Press Releases

Spencertown Academy Twilight in the Garden Party

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents Hidden Gardens: Twilight in the Garden Party on Saturday, June 26, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm (rain date: Sunday, June 27 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm) at Austerlitz Historical Society’s Old Austerlitz grounds (GPS 11550 NY-22 Austerlitz, NY 12017). The Academy’s traditional summer kick-off fundraiser will feature pre-packed baskets filled with wrapped homemade and locally sourced snacks, as well as festive beverages, a silent auction, and live music by Rob Fisch. Tickets range from $100 to $250 with an array of perks. For details, please see www.spencertownacademy.org.

“This year, more than ever, we look forward to raising a glass with friends and neighbors, old and new, we hope you will join us!,” says Madaline Sparks, Academy board member and co-chair of Hidden Gardens. “Our neighbor, the Austerlitz Historical Society, has graciously offered the bucolic Old Austerlitz grounds to host the festivities. In this ever-changing world, NYS COVID protocols will be observed. There will be a variety of seating and gathering options, but please feel free to bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs if you prefer to create your own.”

The 17th annual Hidden Garden Tour will take place on August 28, 2021. In addition to private properties with beautiful landscapes and flower gardens, this year’s tour will feature various vegetable gardens.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Spencertown Academy Presents Brazilian Pianist Jovino Santos Neto Virtual Concert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Streams will broadcast a virtual concert by three-time Latin Grammy nominee, Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto on Saturday, June 5 at 8:00pm. The performance is free (though tips are welcome via a virtual tip jar) and advance registration is not required. A link to the performance will be posted on the Academy’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/spencertownacademy.

 “Jovino Santos Neto is an expressive, brilliantly accomplished pianist, as well as a master composer and arranger,” says Gerald Seligman, member of the Academy’s Music Committee. “For the Academy’s Roots & Shoots series, he’s recorded a special solo piano program in which he explores all the possibilities of the instrument, combining the rhythmic and harmonic audacity of Hermeto Pascoal’s pieces with his own Brazilian tone poems, spanning the distance between lyrical and effervescent within a few measures. He also pays tribute to some of the great Brazilian composers like Jobim, Pixinguinha and Ernesto Nazareth. His commentaries on the music are enlightening and educating, providing the audience with a unique musical experience. Tune in!”

Currently based in Seattle, Washington, Neto has throughout his career been closely affiliated with the Brazilian master Hermeto Pascoal. He was an integral part of Pascoal’s group from 1977 to1992, where he fine-tuned his artistry, performing around the world and co-producing several legendary records. His personal style is a creative blend of energetic grooves, deep harmonies, telepathic improvisation, lyrical melodies, and ensemble playing, always inspired and informed by the colorful richness of Brazilian music. His compositions include samba, choro, baião, xote, forró, marcha, and many more styles, rooted in centuries-old musical tradition while pointing to new and adventurous harmonic languages.

Neto now leads his Seattle-based Quinteto and Trio. He taught piano and composition at Cornish College of the Arts for 26 years. He can also be heard around the world as a piano soloist, working with symphony orchestras, jazz big bands, chamber music groups, and in collaboration with musicians such as his mentor Hermeto Pascoal, Bill Frisell, Paquito d’Rivera, Airto Moreira, Claudio Roditi, David Sanchez, Joe Locke, Anat Cohen, and many more.

Roots & Shoots Streams Concerts is a series that showcases artists who reach back to earlier traditions in music (Americana, jazz, blues, rock, and world music) for inspiration, while incorporating more recent forms and influences of the present.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Spencertown Academy Presents Taylor Ashton Virtual Folk Concert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Streams presents a virtual folk concert by Taylor Ashton and special guests on Saturday, May 8 at 7:30pm. This concert is free (though tips are welcome via a virtual tip jar) and advance registration is not required. A link to the performance broadcast will be available via the Academy’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/spencertownacademy.

Taylor Ashton is a Canadian songwriter and singer living in Brooklyn, New York, who is influenced by the ways that traditional folk, pop, and R&B can live together on the clawhammer banjo. Born in 1989, he grew up surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the old growth rainforests of Canada’s west coast. He says he draws inspiration for songs from the primeval crookedness of traditional old-time music, the humor and heartbreak of Randy Newman, the cosmic emotionality of mid-career Joni Mitchell, and the sage vulnerability of Bill Withers.

Ashton’s debut solo record, “The Romantic,” was released last year on Signature Sounds Recordings. Although it was his first proper solo album, it follows four albums as frontman of his former band, Fish & Bird, as well as a stripped-down duo record with guitarist and songwriter Courtney Hartman. His latest release is 2021’s “Romanticize,” an EP of remixes and new songs, and a companion to “The Romantic.”

Roots & Shoots Streams Concerts is a series that showcases artists who reach back to earlier traditions in music (Americana, jazz, blues, rock, and world music) for inspiration, while incorporating more recent forms and influences of the present.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Download a PDF of the press release.

Spencertown Academy Presents The Lucky 5 Virtual Concert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Streams will broadcast The Lucky 5, performing live on the Spencertown stage, via YouTube on Saturday, April 17 at 7:30pm. The Lucky 5 is a hard-swinging jazz band that blends swing and gypsy jazz to create a unique, foot-stomping blend of music. The performance is free (though tips are welcome via a virtual tip jar) and advance registration is not required. A link to the concert will be posted on www.spencertownacademy.org.

“The Lucky 5 performs both original compositions and old jazz standards. They are high energy and you can have your own private swing dance party, or just listen though sitting still is a hard thing to do given the band’s talent and repertoire,” says Mike Zdeb, member of the Academy’s Music Committee.

The Lucky 5 is comprised of Kip Beacco on guitar/vocals, Jonathan Talbot on violin/vocals, Carolyn Dufraine on vocals/trombone, Matt Downing on bass/vocals, and Tom Parker on drums. All highly seasoned touring musicians, the band members have been part of The Hunger Mountain Boys, Lauren Ambrose & The Leisure Class, and traveled, performed, and recorded with artists such as Neko Case, Iris Dement, Bobby Previte, Del McCoury, and Jim Lauderdale, just to name a few.

Roots & Shoots Streams Concerts is a series that showcases artists who reach back to earlier traditions in music (Americana, jazz, blues, rock, and world music) for inspiration, while incorporating more recent forms and influences of the present.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Download a PDF of the press release.

Spencertown Academy Presents “The Art of Growing Food” Virtual Talk by Ellen Ecker Ogden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center Hidden Gardens Virtual Lecture Series presents a talk by Ellen Ecker Ogden titled “The Art of Growing Food” on Saturday, May 1 at 4:00pm via Zoom. The lecture will be about an hour, followed by a Q&A with participants. Tickets are $10. To register, please see www.spencertownacademy.org.

“Ellen was a guest lecturer at the Academy ten years ago when her book, The Complete Kitchen Garden, came out. She’s a delightful speaker who breaks the art of garden design down so it is accessible to everyone,” says Madaline Sparks, Academy board member and co-chair of Hidden Gardens. “The timing of this presentation is perfect. There’s still plenty of time to implement her tips and put into practice her advice for a fabulous kitchen garden of flowers and edibles this season. Get ready to transform your classic vegetable garden into a spectacular European potager.”

In this lecture, Ogden will illuminate six steps to successful kitchen garden design based on her years as an artist, gardener, and cook. She will deliver fresh ideas on how to bring art and whimsy to the kitchen garden, while also maintaining productivity and easy maintenance. Participants will discover how to design and plant an edible garden with an eye toward beauty, bounty, and sanctuary. Ogden will offer suggestions for what to grow based on her seed catalog favorites, such as Italian Purple Pole beans, Piccolo Verde basil, Troutback lettuce, and ornamental artichokes. The talk will revolve around creative ideas and photographs from her books, The Complete Kitchen Garden and The New Heirloom Garden, both of which are available at The Chatham Bookstore (27 Main Street, Chatham, NY) with a 10% discount if you mention Spencertown Academy.

In addition to being a kitchen garden designer and the author, Ogden is co-founder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalog, introducing cooks and gardeners to European specialty vegetables, herbs, and flowers. She graduated with a degree in fine arts, and attended cooking school with Marcella Hazan in Venice, Italy, and at the Ballymaloe School in Shanagarry, Ireland. Her articles and kitchen garden designs have appeared in numerous national publications, including The New York TimesMartha Stewart LivingBetter Homes and Gardens, Eating Well, Garden Design, and Country Gardens, among others.

This talk is sponsored by Country Caretaker Garden Center (Canaan, NY). Additional lecture topics and dates will be announced soon. The annual Hidden Garden Tour will take place on August 28, 2021. In addition to properties with beautiful landscapes and flower gardens, it will feature various vegetable gardens this year.  

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Download a PDF of the press release.

Spencertown Academy Presents “Why Start Plants From Seed?” Virtual Talk by Mary Ann Iaccino

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center launches the 2021 Hidden Gardens Virtual Lecture Series with a talk by Master Gardener Mary Ann Iaccino titled “Why Start Plants From Seed?” on Sunday March 21 at 1:00pm via Zoom. The lecture will be about an hour, followed by a Q&A with participants. Tickets are $10. To register, please see www.spencertownacademy.org.

“The pandemic created a booming interest in home gardening—from ‘Victory Gardens’ to growing vegetables in pots on rooftops. In our area, fenced vegetable gardens and raised beds cropped up everywhere last year,” says Madaline Sparks, Academy board member and co-chair of Hidden Gardens. It looks like the trend will continue, so we want to offer a little help to those who are trying for the first time or just want a refresher about starting plants from seed.” 

“Starting your own vegetables and flowers from seed can be an economical way to fill garden space and enjoy a much wider variety of plants than you could find in any nursery,” says Iaccino. “There’s nothing more fun and hopeful than planning one’s summer garden when it’s still bitter cold outside.”

This lecture will cover getting a handle on where to start, and pin down the information found on seed packets and in catalogs. It will also investigate how to meet environmental conditions that are needed for seed germination at home and go through the process of starting seeds to transplanting strong seedlings into the garden.

Iaccino has been in the education field as a high school biology teacher, a museum educator, and as an adult education instructor. She started as a Master Gardener Volunteer in the 1990s when she lived in Dutchess County. After moving back home to the Hudson area in 2005, she joined the Master Gardener Volunteers of Columbia-Greene counties participating in presenting programs and workshops.

Additional topics and dates will be announced soon. The annual Hidden Garden Tour will take place on August 28, 2021 and, in addition to properties with beautiful landscapes and flower gardens, will feature various vegetable gardens.  

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Download a PDF of the press release.

Spencertown Academy Presents Lucia Pulido and Ulises Martínez Virtual Concert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Streams will broadcast a concert by Colombian singer Lucia Pulido and Mexican multi-instrumentalist Ulises Martínez via YouTube on Saturday, March 20 at 8:00pm. Recorded in Mexico especially for the Academy, the program will feature a mix of traditional “pirekua” indigenous songs from Michoacán, Mexico and “cantas de guabina” from the Andes in Colombia, along with a sprinkling of Spanish “boleros”—all interpreted in a personal way. The program will conclude with an interview with the artists conducted by Gerald Seligman, member of the Academy’s Music Committee. The performance is free (though tips are welcome via a virtual tip jar) and advance registration is not required. A link to the concert will be posted on www.spencertownacademy.org.

“Lucia Pulido is an artist of astonishing range, power, expression, and artistry. I’ve seen her perform countless times in solo, duo, and many group formations—all bring out something special, something unique,” says Seligman. “That we get to hear her with new partner Ulises Martínez is a special privilege and pleasure. She is, simply, one of the greatest voices on the international music scene. From Colombia, she has been touring the world and now comes to our own, humble Spencertown streaming platform. How lucky we are.”

Pulido has mined the musical traditions of her native Colombia and other Latin American countries in an ongoing search for a distinct, experimental style. Her artistic collaborators have included Fernando Tarres, Erik Friedlander, Satoshi Takeishi, Dave Binney, Christian Fennesz, Burkhard Stangl, Franz Hautzinger, and long-time producer and musical director Sebastian Cruz. She is currently working on several projects with musicians in New York City, Mexico, and in different countries in Europe and Latin America. Her critically acclaimed career includes performances in Europe, Canada, United States, Asia, and South America.

Martínez plays violin and guitar and also sings. His musical interests range from Mexican traditional music, flamenco, and blues to baroque music and fusion. He has performed in the United States, Europe, and Asia with a diverse array of artists, such as Jordi Savall’s Hesperion XXI, Son de Madera, Marién Luévano’s Flamenco Company, and Cristóbal Reyes.

Roots & Shoots Streams Concerts is a series that showcases artists who reach back to earlier traditions in music (Americana, jazz, blues, rock, and world music) for inspiration, while incorporating more recent forms and influences of the present.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Download a PDF of the press release.

Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Streams Presents The Magdalens Unplugged Concert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Streams will broadcast The Magdalens Unplugged, performing live on the Spencertown stage, via YouTube on Saturday, March 13 at 7:30pm. The Magdalens Unplugged is an alt-folk-rock band comprised of Renée DaVink (lead singer and songwriter), Britany Orlebeke (violin), and John Caplis (guitar). Based in Albany, New York, the band plays both original songs and covers a unique blend of Americana, post-punk, and indie classics. The performance is free (though tips are welcome via a virtual tip jar) and advance registration is not required. A link to the concert will be posted on www.spencertownacademy.org.

“While it’s not yet safe for us to gather in person for live concerts, we’re hoping to bring some of that joy into your homes by presenting Roots & Shoots concerts online,” says Mike Zdeb, member of the Academy’s Music Committee. “I got a sneak peek at The Magdalens Unplugged set list for the concert and what you’re likely to hear ranges from traditional Irish fiddle tunes to the Pogues, Bob Dylan, and John Prine. They’ll also play some of their own original material.”

The Magdalens Unplugged is a subgroup of The Magdalens five-piece band, which also includes Al Kash (drums) and Moses Nagel (bass). The band’s debut album titled “Lay Down Love” is available on all music streaming platforms.  

The Magdalens founder Renée DaVink has performed at several Lark Fests, the Albany River Fest, the Saratoga Dance Flurry, and local clubs, such as the Lark Tavern, Bogies, and Pauly’s Hotel. She has also sung with an array of folk, jazz, and alternative rock bands, including Medusa Pleasure Werks and El Extreme.

Britany Orlebeke performs a variety of violin/fiddle styles. She’s played for contra dances around the northeast, recorded “Cat out of the Bag” with the Beverwyck String Band, and played with Miche Fambro on a live recording called “The Chapel Session.”

Guitarist John Caplis’s musical influences range from traditional Irish to Bob Dylan to the 1970s New York City rock band called Television. He has appeared at numerous Albany music venues, including Lark Fest, Bogies, Pauly’s Hotel, and QE2 with notable bands, such as El Extreme.

Roots & Shoots Streams Concerts is a series that showcases artists who reach back to earlier traditions in music (Americana, jazz, blues, rock, and world music) for inspiration, while incorporating more recent forms and influences of the present.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Download a PDF of the press release.

Spencertown Academy Revels Fundraiser Goes Virtual and Adds Art Raffle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces that its annual Revels fundraiser will be virtual this year on Saturday, February 13 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. A new feature of the event will be a raffle of 14 original artworks generously donated by some of the region’s most acclaimed artists. Rather than gathering for a festive-themed cocktail party at the Academy and then moving on to homes of Academy friends for hosted dinners in small groups, guests will pick up “Revels to Go” bags filled with cocktail snacks, dinner, and a bubbly beverage at the Academy on the day of the event to enjoy at home during the online gathering that evening. 

Revels tickets range from $75 to $500 per person and art raffle tickets are $100 each with discounts for buying multiple chances. All proceeds benefit the Academy’s annual operating fund. The Academy Board encourages all to join, regardless of ability to pay (gratis tickets do not include food or drink). The deadline for reservations is February 1; please see www.spencertownacademy.org for details.

“Revels has been a fixture of our winter calendar for over 30 years. Obviously, it will be different this year in deference to the current pandemic restrictions, but we are determined to make the best of it,” says Nick Van Alstine, president of the Academy’s board of directors. “Revels co-chairs Anita Fiorillo and Judith Choate have done a great job reimagining the event. Emcee Monk Shane-Lydon will serve as Zoom host, blues musician Cathy Grier will perform a few songs from her new album, and the works of art to be raffled off are stellar.”

The retail value of the art—paintings, ceramics, and photography—ranges from $175 to $1,100. Artists include Stephanie A. Anderson, Norma Cohen, Pamela Dalton, Mary Anne Davis (davistudio), Leslie Gabosh, Patricia Gravett, Ron Harrington, Ellen Hoverkamp, Barbara Lax Kranz, Ellen Lynch, Moira O’Grady, Gerald Seligman, Neal Warshaw, and Barbara M.L. Willner.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Download a PDF of the press release.

Spencertown Academy Youth Mixed-Media Art Workshop with Jacqueline Rogers

FOR IMMEDAITE RELEASE
January 21, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents children’s book illustrator Jacqueline Rogers leading a virtual mixed-media art workshop for students ages 11 to 17 during winter break. The three-session series will meet on February 15, 17, and 19 from 11:00am to 12:15pm via Zoom. Tuition is $45 and the workshop is limited to 15 participants. To register, please see www.spencertownacademy.org.

“We’re delighted to kick off 2021 Family Arts Kaleidoscope programming with this playful and experimental workshop,” says Kelly Kynion, Academy board member and program chair. “Students will have the freedom to play with creative themes suggested by Jackie or to explore subjects of their own choice.”

In three related art classes, participants will explore different materials and techniques: charcoal during the first session, collage/assorted papers in the second session, and mixed media, such as pastels, markers, crayons, and/or paint, in the third session.

Jaqueline Rogers has been a professional children’s book illustrator for more than three decades and has worked on nearly 100 children’s books. Some of her notable published works include illustrations for Beverly Cleary’s “Ramona” series, Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager’s picture book, “Our Great Big Backyard” (which was a New York Times #1 Bestseller), two pictures books by Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, and most recently her own original Halloween poem “Goblin Moon,” which was published by HarperCollins last year.

Support for the Family Arts Kaleidoscope series is provided by Hudson River Bank and Trust Foundation and Stewart’s Shops.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Download the press release.

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