Tag: Spencertown

Spencertown Academy 17th Annual Festival of Books, Sep 2 – 5

Spencertown Academy

Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 17th annual Festival of Books takes place over Labor Day weekend, September 2 through September 5. The Festival features a giant used book sale, two days of discussions with and readings by esteemed authors, and a children’s program. Featured authors include Daphne Palasi Andreades, Jean Hanff Korelitz, David Nasaw, Mayukh Sen, and James Shapiro. There will also be a bookmaking arts exhibit by Suzy Banks Baum. Admission is free to all of the events, save for the Members Preview early book-buying opportunity detailed below. Masks are required inside the building.

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. David Highfill, Wayne Greene, and Carl Atkins are co-chairs of the Festival this year. “The return of this beloved in-person event is going to be a highlight of our summer, and we’ll be offering many delights for book lovers: one of the largest and most enticing collections of books for sale we’ve ever featured and a stellar line-up of authors making appearances,” says Highfill. 

Authors’ books will be available for purchase and signing. Healthy, delicious snacks and beverages will also be for sale on Saturday and Sunday, including the Academy’s signature “To-Die-For, No-Alarm Vegetarian Chili.” 

FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE
Saturday, September 3


The Festival kicks off at 12:00 p.m. with author James Shapiro discussing his latest work,Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future, which was named by the New York Times as one of the 10 best books of 2020, as well as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award for non-fiction. The narrative spans all of American history, from the Revolution to present day, and reveals how no writer has been more embraced, more weaponized, or has shed more light on hot-button issues in our history than Shakespeare. Joining Shapiro in conversation will be Carl Atkins, author of several works on Shakespeare, including Shakespeare’s Sonnets Among His Private Friends.

At 1:30 p.m., winners of the Academy’s 2022 Young Writers’ Contest (Taibat Ahmed, Arianna Camacho, and Amanda Gutierrez) will read their winning fiction and non-fiction entries. The reading will be moderated by Carol Essert, who coordinated the contest this year.

At 3:00 p.m., New York Times bestselling author Jean Hanff Korelitz will discuss her latest novel, The Latecomer, a profound and witty family story that touches on the topics of grief, guilt, generational trauma, privilege, race, traditions, and religion. Among her previous books are The Plot (adaptation forthcoming from Hulu, to star Mahershala Ali), You Should Have Known (adapted for HBO as “The Undoing” by David E. Kelley, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant), and Admission (adapted as the film of the same name, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd). Joining Korelitz in conversation will be novelist Molly Prentiss, author of Tuesday Nights in 1980. 


FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE 
Sunday, September 4

At 12:00 p.m., James Beard Award-winning writer Mayukh Sen will discuss Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America, which was named a best book of 2021 by NPR and one of the Wall Street Journal’s favorite books of the year. A group biography, it weaves together histories of food, immigration, and gender told through the lives of seven pathbreaking chefs and food writers. Sen is currently writing a biography of the actress Merle Oberon, to be published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2025. He will be joined in conversation by Tamar Adler, chef and author of An Everlasting Meal.

At 1:30 p.m., acclaimed historian David Nasaw will discuss his latest book, The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War, in which he tells the the gripping yet until now largely hidden story of postwar displacement and the statelessness of refugees left behind in Germany after WWII. Among his earlier works are The Patriarch, which was selected by the New York Times as one of the 10 best books of the year in 2012 and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in biography in 2013 and Andrew Carnegie, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the recipient of the New-York Historical Society’s American History Book Prize, and a 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist in biography. Cecile Kuznitz, associate professor of history and director of Jewish Studies at Bard College, will join the author in conversation.

Sunday’s final program at 2:30 p.m. will feature Daphne Palasi Andreades discussing her celebrated debut novel, Brown Girls. The book is about a group of friends and their immigrant families from Queens, New York—it’s a tenderly observed, fiercely poetic love letter to a modern generation of brown girls. Andreades is a graduate of CUNY Baruch College and Columbia University’s MFA Fiction program, where she was awarded a Henfield Prize and a Creative Writing Teaching Fellowship. She is the recipient of a 2021 O.Henry Prize, and scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, where she won the Voices of Color Prize. Joining the author in conversation will be Julie DeLisle, former director of the Chatham Public Library.


CHILDREN’S PROGRAM 
The Festival of Books children’s program on Saturday, September 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. will feature a meet and greet with Elephant & Piggie, fun-loving friends in two dozen books by award-winning author and illustrator Mo Willems. Kids will be able to have their pictures taken with the costumed characters, get crafty with Elephant & Piggie-related art activities, and listen to the duo’s stories read by librarian and storyteller Ann Gainer.


GIANT USED BOOK SALE 
At the heart of the Festival is a giant book sale, one of the biggest in the region, featuring more than 15,000 gently used books, including fiction and non-fiction, hard and soft covers—all offered at affordable prices. There’s a special Kids’ Corner for young readers and a media section full of DVDs, CDs, audio books, and vinyl LPs. A first-floor gallery features a handpicked selection of specialty books, limited editions, and out-of-print books. 

Friends of the Academy donate books and a dedicated band of volunteers, led by Wayne Greene, spend countless hours throughout the summer carefully sorting and organizing the books in preparation for the sale. “We are fortunate to have received an abundance of fine books over the past several months, and we anticipate receiving even more in the coming weeks leading up to the Festival,” says Greene. “We’re especially excited about an extensive collection of jazz books and LPs donated by a life-long collector and a large collection of rare art books that feature works by Ellsworth Kelly—a generous donation from a former assistant of the late artist.” Other highlights in the Special Book Room include Before Easter After, famed photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s massive photo book on Patti Smith. Limited to just 1500 copies, it is numbered and signed by both Goldsmith and Patti Smith (mint in unopened box, $800); 1965 first edition of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood (hardcover in dust jacket, $100); and a 1938 first edition of The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (hardcover in dust jacket, $125).

The book sale is open to the public on Saturday, September 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, September 4 from 10:00 am to 4:00pm, and on Monday, September 5 (bargain day) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Admission is free. Teachers with ID receive a 20% discount on their purchases (except in Special Books Room).

In addition, Spencertown Academy members will have first crack at the books during the Member’s Preview on Friday, September 2 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Free for members, $10 for member’s guests, and memberships will be available at the door or online. Refreshments will be served during the evening hours.

BOOKMAKING ARTS DISPLAY
Writer and mixed media and book artist Suzi Banks Baum will create a table-mounted display of bookmaking arts, specifically paper making and Coptic Stitch binding techniques, that will be on exhibit during the festival. She will teach a two-day book arts workshop later this fall at the Art School of Columbia County.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Spencertown Academy arts organization, and the 175th year since the Academy was built as a school in 1847. 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 see www.spencertownacademy.org.

DATE/TIME: September 2 through September 5, 2022 / 10am – 4pm

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 FacebookInstagramTwitter

Spencertown Academy Community Day, Jul 9

Celebrate the 175th anniversary of Spencertown Academy Arts Center historic home and the 50th anniversary of the Academy as an arts center. Free entertainment for all!

For Kids: 10:00am-Noon on the Village Green

  • Balloon artists
  • Mortal Beasts and Deities Stilt Dancers will roam the Green
  • 10:30-11:00am: Columbia County Youth Theater will perform
  • 11:30-Noon: Tom Hooker Hanford: Fiddle Dee Dee, Children’s Folk Songs of Old New York and New England.

At the Academy: 10:00am-4:00pm

  • Building open for tours
  • Members’ Show in Gallery
  • Keeping Our History Alive: Academy history on video loop
  • Special Commemorative items for sale: t-shirts, photo book: A Look Back at Spencertown and the Academy
  • Were you a student at the Academy? Come and share your memories with our videographer who will be recording former students in 10 minute sessions from 11:00am to 1:00pm in the kitchen. Reserve your time slot at the back door. 1:30pm: Line up on the front steps for a group photo of former students

At the Austerlitz History Center: 9:00am-2:00pm

At the Town Park: Food Vendors 11:30am-2:30pm

  • Mama Lo’s BBQ, Mexican Food from Nelva, Mr. Ding-A-Ling

At the Ballfield

Please bring blankets and chairs

  • 1:00-1:30pm: Tom Hooker Hanford: Fiddle Dee Dee, Children’s Folk Songs of Old New York and New England.
  • 2:00-4:00pm: The Bobby Sweet Band

DATE/TIME: Saturday, July 9, 2022 / 10am – 4pm

LOCATION: Spencertown Academy (plus additional locations mentioned above) 
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 FacebookInstagramTwitter

Spencertown Academy Presents Novelist Dinitia Smith, Apr 30

New York, NY, September 9, 2015: — Dinitia Smith, author, in her library. © Audrey C. Tiernan

Spencertown Academy Arts Center in collaboration with Chatham Bookstore, presents Dinitia Smith in an event celebrating her new book, “The Prince: a Novel” (Arcade Publishing, 2022) on Saturday, April 30 at 2:00pm. She will be joined in conversation with author Ruth Reichl. 

 “Money. Power. Sex. Family. Dinitia Smith’s retelling of ‘The Golden Bowl’ by Henry James is a modern classic with twists and turns that even James couldn’t imagine,” says Academy Board Member Jill Kalotay. “And we are thrilled that our esteemed Spencertown neighbor Ruth Reichl will participate in what will no doubt be a fascinating conversation.”

Smith uses the modern equivalent of the glittering high society setting of the Golden Age to tell the story of a father and daughter and the prince who comes between them. Set partially on Woodford Island, based on Gardiners Island off the coast of East Hampton, NY, “The Prince” reconstructs the claustrophobic tension of the original while exploring the four central relationships with a fresh, contemporary gaze.

Smith is the author of four previous novels and her short stories have been published in numerous magazines. For 11 years, she was a reporter at the New York Times where she wrote on literary topics and intellectual trends. She has won many awards for her writing, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She is also an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker.  Her film, “Passing Quietly Through,” was chosen for the New York Film Festival, and shown at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

Reichl was restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times, restaurant critic of the New York Times, and the last Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine. She has written a novel, two cookbooks and five memoirs. Her most recent book, “Save Me the Plums,” is about her time at Gourmet. She was a judge on Top Chef Masters and host of the 8-part series, “Adventures with Ruth” on PBS. She is the recipient of six James Beard Awards. At the moment she is working on another novel and a documentary about American food.

Books by both authors will be for sale and the authors will be available for signing after the conversation. Ticket holders will receive 10% off books purchased at the event. The Academy has installed air filters in the auditorium; proof of vaccination is required for admission and masks are recommended. This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

 

DATE/TIME: Saturday, April 30, 2022 / 2pm

TICKETS: $10
Advance reservations are required. Available at www.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 FacebookInstagramTwitter

Former Spencertown Academy Director Judy White Staber Book Launch, Jan 8

Spencertown Academy Arts Center will celebrate the publication of a biographical-memoir by its former executive director, Judy White Staber, on Saturday, January 8 at 1:00pm. RISE ABOVE IT, DARLING: THE STORY OF JOAN WHITE Actor, Director, Teacher, Producer and (Sometimes) Mother (The Troy Book Makers, January 2022), is about Staber’s mother, who was a well-known actress and teacher in the 20th century theatre world. The event will feature a reading and Q&A, followed by a reception where copies of the book will be available for purchase. 

“I’m delighted to launch my new book at the Academy,” says Staber. “I served as the organization’s executive director, along with Susan Davies, from 1996 to 2004. This event feels like a homecoming and I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones there.” 

An alum of the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts and discovered early on by George Bernard Shaw, Joan White was a fixture of the English-speaking theatre for over six decades. In RISE ABOVE IT, DARLING, her youngest daughter, candidly reveals that, though she was an international success, White was also a single mother who set aside her own two children for her career. Staber examines her mother’s fascinating life on stage and off, three decades of which were spent in the United States and Canada, while also interweaving her own story. 

Judy White Staber was born in England to a theatrical family and moved to New York City in 1959. After a short career in the theatre as an actor and stage manager, she married and became a mother. While raising her children in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, she worked promoting the performing and visual arts. She has written, acted and produced fifteen original Pantomimes in the U.S. and also scripted and co-produced two children’s TV shows for Public Television winning several Awards. In 2010, she published her memoir, SILVERLANDS: Growing Up at the Actors Orphanage

For Covid safety, proof of vaccination will be required for attendance, seating will be distanced and limited, and masks will be required for audience members while in the building. The Academy has installed Blueair HealthProtect 7470 air purifiers in the auditorium. 

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.

 

DATES/TIMES: Saturday, January 8, 2022 /  1 pm

TICKETS: Free
Advance reservations are required via www.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 FacebookInstagramTwitter

CANCELLED – Spencertown Academy Music Lessons: Ed Napier, Nov 13

We just got the news that this performance has been cancelled. No additional info available as of the time of this update. 

Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents Music Lessons: Ed Napier, on Saturday, November 13. 

Music Lessons tells the story of Ed Napier’s journey from the backwoods of West Virginia to the halls of Columbia, Herbert Berghof (HB) Studio, and Juilliard in New York in pursuit of becoming a playwright and opera singer. Through scenes, stories, and songs, he recounts the process of growing up, becoming an artist, and learning, he says, “to relish the glory of just being alive.” On stage he channels a multitude of characters from his life with ebullience and humor. He slips into many roles—ranging from singing gospel as a kid in a West Virginia church to country songs in a bar with drunken locals; from Enrico Caruso singing Neapolitan songs of love and revenge to Puccini in the voice of his Viennese acting mentor to playing Constantine in Chekhov’s Seagull.

*Directed by Robert LuPone, the production also features William Lewis on piano and soprano Maria Gabriella Landers.

For Covid safety, proof of vaccination will be required for attendance, seating will be distanced and limited, and masks will be required for audience members while in the building. The Academy has installed Blue Pure 211+ air filters in the auditorium.

*Robert LuPone’s Broadway credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line (Tony Nomination), A Thousand Clowns, True West, A View From The Bridge, Zoya’s Apartment, and Saint Joan. He is the co-artistic director of MCC Theater, an award winning Off-Broadway Theater.

Maria Gabriella Landers is an entrepreneur, operatic soprano, collage artist, and celebrated party host. After Barnard College, she cofounded the CoOPERAtive, a New York City based nonprofit that provided performance opportunities to classical singers between formal studies and a professional career.

William Lewis, pianist/accompanist, vocal coach, arranger, and performer has worked as a professional musician for more than 50 years. He regularly appears with Irish tenor Ronan Tynan in concert and also plays for Marcello Giordano and violinist Gregory Harrington. He has performed throughout the US, Canada, Iceland, Brazil, Germany, Sicily, the British Isles, and China.

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 see spencertownacademy.org.

DATES/TIMES: Saturday, November 13, 2021 / 7pm8pm

TICKETS: $20 – General Admission, $15 – Academy Members
May be purchased in advance via www.spencertownacademy.org and, pending availability, will be available at the door.

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 FacebookInstagramTwitter