The organization known as the Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts, Inc. was formed in 1968 by a small group of parents and teachers who lived in the Bayport-Blue Point area of Suffolk County's South Shore. Its purpose was to bring the fine arts into the school and community by sponsoring touring dance and theatrical troupes, and opera studio recitals and the like. For a number of years an annual "Art In" was held, where exhibits of artists' works were combined with musical events in day-long affairs.
From the beginning a symphony orchestra has been supported giving three or four concerts annually. In addition, a chorus has existed intermittently and has performed both separately and with the orchestra. Both the orchestra and chorus depend on dedicated volunteers, amateur and semi-professional musicians, selected students and an important core of professional musicians and music teachers. The music director/orchestra conductor and the chorus director are professional musicians, assisted by part-time orchestra and chorus managers.
For several years, BAFFA rented the Robinson Cottage at the Islip Grange in Sayville using it for a combined office and art gallery. In 1984 these functions were moved to the Gillette House on Gillette Avenue, Sayville. Art exhibitions are held there; the works of local artists are selected, organized into shows, publicized and hung by a volunteer committee.
BAFFA was incorporated in 1977. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors elected at the annual meeting held each Fall. The Board meets on the first Monday of each month, and its meetings are open to the public. BAFFA is open to all and its community friends are its backbone. They serve on committees, raise money, gallery sit, vote on decisions affecting the organization, and of course receive all BAFFA news and publicity. BAFFA is truly a community, grass-roots cultural force.
BAFFA Founder and First President
Charlotte J. Price died on December 29, 2018 at the Havenwood-Heritage Heights retirement community in Concord, NH, after a long illness. She was 91 years old and passed away surrounded by her loving family. She will be remembered for her faith, love of family and her passion for bringing music and art to the community.
Charlotte Louise Jones was born in 1927 and raised in Lexington, KY, where she graduated from Henry Clay High School. Her father, Daniel J. Jones was a geologist and oil prospector who later became Kentucky State Geologist. Her mother, Matilda (nee´ Gilcher) was a homemaker and amateur artist. Charlotte graduated from Oberlin College in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in music (organ) and was a church organist and an active member of the American Guild of Organists.
Charlotte married Glenn Albert Price, also of Lexington, KY, in 1950. In 1952 they relocated to Bayport, NY, where the couple raised four children and Glenn pursued a scientific career at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. They spent family time making music, camping and sailing on the Great South Bay. Charlotte was active in their church congregation, the Sayville (NY) Congregational United Church of Christ. In 1958 Charlotte and Glenn spent a sabbatical year at the Harwell Laboratory in Oxford, UK and in the late 1980s they lived in Vienna, Austria, where Glenn worked for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Charlotte Price was a lifelong champion of the arts. In 1968, after deciding that the local community needed more artistic opportunities, she led the founding of the Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts (BAFFA), a community arts organization dedicated to bringing classical music and fine arts to the south shore of Long Island. Charlotte was BAFFA’s founding President and over the years served in a number of different capacities as the organization grew. 5 0 years after its founding, BAFFA continues to thrive and has a symphony orchestra and chorus, an art gallery in Sayville, NY, and provides educational opportunities for young artists and musicians.
Charlotte and Glenn retired to a lake in Weare, NH where they entertained family and friends, worked on projects and indulged their love of music and nature. They joined the Deering Community Church in nearby Deering, NH, where Charlotte played the organ and organized classical music programs. In 2003, after years of advocating for a better organ to provide music for worship services, Charlotte purchased a four-rank pipe organ for the church.
Charlotte Price is survived by Glenn Price, her loving husband of 68 years; four children: Beverly Rollins of Sunnyvale, CA; Daniel Price of Dedham, MA; David Price of Weare, NH; and Albert Price of Brooklyn, NY; and four grandchildren.
Board of Directors
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Armoza, Ann - Publicity
Barkan, Christina - Orchestra Mgr.
Dougherty, Trevor - Grants
Hester, Judy Lynne
Love, Jane - Program Notes
Olsen-Hoek, Jessica - Grants
Rushton, Lynette - Chorus Mgr.
Siepmann, Lois - (Emeritus)
Stoll, Ellen - Gallery Manager
Dr. Richard Wright
Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts Inc.
47 Gillette Avenue
Sayville, NY 11782
PO Box 16
Bayport, NY 11705-0016