As we celebrate The New Victory's twentieth birthday this season, we're highlighting some of the families who have been a part of our greater New Vic family for many years. For these parents and kids, seeing theatrical performances at the New Vic has become a tradition, and over the years they've shared their love of theater with their extended family and friends. This month, the spotlight is on Julia Levy and Ari Edelson, co-founders of the Culture Craver Kids
app, and their son, Eliot!
Ari and Julia are starting their family theatergoing tradition early with their two-year-old son, Eliot.
Julia recalls bringing her niece to the New Vic in 2013 to see Sleeping Beauty by Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company.
"We love The New Victory," says Ari.
Julia agrees. "The standard of the work presented here competes with the greatest in the city. And we love that the productions visit from all around the world."
Ari and Julia, who share a profound #LoveOfTheater, were exposed to the performing arts when they were very young. Ari began staging puppet shows at the age of four, and Julia performed as a green bug at about the same age. They have been attending shows at the New Vic since 1999 and love the medium because "it's a platform for storytelling and idea sharing."
Ari describes theater as "the most collaborative artform, allowing audiences to create temporary communities that are inspired, illuminated or transported."
Because of Ari and Julia's work on Culture Craver Kids, theater is playing a larger part in their family life than ever before. Their son, Eliot, who turns two in May, is already becoming a connoisseur of the arts.
"We have started taking Eliot to some age-appropriate theater, and we want other families to be able to find more culture they'll love," says Julia. "New York City parents like us need a modern guide that knows the city and knows us."
With their new app, Culture Craver Kids
Ari and Julia are solving the discovery problem for families seeking ways to engage with the arts. "Looking at what's available on Culture Craver Kids, we are so excited for what's in store for Eliot," says Julia. "In the meantime, he's spending a lot of time listening to showtunes and visiting the city's museums and outdoor cultural experiences."
"As he grows up in New York City," adds Ari, "we can’t wait for him to see as much art, music, theater, and dance as possible." Of course, there's one obvious place to start. Eliot had his first New Vic experience in January when he and his cousins came to see Handa's Surprise
, and they've been humming the fruit lullaby ever since.
||Culture Craver Kids was developed in consultation with staff here at The New Victory, where we want families to make a habit of engaging with the arts. Culture Craver Kids makes it easier for parents to find those opportunities and discover new ones. Crave events that excite your family and rate culture you've seen together. Available for iPhone on the App Store. Check it out online at crav.es/kids!