Bolstering Bronx Culture with Help of Big Names

Eva Bornstein (pictured), executive director of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, brings a breadth of experience to the Bronx’s world stage. (Photo by Adi Talwar, via Norwood News)

Eva Bornstein, executive director of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts (Photo by Adi Talwar via Norwood News)

Eva Bornstein anticipates that getting famous names to perform at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx will not only draw outsiders but also change their perception of the borough, reports Norwood News’ David Cruz in a profile of the Center’s executive director.

Acts like the New York Philharmonic, Patti LaBelle, Jerry Seinfeld and Jose Feliciano have graced the stage of the 2,300-seat theater. It’s no small feat as performers often opt for iconic Manhattan venues such as Madison Square Garden or Radio City.

It’s her charm, utilizing her soft-spoken Polish accent to attract established artists to the Lehman stage. This year, her crown jewel of a headliner is Michael Bolton, the R&B jazz performer expected to lend his musical voice on June 7. Aside from Bolton’s performance in Yankee Stadium in 2001, it’s his first show in the Bronx.

That “charm” is behind 40 years as a “power broker” for performers and in recent times, it has convinced “artists of the exposure they’ll receive at Lehman Center.”

Bornstein got her own start on a theater stage – in Krakow, Poland when the country was under communist rule. The urge to escape eventually took her across Europe and over to North America.

The Manhattanite and “leading lady of theater management” is now at home at the Bronx college, with the intent to reshape opinions of the northernmost borough.

But the list of names serves as a catalyst to draw out-of-towners who may not know much about a borough still burdened by the nagging “Bronx is burning” mold. Bornstein, seizing upon the wealthy demographic who visit Lehman, sees the need to shatter stereotypes as a way to ensure Lehman stays packed.

Visit Norwood News to read the full profile of Bornstein.

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