to open up pathways for other artists. As I’ve pursued the arts as a career, I’ve realized that what is so important about my faith is the ability to really see another person and really love another person without any judgment and without conditions. It’s the only way that you can create something together. The community and the relationships that we get to build with each other as collaborators — that’s our priority, for sure.

(speaking to the group) This has been a wonderful meeting. Thank you all for your time, and your contribution, and your creativity, your collaboration, your enthusiasm, your encouragement, all these wonderful things. Have a good night. See you next week, um, yes.

(actors sing on stage accompanied by a piano)

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