In The News

Spencertown Academy Connects History, Future with Virtual Concerts

Times Union | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Since 1972, a Greek Revival building that was a schoolhouse for the first 123 years of its life has been a community arts center for the Columbia County hamlet of Spencertown (population 175).

The Spencertown Academy suffered significant setbacks after the global financial crisis a dozen years ago, to the point that all paid staff was laid off. Led by a strong board of directors aided by more than 200 volunteers, however, it has rebuilt financially. A capital campaign raised $600,000 for restoration of the building, and work that was expected to be lengthy is nearly complete, well ahead of time. The coronavirus pandemic meant crews didn’t have to stop to accommodate the academy’s normally busy calendar, which by March already had two dozen in-person events slated for the year, with more expected to be added as 2020 progressed.

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Paging All Bibliophiles: Spencertown Academy Festival of Books Goes Online

Chronogram | September 1, 2020

When we headed into summer, no one knew if or how our favorite summer events —performing arts, galleries, annual festivals—were going to survive. Many, if not most of them went online, and so did we. Virtual events work, we learned, and the annual Spencertown Academy Festival of Books, taking that knowledge, has shifted to a virtual festival September 4 through October 12.

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Open Book with Joyce Carol Oates

The Berkshire Eagle | August 28, 2020

Instead of promoting her latest novel, “Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.,” on a national book tour, author Joyce Carol Oates is spending her summer in one place, her house in Princeton, N.J., working (“mostly on a new novel”) and seeing a few people “at a social distance.”

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 15th Annual Festival Of Books Goes Virtual

WAMC | August 26, 2020

The Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 15th annual Festival of Books turns Virtual this year. Labor Day weekend and beyond, there will be online conversations with distinguished authors, special book sales, children’s drawing workshops, and even familiar flavors from the Cookbook Café. Get ready to settle into a comfortable chair with your laptop or tablet, and enjoy this beloved cultural event of all things literary, 2020 style. All programs will be on Zoom. Registration is required and free, but limited. 

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Uel Wade Scholarship 2020 winners

Hudson Valley 360 | June 17, 2020

For years the annual Uel Wade Scholarship competition has played to a packed audience at the Spencertown Academy.

This year, due to the coronavirus, the young musicians performed in Wade’s big studio with an audience of only three: the judges, Ron Carbone (violist), Eric Latini (trumpeter), and Mitsuko Suzuki (violinist).

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Spencertown festival speaks volumes to the allure of books

Berkshire Eagle | August 31, 2019

Every summer for the past 14 years, the Spencertown Academy Arts Center has been transformed into a mecca of new and gently used books. Beginning in July, nearly 100 volunteers comb through stacks of thousands of donated books in preparation for the annual Festival of Books, a three-day, open-to-the-public event held over Labor Day weekend.

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center celebrates Hidden Gardens

HudsonValley360 | June 5, 2019

Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 15th annual Hidden Gardens is scheduled for June 15, with a kick-off garden party the night before.

The theme of this year’s Hidden Gardens Tour is “Artful Landscapes” and shoppers will, once again, find treasures at the Garden Market on the Green. Flower farmer Jenny Elliott will give the annual Hidden Gardens Breakfast Lecture and the “Gardens of Delight” art exhibition will be on display at the Academy.

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Jenny Elliott: Flower Farmer, Mom, Inspiration

Rural Intelligence | June 4, 2019

Just talking to Jenny Elliott about her work at Tiny Hearts Farm in Copake, New York makes me tired! We chatted on the way to and from Albany, where we were headed to the studios of WAMC to tape an interview about the upcomin Hidden Gardens fundraising event at the Spencertown Academy on June 15. As I am one of the co-chairs for that garden extravaganza and Jenny is our guest lecturer this year, we were together for a couple of precious hours, away from our busy lives and demanding jobs, with a rare chance to “hang.”

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