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Artie Van Why

Fee Range: $2500 - $5000



Arts/Culture/MusicAttitudeInspirationLife Balance




Artie Van Why


For Artie Van Why, 9/11 is not just a chapter in our history books. For him, 9/11 is when his life, as he knew it, was indelibly changed forever. Artie wasn’t watching the events unfold on TV; as most of America, and the world, were that morning. He was in New York; standing on Church Street before the World Trade Center. 

As a 9/11 eyewitness, Artie has pledged to share his story of that fateful morning as a Playwright, an Author and, first and foremost, a Public Speaker. As Artie’s speaking engagements increase, he is being recognized for his captivating narrative; transporting his audiences back to the events of that morning as if they were right there beside him. 

His audiences come away with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day but also with a personal glimpse of how his life was dramatically changed forever. High school and college students, especially, respond to Artie’s story with heartfelt gratitude; thanking him for giving them a very real perspective of 9/11 that history books fail to provide. 

And as a 9/11 survivor, he shares the struggles we all face after tragedy, trauma or loss. We all grieve and Artie found there are no easy answers. Grieving takes as long as it takes. There is no timetable.

Originally from a small town in Maryland, Artie lived in New York City for over twenty six years in Hell’s Kitchen; a neighborhood of Manhattan just blocks away from Times Square and Broadway. His first ten years there he pursued a moderately successful acting career.

Artie left show business in 1988 to enter the corporate world; as a word processor. He worked for the same law firm in midtown Manhattan for thirteen years. In June of 2001, his firm moved to other quarters downtown, across from the World Trade Center. Artie was at work the morning of September 11th, and witnessed the horror of that day from the streets. Two months later Artie left his job; after only three weeks of working back at his office building near what was now called Ground Zero. He began writing about his experience of that day and the weeks following. He sent some of his writings to friends and family via emails, and they, in turn, forwarded them to their friends. In a short period of time people across the country were reading Artie’s emails. He began receiving emails from people expressing their gratitude in being given a glimpse of what it was like to have witnessed the events of September 11 and to be living in a city that was grieving. He was encouraged to keep writing, and he did; unaware of where his writing would lead him. Surprising even himself, Artie began contemplating if his writing would be adaptable to become a theater piece; specifically a one man show. This former actor now found himself wanting to return to the stage with the sole purpose of telling his story.

Around the same time Artie met famed actor, Richard Masur; who had worked as a volunteer at Ground Zero during the weeks of rescue and recovery. Richard offered to come on board as the director and he and Artie began working in earnest on what ultimately became the one man play “That Day in September”; which premiered on the campus of California Lutheran University, in Thousand Oaks, California, shortly after the one year anniversary of September 11th. The play then moved to the Celebration Theater in Los Angeles, where it opened to critical acclaim.

After the play’s run in LA, Artie came back to New York and he and Richard mounted a workshop production of “That Day In September”, in preparation for a limited run Off Broadway in August of 2003.

After the New York production Artie moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Compelled to continue having his story told Artie worked for a year on adapting the script into a personal memoir and in June of 2006 he self-published the book version of “That Day in September”.

Artie hopes that by his story continuing to be told, through whatever media, it will keep the memory of 9/11 alive and that it will be accepted as his personal tribute to the men, women and children who died that day in September.


To book this speaker please visit or call 508.485.8996