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Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:25

Annual festival to infuse the city with arts, June 11-15

Annual festival to infuse the city with arts, June 11-15

SaratogaArtsFest marks eighth year with dynamic celebration


SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Saratoga Springs is known for its lively summer arts scene, and to get the season off to a roaring start SaratogaArtsFest will once again present an arts festival that serves as a prelude to a full summer of arts happenings in the city. 


The eighth annual SaratogaArtsFest will take place June 11-15 at venues throughout Saratoga Springs. The varied schedule will span music, dance, visual art, film, theatre, and literary art with featured performances by national, regional, and local artists. ArtsFest presents programs that appeal to audiences ranging from avid arts enthusiasts to families with young children.  


Admission to most events during the five-day festival is free with the purchase of a SaratogaArtsFest ARTSPASS. For some of the major events, including the Opening Night performance and Friday night’s Signature performance, the ARTSPASS provides an admission discount. 


Among the festival highlights will be the Opening Night on Thursday, June 12, featuring the acclaimed Martha Graham Dance Company at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Sponsored by SPAC, the performance will include pieces from such classics as Appalachian Spring and The Rite of Spring, as well as other compositions. 


On Friday, June 13, ArtsFest will present its signature event, “An Evening with Duncan Sheik,” at the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College. Sheik, a Grammy and Tony award winner, launched his musical career in 1996 with the Grammy-nominated hit “Barely Breathing.” 


Sheik is more recently known for his role in composing the musical Spring Awakening, which earned two Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Sheik’s December 2013 debut of the stage production of American Psycho in London opened to rave reviews. Tickets for the Sheik performance at Skidmore are priced at $50, or $25 with an ARTSPASS.


A full day of activity is slated for Saturday, June 14, when SaratogaArtsFest will present more than 25 events throughout Saratoga Springs. Broadway will take center stage for the en plein air Paint Out, in which artists will demonstrate their craft as they paint downtown cityscapes. Programs around town will range from family activities, such as storytelling and a circus workshop, to arts demonstrations, dance and theater performances, concerts, and more. ARTSPASS holders will want to take advantage of exclusive offers on Saturday, such as a $25 discount for Opera Saratoga’s performance of The Magic Flute at The Spa Little Theater.


Arts enthusiasts will not want to miss two unique theater and musical programs on Saturday night. No. 11 Productions, a New York City-based troupe of Skidmore College alumni, will perform Coosje at Universal Preservation Hall. The play is a whimsical love story about two sculptors who “learn to collaborate in life and art.” Downtown will be the setting for SaratogaArtsFest’s After Dark, a celebration at Javier’s on Maple Avenue with music by The Costellos, a band whose maverick pop music redefines rock for the new millennium.


On Sunday, June 15, families will have full access to the arts when ArtsFest presents two popular community events: Kids Do Art and the Beekman Street Art Fair.  Kids Do Art will again present an afternoon of hands-on arts activities for children of all ages, so that they can rip, cut, paste, and explore the arts in all of their forms. Beekman Street Art Fair returns this year to the Beekman Street Arts District with a full line of local artists, food vendors, and afternoon musical performances.  


New to this year’s arts festival are two programs that take a look at art from a different perspective. “Sport as Art,” a program led by Skidmore professor Jeffrey Segrave, will take place Sunday morning in the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College. Segrave, who will be joined by college and professional athletes for his presentation, is a noted expert on the Olympic Games and on the impact of sports on society. The second featured program is a Sunday afternoon screening of the documentary Fame High at the downtown Dee Sarno Theater at Saratoga Arts. Directed by Academy Award nominee and Skidmore alumnus Scott Hamilton Kennedy, the film depicts the trials and tribulations of young art prodigies attending the famous Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. 


Art aficionados will want to end Sunday with some classical art performances, including the evening program Serenata ItalianaExploring the Music of Italy by Hubbard Hall Projects at Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center.


Festival Admission Packages

The prices for the admission packages are $40 for adults and seniors, and $35 for military personnel. Admission is free for youth (12 and under).


With benefits before, during, and after the festival, the ARTSPASS is your ticket to the arts in June. ARTSPASS holders will be able to enjoy discounts to performances outside the festival weekend, such as exclusive offers to see the June 8 Roscoe Workshop produced by Opera Saratoga on Skidmore’s campus, and the Craftproducers Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival, to be held June 20-22 at the Saratoga County Fair Grounds. The ARTSPASS also includes year-round benefits and discounts at area arts organizations, including galleries, theaters, and museums. 


For More Information


More information about the festival, including exclusive offers and volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, is available at www.SaratogaArtsFest.org.

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