SaratogaArtsFest to celebrate the city’s centennial
SaratogaArtsFest will offer an arts-filled lineup of events June 12–14 and on June 17 to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Saratoga Springs city charter in 1915. The celebration brings together an eclectic mix of music, visual art, film, and dance at venues across the city’s downtown.
“The arts have always played an important role in Saratoga Springs,” says Dee Sarno, chair of the SaratogaArtsFest board. “To celebrate the town’s centennial, we want to shine a spotlight on the organizations, artists, galleries, and museums that continue to enrich Saratoga Springs. The goal is to give residents and visitors alike a taste of the diversity and creativity of the arts in our community.”
The events kick off on Friday, June 12, with a meet-and-greet cocktail party at Universal Preservation Hall on Washington St. The gathering will serve as a welcome to members of the renowned Orchard Project, a theater “laboratory” that will be taking up residence this June at Universal Preservation Hall. Guests will enjoy a “Taste of Saratoga,” with dishes from some of the Spa City’s well-known restaurants, such as the Olde Bryan Inn, Longfellows, Gaffney’s, and more. Music will be provided by Garland Nelson’s Jazz Ensemble. Reservations are required and can be made at www.SaratogaArtsFest.org.
The ArtsFest activities continue indoors and out throughout the weekend, including an en plein air Paint Out on Broadway, in which artists will demonstrate their craft as they paint downtown cityscapes. On Saturday, after the Flag Day Parade, which runs noon–2 p.m., families will want to check out a “Happy Birthday Saratoga Springs” party in Congress Park, which will offer birthday cupcakes from SaratogaArtsFest and children’s games organized by the Children’s Museum of Saratoga. Congress Park will also be the scene of a concert by the Ballston Spa Community Band. Other Saturday events include a “Saratoga Sings the Centennial” performance by Opera Saratoga, in which members of the opera’s Young Artist Program will perform music by Scott Joplin, Enrique Granados, Claude Debussy, Irving Berlin, and other composers.
On Saturday evening, ArtsFest partner Skidmore College will present renowned guitarist John Pizzarelli and his jazz quartet at the Arthur Zankel Music Center at 8 p.m. Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the Great American Songbook and beyond, infusing his work with the cool jazz flavor of his guitar technique and vocals. For tickets go to www.skidmore.edu/zankel/ticketsevents.php.
Highlights for Sunday, June 14, include a performance by LeMoyne College’s Fermata Nowhere a cappella singers and the Saratoga Springs High School Jazz Band, as well as a reception for winners of the SaratogaArtsFest short story contest, an annual competition for area high school students. The day will also feature a performance by the Saratoga Chamber Players at the Methodist Church on Fifth Ave. (to purchase tickets call 518-584-1417).
Other Sunday activities include a program at the National Museum of Dance on South Broadway. The program will feature “Dancing Through Time,” with choreography by Skidmore professors Mary DiSanto-Rose, Denise Warner Limoli, and Debra Fernandez, and a diverse selection of dance genres performed by students from the Dance Museum’s School of the Arts, under the artistic directorship of Raul Martinez. The Saratoga Film Forum will present “Saratoga 20X20X100,” a PechaKucha-inspired event in which each presenter shows 20 images for 20 seconds each, with commentary. An ArtsFest reception will follow the PechaKucha event.
Finally, on Wednesday, June 17, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, an ArtsFest partner, will present the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company as a kickoff for SPAC’s 2015 classical season. Lubovitch has been hailed by the New York Times as “one of the ten best choreographers in the world,” and the company has be called a “national treasure” by Variety. Tickets can be purchased online at www.spac.org or by phone at 518-584-9330.
“SaratogaArtsFest has always been about making the arts accessible for all, supporting our artists and arts organizations in the region, and encouraging artists and art lovers of all ages and interests to sample all the talent we have right here in our community,” says Sarno. “We’re proud to showcase this year’s events as part of the Saratoga Springs centennial celebration.”
For a full listing of events, venues and times, visit www.SaratogaArtsFest.org