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SaratogaArtsFest 2012 takes the city by storm

Posted: 06/11/2012

The sixth annual SaratogaArtsFest came to town June 7-10, bringing a packed schedule of events and activities, from performances by well-known musicians and dancers, to an eclectic mix of theater productions and films, to an arts-based street fair and hands-on activities for kids.

The citywide celebration once again offered programs spanning music, dance, visual art, film, theatre, and literary art at venues throughout Saratoga Springs. A number of the programs took place on the Skidmore campus, in the Arthur Zankel Music Center, Bernhard Theater, Tang Museum, and Dance Theater.

The acclaimed Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company opened the festival with a performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Thursday, June 7. The show was preceded by “Arts Alfresco,” an evening of food offerings creatively paired with wine and other beverages, presented by area arts organizations.

The festival line-up included a sold-out concert by singer-songwriter Don McLean, whose 1971 hit “American Pie” has become a popular music classic. Also on the roster was Kristin Hersh, founder of the seminal rock band Throwing Muses, who performed her autobiographical solo show, “Paradoxical Undressing.”

The wide range of performers from the local area included the Saratoga Chamber Players, Albany Symphony Orchestra brass quintet, Home Made Theater, Opera Saratoga, and many more.

The ArtsFest once again offered an abundance of programs for children and families including the large-scale puppetry of the Hudson Vagabond Puppets; storytelling by Joe and Jesse Bruchac; “Circus Theatricks” by the Saratoga Children’s Theatre; a performance by the Empire State Youth Orchestra Jazz Ensemble; and “Kids Do Art,” an afternoon of hands-on art activities.
New this year was the Beekman Street Art Fair on Sunday afternoon, featuring a juried art show, demonstrations by local artists, and family-friendly performances.

“Our success is due to the collaboration of some 40 community arts organizations and the hard work of dozens of volunteers,” said Mary Ellen O’Loughlin, executive director of SaratogaArtsFest. “These are the folks on the front lines who make it happen, and we thank them for all that they do to make SaratogaArtsFest a success.”

The mission of SaratogaArtsFest is to promote Saratoga Springs as a premier arts destination. The annual festival showcases local arts organizations through the programming of established and emerging artists from the local, national, and international scenes. ArtsFest is made possible by an alliance of community partners committed to increasing appreciation and enjoyment of the arts.

Major sponsors of SaratogaArtsFest 2012 include Skidmore College, Adirondack Trust Company, Designsmith Studio, Fingerpaint Marketing, Interactive Media Consulting, L’esperance Tile Works, Modern Mix Marketing, Sperry’s Restaurant/Circus Café, CBS 6, Star 101.3,, the Times Union, WAMC Northeast Public Radio, and WMHT.

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Photo credits: Phil Scalia, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Paul B. Goode, Bob Kimmerle