Monthly Archives: June 2017

Celebrate the Fourth of July with New York State Arts & Culture!

Independence Day weekend is right around the corner and we’ve highlighted a few events just for you! Experience life at a fort from the Revolutionary War, attend a pops concert featuring American composers and enjoy the symphony under a 4th of July fireworks show. Get your sparklers ready and make the arts a part of your celebrations.

Looking to add even more culture to your calendar? Check out NYSCA’s Summer Guide, featuring must-see arts events from our grantees across New York State!

The Corning Museum of Glass’ GlassBarge hosts hot glass demonstrations along the Erie Canal

Adirondack Theatre Festival Presents “Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat”, July 1

This modern electro-pop musical written by Jonathon Larson Award winner Nikko Benson has been described as “HAMILTON meets TESLA.” A theatrical experience unlike any other turns up the volume on one of the most influential innovators of our time.

7:30pm, Wood Theater, 207 Glen St., Glens Falls, $34-$45

Bard SummerScape 2017, July 1 & 2

New York City Ballet MOVES brings Chopin’s music to life with their vibrant choreography and skill. This program traces the choreographic lineage of the New York City Ballet featuring a select group of principal dancers, soloists, corps de ballet members, and musicians.

Times vary, 60 Manor Ave., Annandale-on-Hudson, $20-$85

Fort Ticonderoga Independence Day Weekend, July 1-4

Fort Ticonderoga invites you to be fully immersed in this four day Independence Day celebration. The weekend will be filled with patriotic music and American history. You can explore the fort on a tour by boat, learn about the importance of shoemaking and tailoring, and even witness a live canon demonstration.

9:30am-5pm, 100 Fort Ti Rd., Ticonderoga, $23

Albany Symphony: Water Music New York, July 2-8

The Albany Symphony performs free concerts along the Erie Canal in seven communities and collaborates with local art groups to debut world premieres by emerging composers.

Various venues, FREE

Richmond County Orchestra Celebrates American Music, July 2

Music by American composers, including Leroy Anderson and Leonard Bernstein, will be featured at this pops concert by RCO.

3pm, 200 Boscombe Ave., Staten Island, FREE

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Presents Olate Dogs, July 2

These America’s Got Talent Season 7 winners headlined The Palazzo in Las Vegas and are now head to Westhampton Beach. The father-son duo and their group of adorable rescued dogs have created a high-energy, fast-paced show of amazing, dog-friendly acrobatics.

3pm, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach, $25-$45

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Independence Eve with the Buffalo Bisons, July 3

The BPO continues the summer tradition with the Buffalo Bisons. At 9pm, following the baseball game against the Syracuse Chiefs, the BPO will perform a patriotic spectacular all leading up to the biggest fireworks display of the Bisons’ season.

6pm, Coca-Cola Field, Buffalo, $26

Glens Falls Symphony Summer Pops Concert, July 3

Patriotic favorites and summertime tunes are the perfect way to bring the celebration weekend to a close. Accompanying the Symphony’s performance will be a wide variety of food and drink vendors. The evening’s grand finale will be a spectacular fireworks show in the park.

7:30pm, Crandall Park, Glens Falls, FREE

Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra: “Independence Day Pops Celebration”, July 4

The Chautauqua Institution is a beautiful setting for this 4th of July evening show. The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra is led by dynamic conductor Stuart Chafetz featuring the powerful vocals of Capathia Jenkins.

8:00pm, One Ames Ave., Chautauqua, $43

For extended celebrating:

GlassBarge at Seneca Falls Canal Fest, July 7-9

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women receiving the right to vote in New York State, The Corning Museum of Glass’ GlassBarge will deploy an all-female glassblowing team to the Seneca Falls Canal Fest as part of their summer of glass events along the Erie Canal.

5pm to 8pm, Seneca Falls, more information at

NYSCA Grants in Action: Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival

Walking through the heart of Chinatown you wouldn’t except to hear Klezmer – traditional Jewish music – ringing through the neighborhood, but every June, it’s exactly the kind of cultural combination you’ll find on New York City’s Lower East Side.

For the past 17 years the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival, hosted by the Museum at Eldridge Street has brought together Chinese, Jewish and more recently Puerto Rican cultural arts and traditions.

The Museum at Eldridge Street draws a crowd for the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival

A NYSCA grantee through the Museum and Folk Arts Programs, the Museum at Eldridge Street, lives in the walls of the Eldridge Street Synagogue. They offer K-12 and adult learning programs, historic building tours, concerts, and neighborhood walking tours.

NYSCA’s Folk Arts Program supports the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival. The festival’s coordinator and the Museum’s Director of Programs, Hanna Griff- Sleven, is a trained folklorist.

“Beyond the exchange of culture is a deep feeling of community and joy that emanates from all the participants and festival goers. This is a New York Moment.” Griff- Sleven says.

If you attended this year’s festival, you might have heard Jose Ocasio with Bomba Y Plena Dura performing traditional Puerto Rican music, ending their performance by announcing the beauty of such a “New York Moment.”

Jose Ocasio with Bomba Y Plena Dura performing at the Festival on the corner of Eldridge Street and Division Street

The mission of the Museum at Eldridge Street and the Festival is, “to serve people of all backgrounds with educational and cultural programs inspired by the landmark building and its gateway Lower East Side neighborhood.”

This goal is apparent as you make your way up and down Eldridge Street, where tents have popped up and are filled with craftsman, arts activities, and of course, egg rolls, egg creams, and empanadas!

Parve (Kosher) Egg Rolls and Empanadas being served outside the Museum

When entering into the museum, visitors are immediately greeted by paper arts, one table of Jewish paper cutting and another of Chinese paper folding.

The festival is the celebration of the neighborhood, bringing together the arts of these three cultures to sit with another, to learn about each other, and show visitors, they really aren’t so different from each other, but still have their own…flavor.

This event is a long time in the making, a day which is driven by the communities which have grown up, and are just being born in the blocks surrounding the Museum at Eldridge Street.

To stay updated about the Festival and the Museum at Eldridge Street’s other programs visit


NYSCA in the News

This week, NYSCA grantees celebrate their histories with anniversary celebrations and the release of archival materials and look toward bright futures with a new design and a major restoration.

Freihofer’s Jazz Fest celebrates 40 years at SPAC

Albany Times-Union

“The grounds of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center are hallowed for jazz lovers, who flock year after year to the annual jazz festival, created in 1978 by legendary promoter George Wein on what is described as a ‘handshake deal’ with then-SPAC director Herb Chesbrough…This weekend is the 40th edition. According to Danny Melnick, who produces it in partnership with SPAC, it is the fifth-longest consecutive running jazz festival in North America. This will also be the 20th year of major sponsorship from Freihofer’s Baking Co. for the event, officially known as the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival…In its first year, a Wein-organized jam session with jazz icons ended day one, but not exactly as planned. The hour grew late. Past midnight. Wein, in the wings, made motions to cut off the music. Dizzy Gillespie, the ringleader, lived up to his mischievous nickname; he chuckled, waved his hand dismissively and counted off another tune. Meanwhile, the crowd wildly cheered solos from such heroes as Dexter Gordon, Roy Haynes and Sonny Rollins. It is the site where, on day two of 1978, every famous big band in the country played through the day and night… ‘It’s very exciting on so many different levels,’ [Melnick] said of the 40th… ‘I think we’re pushing the music forward by the artists that we book and trying to book a well-rounded festival. That’s what I try to do every year.’ Performers include Chaka Khan, the Gipsy Kings and Jacob Collier. NYSCA supports SPAC through our Presenting Program.

Brooklyn Academy of Music Puts 70,000 Archive Materials Online

New York Times

“More than 70,000 playbills, posters and ephemera from the history of the Brooklyn Academy of Music — from as far back as the Civil War era — are now available through the Leon Levy BAM Digital Archive, which opened to the public on Tuesday. The archive has been in development for several years, paid for by a $1 million grant from the Leon Levy Foundation, the same organization that funded the New York Philharmonic’s digital collection. Materials from the archive include press clippings and posters from the Brooklyn Academy’s opening days in the 1860s, when Mary Todd Lincoln was in attendance, as well as items from the institution’s often-adventurous performances by artists including the tenor Enrico Caruso, the choreographer Pina Bausch and the ‘Einstein on the Beach’ collaborators Philip Glass and Robert Wilson. Roughly 40,000 artists are represented in the archive. And the collection has been organized so that the 70,000 items are all linked to the names of the people involved. Researchers — or anyone interested — can create personalized collections based on specific artists, companies or eras…The collection is available at” NYSCA supports BAM through our Presenting and Electronic Media & Film Programs.

Albright-Knox design features infusion of public green space

Buffalo News

“Architect Shohei Shigematsu walked Buffalonians through dozens of ideas for his firm’s new design for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery expansion Wednesday night in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center…In the plan, conceived by Shigematsu and his New York-based team at the architecture firm OMA, the gallery’s existing parking lot will disappear. The result, he said, during a 30-minute presentation, would be the addition of 14 percent more green space to the gallery’s campus, which if all goes to plan will contain 80 percent green space.” NYSCA supports the Albright-Knox through our Museum Program and Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

MWPAI exhibition explores how Empire State modernized America

Utica Observer-Dispatch

“A new exhibition opening today at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art features about 100 pieces that show how New York State formed what is considered modern America. Anna D’Ambrosio, director of the MWPAI Museum of Art, said ‘Roaring Into the Future: New York 1925-35’ has pieces showcasing fashion arts, paintings, decorative arts, video and music; including masterpieces from the MWPAI collection by Reginald Marsh, John Storrs and Stuart Davis. ‘It’s the first comprehensive look at the contributions New York state artists, designers and manufacturers between the decade of 1925-1935,’ she said. ‘We’re really going from the jazz age to the cusp of World War II. So that time between the wars, including The Depression, were a time that New York state played a really pivotal role in forming what would become modern American style.’ Works from museums across the state are features in the exhibition, including famous photographs from the George Eastman Museum and from The Whitney Museum; dazzling jewelry from Tiffany & Co. Archives; decorative arts from Yale University Art Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum; and a Franklin Automobile from the Northeast Classic Car Museum. Rarely exhibited works from galleries and private collections also are featured, D’Ambrosio said. There also are pieces from Revere Copper and Brass in Rome and some from General Electric.” NYSCA supports the MWPAI through our Museum and Presenting Programs.

New York museums: architecture and design exhibits to see this summer


“This summer, architecture and design fiends are in luck: there are quite a few museum exhibits happening throughout the city, with something for every taste. Are you more into Art Deco? The Cooper Hewitt has you covered. Is ’80s style—as in the 1980s—more your thing? Head to the Met Breuer.” Featured in Curbed’s roundup are NYSCA grantees Cooper Hewitt, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Socrates Sculpture Park, and the AIA New York Center for Architecture.

Unknown Stories of WNY: Darwin Martin House Fireplace


“The Darwin Martin House is a piece of Buffalo’s history and its future. Martin House Restoration Committee Executive Director Mary Roberts says it is ‘More than just a house, this one and a half acre estate is a grouping of buildings designed over 100 years ago by America’s greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.’…It has also been an endless supply of hidden masterpieces that continue to be discovered and brought back to life, as is the case with the home’s spectacular leaded and stained glass mosaic fireplace…Last month, it was unveiled more than a century after it was originally designed and installed. The original fireplace was lost when the house was abandoned…However, work crews…were cleaning out the ash bin in the basement when they found pieces of the fireplace…There are about 50 original pieces in this spectacular recreation, done the old-fashioned way, by Bodies Studio of Architectural Art in Chicago. They hand-cut, hand-patterned, fired, hand ground homemade glass. Painted each piece of glass with some amount of liquid gold, laid it up in patterns, grouted it, and set them on 28 large glass patterns which were then shipped to Buffalo and affixed to the foundation…Empire State Development C.E.O. Howard Zemsky says Wright himself considered this his best work. ‘This is a man who had a prolific career over many, many decades and at the end of it assessed his own career and said in [Buffalo,] New York I created my Opus, it’s the Martin House.’” NYSCA supports the Martin House Restoration Corp through our Architecture + Design Program.

Yiddish Theater Plans an Immigration Arts Summit

New York Times

“The National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene, a downtown cultural mainstay for 100 years, has recently placed an emphasis on cross-cultural pollination: its annual KulturfestNYC festival started in 2015 and has brought together performers from Argentina to Russia to Japan. Now, the Folksbiene will host the Immigration Arts Summit on July 17-18, featuring a diverse array of cultural arts groups. The summit will feature panels, discussions and performances at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and culminate in a free concert in Robert Wagner Park. The event will start with a keynote speech by John Leguizamo, an actor whose latest one-man show, ‘Latin History for Morons,’ ran at the Public Theater this year. Panels and workshops will bring together representatives from city arts groups including the Irish Repertory Theater, the Pan Asian Repertory Theater, El Museo del Barrio and the Tenement Museum…the arts groups [will] hold a planning session on July 18 to discuss future collaborations. Tickets will be $10 for each day, or $15 for both. The concert in Wagner Park, however, is free, and will feature individual and collaborative performances — including excerpts from Folksbiene’s production of the musical ‘Amerike — The Golden Land,’ which opens July 4 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.” NYSCA supports the Folksbiene through our Theatre Program.

NYSCA hosts guest speakers Gregory Mosher and Paul King at Council Meeting

On Wednesday, June 21, 2017,  NYSCA hosted a Committee Meeting and a Council Meeting to review a portion of FY2018 applications.

Following application review, we were visited by two fascinating guest speakers: Tony Award winner Gregory Mosher, Professor at the Columbia University School of the Arts and former director of Lincoln Center Theater, and Paul King, Executive Director of the Office of Arts and Special Projects, New York City Department of Education. We thank our speakers and our Chair Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel for an insightful discussion about audience building and the vital role of the arts in schools.

NYSCA’s Summer Guide: Your Ticket to New York State Arts & Culture!

Grab your sunscreen and get ready for your best summer yet with NYSCA’s Summer Guide, your resource for arts and cultural events from June to September all over New York State! Inside, find need-to-know info to enjoy an electro-pop musical about the life of Nikola Tesla in the Adirondacks, see glassblowing demonstrations along the Erie Canal, end a beach day with great movies at the Hamptons’ International Film Festival, explore the avant-garde at the Rochester Fringe Festival, hear the new opera Scalia/Ginsberg on Lake Glimmerglass, listen to standards performed by stars at the Saratoga Jazz Festival, and even see a show featuring extremely talented dogs on Long Island.

We’ve compiled listings from our grantees to ensure that music, dance, theater, film, museums and more can be a part of your summer plans wherever you live – or travel – in New York State. Share with us how you’re enjoying New York State culture on Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts using #NYSummerofArt!

NYSCA Chair Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel represents U.S. at Dartmouth Monument dedication

NYSCA Chair Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

June 6, 2017–Today in Dartmouth, England, the American Battle Monuments Commission dedicated its 28th federal monument.

ABMC Commissioner Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, speaking at the dedication ceremony, said, “It has been 73 years since Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy.

“We can never sufficiently thank those who served, and who died, during the Second World War.  But today, in lands kept free by the sacrifice of men and women dedicated to that freedom, we come to honor their service and their heroism.  Let us resolve to prove worthy of the sacrifice represented by this monument.”

The Commission also unveiled a bronze plaque in the Britannia Royal Naval College, which served as XI Amphibious Force headquarters during the war.

ABMC, a U.S. Federal agency, now maintains 26 American military cemeteries and 29 memorials, monuments and markers worldwide, including two cemeteries in England.

The Dartmouth Monument is the Commission’s only monument in England.