Tag: Spencertown Academy

Spencertown Academy: Steve Charney Virtual Reading Program

SteveCharneyandHarry

Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents children’s entertainer, magician, composer, and ventriloquist Steve Charney as part of its virtual Family Arts Kaleidoscope series. Beginning on Thursday, October 1 at 10:00am and available online anytime through Sunday, October 18, “It’s All About Reading” highlights the serious and not-so-serious joys of books and reading and includes Charney’s famous puppet pal, Harry.

“We’re delighted that Steve recorded this program specially for the Academy,” says Kelly Kynion, chair of the Family Arts Kaleidoscope Committee. “And to encourage even more reading, 10 participants will be selected at random to receive a copy of Steve’s book, Hokus Jokus: How to do Funny Magic.

Steve Charney’s comedy act of magic, music, and ventriloquism has taken him from Africa to California, and his radio program “Knock On Wood” aired on various stations around the country for more than 25 years, including WAMC. He wrote dozens of songs for Jim Henson’s “Bear in the Big Blue House” for the Disney Channel, and his books on comedy and magic have been published by Crown, Troll, Metacom, Meadowbrook Press, Scholastic, and Sterling (a division of Barnes and Noble).

The program is sponsored by Spencertown Academy, with generous support from Hudson River Bank and Trust Foundation and Stewart’s Shops.

The Family Arts Kaleidoscope virtual series continues on Saturday, October 24 at 10:00am live on Zoom with Greg and Elena Mosley presenting “Style and Rhythms of West African Drumming” (for adults and children age 10 and up).

Family Arts Kaleidoscope is made possible with support from Hudson River Bank and Trust Foundation and Stewart’s Shops.

DATES/TIME: Thursday, October 1, 2020 / 10am
Available online anytime through Sunday, October 18

ADMISSION/REGISTRATION: Free and appropriate for all ages
Advance registration is required at SpencertownAcademy.org. Participants will be emailed a link to view the recorded program.

MORE:
SpencertownAcademy.org
facebook.com/SpencertownAcademy
Phone: (518) 392-3693

For more local happenings, news, and events, follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Spencertown Academy Festival of Books Goes Virtual for 2020

screen-shot-2019-08-25-at-3.00.29-pm.png

Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 15th annual Festival of Books will take place online this year, with virtual events running from September 4 through October 12.

The Festival will feature Zoom events with distinguished authors and documentary filmmakers, children’s programs, and an online book sale. Featured authors include Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Kolker, Richard Gehr, Ed Ward, and Jacqueline Rogers, plus the team behind the acclaimed documentary film, The Booksellers, including director D.W. Young and producers Judith Mizrachy and Dan Wechsler. Admission is free to all events, but advance registration is required as Zoom capacity is limited. Registration is open now for most sessions; others will follow soon. The online book sale will open for Spencertown Academy members on Friday, September 4 at 10:00am and for the general public on Saturday, September 5 at 10:00am. For details, please see www.spencertownacademy.org.

The Festival, which began in 2006 as a book sale to raise funds for the Academy’s community arts programs, has grown into one of the biggest and most eagerly anticipated cultural events of the year. Academy Board members David Highfill and Jill Kalotay co-chair the Festival.

“We have a stellar line-up of authors for 2020,” says Highfill, vice president and executive editor at William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. “Joyce Carol Oates, surely one of our most ambitious and prodigiously talented novelists, will discuss her new novel about a troubled family; journalist Robert Kolker will talk about his number one New York Times bestseller about the trauma of schizophrenia running through one family; David Gehr will explore the work of several brilliant New Yorker cartoonists; and Ed Ward will entertain us with stories of 1960s and 70s rock & roll, the most evergreen of pop culture topics; and much more.”

“Funds raised by the Festival of Books contributed a substantial amount to the Academy’s annual budget, and we hope to garner a small portion of that through our online book sale this year. Please note that Academy members have early access to the online sale. Make sure your membership is current or you may miss out on this special opportunity,” adds Kalotay. “It’s been a real learning curve, for sure, and I think the result is terrific. Much as we’ll miss gathering in person, we look forward to enjoying stimulating literary events at home and, of course, still shopping for fabulous books. The Academy is even going to share its Cookbook Café recipes for To-Die-For, No-Alarm Vegetarian Chili, Northern Cornbread, and Lemon Cake—the beloved signature fare of our Festival of Books.”

ONLINE BOOK SALE

Traditionally, the heart of the Festival is a giant book sale featuring more than 15,000 new and gently used books. This year’s online edition of the sale will focus on “The Special Book Room” collection of about 250 books, plus a sprinkling of CDs, DVDs, and ephemera. Volunteer Wayne Greene has expertly examined covers and spines, scanned pages for signatures or marginalia, and assessed their value in antiquarian or contemporary circles. The offerings feature richly illustrated, large format volumes in like-new condition, and include art, architecture, biography/memoir, cookbooks, fiction, history, music/film, photography, signed books, and others. Quirky or collectible, rare or simply stunning, all are priced accordingly but affordably—ranging from $5 to $350 and everything in between.

Among the most valuable treasures to be offered are The Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, a 1905 12-voume collection of Lincoln’s letters, lectures, and speeches (including a fold-out facsimile of Gettysburg address) edited by John G. Nicolas and John Hay ($350); a folio-sized coffee table book titled Muhammad Ali Memories – Photographs by Neil Leifer, signed by Muhammad Ali ($250); and Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe with illustrations by Harry Clarke, a 1933 hardcover in near fine condition ($275). The latter is considered one of Clarke’s greatest works and his Gothic style sits eerily well with Poe’s brilliant prose. The online book sale will open to Academy members on Friday, September 4 at 10:00am and to the general public on Saturday, September 5 at 10:00am; it will run through Monday, October 12 at midnight, or until the shelves empty. Note: Purchases must be picked up by appointment at Spencertown Academy; there will be no shipping.

ZOOM EVENTS
Saturday, September 5

The Festival kicks off at 10:00am with children’s book author and illustrator Jacqueline Rogers reading from her latest book, Goblin Moon, a spirited story that captures Halloween fun. She will then lead a related workshop in which participants draw goblins and create a Halloween scene using the shapes in the alphabet. Bring a pencil with eraser, some blank paper, and your imagination. Ages 5 and up. 30 minutes.

At 4:30pm, The Booksellers director D.W. Young and producers Dan Wechsler and Judith Mizrachy will discuss their documentary film about antiquarian booksellers, the impact of technology on the trade, and the importance of books as physical objects. Parker Posey, who served as executive producer for the film, hopes to pop into the chat if her schedule permits. The film is both a loving celebration of book culture and a serious exploration of the future of the book. It features interviews with important dealers, prominent collectors, and writers such as Susan Orlean and Gay Talese. To view The Booksellers in advance at home, please see www.booksellersmovie.com for streaming options.

Sunday, September 6

At 4:30pm, novelist Joyce Carol Oates will discuss her latest book, Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars., in which she examines the current state of the nation through the prism of a family tragedyStark and penetrating, the novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys. She will be joined in conversation with writer Daphne Kalotay, whose latest novel is Blue Hours.

Wednesday, September 9

At 7:30pm, journalist Robert Kolker will discuss his narrative nonfiction book, Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family. It’s the heartrending story of a midcentury American family: six of Don and Mimi Galvin’s 12 children were diagnosed with schizophrenia. This medical mystery was so extraordinary that they were one of the first families studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. With clarity and compassion, Kolker weaves the science of schizophrenia, the era of institutionalization and lobotomy, and the search for genetic markers with one family’s legacy of suffering, love, and hope. He will be joined in conversation with journalist Seth Rogovoy, editor of The Rogovoy Report.

Saturday, September 12

At 10:00am, children’s book author and illustrator Jacqueline Rogers will return with a second workshop titled “Create a Halloween Book Cover.” Participants will follow along as Rogers draws a Halloween character, a brief story line, and a title in block letters. They will be encouraged to bring their own details and ideas into their drawings. Ages 8 and up. 45 minutes.

At 4:30pm, Richard Gehr will briefly discuss his book, I Only Read It for the Cartoons: The New Yorker’s Most Brilliantly Twisted Artists and then interview two current New Yorker cartoonists, David Sipress and Emily FlakeThe richly varied styles and personal stories of a dozen New Yorker cartoonists are featured in his book, along with a brief history of the New Yorker cartoon itself. Sipress’s work has appeared in the magazine since 1998 and Flake has published more than 100 cartoons in the magazine since 2008.

Sunday, September 13

4:30pm, Ed Ward will discuss his book, The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 2: 1964–1977: The Beatles, the Stones, and the Rise of Classic Rock. One of the deans of pop music criticism, Ward has been in and around music journalism for decades. He is well known to fans of NPR’s “Fresh Air,” where he was rock-and-roll historian for more than 30 years, and to readers of Rolling Stone and a host of other publications. He will be joined in conversation with Gerald Seligman, who has over 35 years experience in the music industry in the US and abroad.


MORE
:
SpencertownAcademy.org
facebook.com/SpencertownAcademy
Phone: (518) 392-3693

For more local happenings, news, and events, follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Spencertown Academy Virtual African American Dance Class For Families, Aug 22

Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents Elena Mosley teaching live, interactive African American dance via Zoom on Saturday, August 22 at 10am. Participants will experience traditional dance and improvisational movement, while connecting to African rhythmic music. This free event is the third in the Family Arts Kaleidoscope series, which is designed to engage children and their families from home. Participants should come to the class with a scarf or ribbon to hold in their hand. Registration is open to children ages 8 and up. Older family members are also welcome to participate. Registration is limited; please register at spencertownacademy.org.

“This class is going to be so much fun,” says Kelly Kynion, chair of the Family Arts Kaleidoscope Committee. “Elena Mosley is well known for her energy, her talent, and her community activism. We’re honored to have her joining us for this series.”

Elena MosleyElena Mosley, director and founder of Kuumba Dance and Drum, began her dance career in various community centers in New York City. She performed with the Lady Helena Walquer Dance Company of Harlem, NY, Brothers and Sisters United of Staten Island, and Haitian Dance Theater, under the direction of Louines Louinis. She participates in many cultural programs for Columbia, Greene, and the Capital Region schools and community arts programs. She is currently the executive director of the Operation Unite Education and Cultural Arts Center located in Hudson, NY.

The Family Arts Kaleidoscope virtual series continues on Saturday, September 19 at 10:00am, with a special pre-recorded program titled “It’s All About Reading!” featuring composer/ventriloquist Steve Charney and his puppet pal, Harry.

Family Arts Kaleidoscope is made possible with support from 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 info@spencertownacademy.org.

DATE/TIME: Saturday, August 22, 2020 /  10am – 11am

ADMISSION: Free.
Donations are welcome to help support this series and other Academy programming.
To register, visit www.spencertownacademy.org.

LOCATION: Online

MORE:
SpencertownAcademy.org
facebook.com/SpencertownAcademy
instagram.com/thespencertownacademy
Phone: (518) 392-3693

For more local happenings, news, and events, follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Spencertown Academy Launches Family Arts Kaleidoscope, Virtual Events

Dino-1024x614

Spencertown Academy Arts Center kicks off its new Family Arts Kaleidoscope virtual events series with “Jason Talks About Dinosaurs,” a live, interactive Zoom meeting for children ages 6 to 12 and their families, on Saturday, July 25 at 10:00am. Participants should come to the meeting with paper for drawing and favorite tools for color: paint, pencils, or crayons.

“With kids spending so much time at home, we want to offer the community a variety of free or low-cost options for engagement with the arts,” says Kelly Kynion, chair of the Family Arts Kaleidoscope Committee. “This virtual series for kids and their families will include three weekend events before school begins, and two in the fall.”

JasonSheldonJason Sheldon is a lifelong dinosaur lover, birdwatcher, and environmentalist. Currently studying for a master’s degree in adolescent science education, he loves nothing more than to share his passion for nature (both past and present). In this virtual workshop, he will delve into the origins of dinosaurs and how they evolved over time, as well as the beginnings of flight and feathers in the ancestors of modern day birds. Participants will learn how birds and dinosaurs are closely related, and be able to apply the fun things they learn into designing their own dinosaurs.

The Family Arts Kaleidoscope virtual series continues with storyteller Tom Lee, who focuses on tales inspired by art and art history, on Saturday, August 8 at 10:00am; Elena Mosley, who will teach movement based on African American and traditional Afro-Haitian dance, on Saturday, August 22 at 10:00am; and Steve Charney, who is a ventriloquist, composer, and comedian, in September (date TBA), plus other events to be announced.

Family Arts Kaleidoscope is made possible with support from 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 info@spencertownacademy.org.

DATE/TIME: Saturday, July 25, 2020 /  10am

ADMISSION: Free.
Donations are welcome to help support this series and other Academy programming.
To register, visit www.spencertownacademy.org.

LOCATION: Online

MORE:
SpencertownAcademy.org
facebook.com/SpencertownAcademy
instagram.com/thespencertownacademy
Phone: (518) 392-3693

 

For more local happenings, news, and events, follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Spencertown Academy Announces Young Writers’ Contest Winners

Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces the winners of its fifth annual Young Writers’ Contest. Held in conjunction with the Academy’s Festival of Books (which will be virtual this year), the contest was open to writers in grades 9 through 12 attending school or homeschooled in Columbia County, NY and Berkshire County, MA.

“While this was a difficult year for students everywhere, we received 30 fiction and non-fiction entries from both public and private high schools. There was wonderful diversity among authors and subject matter. The Young Writers’ Contest has no required themes, which allows students room to explore what’s important to them,” says Kelly Kynion, coordinator of the contest. “There are many dedicated writing teachers and passionate young writers in our region, and we’re delighted to create an opportunity for them to receive recognition at the high school level. This year, two talented freshmen surprised us by taking the top honors!”

The contest was judged by accomplished authors and publishing professionals, including Jamie Cat Callan, Alan Gelb, David Highfill, Daphne Kalotay, and Wendy Schmalz.

The top three winners in each category received cash prizes ($250, $150, and $100 respectively) and the first-place winning story and essay are now published on the Academy’s site at  spencertownacademy.org.

Nonfiction/Essay or Memoir

Alyssa Mowris
Alyssa Mowris

First Place: Alyssa Mowris,
Chatham High School freshman,
“If Walls Could Talk”

Second Place: Anthony Smith,
Germantown School senior,
“How to Properly Waste Your Summer”

Third Place: Rida Farsanza,
Hudson High School senior,
“Borsa”

Fiction/Short Story

Taibat Ahmed photo
Taibat Ahmed

First Place: Taibat Ahmed,
Taconic High School freshman,
“The Boy In The Clouds”

Second Place: Piper Nayowith,
Hudson High School senior,
“Malnoia”

Third Place: Malina Jackson,
Berkshire Waldorf High School senior,
“A Part of Something Bigger”

 

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 info@spencertownacademy.org.

LOCATION: Spencertown Academy
790 NY-203
Spencertown, NY

MORE:
SpencertownAcademy.org
facebook.com/SpencertownAcademy
instagram.com/thespencertownacademy
Phone: (518) 392-3693

 

For more local happenings, news, and events, follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter