Building Community Through the Arts

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Conversations with Neighbors: “The Activists Among Us”

Climate change event illustration

Links of Interest

Hydrate the Earth: The forgotten role of water in the climate crisis (Paperback – February 15, 2022) on

Partners for Climate Change

PCA’s Building Decarbonization Grant – for municipalities & nonprofits

Austerlitz Climate Action

Info about Austerlitz’s Comprehensive Plan process – monthly meetings open to the public

Upstate NY working group for those 60 & over:
Third Act

Rivers and Mountains Green Faith Circle

Websites of neighboring town efforts & more community resources

Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents “Ellsworth Kelly: An Exhibition of Historic Posters”

April 26, 2023 | WAMC

Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents “Ellsworth Kelly Centennial: An Exhibition of Historic Posters.” The posters, which date from 1951 to 2018, are from the collection of the Ellsworth Kelly Studio.

Kelly (1923–2015) is widely regarded as one of the most important painters, sculptors, and printmakers of his time. On the occasion of his May 31 centennial, a year-long celebration will showcase the artist’s indelible legacy.

This collaborative event will include exhibitions and installations at the Art Institute of Chicago, Glenstone Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art, among others; new publications; multiple gifts of artworks to museums; grant awards from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation; a scholarly symposium; and new digital initiatives to ensure that Kelly’s legacy endures for another 100 years and beyond.

Mary Anne Lee – Managing Director of the Ellsworth Kelly Studio joins us with more.

Listen to the entire interview.

At Spencertown Academy, Rachelle Garniez and Erik Della Penna to play old and new music of New York City

April 13, 2023 | The Berkshire Eagle

In 1928, German bookbinder Theodor Trampler traveled to the United States to craft his skills in New York City. He left behind his wife and two daughters in Leipzig, and wrote hundreds of lengthy letters to his family about everyday experiences and observations of the bustling metropolis.

He sent money back home with the hopes of bringing them over to join him, but his wife was afraid to travel to a foreign country. Homesick, Trampler returned to Germany in 1929.

Read the entire article.

Dennis Lichtman and Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton bringing 1920s blues, folk music to Spencertown Academy’s Roots & Shoots Concert Series

March 2, 2023 | The Berkshire Eagle

When multi-instrumentalists Jerron Paxton and Dennis Lichtman go out into the world together, they look to the past for inspiration.

Growing up on opposite coasts — Paxton in Los Angeles, Lichtman near Boston — each developed a love of music that brought them together in New York City, first as friends and colleagues, then as close collaborators.

Read the entire article.

At 50, Spencertown Academy thrives in rural setting

August 30, 2022 | Times Union

When visitors step into the 175-year-old Greek Revival building known as Spencertown Academy, they often sense a certain presence, an echo of all the lives that have passed through this place—musicians who performed in the auditorium where legends like Odetta and Pete Seeger once took the stage, future teachers who studied Greek and Latin in one of the country’s first coed teacher-training programs, and a century’s worth of elementary school students, during the Academy’s years as a public grade school.

Read the entire article.

Spencertown Academy Arts Center hosting free Community Day in celebration of two anniversaries

The Berkshire Eagle | Sunday, July 3, 2022

SPENCERTOWN, N.Y. — When the 50th anniversary of a beloved cultural institution falls in the same year as the 175th anniversary of the building it occupies, there’s double the reason to celebrate.

On Saturday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Spencertown Academy Arts Center — located atop a hill near the Village Green in the Spencertown hamlet of rural Austerlitz, N.Y. — will host a free, festive Community Day for all ages. Music, performances, art and historical exhibits offering a glimpse at its storied past are scheduled throughout the day.

Read the entire article.

BOOK REVIEW: Judy White Staber’s ‘Rise Above It, Darling’

The Berkshire Edge | March 22, 2022

It’s an odd thing, writing a biography of someone you know well, yet barely know at all. Judy White Staber has constructed a book about her actress mother, and she has done a great deal of research about her mother’s family background, her mother’s life, and her career. She has had to do the work of a researcher as her mother, Joan White, played a very small role in Staber’s formative years, having placed her in the Actors’ Orphanage when she was just a bit over four years old. In Staber’s first book, “Silverlands: Growing Up at the Actors’ Orphanage,” published in 2010, she recounted those years and experiences in great detail. This book, which discusses her childhood, is more about what happened to her in subsequent times.

Read the entire article.

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